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Long Straight Billiard Shots

Long Straight Billiard Shots

I have been playing pool for years, and as of the last 6 months I've been playing competitively in the APA. Since then, I've improved most aspects of my game except for the long and straight shots. I understand that everyone struggles with these, but they are an almost a guarenteed miss for me. I do practice these regularly and have seen no improvement. I am so frustrated over this that I am considering quitting the sport even though I still love it. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Long Straight Billiard Shots

Replies & Comments

  1. aspinallBallsNoBreak on 10/14/2006 1:56:34 AM

    Hey don't stress out so much about it, and try to use the same rhythm as when you always shoot and don't look at the long shot forever.

  2. aspincue-shot on 10/14/2006 1:58:31 AM

    Keep your elbow tucked in and unless it is completely necessary, don't use any english on the shot. This will increase your chances of missing on a long shot since you are spinning the ball abnormally for a long time while it is being sent down the table.

  3. aspindenver on 10/14/2006 2:05:37 AM

    We all know that there is no perfect solution here. They are usually one of the toughest shots on he table, and even tougher when the cueball is resting on the rail. As the others have said, elbow tucked in will help you greatly on the long shots.

  4. aspinthedoc on 10/14/2006 2:11:08 AM

    Your elbow, shoulder and hand should all be in the same line or plane. This will minimize the chance of your cue sitck veering sideways as it travels on your bridge during the range of motion.

  5. aspinbilliardsforum on 10/14/2006 2:17:38 AM

    Shoulder in, don't look at the shot too long, and if you have a good run, try to stay in your rhythm. The longer you look at the shot, the greater the chance that you'll hack the cue with a sideways motion. Go with your first or second perception of the shot. Just from watching others play, that the longer people look at the shot the more they tend to over-cut it.

    Above all, don't get discouraged.

    Professional Billiard Players miss around four out of ten long shots. As others have mentioned, there is simply no proven remedy for these long shots. If you think outside the box, you probably are thinking about becoming a better shot planner, so that you can try to play the game from start to finish and not leave yourself with any of these.

  6. aspinguest on 3/19/2007 9:46:08 AM

    If i can offer some words on my opinion,

    Try to use a closed handed bridge for the shots where you have to apply less cue movement as possible like a long straight shot.

    I think some people neglect the importance of a good bridge for different situations some times but that's just my personal opinion, whatever words best for you :0

  7. aspinkyle on 3/19/2007 11:03:16 PM

    Try looking at the cue ball last rather than the object ball, trust your aim and focus on making a sraight stroke.

  8. aspinkellystick on 5/5/2007 7:35:46 PM

    Here is my probably unorthodox technigue for long and straight. Long and stright means you have to shoot very straight. to be straight is another way of saying highly accurate. Highly accurate means getting as much stick in front of you as possible and getting your eye as close to the stick as possible. I actually change my stance to extend my stick out and pull my body back and rest my chin on the stick. This give you the best long rifle barrel accuracy view possible. Now you have to be able to stroke as well. If your aim is good you might actually shorten the stroke length. This is because you might be out of your normal stance and position. A longer stroke might be hard to control. A short stroke also means less likelyhood for you shaft to move side to side. Hope that makes sense. I don;'t see anyone else do this but this works for me. Also if the table is not flat a slo roll is doomed to failure. Hit it moderately, lots of stick in front for maximum aim, short stroke. It works for me.

  9. aspinguest on 9/12/2007 7:10:20 PM

    I would say the number one reason I see people miss straight long shots is because of their stroke. From this we see it related to thier back hand, their feet position, but mostly the stroke in and of itself.

    A lot of people I see play try and stand up right after they shoot and look down the table toward the pocket. This is the worst thing you can do. When you hit the ball hit is straight, not off to the left or right of up or down but striaght on. Know stay down don't move. As soon as you have finished your shot freeze. I was helping someone today. He would make a couple shots but they were really close and he had no control. I told him two things. Stay down and follow through. He, like a lot of people wanted to poke at the ball and punch it. I told him aim and follow through with a fluid stroke. He started make balls on a more regualar basis after that.

    So Stay down and freeze Follow through Make sure your stance is correct ad you are loose. Keep your eye on the ball.

