Preface ...0031. Playing Ability Test Frontpage ...0051.1 Conditions and Procedure ...0061.2 The PAT Principle ...0071.3 The Playing Ability Test (PAT 1) ...0091.4 PAT: Speed Drill ...0101.5 PAT: Stroke Straightness ...0111.6 PAT: Follow Drill ...0141.7 PAT: Draw Drill ...0151.8 PAT: Small Area Position Drill ...0181.9 PAT: Large Area Position Drill ...0221.10 PAT: Frozen Rail Drill ...0261.11 PAT: Endless Drill ...0301.12 PAT: Standard Shots ...0321.13 PAT: 9-Ball Situation Drill ...0352. Technique Training Frontpage ...0372.1 Speed ...0382.2 Basic Strokes I (Stop & Replacement Shots)...0392.3 Basic Strokes II (Draw & Follow Shots) ...0412.4 Standard position Workout for Beginners ...0432.5 Shooting Accuracy for Beginners ...0452.6 6-Ball and continuous Position Game ...0472.7 Blank Copies ...0493. Training Games Frontpage ...0523.1 Equal Offence...0533.2 Bowlliard...0563.3 Progressive X-Ball ...0593.4 4 Table Blanks ...062
Ralph G. EckertProfessional Class Pocket Billiard Player- How it began...-In 1982 Ralph started playing in a newly opened Billiard CafeA in Ludwigshafen on the Rhein, Germany. At that time, Ralph was 17 yrs old. Actually, he was waiting at the Bus stop across the street from the A"now openingA" invitation, for a bus that wasn't on time. His curiosity got the better of him and so he decided to look into this brand new billiard parlor instead. The proprietor and owner of this establishment - to which incidentally, now belongs among the finest Billiard parlours in Germany - understood quickly the diligence Ralph showed during play, to include his lack of talent at the time. A"The diligence, together with his bit of intelligence will be enough to turn him into a Top Player soon!A" was how the proprietor formulated the A"BetA" back then! Which was the reason why the one (Tobias Kim) and later another (Bernd Woitanowski) troubled themselves increasingly more towards the advancement of Ralph's personal skills.- His Training -One must realize that both Proprietors at that time, belong to the best players in the country and Tobias Kim was an academic in Heidelberg (studied Physics, Mathematics and Anglo Saxon in England, USA and Heidelberg) and could convey knowledge to him that no other could have given. Consequently, Ralph not only practiced very diligently but also trained consolidated and wise, which not only provided him with sound technique and a good feel for the game but also the knowledge about the finer points of Tactics which would reveal itself and help him greatly as time went on. After only three years of intensive training A"4 - 8 hrs a dayA" and not uncommonly 12 hrs and more at a time! Ralph reached, with his Team (BF Ludwigshafen 1982) in 1985, placement in the Major National League.- First Trick shot show -1985 was the year he introduced his first Trick shot show. This took place in the Officers Club at Ft Westerburg, German Army Barracks, where Ralph was assigned until March of 1996. For Ralph, it became a question whether or not the Officers Club had enough room for a pool table so he could practice daily (off Duty!). The Trick shot presentation would give him a chance to demonstrate his ability. As it had to happen, the presentation was a complete success! This moved the Brass to allow this regular Army Private, be allowed to come in the Officers Club as an exception to the rule! A recreation center of Today's Army would still take a long time in coming.- First big Milestone -The following year showed much signs of further practice. Whereas Ralph, in 1986/87 because of a small quarrel with his Mentor, a one year switch to another Club (PBV Schwetzingen) was met and mastered and he invariably helped the Team to reach the National League level. However, after returning to his home Team in Ludwigshafen, the real breakthroughs were accomplished. By 1988, Ralph was 2 time Baden Wuertemburg State Champion and in this Season moved on to become German Vice Champion in 9-Ball. He began playing in Tournaments in foreign countries that had International Top Players at the start. In Sweden and in Switzerland, where Ralph won more experience. Through a switch in the ranks of the Presidio DPBB (German Pool Billiard Federation; restructured in 1990), in 1988 Ralph was nominated as a possible choice for the German National Team, for the first time.- Drawbacks -Ralph's Mentor Tobias Kim was the reason for this chance, but being the highly qualified, innovative and progress oriented person that he was, he made the functionary officials already on the board, begin to squirm in their seats. This developed further into mistrust and discomfort between certain board members. Which eventually led to Kim's Billiard business, where they would trip him up as well as they could, when ever they could. It got to the point where any proposal or suggestion Kim made, be put off as dream Fantasies. His proteges (next to Ralph another up comer, Norbert Lang) and their careers, were also thwarted as much as possible.Some of these drawbacks had a very long reach and wounded Ralph deeply, not only on a National, but County and District levels as well. The story behind these individual cases would fill another book and for that matter would be only shortly lived. Now, it is put off in general as A"Yesterday's Snow StormA" and forgotten. As it turned out for Kim however, his activities were reduced to nothing important and anything that had to do with Billiards would be purely a little business on the side. Today he has completely retreated from the Billiard scene and seems to enjoy this perfectly.Ralph on the other hand was for years on end, barred from playing in important National Tournaments through diverse disqualifications and over qualifications which robbed him of any further intensive development and caused irreparable damage to his career. But enough of this, Ralph still was able during this time to attend and win many Open Tournaments which at least allowed him to still be looked upon as a Top Contender among the better players.