At one point or another, you’ve been three pints in at our local and feeling a bit merry; someone bounces up to you and asks “fancy a game of pool mate?”. Usually going against your better judgement you politely oblige and proceed to take a walk over to the faded emerald pool table in the corner. Least to say you will lose practically every game against the conniving pool shark, whilst you keep pumping the one pound coins into the machine to try and recover face. Does this sound all too familiar?
Well, instead of consistently being terrible at pool; why don’t you go back to basics and teach yourself how to really play? Read on to discover some basic pool techniques that will really help you be on cue when you are knocking those red and yellow balls around the table.
What is your Pre Shot Routine?
What many casual pool players don’t understand is that their pre-shot routine is just as, if not more, important, the execution of shot itself. A pre shot routine is usually a series of steps to help the player judge the upcoming shot. A series of physical and mental checks should be performed before each shot to maximise the chance of a successful shot.
· Planning - Take a lot at the table and consider the possibilities and outcomes of an array of shots. Is it defensive or aggressive shot you want to take, and more importantly where do you want the white ball to end up?
· Technique - Check your alignment. Stance and go about taking a few practice strokes to the side of the white ball. Position yourself behind the potential shot, then move your body and foot to a forty five degree angle to the white ball.
· Stroke - The cue stick should be moved along your line of aim leading up to the ball. Doing this you will make sure that the ball will travel along your pre-determined line; ending hopefully with the ball in the whole.
How to hold the cue
If you are seriously struggling to play pool and have no idea what is wrong; have you ever considered your grip may be wrong on the cue? A bad grip can completely limit a player’s ability to carry out a successful shot; a good grip allows for a far greater degree of accuracy. With a correct grip, the cue must feel light yet naturally firm in a player’s hand. Here are a few tips for good grip.
· Never tighten your grip, even when you carry out the shot. This will result in accuracy being lost.
· Make sure your write points downward whilst carrying out the shot; not out/inward.
· Find the natural balancing point of the cue before you carry out your shot.
The bridge is the shape your non-cue hand makes when making a shot. There are number of bridges you can make to go about making different shots.
· Closed bridge - Where the fingers are wrapped around the cue stick; maximising accuracy when performing higher power shots.
· Open bridge - Used by a lot of new players due to its simplicity to set it up. The open bridge is used for approach shots and follow shots.
If you take these things into consideration when playing your next game if of pool, you will start to improve on your game tenfold.
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