Three Quarter Ball Position Practice Drill.

This Video is a Practice Drill

This is a pool practice drill that my snooker coach demonstrated to me during an hour session in Nottingham.

The idea is to play all of the shots from the same cue ball and object ball  location and achieve different track lines by changing your stroke.

Changing the Stroke Changes the Track Line

The position of the hit on the cue ball combined with changes in your stroke will result in the white ball travelling down a different line. By learning how and when to adjust your grip and stroke you will develop a “feel” for the shot and the ability to direct the cue ball in many different directions.

The pace of the shot will also affect the track line, generally speaking the white will follow the tangent less on softer shots.

Control the white so that the white ball just touches the target ball softly if it doesn’t then make adjustments.

The Tangent line and Cue ball Speed.

This is important enough that it needs to be the subject of its own article but I will sum up the issue for this practice drill.

The cue ball will follow the tangent on all cut shots prior to leaving the line and moving in the intended direction due to the applied spin.

The harder the white ball is struck, the longer distance it will stay on the tangent line.

The softer the shot the quicker the spin will take effect.

Observing the Results of Your Actions.

When you are practicing set specific goals, observe the results, make  necessary adjustments to achieve the goal. Then observe/adjust, observe/adjust.

 

Joss Pool Cue Level 2 J-1 1986 Used- Ebay Listing

For sale on Ebay

Used Joss Pool Cue 1986

Old and straight. Chipped butt ring see pictures. Butt and shaft match. Shaft shows darker color from age and regular use. Wrap shows wear see pictures.

Used Joss Pool Cue 1986

I will ship in a used vinyl case at no extra cost.

Brand:
Joss
Length:58″

Weight:19.5 oz

Two-Piece

Model:
Level 2 J-1

Level 2 J-1 Get Pricing
– Bird´s-eye maple forearm, bird´s-eye maple butt sleeve.

Old and straight. Chipped butt ring see pictures. Butt and shaft match. Shaft shows darker color from age and regular use. Wrap shows wear see pictures.

Used Joss Pool Cue 1986

DISCONTINUED JOSS CUE
Joss catalogue, circa mid-1980s.
This cue is a level 2 J-1.

The J-18 ( which is not this particular model) was the model used to portray the Balabushka in “The Color of Money” in 1986.

These cues went through a number of price increases during the 1980s.

There are no returns unless the item is not as described.

Please look at the pictures and ask question.

How to Grip the Cue and Stroke the Shot.

I was practicing in the pool hall last week. I don’t go there that often because people always come over and ask me questions while I’m trying to practice.

Just because you’re a good player it doesn’t mean that to you don’t need to practice anymore. The truth is that you need to practice even more than the other players are practicing. It’s the only way to keep ahead of what the other players are doing.

Anyway so this guy is watching me for a while and then he comes walking over. I always try to be nice to people because I want to encourage them to do as well as they can even though it’s a little bit rude to interrupt when someone is practicing.

So he starts to ask me questions. He asked about a particular shot that I was working on.

How was I hitting the ball?

What stroke was I using?

Was my grip loose or firm?

I showed him what I was doing and how I was hitting the ball. Then he asked me to play a different type of shot for him, which I did.

By this point he looked very confused. He didn’t understand why I would hold the cue or strike the ball differently depending on what type of shot I was playing.

This guy had apparently been working on a specific grip for quite some time. He had been trying to make this grip/stroke work for all shots on a pool table.

This does not work and you will waste so much practice time trying to perfect a one grip suits all shots approach.

I use at least three different types of grip and at least three different types of stroke:

  • Soft finesse stroke.
  • Punch stroke.
  • Follow through stroke.

Now I can combine these strokes with the different types of shot:

  • Top Spin
  • Back Spin
  • Stop Shot

Of course I know there are some more shots.

The point is if you combine the three shots with the three Strokes that’s a lot of combinations.

Well nine combinations anyway.

So there is not one particular way to hold the cue and stroke the ball that will work for all shots.

Whilst standing in the pre shot position, decide which stroke to use in order to achieve the desired shape.

Play the Shot through in your head before getting into your final stance.

If you are in the habit of thinking that one grip or stroke fits all, try to spend some time alone on a table and discover the different ways you can make the ball move by changing your grip.

Just as an example of the differences you can make, try playing a punch stroke and gently squeezing with your back fingers as the cue goes through the ball.

The draw shot or screw back is another example of how the stroke and grip can change the end result: follow through with a loose grip or snap through with a tighter punchy grip and the results will be totally different.

