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Billiards Pool Game for Beginners
I will be covering many of basic pool instructions (topics) in this section.You will be learning many techniques such as The StanceAimingCue Ball ControlSpeed ControlCenter BallFollow and Draw
I even cover the basics of English,Lets get started, please click on the links in order:
1.The Stance :
The stance is how you stand at the pool table. To determine it what hand do you use? If it is your left hand.
Then the left leg should be closest to the table, or vise versa for right hand.
Step into your shot with your bridge side leg heading towards the object ball into the pocket and the other leg in back.
Now move your feet a hips width apart and bend your knees slightly.
You should have one foot in front of the other and by keeping your legs, a hips width apart you will not wobble back and forth.
This is just as important as a good steady bridge, for if your posture moves then your stick will move and you will not be able to hit the cue ball where you want to hit it.
Now you will not be able to do this on all shots because you might have to reach for certain shots, but remember if your body sways then get up and readjust your position until you feel comfortable with out swaying.
2.The Aiming:There are so many different ways of aiming from the ghost ball theory, to measuring your aiming with your own cue, to the use of a variety of aiming practice devices.
I caution you again not to get too caught up in methodology. Pick a system or two) that works easiest for you.
You may find that different aiming techniques work better under different circumstances or shots, so you dont need to limit yourself to just one.
The aiming technique I will share with you involves a form of visualization, the ghost ball.
The Ghost Ball
This is the most common, and usually easiest to comprehend, method of aim training in pool.
To employ the ghost ball method, simply visualize a line through the middle of the object ball to the pocket center.
Then put an imaginary (ghost) cue ball at the spot where the actual cue ball must arrive behind the object ball in order to pocket it.
It wont be long before you will automatically line up correctly without having to consciously visualize the ghost ball.
Your memory takes over, knowing that the cue ball must arrive in that exact spot.
3.Cue Ball Control:If youve been taking your lessons in order, you have developed great physical fundamentals, along with learning the principles behind aiming and knowing how your eyes work.
You are well on your way to pocketing plenty of balls! And for millions of players, that often seems to be enough.
In reality, pocket billiards is so much more than that.
The next logical step is getting control of your cue ball.
Start noticing where the cue ball goes after you make a shot.
What you may not have noticed are the countless number of options you have, on each and every shot, to make the cue ball head in a direction that will give you an easier attempt on your next shot.
It have been said that the pros make it look so easy.
It seems as if they never have to shoot a tough shot!
It is no accident it is called position play and you cant achieve it without the necessary knowledge and developed skills in cue ball control.
The fundamentals of cueballcontrol consist of speed control, mastering center ball, and the use of follow, draw, and english.
The combinations of all these elements, and how each of these affects speed control, themselves, are endless.
A WORD ABOUT CHALK
Chalking the tip of your cue is a simple and vital part of the game of pool that most people take for granted.
Your tip should be chalked before every shot, especially on the draw shot.
Chalk isnt just a decoration; it maintains friction between the cue tip and the cue ball, preventing the cue tip from sliding off, which is called miscueing.
To effectively chalk the tip of your cue, place the chalk on the tip with a feathering motion, making sure the tip is completely covered.
Avoid put too much chalk on your cue.
If you do, chalk will transfer to the cue ball, and this could cause problems if the chalk happens to be transferred to the same spot that the cue ball contacts the object ball.
This will cause a clinging effect, and your object ball will have a tendency to skid or slide.
Develop a good habit in your game by putting chalk on your tip before every shot.
Eventually it will happen automatically without even thinking about it.
4.Speed Control:Once youve mastered the basics, everything, and I mean everything, in pool comes down to speed control.
Pool has often been referred to as a game of inches, and for good reason.
You can send your cue ball three rails and 15 feet around the table, be an inch off, and get snookered (hidden) behind another ball, losing control of the table.
Speedcontrol and a wellplayed safety can guarantee you ball in hand on your next shot, but bad speedcontrol can force you to give up the table to your opponent to run the table instead.
There are things that affect cue ball speed that you cannot control, but what you need to learn and study are all the fascinating ways that you can control the speed and position of your cue ball.
The possibilities of controlling the cue ball are endless, and you could spend the rest of your life working on various techniques for speed control.
THIN vs THICK HITS
The angle at which the cue ball hits the object ball is the first and most obvious physical element that makes a tremendous difference in the resulting speed of the cue ball after contact.
A full hit on an object ball by the cue ball will leave little energy left on the cue ball because the energy has been transferred to the object ball.
That means a full hit will result in the cue ball traveling a short distance.
On the other hand, a thin hit (greater angle) will leave most of the energy on the cue ball.
Even with the same force of hit, the cue ball will travel a much greater distance after contact with the object ball.
CUE STICK SPEED
Cue stick speed alone offers an unlimited amount of variations: the faster the cues speed (greater force imparted), the farther the cue ball will roll.
Slower speed translates to less distance. In fact, most of the game can be played with follow, draw, and middleball shots with a proper stroke, and its definitely to your advantage to master these techniques that allow you more control of your speed.
