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Billiard Tutorial to Improve Your Stroke

Billiard Tutorial to Improve Your Stroke

When I was beginning to get serious about the game of billiards I wanted to work on my stroke. The key to the game being the fundamentals. I first began standing in front of a dresser mirror and practice stroking. I would see if my elbow was dipping, was my arm at 90 degrees, did I have a loose grip, and how level was the cue. I would do 300 practice strokes a night to build muscle memory and make each stroke the best I could.

As my stroke mechanics improved I still found that when I needed to get a lot of stroke on a ball that I would often come off target. I developed another training tool to help. I would take my ring off my finger and would put it in the dimple on a piece of chalk on the table. I would then place the cue ball about 2 inches in front of the opening of the ring. I would settle into my stance and then bridge my cue through the ring and to the cue ball. I would slowly bring it back and forth through the opening of the ring. If I knocked the ring over I would reset and begin again. Once I could contact the cue ball with consistency I began to line the cue ball up to make a shot. I would use the foot spot for the cue ball and set up my chalk to point at the corner pocket. I would cue through the ring driving the cue ball to make a object ball in the corner. This worked well for center ball but I needed to practice at low english and high as well. I moved from using the chalk as my spacer to small shaper that I had. It was only about a half inch thick and had the same dimple as a piece of chalk would. I could now cue very low on the cue ball and maintain my practice tool. I would use this arrangement to practice a light draw and would try to bring the cue ball straight back to my cue tip. I found I could follow through the ring to about 8 inches before the taper in the cue would interfere. I progressed to the point where I would shoot an object ball at an off angle and see how many diamonds I could draw up the side rail. By the end of my practice I was able to draw through the ring make the object ball in the corner and draw up table without contacting the side rail and end the cue ball on the head rail.

To learn how to cue high english I used my shaper and a piece of chalk together. I used the same foot spot and would play a ball into the corner pocket. I would come off at a slight angle and bounce off the foot rail. I noticed that I could get the cue to come off of the foot rail then circle around to the side rail. The more high english I would apply the more action on the cue I could observe. To test my new found skills I began to shoot long rail with very high english and would see if I could pocket a ball and then drive the cue to follow down to the foot rail and then back up to the head rail. The force follow would often throw off my shot because I would force the angle, but with my new skills I discovered that I could easily put follow into the cue ball and make it return full table.

I hope this helps some of you out. I continue to use this drill to make sure my stroke is dead straight and in turn my follow through is precise.

Billiard Tutorial to Improve Your Stroke

  • Title: Billiard Tutorial to Improve Your Stroke
  • Author: (Doug Labout)
  • Published: 9/13/2008 1:55:00 PM
  • Last Updated: 9/14/2008 1:55:00 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)
  • Source: From the "We Want Your Billiard Tips" contest.

Billiard Tutorial to Improve Your Stroke

The Billiard Tutorial to Improve Your Stroke article belongs to the Billiard Shot Making and Shooting Tutorials category. Pool tutorials around billiard shot making and shooting tips.

Billiard Tutorial to Improve Your Stroke Comments

  1. Salem StormSalem Storm from ID, United States on 12/18/2010 1:49:10 PM

    The best way to practice a straight pool shot stroke is by stroking into a long neck beer bottle laid on the pool table. Do this repeatedly without touching the sides of the inside of the bottle top. This will help improve your straight stroke.

  2. Bill CantyBill Canty from Oklahoma City, OK on 8/28/2014 8:51:46 PM

    The best cue-man who ever lived was Willie Hoppe (pronounced Willie 'Hoppy'). He stroked with a side-arm method.

    The best straight pool player, ever, (526 high run) was Willie Mosconi. He used a natural 'flop' position on his average shots. The 90 degree new school method, in my opinion, is optional.

  3. MarkbMarkb from Gulf Shores, AL on 3/13/2020 5:33:02 PM

    Fundamentals, routine, and timing. The hardest thing I've done was change my fundamental routine, but I started playing the wrong way, with no guidance.

    Its straight now.

  4. ProcopiusProcopius from Nakhon Sawan, Thailand on 12/26/2020 5:01:46 PM

    Here's another cue stroke improvement drill to use in addition to these above:

    • Line up a number of balls, 10 seems to be good, at the head spot (on a snooker table you can use the balk line).
    • Shoot them into the end pockets, five in the left pocket, then five in the right pocket.

    This is good for getting used to staying down after the shot (my biggest fault), and for making the rhythm of the shot habitual.

    After your practice strokes, you should hold the cue tip at the point on the cue ball you want to hit for about three seconds, pause briefly after you draw back (some people recommend pausing as long as a second) and then shooting.

    After the shot always look to see where your cue tip is.

    I've seen this drill mentioned at a couple of places, and at least one of them say you need to do at least 2,000 strokes. It's boring, but it has helped me.

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