When I work with students the full table pattern play is where the student really learns about the principles of pattern play. They learn how important it is to use rails, pocket lines, and angles. One issue that many players share is that they feel their game is inconsistent. What I frequently discover with students is that their game is actually very consistent, it’s the patterns they face during practice or competition that are inconsistent. Some nights you may face 8-Ball patterns that allow for a loose cue ball, meaning if you are missing your position areas there is always another ball nearby that you can shoot and continue your run. But, on other nights (or even on the same night) patterns may arise that demand a tighter control of the cue ball which may result in missed shots and shorter runs.
I created a skill level test for players to determine their true skill level. This video can be found here: Find Your True Skill Level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgdrAwaaCBU&t=408s
This test is very demanding since you have to call the pockets for each ball in the run. You also have to run the balls in order. What I notice is that when students perform this test they find that they’re very consistent. By that, I mean if they are a skill level 3, chances are that isn’t going to change from day to day. Without proper training the player will be a skill level 3 a month from now, and probably a year from now.
Another issue that players run into is blaming their stroke for missed shots during practice or competition. In some instances it may be a faulty stroke but the majority of the time it’s not having confidence in either pocketing the ball, or in pocketing the ball and controlling the exact path of the cue ball. For example, recently a friend said that on some shots his stroke comes across the cue ball or he’ll abbreviate his stroke resulting in a punch type stroke. I asked the player to set up one of the shots that gave him an issue. He set up the shot and I asked him where he was trying to send the cue ball. On this shot he was attempting to cut the object ball into the corner pocket and send the cue ball to an area by the side pocket. I then told him to forget about cue ball positioning. Just put all his focus on just making the ball. Since the shot was relatively easy he pocketed the ball over and over again with no imperfections in his stroke.
I then placed a small paper target near the side pocket to represent where he was trying to put the cue ball when he first came across this shot in his league match. On the first shot his stroke looked much different than when he was trying to just pocket the ball. He had head movement and his cue stick raised slightly after striking the cue ball. His transition was also imperfect. I then had him shoot this shot a few more times. As I studied how he was striking the ball, I noticed that he was choosing the harder way to reach the side pocket. He was attempting to control the cue ball’s path using a stun shot instead of using a rolling shot with proper sidespin. Once I showed him this shot everything started looking smoother again.
As he gained confidence his stroke looked good and he was even staying down. It’s not that his stroke was letting him down, it’s that since he was lacking confidence in his ability to control the cue ball, his conscious was overriding his subconscious when it came to his stroke. He was manually trying to steer the cue ball when striking the object ball in an attempt to control the cue ball.
This is why full table pattern drills are so important. Not only do students learn about the principles of pattern play but they also increase their shot repertoire. The first thing we’ll do is throw two balls out on the table. Once they come to a stop we sticker up both balls. Now we’ll determine the best way to shoot the first shot and gain position for the second ball. Before shooting the first shot we’ll place a target on the table (small piece of paper) to represent where the cue ball will be for the second ball. The goal is to land on or near this target. If the player is missing the target by quite a bit we then stop the pattern and focus on this shot since it looks like it might be a problem shot. Once the player has this shot down, we continue the pattern.
We’ll now try to run this particular pattern 3x in a row. Once the player gets through this pattern 3x in a row we’ll throw two balls out on the table again and sticker them up. We keep doing this over and over again, and along the way we’re going to find problem shots that the player has within their game. One benefit of this drill is to locate and remove problem shots as we move from pattern to pattern. So this drill isn’t just about running out patterns it’s about increasing your shot repertoire. It also helps you learn how to aim in pool - billiards.
In this video we discuss the principles of position play:
12 Instructional Videos: https://www.zerox-billiards.com/12-pool-instructional-videos
In this video we go review several 9-Ball patterns:
9 Ball Patterns: https://www.patreon.com/posts/9-ball-layouts-28949637
Aiming Techniques in Pool - Billiards: Precision for Pro-Level Play
Welcome to Zero-X Billiards, your ultimate resource for mastering the art of billiards. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the intricacies of aiming techniques, equipping you with the skills needed to elevate your billiards game to a professional level.
The Importance of Aiming
Aiming is the cornerstone of successful billiards play. Whether you're a novice or an experienced player, honing your aiming skills is essential for precise shots and strategic play.
Mastering the Basics
The Stance: A Solid Foundation
Before you can aim effectively, you need a solid stance. We'll guide you through achieving the perfect stance, emphasizing foot positioning, balance, and alignment. A stable stance is crucial for consistent and accurate aiming.
Cue Alignment: The Path to Precision
Learn how to align your cue with precision. We'll cover cue positioning, grip, and sighting techniques to ensure your cue is always on target.
Advanced Aiming Techniques
Sight and Target: Precision in Action
Precision aiming involves sighting and targeting your shots flawlessly. Discover advanced sighting techniques and drills to enhance your ability to pinpoint your targets with ease.
Bank Shots and Kicks: Adding Depth to Your Game
Take your skills to the next level with bank shots and kick shots. Our guide includes detailed instructions and practice drills to help you execute these advanced shots with confidence and accuracy.
Elevate Your Game
At [Your Website Name], we are dedicated to helping you reach new heights in billiards. Precision aiming is the key to consistent and successful play, and our comprehensive guide provides you with the knowledge and techniques needed to become a true billiards master. Whether you're striving to improve your aiming skills or looking to add advanced shots to your repertoire, our resources will take you there. Start your journey towards billiards excellence today!