Jul 182010
 

I’m going to give you some new pool shooting lessons to practice that will help you become more comfortable with controlling your cue ball position within a small target zone. Nailing an exact position with the cue ball can be a lot harder than it looks! Players who are just starting to learn about how to play pool for beginners often struggle to understand just the mechanics of controlling the cue ball. Add in the complexity of needing to blend speed, force, spin, and accuracy, and these same beginner players become frustrated quickly, and risk losing the desire to play better pool at all. The only way to overcome the uncertainties of positional play, though, is through the repetition of perfect practice.

That’s what pool shooting lessons are for!  And that’s why, if you look around online, or in instructional books, you can find untold gazillions of different lessons on different styles of how to shoot pool:  because single methods of practice become boring and humdrum and lead to a lack of focus during the exercise, which results in a poor practice session that adds little improvement. The greater the variety of pool lessons you can incorporate into your portfolio, the easier it will be to stay attentive and focused during the practice session, and thus the easier it will be to maintain perfect practice.

So here’s something new for your playbook. I want you to lay out thirteen balls in a grid-pattern. The first row has a ball on the head-spot, one each frozen on the rails next to the diamonds parallel with the head-spot, and one more each on the mid-points between the diamonds and head-spot. They should be evenly spaced. The second row will be the same pattern stretching between the diamonds that are one step closer to the head-rail. The final row will be three balls frozen against the head-rail, one each put against the diamonds that mark the head-rail.

Your finished product should resemble a grid of object balls covering the first 1/3 of the table. Your next task is to give yourself cue-ball-in-hand and attempt to shoot all of these balls into pockets without missing a shot, and without contacting other balls while shooting in your current target. This is an exercise forcing you to practice maneuvering the cue ball through tight traffic areas, and controlling its speed such that you land within the small windows of accessibility that you have. Try to contain your shots to the four pockets on that side of the table, only use the far corner pockets of you are determined to finish an otherwise botched run-out. Reset the balls if you miss or foul or otherwise disturb the table against the rules.

Remember that with a drill like this, your intent is to focus on controlling the movements of the cue ball, and to keep the distance it travels as contained as possible. Work on trying to maintain a consistent hit, using the same speed and force for each shot, within reason. The better you can get a feel for things, the more you can retain that consistency during a real game.

I’d suggest you begin by using only center, draw, or follow. Avoid side-spin initially, as it is can actually add a level of difficulty to the drill for beginners. If you count yourself one who really likes to utilize side-spin, then I would suggest using it as a variation of this drill’s standard format. Say, follow these pool shooting lessons a couple times without any sidespin on any shot, and then a couple times force yourself to use side-spin for every single shot.

When you work diligently towards how to play pool right, you will see visible improvement. Hopefully the pool lessons you find here and elsewhere can help keep your practice time entertaining and productive. If you really love to shoot pool, and are interested in learning more, you can find many great articles here offering 8 ball tips, 9 ball tips, and many other ways to study how to play pool.

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