Take years off your Learning Curve


Ken Tewksbury

© 2008 The Institute of Billiard Sciences

Ever wondered why it traditionally takes years or even decades to master pocket billiards? My mind had been clouded by the myths of muscle memory, countless hours of drills and trial and error, the "No Pain, No gain" philosophy, and all those other outdated methods we came to understand as the true method of playing this fine game. That was when I realized I should be looking for answers to an accelerated learning method for pocket billiards.

There had to be a better answer, there had to be a way to combine the remarkable new discoveries in brain-based learning with the physical aspect of learning pocket billiards. Over the last four years I reworked and refined all the training methods with great success, what would normally take students months to learn I could show them in just a few minutes with full understanding of how it worked and why it works without all the adjustments that others say are needed.

By incorporating theories of multiple and individual learning styles and cutting that traditional time in half. I was able to bring a dramatic new level of speed and efficiently to learning multiple objectives throughout this time, I became absolutely obsessed with finding a way to enhance the instruction of pocket billiards. Having the skills to play at higher levels should not take years upon years of training at home or in a pool hall trying to learn mostly through trial and error methods. There had to be a better way!

Accelerated Learning:

Accelerated Learning is a comprehensive approach to change. It was developed over four years of study at my school. Accelerated Learning aims to create success for all students by closing the achievement gaps. The idea is to radically change individuals by redesigning the curriculum, instructional methods and practices so that it provides enrichment for students.

The Accelerated Learning theory assumes that students have "Learning gaps" in areas that need to be addressed. The program also assumes the remedial approaches fail to close those gaps because they do not build on the students strengths and they do not tap into resources of the instructors.

Basic Elements:

When the Accelerated Learning program is introduced, the process involves several guiding principles and values.

Unity of purpose: Instructors and Students must agree on a common set of goals for the student to reach. These goals become the focal point of everyone's efforts, serving as a framework for all curricular, instructional methods. This will stop the stalemate among instructors and students. It stops them from blaming each other and factors beyond their control for the student's poor educational outcomes.

What the instructor's at my school do is rapidly "hardwire" pocket billiards skills by training HOW to become a superior player; HOW to shut off our natural mental blocks against avoiding mistakes; and HOW to pick up those traditional complex moves in only a few repetitions instead of thousands! It is like downloading raw data to a computer that can be used immediately.

So, without conscious effort, you can "download" amazingly advanced skills straight into your body's muscles and nerves almost immediately. We proved that talent has little to do with how good at pocket billiards you can become. We took some of the worst of the worst players and taught them "HOW" to learn these skills, and "HOW" to correctly apply them for outstanding results.

Almost like magic, things began to change; in only two days of using these methods, we had completely taught the same exact basic drills that usually take two months to master for "Good Players" to become familiar with them. Unlike other players who could only "remember" techniques, our players actually knew them cold. Their natural avoidance reaction to playing had been "reprogrammed" with an automatic response.

From that moment on, whenever our "misfits" competed against any other player of equal skill, they absolutely humiliated those who have never had any learning skill training. This proved those who received this training of "HOW" to learn is actually more important than "WHAT" they learned!

Contrary to the popular saying, Knowledge is not power. Knowledge itself is useless. How you are able to use and apply that knowledge is what makes you intelligent, powerful, and in our case a higher-level player. I have had other players tell me that I should not be teaching this to everyone and they will pay me extra not to teach this method to anyone else. They want me to put it under lock and key. I should have seen this coming. Success always breeds jealously. Because my system works, the students loved it but other instructors do not like it at all. So to say that I am stepping on a few toes would be a SEVERE understatement!

I will say it again, it is NOT how talented or how athletic you are that determines how good a pocket billiard player you can become…It is how well you know HOW to learn the techniques and how well you know HOW to make them your natural response to a playing situation at the table.