  10. aspinShotCaller on 9/25/2007 3:39:12 AM

    I completely agree with kellystick. I believe that on long straight shots your priorities change. Accuracy is the most important thing, not speed or english. On normal cut shots that require using some english for position it is essential to have a great body stance and position to cause the firm stroke needed to execute the shot. On these long straight shots, I get my chin as low as possible nearly touching the shaft. Then place your bridge hand further than normal from the cue ball. It may feel awkward, but it balances the cue better and makes your stroke straighter. Use a very abbreviated stroke. Its more accurate and leaves less room for error. Focus completely on the object ball, and use a short, soft, pushing motion for the stroke.. I know this works. If you don't believe me, watch the video of alex pagulayan win the derby city ring game. He shoots most of his shots with the longer bridge.

  11. aspinernier on 10/11/2007 5:48:49 PM

    I agree with all the previous suggestions. However, the thing that really works for me on long shots is FOLLOW THROUGH. As you stroke, push that cue stick right through the cue ball and don't move until the cue has hit the object ball. A short, choppy stroke is OK if you need to stop the ball quickly or put some english on, but I've found follow through to be the best thing for those shots with a lot of green.

  12. aspinSiz on 10/18/2007 3:54:32 PM

    You might pick up some tips from snooker players. Snooker is played on 12 foot tables with smaller balls and much tighter pockets; accuracy in shooting is everything. Most snooker players only really have one stroke, which they use for all shots. But it is superbly suited to long shots.

    You should be able to find some clips of Steve Davis or Ronnie O'Sullivan playing 9 ball. Both have excellent examples of a snooker stroke.

  13. aspindethfat on 2/19/2008 3:18:00 PM

    this is kind of how i overcome my long shot suckyness. i started lining up the shot not necessarily lining up the shot but just trying to push the cue ball into the other ball. i know it sounds stupid but dont worry about how long the shot is, just worry about the contact and where it will be on the other ball. its hard for me to try and explain this when it only goes on in my head but i guess try to aim differently...

  14. aspinFenwick on 2/29/2008 11:00:30 AM

    I have been working on this shot, the dreaded long straight, as well as sad to say my whole style or lack there of for the last several weeks. It has been a humbling experience starting over but much needed. I.M.H.O. I have found squirt and swerve and throw play a large roll in making or missing this shot and others. A understatement I know. If I did not take the time to study and figure those three things out I think I would have remained stagnant and perhaps also said, "I am considering quitting the sport". I too was becoming very frustrated.

    For me, (long straight shots), it gets down to using dead center, no left or right English and slightly below center or half stop. I also tend to firm up my grip on the butt of the Cue for this shot and all long shots? I also had to do the boring practice drill to straighten out my stroke. Just a long straight shot, full length of the 9 foot table, slow and medium speed. No object ball, and try to make the Cue ball come straight back to the tip of my Cue. I also with help from a friend found this to be a useful video to better understand the ghost ball aiming method.

  15. aspindogassokie on 3/4/2008 10:05:17 AM

    this posting is regarding the question about long straight ins. i assume that this responce is going to the correct site, fecker or something like that. since you said you play league pool you are playing generally 7 ft tables. if so you have a problem because there aren't too many long shots. of course straight shots the length of the table off the rail are difficult. but generally speaking, don't beat yourself up for missing any shot that has a heightened difficulty factor. everybody misses, frrom you to johnny archer to allison fisher. you need to approach every shot with confidence. and the better your mechanics are the more your confidence will grow. on long straights, as with all shots, your cue needs to be as close to parallel to the table as possible. you need to pick a spot on the object ball and commit to that spot. a good trigger mechanism, assuming you are right handed, is to use the v between your finger and thumb on your right hand. shoot the v at the target spot. if no part of your body moves except your right arm, you have a pretty good chance at making the shoot. there are four, major reasons that shots are missed, and not just difficult shots either. first your mind is not focused on the shot you are shooting. the cure for that is the easiest to implement. don't think about anything else. before you shoot you have already made decisions on english and cueball speed, so you should not be thinking about anything except the spot. especially don't think about missing. secondly, your eye is not on the spot when you shoot. this comes from bobbing your eyes between where you want to cue the rock and the object ball. you can do this as much as you want, but not as you shoot. your eye must be on your committed spot. the bob is a hard habit to break, and requires practice because doing it the correct way will seem really uncomfortable. watch some old matchs on tv that loree john jones plays in and watch how she approaches this problem. she will take several strokes only looking at the object ball before she shoots. she takes as many as she needs to be comfortable with her stroke. if she doesn't feel comfortable she does it again---- and again if need be. however when she lets go her eye is focused only on the object ball. thirdly, you hold the butt of the cuestick too high. the farther from parallel you are the more jump english you are putting on the ball. two problems occur when you do this. the cueball will bounce instead of roll causing the cueball to lose a little of direction and the raised butt hinders your followthrew which causes the cueball to slide rather than roll. and lastly, you move something other than your right arm, most usually your head, before the stroke is completed. when you do this the result of the shot becomes more luck than skill. this habit is more easily corrected than you might think. move nothing except your arm until the cueball stikes the objectball. again, watch some wpba matchs and see how karen korr and allison fisher hold there heads steady troughout the stroke. work on you fundamental mechanics and you'll find that more long straight ins will fall. dogassokie

