In the world of cue sports, mastering the art of pool is not just a pastime; it's a captivating journey of precision, strategy, and skill development. At Zero-X Billiards, we're committed to helping you unlock your full potential on the pool table. In this guide, we delve into the tips, drills, and skills that will elevate your pool game to new heights. Let's embark on this journey to becoming a true pool master.
#1 The Fundamentals: Tips, Drills and Skills to begin
When I first meet with a student we go through a series of stroke drills, even if their fundamentals look solid. I have the student perform the stroke drill at different speeds to see if any issues arise. Mastering pool begins with understanding the fundamentals. This drill is similar to the drill where a player places a ball on the spot and shoots the ball toward the middle diamond on the end rail and has the ball return to their tip. The benefit of shooting into the corner pocket is that you can shoot at a high rate of speed. At the bottom I have links to the stroke drill and fundamentals.
When performing the stroke drill your focus should be on:
The stance. Create a stance around the shot line. Make sure the stance is balanced and stable and that there is clearance for the stroking motion.
Aiming. When aiming, don’t just go through the motions. Pick out a spot in the pocket to use as a target. Pause the tip before the final stroke. This is the final step in the aiming process.
Concentrate on a controlled backstroke. The speed of the backstroke should be slow and controlled. Players who are going to strike the cue ball at a fast speed tend to speed up their backstroke which usually results in their transition breaking down.
Focus on a smooth transition. This is the transition from the backstroke to the forward stroke. When players get nervous they tend to shorten their backstroke and speed up their forward stroke (instead of gradually accelerating). The backstroke will naturally slow down and come to a stop before beginning the forward stroke. If you attempt to create a lengthy pause at the end of the backstroke make sure you keep performing the stroke drill until this becomes second nature. If you’re thinking about the pause at the end of the backstroke when playing in competition it may adversely affect your game.
Keep still throughout the stroking motion. When performing the stroke drill exaggerate how long you remain still during the stroke. Stay still for a count of three on each shot.
Make sure your backstroke is in sync with your speed. If you’re striking the object ball softly then a long backstroke isn’t needed. If your backstroke is too long and you’re using a soft stroke then this may cause deceleration on your forward stroke. If you strike the object ball with a firm speed then make sure your backstroke is long enough.
If you have any issues in your stroke you may have to perform the stroke drill at least 1500 times. It’s important that you keep performing the stroke drill until the new changes become part of muscle memory. These tips and drills will help create solid fundamentals. Next, we'll move on to ball pocketing drills.
Stroke Drill: https://youtu.be/qzjousgGLjU?t=18m42s