How Do I Get Better?

Posted by : Liz Ford

Pool is a game of many facets and nuances and with the overwhelming number of drills, aiming systems and videos out there on the YouTubes, it can be hard to know what to practice to become a stronger player. Don't let the anxiety of which path to take rob you of energy that could be directed towards improvement. Choose any path and take it.

Even under the best conditions, getting better at pool does not resemble an arrow sailing swiftly towards its target. In truth, it looks more like a college kid staggering home from a frat party. Sometimes he veers left, sometimes right, sometimes he just plain sits down for a while, but eventually he will make it back to the dorm to microwave a hot-pocket.

Point being that as long as you keep working and trying – you will get better, almost regardless of what you choose to work on. Trial and error are important components of the process, but as with most other things in life you will only understand what worked and what didn’t after the fact, as the perspectives of time and experience work their magic. It's okay to finally discover the SECRET OF POOL! Every single week only to replace it with next week’s SECRET OF POOL! FINALLY REVEALED!

You will go through many phases while learning this game and they are all okay. You might spend a month using only top-spin. You might decide that standing like a snooker player will change your life. You might even practice with an eye-patch, convinced that you need to change your dominant eye. Again, it’s all okay. Sometimes sill y and embarrassing, but still okay. Eventually, you will shed your current phase and move on to the next big thing, having gleaned the habits and skills that work for you and having discarded the eye-patch (hopefully).

Even top players keep their minds and games fresh by jumping on new techniques and equipment. Learning the game has no end-point and is a living endeavor, even at its highest levels. As long as you keep absorbing new things, you will keep evolving. The only time you will start to devolve is when you think you know it all. Mistakes are wonderfully useful, and you should strive to make a lot of them. If you aren‘t failing, then you aren't trying.

In pursuit of the wily skill of shooting pool it pays to be a seeker - one who searches out new perspectives on the game and lives in them, fully, for a while. Look at The Beatles: they had their running around making goofy black and white films phase, their sitting in ashrams in India phase and their our four egos can't all be in the studio at the same time phase. All were different, but all were extremely productive. Sure, you will sometimes cringe as you look back on your follies, but the upside to passion and commitment can be some beautiful music on the table.