  16. aspintreehumper on 3/4/2008 5:03:18 PM

    Make sure your dominant eye is over the cue to ensure the accuracy of your aim. NO ENGLISH. This will cause the cue ball to curve off line. This is due to the lap of the cloth and the direction (up or down table). Myself, I tend to move further back on my cue where my backhand is gripping the butt and I see more of the cue for lining up the shot. Slow practice strokes then a final slow deliberate final stroke. I can achieve draw or follow when necessary.

  17. aspinquickshot on 3/19/2008 10:58:56 PM

    I took the advice of Matt West in his tutorial. I line up and try to visualize the line from the cue ball through the object ball to the pocket. And as we all know, a little bit of luck always helps. But I do find some confidence in this method.

  18. aspinBigRigTom on 4/21/2008 12:03:59 PM

    The long straight shot is a toughy for everyone. The way I conquered it was I put a ball in the center of the table and shot it into the corner pocket over and over and over and over while moveing the cue ball back and forth across the talbe about 2 or 3 inches from the end rail. I started out using about a tip of top which helps avoid inadvertant side spin on the cue ball, don't worry about or even think about position or scratching just make the shot.

    Once you are consistently making the shot like 8 or 9 times out of 10 you can then start working on getting position.

    Position will do you no good if you miss the shot and I can't believe how many of us forget that minor but very important fact. Make the shot!

  19. aspinquickshot on 4/21/2008 2:18:19 PM

    For me, above all, I have a mental picture of the spot I want to hit on the object ball. As mentioned by others, get down on the shaft so your dominant eye is looking straight down the line and your cue tip is aimed at the spot you want to hit. Do not rush the shot and stay down until the cue ball makes contact with the spot you see on the OB.

  20. aspinJJFSTAR on 4/21/2008 4:18:12 PM

    aspin here is a link to help you understand the dynamics of the long strait in shot. The advice from many here is the same advice as in most shots don't waste time, follow through, stroke concentration, stay down etc... The reality is that if you miss this shot more often than not, you have a stroke problem and the first order of business in correcting any problem is identifying it. This is universally true in life and pool.

    I have two suggestions; AFTER you read all the articles and reviewed the instructional videos that are available here on the internet dealing with this shot and you are still having problems. You can either video tape yourself doing a practice session with the long strait in shot, put it on youtube and throw up the link up here and I can tell you what your doing wrong or you can go to the highest ranking member of your team and have them look at you and make the necessary corrections in your stroke.

    But to consider giving up an art like pool because you have come to a huge hurdle is just silly. If you can’t handle the pressure of overcoming a minor weakness like a long strait in shot maybe competition pool is not something that is going to give you lots of joy in this life, if I am not clear here let me spell it out THIS IS NOT THE BIGGEST PROBLEM YOU WILL HAVE TO OVERCOME! Don’t get bummed out and quit just learn how to make a strait shot and move on. Best of luck to you

    John Fischer


  21. aspinMitch Alsup on 4/22/2008 7:14:00 PM

    I have a practice game (setup) I use to obtain and then develop the control-delicacy of these long shots require. I call it "pairs" but it may have another name. {hint: I'm only a mid-range player trying to overcome not playing for 35 years.}

    Take two balls and place then such that the edges of the pockets when extended onto the table intersect the center of the object balls, using 2 balls per pocket, about 1-2 pencil widths away from the rails. The remaining 3 balls are placed on the head, center and foot spots. The object of the practice is to sink the 12 balls in pairs into their closest pocket (starting with ball in kitchen) and then sink the remainder. Thus, not only do you have to make a long delicate shot, you have to position the cue for the next shot on a defined ball (its pair), and setup so that you can do it all over again 6 times in a row. You only get a point if you make all 15 balls in a single inning. If you miss, re-rack and start over.

    As you make points, alter the difficulty of making the balls in pairs by increasing the angles and distance from the pockets. This practice teaches the long shot delicacy that many mid-range players need, and the delicacy of english to make the position required to sink the balls in pairs (especially) on the long shots. You can make the side shots almost arbitrarily hard (or easy--its your practice session). The whole purpose here is to make lots of easy (long) shots in a row, the only real difficulty is overcoming ones-self.