- Successful Trick Shows -Between 1988 and 1993, Ralph enjoyed fantastic success with his Trick Shot Presentations. He gave an innumerous amount of Events at Grand Openings, Parties and Billiard Fairs. His great presentation on Television at the start of the 1991 German Championships and at the Saarbruecker Saarlandhall 1992 for the Casino Cup. Another in 1993 during the Spanish Championships in Alicante and the Danish Championships in Copenhagen.In this year, Ralph showed for the first time at a Billiard Fair in the USA, the MEGA-JUMP shot (Tobias Kim showed him this shot in 1984). He got the shot to work even though his shaft was shattered in the process. This happens on occasion, due to the massive amount of force required. The shot has to do with a correctly administered jump shot where the cue ball must jump over a ball that is only about 3.5 cm away. Ralph does this with a completely normal length cue and is to date the only person know who can control this shot effectively. However, due to the material damage that sometimes comes about, he shows this shot only very seldom.His favorite Trick Shots are his version of A"Chinese PoolA"; A"Masked MarvelA"; A"Lady-ShotA" and the A"Pool Pyramid, Evil Knievel StyleA". Along with this, he has his own Trick Shot arrangements in his repertoire. These are the A"typical 8-Ball situationsA". Because of the complexity in the ball arrangement at the beginning of the Trick Shot, he is very fond of these as well.- Other milestones -Nobody knows or will say for sure, the reason why Ralph - for him a complete surprise - was again nominated in 1993 for a spot in the German National Team and again in 1995 and 1996. And even when Ralph, in 1994 because of a job workshop could only play every now and again. The workshop was a Godsend, as overproduction created unemployment and the economic market at the time was in the basement. Commissions for Trick Shots were few and far between at this time as well, but even through all this turmoil, Ralph was still able to keep his place under the Top Ten in Germany.- Ralph becomes Author -In 1995 Ralph laid his first book A"Modern PoolA" on the Open Market. Ralph worked almost two years on it before having to throw it all in the bottom drawer for over a year because of computer problems, script problems and lastly finding the right publisher! Since 1985, Ralph had given training now and then. During this time he would always note these training incidents down in a notebook, with self made graphic illustrations that would help him further. Somewhere along the line, Ralph decided it would be a good idea to write a commentary to each of the illustrations he used in training. As he did this he realized that it wouldn't take much more to finish a complete book on this subject and began forthwith to this work at hand. At a Billiard Fair in Hennef, Germany where Ralph presented his first Book, all copies brought at that time were completely sold out. The insured reservations and the rest of the copies from the first print were completely sold out in a matter of 8 months! Therefore, in 1996 a revised version of A"Modern PoolA" was completed. This second edition had naturally a greater amount in stock than the last version did.In this book he could show one vividly what one needed to do, with even lesser talent, to press into the ranks of the better players. Through his professionally initiated A"Training conceptA" in the Billiard Parlor in Ludwigshafen, his determination and discipline, and his distinguishing mark of diligence during play, were all keys to his success!- Self-supporting as a Billiard Player? -Through the ensuing demand in the area of training, Ralph decided in 1997 under the banner of A"Billiard ActivitiesA" to start his own business as a professional Billiard Trainer and maybe reach a higher level of Attainment in this Sport as a Player at least on the teaching side of the fence, but it didn't want to start out easily.Lessons for an official Trainer license at this day and age were very seldom. An acknowledgement from the DBU (German Billiard Union) in the past, were given only under special circumstances to which was something Ralph, at that time wouldn't agree with. For the moment it seemed his fate was sealed.- or as a Billiard Trainer?... -Through this newly won free time, since Ralph had joined the ranks of the self-employed, he could train more on his own game. This gave him again the courage he needed, to attend bigger tournaments more often and for the first time the European Tournament Series, the EURO TOUR. This is how he came into contact with the EPBF (European Pocket Billiard Federation), the official Institute for Pool Billiards in Europe! Here he found that they badly needed a good player that was able to give good training in English! That is how it came about that Ralph Eckert in 1998 by the way of honoris causa became the first official Europe Trainer. Ralph found himself in a somewhat, peculiar situation. On the one hand he was the official trainer for Europe, given in writing and backed by the most important Billiard alliance in all of Europe. On the other hand, at a National level, functionary officials wouldn't even offer him a C-License for beginner Trainers... This was a slight conflict that in the mean time, has been ironed out and has been the stem of very professional social improvement between these levels.- Professionally initiated is how it went further...