| by Jim Meador
I have a 9 year old grandson who shoots on our 8-ball team. Nobody taught him to shoot, and we don't intend to start. As it is, he has taken down some fairly strong players, and I believe he is better off without our help.
First, he is short for his age, and he must stroke side-armed. Second, we can't share his view of the table: it barely reaches his chest. He has challenges the rest of the family has never experienced. The only thing we do is provide a positive response to his efforts.
His dad (my son) did teach him proper behavior, and it is his behavior that impresses me most. After each miss, he turns politely and takes his seat. Win or lose, he shakes his opponent's hand with a smile. I know touring pros who could take a few lessons from him in this regard.
I honestly believe the best way to teach a child to shoot pool is to expose him or her to a table, and get out of the way. Take them to tournaments, and answer their questions. But don't push or criticize.
One more bit of advice. If you want to beat them, take them down in the first year.