    Stay down on the ball as you stroke and follow through, and then stay down on the ball watching for hints of table roll. Watch for mis-hits (cue take off at the wrong angle/direction), mis-contact -point (object ball takes off at wrong angle/direction), bad-line-into the pocket (made it but slop was involved), and bad line of the cue following contact (making it hard to continue).

  22. aspinFirework on 5/21/2008 1:57:19 AM

    Long straight shots show if your technique right or not. Pay attention to your stance, hands. Perhaps, you hold cue too hard...

  23. aspinguest on 5/21/2008 4:48:12 AM

    Look at poolclinics.com and read Tom Simpson's articles. They are better than most books I've read and really get to the how AND WHY things work.

    On any straight shot "spin induced throw" has the most effect compared to cut shots. Some people don't know about or think that "throw" is important. If you understand it it will help as much as any other topic. To practice these shots start with short shots and use a little draw. When the cue ball comes back is it spinning straight or is there a little sidespin? If there is sidespin that means your stroke is not completely straight. Shoot the short shot a few times to see if the results are the same. If they are the same you have a consistant stroke but the angle of your cue needs a little work. The tip may contact the cue ball in the center but if the butt of the cue isn't in a perfect line with the cue ball path you will get sidespin which will change the path of the object ball a little.

    So, practice short shots and pay attention to the spin on the cue ball as it comes back to the tip of your cue. When you get the cue ball spinning back to you like a tire (straight up and down) start lengthing your shots. Be patient and when practicing shoot every shot with the same attitude as the final shot in a championship match.

  24. aspinLwilliams on 6/10/2008 3:37:51 PM

    These have been my weak point in my game for as long as I've been playing. I just can't seem to master my long straight shot on a consistent basis. I practice plenty, but I have much more improvement yet.

    Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

  25. aspinguest on 7/24/2008 12:25:26 PM

    Before I throw my opinion in: I've been an APA (SL6) member for about a year and a half and just being around strong players and regular practice sessions are the best things to happen to my game. When I say practice, I mean practice. Going to the pool hall to "bang-em-around" is not practice. I basically only use two practice drills. One is the "Three ball drill", where I randomly throw any three balls out on the table, give my self ball-in-hand, and pocket them in numerical order. This one is key to developing cue ball control. Any advanced player will tell you, you always need to be thinking three balls ahead, because the shape you get on the third ball is contingent on the shape you give yourself on the second ball, which you give yourself after pocketing the first ball. Try to think of the third ball in the sequence and work backwards to get your plan. When you practice this drill, you should not even think of stroking the first ball until you have a plan for all three balls, and where you need to be with regard to position, for each one firmly in your head. The second practice drill I use is the long straight shot. This is the shot that will let you know, without a doubt, when you are stroking straight. For me this is the most valuable information I can have before a match. My game seems to come and go, to one degree to another, and I try to hit at least a rack's worth of the long straight shot during my warm-up time, to get a feel for what I can expect from myself. If you want to improve this shot (as I did, which is why I started practicing it regularly), you must pay extremely close attention to your mechanics. That's a fairly hard thing to do when you are trying to devote 100% of your fucus on the point of contact of the object ball. So, here's what I did. Start with the object ball sitting in the middle of the table, and place the cue ball about 8-10 inches in front of it so that you have a straight shot into a corner pocket. Shoot at this distance, for as long as it takes for you to be completely at ease with the shot and are able to really focus on your stroke and follow through. Gradually back the cue ball away from the object ball and repeat this drill. Before long you will not even flinch at the dreaded long straight shot. You'll just say "all right, no problem, I knock these down all the time".

  26. aspinguest on 10/23/2008 4:36:35 AM

    I think its all about focus. If your focus it right, then you are never going to loose.

  27. aspinquickshot on 10/23/2008 2:07:11 PM

    Think stroke combined with focus.

  28. aspinThree Brothers Billiards on 3/31/2009 8:34:00 AM

    It is all in your stroke. If you have been playing competitively for 6 months, then learn to trust your aim. the aim is not the problem, it is the stroke. Take aim, and then put it in the back of your mind. Then focus on achieving absolute perfection with your stroke. about 90% of your mental capacity should be on your stroke on a long shot. Pretend that you are a robot and stroke the cue back and forth with out letting it move off path AT ALL. Then smoothly push through the cue ball and enjoy!

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Long Straight Billiard Shots

  • Title: Long Straight Billiard Shots
  • Author:
  • Published: 10/14/2006 1:49:33 AM