It is difficult to control speed with spin.
Most players, especially beginner and intermediate players, have a tendency to hit the balls too hard. They assume that they have to overpower everything.
But it is a smooth and level swing that provides for the most action on the cue ball. Never forget one simple factpool balls are round.
5.Center Ball:Before you can begin learning and experimenting with the different forms of english, you need a reference point.
At this stage of development in your pool game, its time to find the center of the cue ball.
And the easiest way is the tried and true, a simple drill.
Begin by facing the width of the table to keep the shot very short and easy to execute.
This will help you gauge your initial progress.
Place two balls no more than 3 inches apart and 6 inches from the long rail.
You will be shooting the cue ball between the two balls, and, since standard pool balls are 2 inches in diameter, this will be more than enough space for the cue ball to pass through.
Place your cue ball 12 inches from the long rail directly opposite the middle of the two balls.
Give yourself a reference point at which to aim, place a piece of chalk on the opposite long rail closest to the two balls, and halfway between them.
Using a piece of chalk as your target, step into your shot, and aim the ball at the chalk, and shoot.
Be careful and stroke the cue ball directly in the center.
If everything is lined up correctly, and you execute the shot with slow speed, a proper swing, and a smooth followthrough, the cue ball should hit the long rail and bounce back without hitting the two balls.
Ideally, the cue ball will pass between the two balls and directly back into the tip of your cue stick.
6.The Follow Stroke:Because it is easier to learn initially, well begin our study in cue ball path alterations with the followstroke.
As the name implies, your cue ball, when hit above center, will follow the object ball after it makes contact.
You are putting topspin on the cue ball, which will cause it to continue rolling forward.
To perform a followstroke, you will, in most cases, need to shoot a onehalf to full cue tip above center.
Honestly, for maximum results you should never need more than a full cue tip.
Shooting too high on the cue ball will result in miscues, and its really not necessary.
The most important things to remember while executing your follow stroke are to keep your cue stick level.
Elevate your bridge hand slightly to raise the cue tip and follow through completely.
If you are shooting a ball straight in the pocket, a follow stroke will send the cue ball directly into the pocket after it.
But, since few of your shots will be straight in, you must also understand how follow affects your other shots.
Follow can be effectively used to minimize the angle at which your cue ball travels after contact with the object ball, because it in fact alters the tangent line that is, the 90degree line at which your cue ball will normally glance off a ball with a center ball hit.
The softer and smoother the hit, the more you can minimize your angle coming off the object ball.
This becomes an important tool in your arsenal, especially when you want to avoid a scratch or avoid hitting other balls on your way around the table.
And, of course, it is a simple way to get from one end of the table to the other.
In a game of Nine Ball, for instance, the follow shot may prove invaluable if every other numbered ball is on the opposite end of the table!
While learning position play and cue ball control, it is simpler to picture your pool table divided up into small quadrants and to visualize having your cue ball arrive in that desired quadrant when shooting.
7.The Draw Stroke:The draw stroke isnt as tough as people make it out to be, but youll always see amateurs who think that because someone can draw their ball, they must play good pool.
True, it looks impressive, and theres nothing that gives you quite the same feeling of power as a wellstruck draw stroke that commands the cue ball to come whizzing back toward you.
But, if you remember a few simple rules of pool and physics, you too can quickly experience that feeling and look like a champ!
As in the follow and draw stroke,
Rule 1: Your cue must remain as level as possible.
You will be using a belowcenter hit, which, after contact with the object ball, will allow the cue ball to hesitate, and then magically reverse its path and head backward
Rule 2: Keep your grip loose!
A loose grip keeps the wrist loose and a loose wrist creates more draw.
A death grip on the cue will kill your followthrough, and thus kill the cue ball.
Rule 3: Dont jump out of the way of the shot.
The cue ball will not roll back and hit your cue!
Trying to get your cue out of the way too quickly, or pulling your cue stick back as if a string is attached to the cue ball and your cue, are the biggest mistakes people make.
Only followthrough brings the cue ball back toward you!
As you execute the draw stroke, visualize trying to move a heavy ball with your cue stick. This will allow you to use a softer stroke and develop a feel for the shot.
The farther the object ball is from the cue ball, the more chance the cue ball has to run out of backspin as friction from the table slowly removes the draw effect.
Because of this little law of physics, you will need a very welldeveloped stroke and followthrough to really get any draw on a long shot.
Shooting too hard will not produce the desired effect, as the force of the hit will also give the cue ball more forward momentum!
Once youve accomplished the first draw stroke a few times, gradually increase the difficulty of the shot by progressively adding six inches distance between the cue ball and the object ball.
Notice that it may take slightly more force to get the same results each time.
Concentrate less on force and more on followthrough.
Also experiment with moving your cue stick lower, but only if youre keeping it level.
Too low without a level stroke and youll be miscueing more often than shooting the ball.
Keep in mind that if your cue ball is too close to the rail, the draw stroke will be impossible, since you cannot keep your cue level.
Note the path taken by a centerball shot, and how that path is altered with the use of a draw stroke.