You have to set time aside to experiment and test things out in a practice session. Time spent on this exercise will pay greater dividends than running out racks against the ghost.

Playing the ghost will maintain your existing skills, whilst experimentation will expand your range of shots and may  take you to a new level.

How to Aim at Pool-Billiard Aiming Systems.

How to aim at pool in order to make the cue ball strike the object ball at the precise angle that sends the ball into the desired pocket?

If you can play a bit then this will not seem that difficult to do. However, making 2 spheres collide at the exact angle is no mean feat. Professionals and top amateur players make it look easy but they have hit their share of balls on the practice table.

If you ask a professional pool player how they aim you will usually get one of two replies:

  • I don’t know.
  • I don’t aim.

This is actually not a lie. It is not these players trying to hide their secrets, most of them genuinely don’t know.

Even worse if you are ever in a position to get some help from a pro player you will soon find out that most of them are terrible at explaining the process.

So what is a New Player to Do?

Pool and billiard aiming systems which is the best for a new player?

What is an Aiming system?

An aiming system is a practical method to assist alignment with the object ball. It is an aid to help with cue ball object ball alignment.

Do I Need an Aiming system?

The short answer is no, many people including professional players have never used an aiming system but play at a world-class level.

These players learned the angles from hitting millions of balls and using trial and error.

Do Aiming Systems help?

Yes aiming systems can help.

Some systems are used to help illustrate the aiming line in coaching situations.

In particular the ghost ball system is very useful when coaching students.

Aiming systems can help to shortcut the learning process, not everyone has the time to practice 8 hours a day.

Some popular aiming systems.

  • Quarters system
  • Split the difference
  • Cue shaft systems
  • 90/90
  • The see system
  • Center to Edge
  • Shish kabob
  • Ghost ball
  • Poolology

I am only going to discuss the systems that I know something about.

Coming Soon!

How to grip a pool cue – the pool stroke.

The pool cue grip determines the way the cue is delivered when striking the ball.

The grip should be firm enough to pick up the cue from a table, yet relaxed enough so that the cue moves slightly within the hand.

The thumb should Point downwards and the knuckles should be parallel to the cue in the set position.

The shaft of the cue should rest lightly on the pads of your fingers with no pressure being transferred to the butt.

As the cue swings backwards and forwards in a pendulum motion the fingers generally open and close to accommodate and maintain its level movement.

When striking the cue ball the grip pressure is gently transferred from the front to the back of the hand.

In the finish position the knuckles finish pointing upwards with air to the palm of the hand.

It is a mistake to think that this grip as described above is good for all shots.

There are several different strokes in pool.

  • Follow stroke
  • Draw stroke
  • Punch stroke

Each Different Stroke requires a slight adjustment to the grip described above.

However the general basic principles of the grip remain the same throughout.

A Solid Pre Shot Routine is a Must for Great Pool

Introduction to a Pre-shot Routine

A good pre-shot routine is a way of Bridging between the decision making process and the actual execution of that decision.

Players need to separate the conscious thinking process from the sub-conscious execution phase

With my pre-shot routine I do my thinking standing up away from table. This is very important. Then once I have made up my mind what I’m going to do I then start to perform my pre-shot routine and  then finally step into the table and get down onto the shot.

What is a pre-shot routine?

As the name suggests it’s a routine that you perform just prior to executing any shots in pool.

It is a series of short mental and physical preparations.

Such as:

  • Putting down your chalk.
  • Visualizing the shot.
  • Seeing the result of the shot.
  • Physically performing the shot standing upright.

Why do I need a pre-shot routine?

Pre-shot routine tells your brain when the body is about to make an action and helps the brain remember similar instances. It allows the subconscious mind the opportunity to recall similar events that have happened in games and situations in the past.

Your routine puts your mind and body into the best state for performance.

How long should my  routine take?

Your individual pre-shot routine should be long enough for you to convey the necessary information to your brain but short enough so as not to slow down your momentum.

Look at your favorite players and try to gauge the length of their preparations. You can initially even pretend to be your favorite professional as they perform their routine. This will help you to understand the process.

It is important however for you to develop you own ritual that fits with you personality and demeanor. A perfect match for you actions.

How Do I Develop Good Pre-shot Preparation?

One of the simplest ways is to look at other players both in this sport of pool and other sports such as a snooker, golf, tennis.

Watch videos of many players. Especially if you like and can relate to the player. Maybe a professional with a similar stroke.

When I used to play tennis I imagined that I was John McEnroe. (Who is that?)

