Fundamentals

The following drill is designed to calibrate your shooting arm.  The objective is to develop your ability to deliver the cue ball down table with different speeds depending on what the shot requires.  For this drill I’ve divided the table into five different zones, each zone is 2 diamonds wide.  The zones on the ends of the table are actually two diamonds wide; one diamond going into the rail, and one diamond coming out.  Start with the cue ball near the head string and hit the cue ball so that it stops in the zone marked 1.  Then start again with the cue ball near the head string and try to make the cue ball stop within zone 5.   When you are first starting out, try to master zones 1, 5, 9, and 13.  Once you can do these 75% of the time, try to hit all the intermediate zones.

Fundamentals 1 - Developing Speed Control

Fundamentals 2 – This drill is designed to teach you to stroke the ball straight.  If you don’t, you will collide with one of the object balls.  Here’s the setup: place two object balls on the foot string separated by about 2 ball widths.  Start with the cue ball on the head string.  Shoot the cue ball between the two object balls, rebound off the left rail, pass through the two object balls again, and have the cue ball come back to you and stop near the right side rail.  The cue ball should not touch the two object balls.

Fundamentals 2 - Develop a straight stroke

The following drills are designed to develop your ability to stop the cue ball on a dime and also your ability to follow and draw the cue ball.  Although development of these skills is pretty obvious, there’s really more here than meets the eye.  In order for you to execute these drills successfully, you’ll also need solid mechanics.  Be aware of your stance, bridge, and stroke while shooting these drills.  Solid mechanics provide the basis for you to develop your cue ball control skills.

Fundamentals 3 - Stop, Follow, Draw

Fundamentals 3 – Place both the object ball and cue ball ½ inch off the long rail at the spots marked O1 and C1.  You’ll need to bridge off the rail.  Make at least 5 attempts to shoot the object ball into the corner and stop the cue ball dead.  When you master that, move the object and cue balls to positions O2 and C2.  Repeat.  Finally, move the balls to positions O3 and C3.  After you’ve mastered the stop drills, repeat the above instructions but use follow and try to make the cue ball follow the object ball into the corner pocket.  I’ll bet you never though scratching could be so hard!  Lastly, repeat the above instructions but apply draw to the cue ball.  Make the object ball in the corner and draw the cue ball back to within a few inches of its starting point.  Good luck!

Fundamentals 4 - Stop, Follow, Draw

Fundamentals 4 – This is basically the same drill as before, but you’re not bridging off the rail.  Place both the object and cue balls at the spots marked O1 and C1.  Make at least 5 attempts to shot the object ball into the corner and stop the cue ball dead.  When you master that, move the object and cue balls to positions O2 and C2.  Repeat.  Finally, move the balls to positions O3 and C3.  After you’ve mastered the stop drills, repeat the above instructions but use follow and try to make the cue ball follow the object ball into the corner pocket.  Lastly, repeat the above instructions but apply draw to the cue ball.  Make the object ball in the corner and draw the cue ball back to within a few inches of its starting point.  Good luck!

Fundamentals 5 - Stop, Follow, Draw

Fundamentals 5 – Place three object balls in the O1 area, each separated by ½ inch and the first ball ½ inch off the rail.  For each shot you get ball in hand and you can place the cue ball anywhere in the area marked C1.  Practice stop shots on all three balls.  Then try again, but follow the cue ball into the corner pocket.  Lastly, shoot draw shots, but draw the cue ball back within 2 diamonds of the end rail.  When you’ve mastered all of these, move the object balls to the area marked O2 and cue ball to the zone marked C2.  For a very tough challenge, place the object balls in the area marked O3 and cue ball in zone C3.  Best wishes!!

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