Ask “The Viper”

Melissa Little

Melissa “The Viper” Little has been a WPBA Touring Professional for over 10-years, she has represented the USA in Four WPA World Championships, is the current USA Bar Table Champion for 8-Ball and 9-Ball and has over 20 top-10 WPBA career finishes. Melissa is the house-pro at the Wynkoop Brewing Company located in Downtown Denver and is sponsored by The Wynkoop, Jacoby Custom Cues and The Colorado Cue Times. She teaches monthly clinics, gives private lessons, and has created a juniors program that promotes billiards education to the local youth. For more information about Melissa please visit: www.melissalittle.com

Question:

Can a person without natural talent rise to the professional level with hard work?” John S. – Denver

Answer:

People from all walks of life have deliberated over natural talent vs. hard work. In my opinion, even though there are natural born pool players, it is the dedication and hard work that gets them to the championship level. I think the natural player can get to the pros a little bit faster but a person who works hard on there game will eventually get there. Either way it takes an enormous about of work for both. Over the past decade I have been playing on the WPBA pro tour and have noticed that are a few players without natural talent but who have dedicated their game to hard work and it’s paid off.

I think its very important to set some goals and then dedicate your time to hard work and in due time the rest will come. If you place all of your energy on a trophy prize then you set yourself up for disappointed. My goal is not to be the number 1 ranked player in the World but to become the BEST pool player that I can be.  If I dedicate my time and energy to hard work then that championship titles will come. Be patient and ponder on your thinking.

Trophies, rankings, and prizes are just materialistic items. But what counts is that you chose to play a game with passion!! Its not the end result of a championship but what it takes to get you there. The true trophies are built upon memories, places traveled, and even that awesome shot that you made during pool league. Those are the things that really matter…

Best of luck to you, Viper

If you have a question for “The Viper” please e-mail them to Melissa Little at Melissa@melissalittle.com

Ask the Viper

Melissa Little

Question:

“I really don’t enjoy drills and much prefer playing with friends to improve my game. Do you think playing with friends and in leagues is as productive as practicing drills to sharpen my skills?”

Answer:

I really don’t like drills either- but are they good for my pool game? YES YES AND YES!!!!

For advice I recommend trying to incorporate all different types of games, drills, total offense, and practice with friends to improve your game. But be aware that if you do practice with friends make sure you try your BEST!!! If you catch yourself just hitting balls without meaning then it’s really not good for your pool game.

When I practice with friends some of them mention, “wow, give me a chance, it looks like your trying to beat me”? Well guess what? I am trying to beat you!! When I get to the table I feel disciplined enough to try hard every time!! At this point in my career I cannot afford to just have fun and hits meaningless balls. I take pool very serious…. And I think everyone should!! If my friends want to have fun with me then I recommend going to the movies or shopping… now that’s fun.

I don’t like drills, 1-pocket, billiards, 8-ball but the reason I don’t like them is because I am not good at them- But I am honest and I look forward to playing them because one day I will be good at them all. I would like to be known as a great ALL AROUND pool player, not just a good 9-ball player.

So pick up your cue today and try something different today- you never know you might be good at it and if not then challenge yourself…..

Melissa “The Viper” Little has been a WPBA Touring Professional for over 10-years, she has represented the USA in Four WPA World Championships and has over 20 top-10 WPBA career finishes. Melissa is currently the house-pro at the Wynkoop Brewing Company located in Downtown Denver. She teaches monthly clinics, gives private lessons, and has created a juniors program that promotes billiards education to the local youth. For more information about Melissa please visit: www.melissalittle.com