It was a while back 🙂

It might seem a little foolish but after a while I started to take on his mannerisms and attitude as well. Even if I didn’t play as good as John I remember feeling strong and unbeatable.

The most important aspect of a pre shot routine is that it makes you feel ready to take action.

What Should I Do in Practice.

Your pre shot routine should become part of your game both in practice and in the heat of battle. It is no use trying to use it in a pressure situation if you don’t use it in practice.

I often see players who play really fast in practice but in a real game are slow and methodical. Practice is for every aspect of your game including your preshot routine.

Secret tip to improve your pool shots.

Secret Pool Tip to Improve Your Shots – Introduction.

I was going to say that this Secret Pool Tip isn’t really a secret but it is and the reason that it is a secret and can vastly improve your game it’s that nobody actually talks about it.

When it comes to aiming most people are talking about the cue ball to object ball relationship.

The secret tip has nothing to do with aiming systems such as the ghost ball, parallel lines, Center to Edge, fractional aiming, or any of the other that you may have heard about.

Those aiming systems or guides have their place but I will come back to them in another article.

I have first-hand knowledge of a situation where learning this technique alone improved the play of one of my students.

The best thing about it is you don’t need to change your Technique.

How big are those Pool Table Pockets Anyway?

My secret is concerned with the pocket its shape and size and most importantly the portion of pocket that you can see from the object ball location.

Width of pool table Pockets varies from 4″ up to sometimes five and a half inches but the thing to realize is that we can change the angle of most pool shots by aiming into a different portion of the pocket.

This means that we can almost manufacture a better angle on a shot that looks completely straight by aiming to either to the left side or the right side of the pocket opening.

Most players know this and are able to take full advantage by changing the angle of the shots so long as they are reasonably close to the pocket.

Pool Aiming and the Pool Players Brain.

The human brain works best when it aims towards a particular point rather than a range of points in a given opening.

Aiming at the pocket is just not precise when it comes to shooting pool.

football posts

This is easily demonstrated by looking at the kicker in an American football game or an English rugby game. His goal is to pass the ball anywhere between the posts to score extra points.

The kicker will pick a precise spot that they want to aim at rather than just anywhere between the two uprights.

This gives the brain a definite spot to focus on rather than a range of vague angles.

The View of the Pocket Changes Depending on the Position of the Object Ball.

When you are facing a pocket for instance from the spot to the corner pocket you have a good view of the entire pocket opening. In this instance it is logical to aim towards leather or plastic at the center back of the pocket.

Now let’s take a similar distance shot down the side rail say from the right center pocket to the right corner pocket. Only a small section of the pocket drop is visible.

As you look down the line of the shot into the pocket opening you cannot really see the open section and I will certainly not be in line anymore with the spot on the back leather.

In fact if you aim at the same place you will miss the pocket and hit the side rail about 6 inches or so above the pocket.

Which Part of the Pocket Should I Aim Towards?

So when you aim these shots you should be aiming at the left hand corner pocket facing that is the entrance to the pocket on the left side.

On sharp angle shots to the right you need to aim at the right corner facing

This is now our aim point, which in fact may be a completely different angle from the leather at the back of the pocket.

In conclusion the human brain works more efficiently when aiming towards a definite point.

So pick one spot and then aim at the spot.

It’s important for you to visualize this exact spot when you are imagining your shots Prior to execution.

How to Play The Stun Shot in Pool

 

how to play the stun shot in poolWhat is a Stop Shot in Pool?

When the cue ball strikes the object ball during a straight in shot without further movement of the cue ball in any direction.

This Shot is also called:

The stun shot

The Stop Shot

The Kill Shot

It really doesn’t matter what you call the shot so long as we are on the same page. In snooker it is known as the stun shot but in USA pool halls I hear the stop shot being used more often.

I have included a video below…

 

Why Do We Need the stun Shot ?

The stun shot is the main building block for great position play. It is the starting point for game improvement once you have mastered the basics.

If you want to know where your cue ball is going you need to learn the stun shot.

Once you can stop the cue ball without further movement on a straight shot, you can progress onto shots with an angle.

 

Tip Position For the Stop Shot

stun shot tip position

Now Comes the Magic of the stun shot.

By playing angled shots with the same stroke as a stop shot you will ensure that the cue ball travels down the tangent line. In other words, hit the cue ball with the same tip placement and power as you would for a straight shot but this time on an angle shot.

Why is this so Important for Position Play?

The tangent line is a predictable repeatable 90 degree angle. So if you know how to send your white down the tangent line every time you have a solid baseline shot on which to build all of your other positional shots.

 

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