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Should we recommend the Snake to beginners?
#1
I've occasionally talked about this with some of you, but should we really be recommending the snake to beginners? I've been thinking that learning the snake too early is probably detrimental to most beginners' games, and here's why:

- It makes new players think that they should get a snake before anything else
- It detracts from the importance of the 5-bar
- It does little to improve their 2-bar shots, which honestly, they'll be shooting more of than 3-bar shots for quite some time
- Shooting more shots to start with helps you understand how to defend those shots, and what the opponent is looking at
- Someone who is more naturally inclined to have a killer pull may never end up trying it out. Same goes for pull-kicks and push-kicks, which I know I have heard veterans dismissing to new players.

I think a lot of new players are pressured to learn the Snake too early in their game. I think a better approach would be either to recommend pull (useful on the 2 as well), or solely to comment on how control, pick-up skills, and a good 5 will make any shot successful.

I'm hoping that some of you lurkers out there will comment on this as well (Merv, Omar, etc)
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#2
(08-Aug-2011, 10:08 PM)SilentSam Wrote: I've occasionally talked about this with some of you, but should we really be recommending the snake to beginners? I've been thinking that learning the snake too early is probably detrimental to most beginners' games, and here's why:

- It makes new players think that they should get a snake before anything else
- It detracts from the importance of the 5-bar
- It does little to improve their 2-bar shots, which honestly, they'll be shooting more of than 3-bar shots for quite some time
- Shooting more shots to start with helps you understand how to defend those shots, and what the opponent is looking at
- Someone who is more naturally inclined to have a killer pull may never end up trying it out. Same goes for pull-kicks and push-kicks, which I know I have heard veterans dismissing to new players.

I think a lot of new players are pressured to learn the Snake too early in their game. I think a better approach would be either to recommend pull (useful on the 2 as well), or solely to comment on how control, pick-up skills, and a good 5 will make any shot successful.

I'm hoping that some of you lurkers out there will comment on this as well (Merv, Omar, etc)

The main reason that snakes are the first shot that are taught to beginners is that it gets them on their offensive feet faster. The pull, generally speaking, takes much longer to learn and to become an effective shot. If they're not scoring, they are generally having less fun, and may lose an interest in the game more quickly.

I disagree with it "detracting from the importance of the 5-bar". They will believe the 5 bar is as important as you tell them it is. It's up to you to emphasize that it is the true key to the game.

That being said, I agree with some of your other points: learning a snake does NOTHING for their 2 bars. Learning a pull first would definitely be an advantage there. In general, learning the snake slows their understanding and learning of any powerful wrist-snap, which is incredibly important.


IMHO ----

If you are SURE they like the game, and won't be going anywhere: start them off with a pull.

If you think they might be swayed and might give up easily: start them with a snake.
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#3
show them the pull, show them the snake - let them decide which one they are going to want to shoot.

A pull from the back isn't the same as a pull from the front anyways.
[i]"I can't make you look stupid any more than Betty Crocker can bake a cake out of thin air. You provide the ingredients, believe me. It's not that I want to be an asshole, it's just that it comes so easily and I lack either the restraint or good will to say nothing at all."[/i]
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#4
Quote:I disagree with it "detracting from the importance of the 5-bar".
My main point here is that I've seen many a newbie start consistently practicing by placing the ball in pin, and then shooting, rinse/repeat. Only. This even happens to people whom I've suggested that the best way to improve was to learn a brush series (with demonstrations), but snake still seems to be the emphasis of practice.

Quote:show them the pull, show them the snake - let them decide which one they are going to want to shoot.

A pull from the back isn't the same as a pull from the front anyways.
Remember the days of "Open-Hand Paul" from the 2-bar? Wasn't this because your wrist flick was underdeveloped due to concentration on learning the snake?
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#5
Yes. There are lots of bad habits that we need to get new players to stop doing, especially placing the ball in a pin! You need to practice the setup.

The problem is the same in any sport. In hockey everyone wants to learn to shoot the wrist shot or the slap shot. They don't want to practice skating backwards or other boring things.

What we can do is setup some practice sessions to get people better. We can open up the tables before league so that people can pound away on ball to get the feeling of stuff. Would be nice to have a one on one lessons.
"Man's way to God is with beer in hand." - some Belgium monk
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#6
I just never shot anything close-handed; always open handed. Merv showed me how to accurately shoot closed handed and that was that.

noobs need to decide which style of play is best suited for them personally. It doesn't matter if they learn the snake or pull as a shot; both are high-percentage shots and both should be learned eventually, however to begin it's best to become proficient with one of the other based on your personal preference. Same goes for the 5 bar. Brush or stick? show them both and let them decide. a good player will mix both methods into their rotations but you gotta start somewhere.
[i]"I can't make you look stupid any more than Betty Crocker can bake a cake out of thin air. You provide the ingredients, believe me. It's not that I want to be an asshole, it's just that it comes so easily and I lack either the restraint or good will to say nothing at all."[/i]
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#7
(09-Aug-2011, 03:40 PM)SilentSam Wrote:
Quote:I disagree with it "detracting from the importance of the 5-bar".
My main point here is that I've seen many a newbie start consistently practicing by placing the ball in pin, and then shooting, rinse/repeat. Only. This even happens to people whom I've suggested that the best way to improve was to learn a brush series (with demonstrations), but snake still seems to be the emphasis of practice.

