How To Play The Stop Shot in Pool-Most Important Shot for Players.


If you find out how to play the stop shot in pool you will quickly move your game on to the next level. Knowing the stop shot will make using the tangent line easier and lead to better position shot all around.

If you were hoping for this to be some kind of fantastic trick shot you’re going to be disappointed it’s probably the simplest shot to perform on a pool table period.

However, to play the stop shot well every time requires a great deal of effort and repetitive practice.
Simple is not always easy.

I am of course talking about the stop shot or the stun shot as it’s known in some places. This is the shot where the white ball stops on contact with the object ball.

What is the Stop Shot?

This is a straight shot with a full ball contact. The pocket, object ball and white ball need to be on the same straight line.

There should be no movement after impact in any direction. No forward roll or backspin and no drifting to the left or right.

So it is important to strike the cue ball in the exact verticle center. This will ensure that no side spin is imparted.

Of course if only it were that simple.

How to Find Your Stop Shot.

Every player can achieve the stop or stun shot but each player will use a slightly different technique. Results are the same but the method is different.

Here is a list of factors that can change the end result of the stop shot:

  • The distance between the balls.
  • Vary the power of the stroke.
  • Longer or shorter follow through.
  • The pressure of the grip.
  • Positioning of the tip on the cue ball.

All of the above affect the outcome of the shot.

It is not enough to pick out a spot on the cue ball, for instance, “just below center.”

In other words if there is 8 feet between the balls, you will need to lower the tip impact point on the ball,  increase power of the stroke or use a mixture of both to ensure that the cue ball is skidding.

The Skid Zone, Distance and Timing.

A ball is said to be skidding when it is sliding along the cloth and not spinning either forward or back. When a ball is skidding along the cloth it is being slowed down by friction from the cloth. This friction will eventually cause the ball to start turning in the direction of its initial travel.

With regard to distance the white ball when hit with zero spin will initially skid on the cloth and then pick up forward spin due to friction. The white will only stop on impact if it reaches its target whilst it is still skidding. Its forward momentum is halted by the object ball and because ti has no spin the ball will stop dead on impact.

Conversely when the ball is struck below center it will spin backwards. After a while it will stop spinning and skid along the cloth. Further distance will result on forward spin as friction comes into play

Greater distance between the balls will call for a lower hit on the cue ball or more speed to achieve the same effect.

Why is the Stop Shot So Important?

You need to master the stop shot at varying distances between the balls and pockets.

It is the secret to consistent position play.

Once you can stop the ball perfectly you can apply stop shots when there is a cut angle involved. The ball will then follow the tangent line in a predictable fashion by following the tangent line.

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