The primary key to a disciplined and productive pool game is a good mechanical and mental pre-shot routine. Standing behind the cue ball and "chalking up" every time in this position will assure an "interlude" or "time out" to image exactly what you want to do in a fluent and rhythmic manner.
When two object balls are frozen to each other, players often guess as to whether the ball closest to the desired pocket will go. A simple calculation will remove the throw guesswork on your road to shot victory! An easy to understand formula using object ball direction and the distance to the pocket for that ball is at your doorstep! Hitting the 1st ball in the combo half ball and on the opposite side that you want the pocket ball to go will produce huge benefits and add a boost to your shooting confidence! Medium speed and no english required!!
Adding a third ball to the throw arena can be confusing until a simple directional principle is understood. By pretending the 3rd ball in a multiple ball combination acts like the cue ball in a two ball combination makes it easy to determine the direction of the ball desiring to be pocketed. A much better understanding of speed and english application is also acquired in the process!
When 3 or more frozen balls are included in game situations and/or trick shot setups, a player can quickly calculate respective ball patterns, throw directions, and intended make or miss factors for game/shot strategies. Better understanding of the gear principles between frozen balls and the respective energy factors applicable to the execution process can bring shot victory and new artistic shooting enjoyment to an otherwise standard game.
One of the most common skills that fascinate players is the jump shot. Many believe they can not jump, when in fact almost everyone that has moved a cue at a rapid rate of acceleration has in fact jumped. A skipping action of the cue ball occurs when struck at a fast speed due to the tip causing a slight downward pressure on it. Anyone that has ever thrown a stone across water has the principle in hand, so to speak, using speed and a slight incline of the motion being applied to achieve this beauty! A faster and more inclined cue generally creates a higher jump effect!!
The vertical applications of English to a jump shot are for position requirements to a specific shot at hand. High hits on the cue ball will make the cue ball follow after the jump and low hits on the cue ball will make the cue ball draw after the jump, assuming the prior foundation principle for jumping is followed. Speed and incline for the jump!! High and low tip placements for position!!
Players have been focusing on masse shots for centuries! Masse mean to hammer and normally is magnetic to the fans of our sport when the cue is raised to elevations over 45 degrees. The foundation for this difficult technique is found in less dangerous cue movements with lower angles to the table playfield. Anyone wanting to learn the vertical masse technique is encouraged to start with simple aiming and stroke principles of the half masse. Curving around an object ball that has you half blocked will build confidence before attempting the extreme and could save you hundreds of dollars in the process!!
The half masse has a special beauty of its own, as evidenced by one of the most popular challenges of all time the Passing Lane shot! A cue ball frozen to an object ball provides pure shooting enjoyment when the half masse allows the cue ball to pass the object ball on the way to the corner pocket with the object ball following it into the same pocket. Also called the Great Race and Sea Biscuit shot!! Mike Massey calls this shot Scratching with Style!!
One other type of curve is achieved by keeping the cue stick as level as possible. Mostly the result of an extreme draw application as the cue ball compresses the cushion. A resultant bend or arc of the cue ball provides what is often referred to as a level stroke masse. This one is easy to learn and will give you specific knowledge for getting out of some sticky game situations.
Top players execute high quality mechanical movements in a repeatable fashion. Quite often there is a paralysis of analysis aspect in the often-illusive quest for game perfection. To help eliminate confusion in the overall process, a simple two - part formula for each shot should be remembered 1) place cue stick directly under shoulder and 2) allow cue stick to swing straight during the stroke process. Mirror image training provides proven visual feedback for the real time correction of poor mechanics and the programmed repetition / fine tuning of good ones.
Once the fine tuned mechanics of a player are executed shot after shot, game after game, and match after match, the overall perception of ones billiard journey may still have an unfavorable accent to it. This relates to a boring nature of practice for some and a persistent mystery for others. Getting in touch with the reason we were first attracted to pool in general can be the perfect prescription to long-term game health and enjoying the roll again. Discovering the sight and sound of our beautiful sport is often the hidden practice key for racking up a victory!!
When the cue ball and object ball are both frozen to a cushion it is very difficult to make the shot unless the object ball is reasonably close to the designated pocket. In addition, position play becomes harder since the cue ball comes out from "under the cushion nose" when shooting direct to the object ball. The use of draw with appropriate sidespin and special "cushion compression" technique is the best way to increase the make percentage of the object ball and cue ball position.
Sometimes we have the luxury of playing position to a more favorable side of the next ball in order to make it. Less effort can be used with the same 2 balls frozen as in Segment #41 by aiming slightly away from the cushion and by hitting slightly less than a full hit on the object ball. A rather short follow thru with a very rapid cue movement is important. Using follow with the appropriate sidespin works very nicely. Keep in mind your better play side when shooting shots of this type.
