Knowing pickup theory without applying it infield will make you worse than the average guy.
A guy who has normal social skills with women and knows nothing about pickup will get laid more than a guy who just reads forums all day and buys every product out there and doesn't apply it. You will be so in your head about what to do when you are actually talking to a girl since you have all this information and no actual experiences applying it. Here at Sinns of Attraction it is recommended at least 2 hours infield for every hour spent studying. I know Brad P teaches the same doctrine.
Members of the "underground dating community" seem to have a problem with being honest about you where you are in the process(newbies especially). If you can't hold a regular conversation with a member of your peers then you surely aren't going to be able to pickup a attractive women. A lot of new guys will say stuff such as "I'm good man, I just need to work on SNL's or In venues, etc". You need to start at the basics and then work to where you want to be. You need to have a goal whether it be a steady girlfriend or dating multiple women. I was doing the harem thing for a while myself and now I have been enjoying night game as it allows me a good chance to get SNL's, while still casually dating other women. I know Sinn prefers day game, since it allows him the chance to game very attractive girls with ease without the loud music or drunk people around and being up till early morning hours.
When I first found this community I had the dilemma where I wanted results now, and not later. Realistically, you have to understand that it is a process and the results will come with time. For a more indepth look at the process of mastering something I highly recommend the book "Mastery by George Leonard". When you first start pickup you need to be going out as often as possible and opening as many sets as possible and taking them as far as possible. Also making small incremental steps is important. Instead of going for the lay when your a newbie with a girl at the club/bar. Go out and practice until you get your numbers. Then work on your phone and text game and getting dates. Then practice your day2's until you get your lays. Then maybe work on SNL's (if you want) after you have those things down. These things can take time, and you will go through a lot of plateaus and peaks, as long as you enjoy the process and stick with it, the results will come.
There is no rush to try to be some amazing pickup guy overnight. I myself am still improving parts of my game and I know others who are better than me are also. It's a process and not just something that you will be magically awesome at after a couple months of going out. You need to make incremental steps. I just started playing basketball for fun and I don't drive the net and try to juke guys out when I can't even dribble that well yet. I am still working on my fundamentals and with consistent practice I'm confident down the road I will be able to make the more "sexy" lay ups and jukes.
Another big problem that I see in alot of students is making excuses for not opening. If you have serious AA and are absolutely horrified about opening a set, thats fine, as long as you are honest with yourself, it can be fixed. If you say I have AA I can't open her, thats fine, if you were in bootcamp I would take you and do state drills and then we would try to reopen again or try a easier set. There is something to work with when you are honest with yourself. If you lie and say "they aren't my type, I don't want to open them", your just stuck where you are, not making any progress. Don't make excuses, if there is no one in the club but a group of girls who aren't that attractive you can still open them and talk to them and work on routines (if you use routines) and just get warmed up. Just talking to anyone will help with your social skills in general. I talk to random people all the time, even at a gas station or the mall. Not just hot chicks, but socializing with people that I run into everyday.
As far as information overload, I know a guy who can tell you what to do in any situation for pickup. He can't hold a girls attention for more than 5 mintues to save his life, but he could dissect the shit out of your set. If you're the guy who knows every nerd term and what to do in every situation but has severe AA, cant hold eye contact and no one can hear you, it's not going to do any good. The guy I know can probublary lecture for a hour on how to open, the angle to open, every different type of opener, and every other little thing but can't actually open. I see people that know pickup theory in bars and clubs and they just hover and make excuses for why not to open. "she isn't my type" "she's with that guy I think" "She is moving, cant open her", etc. If you are one of these guys, you need to stop reading all material and go out consistently for a month and then see where you are and go from there. During this month dont sign on or look at any forum or read any pickup related material. As far as guys who say "well, I don't like the club girls." I poise the question "Why would you go to the club then?" If you don't want a club girl, dont go to the club, go the mall, join a softball league, join a book club, go to the beach, the mall, a art show, etc. There are unlimited options on where to meet women. If you were to join some type of club that is girl relevent with women in it, it is going to be way easier than cold approaching at a bar or club anyways. A exception would be if you are a newbie bars and clubs are going to be good for just getting a sheer number of sets in and to work on your AA. There is no excuse to not get infield. It would be cool if we could just read about pickup, go out and open one set with a 9 in it, and have her be our gf, it isn't realistic though.
In the Marine Corps we were taugh KISS, keep it simple stupid. Just keep it simple, read the basics, then go out and apply them in your sets. Then get blown out and learn, when you are a kid learning to ride a bike you dont fall one time and quit. You fall then get back up , then fall, then get back up, until you get your bearings. Then after you can ride you can start to learn tricks on your bike if you wish.
Alot of guys are afraid of the dreaded "blowout". As far as blowouts are concerned I like blowouts, it helps me deal and get accustomed to social pressure and re-enforces the belief I don't care what people think about me. After you are calibrated and have been going out a while you can see if you are about to get blown out. You can then eject yourself and just reopen later in the night.
Once you become competent in pickup, its time to figure out what you want, not what someone else wants. I know alot of guys that all they want is a girlfriend, thats fine. Some guys dont want SNL's and threesomes,etc. That is perfectly fine. You would be more inclined to day game if this is your approach and I would suggest you get your Day 2's and then when a girl meets the criteria you want in a women, you can date her. Not everyone needs to have a harem. It's actually alot of drama and can be very stressful. It also is really cool though too ;). When Sinn teaches a bootcamp he has the students write a list of what qualities they want in a woman. You can then qualify and screen the girl based on these qualities. That way you are actually dating a girl that you actually like. What a concept...
If the girl is really hot, you can always make exceptions for some of the criteria tho ;).
** I highly suggest all newbies to read the Game Acceleration Doctrine, its on sinns blog for free.
Alex- SOA Instructor