-With this new Official Title, Ralph was spawned to achieve more professional Qualifications that would prove him worthy of this honor. Through association, Ralph gained contact to the person in charge of the Olympic base camp in Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Hans Eberspaecher. He invited Ralph to listen in to his lectures at the University of Heidelberg. And so it was that Ralph became a regular guest listener at the University of Heidelberg where he listened into, on the most interesting Lectures and Seminars he could find that was at least remotely related to Billiards. Among these noble Lectures were Sport Psychology; also Seminars involving Mental Training, Attention Training, Motivation and Emotion in Sport among many others.- As Trainer internationally sought after in foreign countries... -In 1998, Ralph would become his probably most interesting Training Assignment up to this point. He was needed by the Thailand National Snooker Team to train them for the ASIAN GAMES. He was flown to Bangkok, where he was received with complete Honors and he realized first hand, just how big these Asian games really were. These Games were set up like the Olympic Games, only these Games are meant for Asian Arena and is almost as big! Here, the Snooker Association received the highest respect, ahead of Soccer, sport discipline number two, to which a great amount of median interest was respectively given. In the training camp, reporters and correspondents of all kind were marching through daily. Even then, after this was all over with, Ralph's Farewell was met with great ovation, then A"hisA" Team captured during the ASIAN GAMES against all expectations, the Bronze Medal! Through this success, Ralph would be assigned once more to train the Thailand National Snooker Team for the SEA GAMES 2001 in Malaysia. He had already been training now and again the Danish National Pool Billiard Team since 1998, where he regularly traveled by Train to and from the training camp of TEAM DENMARK in Kolding Denmark. During all this however, Ralph still seemed to have found time to diligently follow the Seminars at the University of Heidelberg.- The late success as a Player...-These Seminars about Sport Psychology seemed not only to help his professional References and competence, it appeared to have given him a practical advantage at playing the game. One thing was clear however, Ralph was beginning to have fun at playing Pool once again, something many thought was lost in him. Only this can explain why Ralph, which was even for him fully unexpected, won the 1999 Brunswick Antalya Open in Turkey, one of the stops in the EURO TOUR Tournament Series! This victory catapulted him under the top Ten of the European 9-Ball rankings. Sadly enough, Ralph only participated in 4 of the 7 Tournament series, otherwise he might have made it to the Top.- And another Book -At the same time his second Book A"Progressive PoolA" was just coming on the Market. This book turned out to be another success and in only a year and a half, November 2000, a second updated edition was started that included the experience he learned. Ralph molded this won recognition into the Mental game of Pool and enhanced this work even further.- The preliminary pinnacle -In March of 2000, Ralph lived up to a dream in his life, during the EURO TOUR in Italy. There Ralph had a direct duel in the quarter finals against Ralf Souquet, where he had the chance to take the lead in the European 9-Ball rankings! The match ended very close with 11:10 for Ralph Eckert!Not a bad story for somebody who had a lack of Talent and at 17 yrs of age had a seemingly late start on things in comparison...!- Today-At the moment Ralph has been playing active in the Major National League for the 1st team of PBC Fulda since the year 2000. Active participation in other German open tournaments or nationally started championships are very seldom. However, as far as his appointment calendar allows, he still tries to find time to compete in the EURO TOUR of the EPBF. Still, a lot of training appointments, in Country and Abroad, keep him from playing many Tournaments. Which explains why he has naturally lost a little ground in the overall rankings. If Thailand calls up to deploy him as trainer for the National Team again, Ralph is certainly going to go. The trainer courses he conducts across the country here in Germany take up most of his time and many of these land on Tournament dates. Along with all this, Ralph is still available now and then to perform his much loved Trick Shot Shows.Jorgen SandmanThe author, Jorgen Sandman, was born in Sundsvall (SWE) in 1955. He has been involved in Pool ever since in the beginning of the 1970's and on a full-time basis since 1979. Over the years he has been a player of high standards, a salesman of billiards products, a manager of some 20 pool rooms, the owner of 3 pool rooms, an instructor and a coach, an official on both national and international level, an author (Right on Cue, 1991 - translated into 4 languages), a professor teaching coaches, and the managing director of the European Billiard Congress. As a volunteer he has served the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) 18 years, the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) 13 years (he is a co-founder of the WPA and served as its President during the years 1992-99), and the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), so far, 16 years. He is currently the President of the WCBS and the Vice-President (since 2005) of the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF). As a coach in Pool he has been running around 50 training camps in 14 countries, he has been the national coach in Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Ukraine and Denmark, and currently he is an EPBF Head-Coach as well as the national coach for Austria. He is working as a development manager for the Norwegian Billiard Federation since May of 2006. He has been awarded the "Golden Pin" by the DBU (1987), the BCA President's Award (1991), the Bowling & Billiard Institute of America Service Award (1998) and is Honorary Doctor of the National University for Physical Education and Sports of Ukraine (2001).