One of the game's most valuable shots is shown in this instructional nugget. When the object ball is "behind the side pocket point" special force follow application is required for getting select position on your next shot or for making a game winning shot. A level cue movement with a smooth rapid rate of acceleration, plus a slightly less than full hit on the object ball will help you control the cue ball like a "dog on a leash".
Shooting an object ball that is frozen to the cushion down the entire length of the long rail runs the risk of catching the point of the side pocket. Extreme force follow on the cue ball and a full hit on the object ball provides a nifty method of sending the cue ball down the table to make the game winning shot. When blocking balls are in the path of the cue ball travel, the cue ball can make a "diving" effect around those balls with reverse spin and extreme force follow technique.
Every player should have some special spin and stroke knowledge when confronted with certain "tricky" situations. Hitting an object ball 95% full with a rapid rate of acceleration causes the cue ball to "twist and turn" in a very unique way when extreme high and appropriate sidespin is applied. Going around another ball or making multiple balls in one stroke will surely make your opponent take note of your ability to get the most out of any game situation.
Knowing the "kiss back" principle of a cue ball can be used time and time again to play position and make balls when it appears like no shot exists. Hitting the cue ball with low will allow it to "double kiss" the object ball on a full hit and send the cue ball "back" to the intended target. Opportunity will also arise when the cue ball "kiss back" will trigger a combination to the selected target. Remember to keep the cue stick level and use a very short bridge for accuracy of the hit.
If the cue ball is "trapped" behind a group of balls and it is difficult to jump over them directly, it is best to shoot away from the balls into the cushion with a slightly elevated jump stroke. Special occasions will come up when a player can shoot directly into an object ball frozen to the cushion. This latter scenario will provide the "double kiss" effect explained in prior segments, causing the cue ball to jump backwards over the blocking ball(s) to the target of choice.
Normally the "ball in hand" process provides a huge opportunity to win most games; however, there are some unique "ball in hand" situations when there is little freedom to control the game or so it seems. Knowing how to "double kiss" the cue ball back when the object ball is not frozen to the cushion is a treasured instructional tip that will enhance your overall playing ability. Critical elements to satisfactory results are a full hit, level cue, short bridge, and appropriate spin!
Having a few special compression kick shots in your bag of winning tricks will go a long way to building your total game confidence. Understanding cushion compression at different speeds and angles is paramount to the learning experience. Adding a special prop to any shot can be used to entertain your friends, plus teach them something about table cushions with designated cue ball interaction in the process. Level and elevated cue movements provide maximum feedback.
When the natural effect of running english is not an option, the challenging use of "reverse english" must be applied to specific shots. It is very interesting to see the change that takes place when "reverse english" hits the 2nd cushion, as it turns into "natural roll" on its journey around the table. One of the most popular applications for this is when the cue ball is frozen to the cushion, and it is "trapped" by a blocking ball. The only way of escape is to shoot with fast speed into the cushion at a calculated angle of success. Using a firm, short, closed bridge assures accuracy!!
Knowing how to jump and knowing how to judge the hit on a cushion point can provide valuable assistance when both must be done. Some game situations require a player to hit the point of a cushion while using a controlled jump technique and then go over one or more blocking balls. A closed firm bridge, short follow thru, and a "punch" type of stroke usually provide the best chance of shot success in these cases. Adjust with various speeds, spin, and cue elevations!!
Just when you thought you had seen everything, a very unusual game situation comes up, and you must pull out all stops to achieve the ultimate victory! Having the ability to execute many options is always important to make your opponent think twice about leaving certain shots again. This segment provides six legal options for game success and one "fun" option when you just feel like entertaining for awhile among friends. Pocket point shots like this one do occur, so practice them often to enhance personal shooting enjoyment and increase your overall game knowledge.
Almost every player has certain shots that they do not like and consequently "miss" them over and over again. The problem with this scenario is that once a shot gets missed literally dozens of times, the "right brain" becomes programmed to assume that the literal miss is what the player is supposed to do because that is what is always sees and simply "goes along for the ride". In other words the "literal miss" becomes a "make in disguise" even though it is still on the table. The left-brain argues the point and a mental feud of sorts takes place until something is done to deprogram the right brain assumption. By shortening the distance between the cue ball and the object ball substantially the object ball is made literally over and over again. This creates a repetitious implant of a ball dropping by sight, sound, and feel. Increasing this distance in small increments will allow for the "make in disguise -- former literal miss" to become a "literal make" with mental harmony.
Each table has its own unique "personality"! The best time to find out if a table is level and what type of angle response the cushions provide is obviously before the game begins. When time allows, shooting a cue ball around the table with a simple cushion testing system will provide valuable knowledge and feedback of those intricate adjustments that will surely be needed during the actual game experience. Knowing your playfield environment is the key to game excellence and approach confidence!!