One Pocket Improves 9Ball?

…and so the pendulum swings…

Over the last year or so I haven’t had much time to play, so I’ve focused exclusively on One Pocket because I’m fascinated (addicted) to the strategies and mental exercise involved. Now that I’ve got a little extra time to get to the table (twice a week vs. once), I’ve decided to add 9Ball back into the mix. When I first got back into 9Ball a few weeks ago, it seemed that I’d completely lost my ability to run balls. I’d developed more of a ‘pokey / pushy’ short stroke from One Pocket, and was struggling to run more than 3-4 balls. After 2-3 weeks of getting back into a rotation game, I’ve discovered that my ball running ability has gotten much better.

I’ve always heard that playing multiple types of pool games is good for improving your overall playing ability, and I can attest that this is true. After playing One Pocket almost exclusively for a year and a half, my 9Ball game is now much better. I’ve actually changed my stroke (in a good way) when it comes to playing rotation games. I’m now moving the cue ball MUCH better and with more “touch”. It’s hard for me to describe exactly what I’ve changed from a technical point of view, but I guess the best way to describe the change is that I’m no longer “hitting” or “shooting” through the cue ball; rather, now I am “thoughtfully pushing” or “thoughtfully focusing on the rotation that I’m imparting to the cue ball” when I stroke. This is a huge mental change from my former thought process of “how hard do I have to hit this shot to get the resulting position I want” approach. As a result, the object balls are traveling much slower, I’m getting more “bite” on draws and spins, and the cue ball position results are much more accurate. I want to play around with this for a few weeks and see where it takes me.



4 responses to “One Pocket Improves 9Ball?

  1. Michael, I heard one pocket ruins your stroke. A lot of 9 ball players hate to play one pocket. My favorite way to practice is doing 14.1. I feel that helps me to work on my cue ball control, once in a while I love to play bank pool to work on my banking.

  2. I really appreciate this blog. I was never been a “good” player. I could run racks here and there, snap off some eight and nine ball breaks but i was always better than average and not good enough to win any good tournaments. This blog has sparked a fire and has gotten me to recommit to billiards. I have decided to start from scratch and to spend the first 30 minutes each day just focusing on my stroke. I also work on stop, draw, and follow along with route drills, and wagon wheel shooting. I can’t believe the level my game has gone up in the first few weeks of drill shooting. I stepped in the hall for the first time this past Saturday in years. I was nervous, felt sick to my stomach even. Then finally i was asked to shoot and once we got the first game out of the way i was once again hooked!! – PS after reading this blog i went and bought a table, it had been six years since i had my own table. Feels great.

    • That’s fantastic!! I’m so glad to hear that you are working on your game in a very structured manner. That’s the most efficient path to improvement. Congrats on your improvements, and thanks for your comments!

  3. Great blog! I really appreciate you taking the time to educate us!

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