This is where I find it beneficial to DRILL INTO THEIR HEADS something along the following:

"Sure, you can practice shooting all ya want. Feels good to score, don't it? Know what the problem is? In order to score, one must first GET THE BALL. If you never get the ball, you'll never score. If, however, you practice passing, you'll get chances to score aaaaallll the time."
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#8
Dan - It's too hard at the beginning for new players to start scoring using several shots, use what they like and seem to handle. Snake is just the easier choice and most common. We need to hook them in remember, the game is already extremely hard to learn as it is! Expand with time. Many new players see snake shots and request to learn them, it doesn't necessarily mean they will have a weaker 2 bar and I agree with Paul that shooting a pull is different from the 2 bar to the 3 bar. Since they are shooting a snake up front and say pulling form the back, they are already adding some diversity to their game and when they want to start trying to pull from the front they will have a basic understanding of it already. 5 bar 5 bar 5 bar - Can't go wrong! (I know you know that!)

Chris - There are definitely several basic fundamentals that need to be taught first before anything else should be shown. Chris you already do a great job with this! I think Anyone who is wondering how to go about this should speak to you.

Mario - You suck

Paul - See you tonight!
http://www.netfoos.com
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#9
Basically if Thomas is taking in noobs, they are in good hands. He's able to explain things in laymen terms and when I was starting out it was a tremendous help having been on his team.

That said, discussions like this are a good thing because I'm sure he'd like to play on a competitive team now and again and if we're all on the same page, nobody should be scaring off any noobs.
[i]"I can't make you look stupid any more than Betty Crocker can bake a cake out of thin air. You provide the ingredients, believe me. It's not that I want to be an asshole, it's just that it comes so easily and I lack either the restraint or good will to say nothing at all."[/i]
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#10
(09-Aug-2011, 03:45 PM)5barwarrior Wrote: Yes. There are lots of bad habits that we need to get new players to stop doing, especially placing the ball in a pin! You need to practice the setup.

What we can do is setup some practice sessions to get people better. Would be nice to have a one on one lessons.

Oooooh. One-on-one mentorship. I like this idea. This would also encourage a sort of "my protege is better than your protege" mentality amongst the pros, and get them to try to teach others more effectively. Same sort of thing I tried to do with Liudas and Paul when they started out.

Jon Wrote:Mario - You suck

Jon - The eloquence of your previous articulation is incredibly obscured by its brevity. You, too, bear a distinct resemblance to a vacuum.
Given that you guys attract so many new players, maybe it would be a good idea to establish some sort of standardized method of training? Like what they use in companies and corporations for new employees? Or maybe some orientation sessions or something?
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#11
I actually liked my wording better!

I do however agree, I like the idea of a one-on-one approach also. Might aswell take every opportunity given to get some more chirping in!
http://www.netfoos.com
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#12
(10-Aug-2011, 11:08 AM)Pixel Wrote: Oooooh. One-on-one mentorship. I like this idea. This would also encourage a sort of "my protege is better than your protege" mentality amongst the pros, and get them to try to teach others more effectively. Same sort of thing I tried to do with Liudas and Paul when they started out.

I like this idea - and I'd say it has roughly a 50% success rate.
(10-Aug-2011, 12:40 PM)Jon Wrote: I actually liked my wording better!

I do however agree, I like the idea of a one-on-one approach also. Might aswell take every opportunity given to get some more chirping in!

speaking of chirping - definitely a HUGE part of the game whether people like it or not - between goals is the perfect time to throw your opponent off his game.
[i]"I can't make you look stupid any more than Betty Crocker can bake a cake out of thin air. You provide the ingredients, believe me. It's not that I want to be an asshole, it's just that it comes so easily and I lack either the restraint or good will to say nothing at all."[/i]
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#13
Quote:speaking of chirping - definitely a HUGE part of the game whether people like it or not - between goals is the perfect time to throw your opponent off his game.

Meh, I don't subscribe to that. Chirp me all you want, it's just not me and it has never bothered me. Some people just don't care to.
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#14
it doesn't take long to figure out whose game is affected by your chirping; I'm not saying it's a required skill, but it can't hurt.

I remember this dude from Calgary I think it was, at the last tourny... he would hoot and holler after every goal they scored, pumping himself up - kinda made me feel shittier and shittier as it continued. When I scored I blew up with some over the top excitement and wound up coming back from a 4-0. You could really tell it messed with his head.
[i]"I can't make you look stupid any more than Betty Crocker can bake a cake out of thin air. You provide the ingredients, believe me. It's not that I want to be an asshole, it's just that it comes so easily and I lack either the restraint or good will to say nothing at all."[/i]
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#15
I can attest to what newbies find an "easier" shot to start with at the 3 rod. Many times when I'm showing a newbie shots from the back and 5 bar passing I ask a simple question, what do you feel comfortable shooting?

The mechanics of every shot is defined by the reaction, speed and structure of the individual. For example, Laffredo has the speed and reaction to shoot a fast and effortless pull, I've seen with my own eyes Bob Diaz shoot pull from the 3 rod and it looks like hes going to take the table with him. Several of the newbies from the beginning jump to the snake because they believe its the "easy way" into scoring. I've told every single one that its the complete opposite. Yes you can adapt to a higher scoring ratio compared to a pull, front pin or a push but it only gets more complicated when you start to learn all the other holes, read complicated d's and learn to change your timing depending on the defender.

There is no right or wrong way to start a newbie, I have 2 on my team and from the beginning I was able to determine what shot suits them best just by how they react and their speed.

Merv can shoot a snake, has a pull but ask him to shoot a euro front pin and it looks like he's a quadriplegic.

The appropriate way to start a newbie is HELP them find the defined shot they were built for and make it clear to them that the 5 bar is the key to getting more shots, without the 5 bar they lose. There's no other way to train a newbie. I've helped almost every rookie and even some of the regulars (yes Merv that includes you) with their 5 bar passing - Wayne Gretzky said he became one of the greatest all time scorers because he took the most shots.

Focus on 5 bar, 2 bar shots/clearing methods and a proper D - if you don't have those your game is going nowhere.
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