Now youre ready to get fancy. A word of cautionfancy doesnt always equal great.
If you havent really gotten a feel for cue ball control with center ball, draw, and follow, youre not ready to use english.
If you have, youve already been using a form of english.For example, if youre using center ball and cutting the object ball to the left, your cue ball will naturally pick up right spin, and vice versa.
The amount of english picked up by the cue ball will be determined by the angle of contact, unless of course you are executing a straightin shot.
The greater the angle, the less sidespin, if any, will be transferred to the cue ball.
As you can see, english, as it is used in pool, can be a whole other language!
Even the pros try to limit their use of english, or sidespin, to situations where it is absolutely necessary.
English refers to putting left or right spin on the cue ball to change the path of the cue ball after contacting a rail.
Inside english (cueing inside the angle of the shot) and outside english (cueing outside the angle of the shot).
Inside english will shorten or close the angle.
Outside english, sometimes also called running english, will alter the path of the cue ball by widening the angle it comes off the rail.
To execute a shot using english, you will be using the same principles you learned in follow and draw: a level cue stick and smooth followthrough are paramount.
Begin by using no more than onehalf to a full cue tip of english on either side, especially when you are still learning to execute these skills.
Now things get a little more complicated. You see, theres not just center ball, follow, draw, left and right english.
You have to contend with all the combinations that will make possible nearly any position on the table.
Remember to execute the shots with a medium speed, not too hard or too soft.
Without getting too technical, the force of your hit can and will alter the path of the cue ball.
The harder the hit, the more you can force the cue ball to slide.
Forcefollow and forcedraw shots can be great assets in your game, but only if youve first mastered your stroke.
Too many players attempt to force everything, or, worse, develop a poor stoke that results in too many force shots.
Youll never learn the true reaction of the cue ball this way, and will be less able to predict your cue ball position after even the simplest of shots.
8.Deflection and Throw:Deflection and throw are terms youre bound to come upon as you progress in your game, whether from other instructional materials or from other players.
Lets define these terms, and then explain how theyll really affect your game.
Deflection sometimes called squirt, is the altering of the path of the cue ball when english is used.
Simply put, a cue ball struck on the right side will shift slightly left, and a cue ball struck on the left will veer slightly right.
According to the experts, a soft stroke at a short distance will produce the least amount of deflection.
A harder stroke at the longer distance will produce the most amount of deflection. Also, the more english that is put on the cue ball, the greater will be the deflection of the cue balls path.
Whereas deflection refers to the altering of the cue balls path,Throw refers to the altering of the path of the object ballobject ball.Right english will throw the object ball to the left; left english will throw the object ball to the right.
Because the cue ball hits less of the object ball on sharper cuts, the sharper the angle of the cut, the less throw will result.And, opposite of deflection, a softer shot will actually produce more throw. Again, the more english used, the greater the result.Dozens of experts have tested these theories under laboratory conditions.Many have even come up with lovely charts depicting how much you need to adjust your aim for different shots with deflection and throw.
Their laborious efforts have often been applauded by students of the game.
Unfortunately, theyve also convinced otherwise talented players that their aim should constantly be in question if they plan to impart anything but center ball on the cue ball.
Just try to apply this knowledge and put yourself into a game situation. Youre shooting at the 8ball to get to the 9ball.To aim at it correctly, youre going to need to predict the amount of throw you will get, because you have a pretty good angle, which will minimize most of the throw, but youre going to hit the ball softer, which will give you more throw, but with the right english you want to put on the shot, your cue ball is going to head slightly to the left of where you want to hit it, though since youre not hitting it hard it should not matter as much, butstop!
If everyone thought about all this on every shot, it would take a long, long time to finish a game, and the tremendous popularity of the cue sports would plummet.Ask pros how they compensate for squirt.
Chances are good that their answers will range from What? to I just do to Squirt and throw cancel each other out anyway.Now the third statement isnt always true, but you get the idea.
Every sport has interesting and unique physical properties.Just think of the foot ball traveling through the air, spinning as it heads towards the receiver.
Does the football player calculate the spin on its approach, combined with the days wind velocity, to determine exactly where his hands should be to grasp the ball? Of course not.
The lessons you can take from this are much simpler.First, the less english you use, the better off you are.This is another reason why only onehalf to a full cue tip of english is recommended.
Second, shooting too soft or too hard can be dangerous tactics unless you have a very specific reason for doing so.Finally, while it is true that these physical properties exist, you dont need or want to take them into consideration on every shot.
Try a few experiments of your own, if you wish, to observe the results with extreme english and speeds.Then move on and play pool. Your mind and body learn to compensate for minor adjustments without you having to consciously calculate them.Once a player has established the basics, learned center ball, tangent lines, and how balls react coming off the object ball and the cushions with the use of follow, draw, and english, the game of pool becomes one of feel and confidence.
And, while each individuals ability varies, every student can create his own feel for the game and all its beautiful and mystifying shots, whether it is a length of a table draw shot or a threerail highball shot.Develop good habits of experimenting with shots you are unfamiliar with and allow yourself to try variations of shots as they occur.