|There are many very good books on how to shoot pool, and if you are actually interested in getting better, read one of them and stay away from here. :) I have read a few, just enough to muddy the waters. I have played a lot, but have gotten only incrementally better. I need more practice, but not any practice. Drills will make your stroke better, but few drills will make your game better. I have recently started some drills that I know will vastly improve my game. Feel free to bear with me and criticize where appropriate.|
Position play is everything in pool, if you don't already know this, turn the computer off right now and go get one of those books that I mentioned and read it. (or, I guess you could google it and find some good info somewhere I'm sure).
OK, now that we got that out of the way, how do you get better at position play. Some people will tell you that experience will make you better. Well, my experience has shown me that the other guy sees it, but I don't, so I keep shooting from ball to ball with some minor concern about the next one, but without a good feel on how to get to it. To counter this, I have just started a new exercise which I can feel is already improving my understanding. To explain it to you I will first need to have a method to describe my exercise without images (those will come later), so I am devising a Notation , feel free to suggest improvements, or complete redesigns of my notation.
Prerequisites to Position Play
If you have followed my instructions and done your research, you will know that in order to even think about position play you need to first acquire two skills in pool, and you need to understand the physics of pool (if you have read those books, you now have this).
- Object Ball Control
- Cue Ball Control
- Physics of Pool
If you're not sure you have these, they are slightly more further described here. Here is the exercise I am working on now.
Sinking Two Balls in a Row
A few years ago I devised an exercise similar to the one I will now describe, but it was too difficult for me at the time. It was nevertheless usefull for me since it highlighted how difficult certain things were. Since the essence of position play is to make every shot easy, it helps to know what is not easy. I have greatly simplified my original exercise any present it now.
This exercise consists of sinking two balls consecutively at various locations around the table. Place the first ball at b2 and the second ball consecutively clockwise around the table in front of each remaining pocket at b5 then b8, d8, d5 and finally d2. Each time you must first sink the b2 ball and then the remaining ball. Restart the cue ball anywhere before shooting the b2 ball, but do not move it after this shot until you have sunk the second ball. To complete the exercise, place the first ball at b5 and then consecutively sink the second ball at b8, d8 and d5. You will now have covered all the unique two ball six pocket single diamond combinations.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
b | b2 b5 b8 |
| (start here) (then here) |
c | |
d | d2 d5 d8 |
View my solutions to this exercise.
This might be the only thing usefull on this site, a template to print out and use in order to take notes about your shots. Please feel free to make copies and use them to better your game. Don't let anyone see you in a pool hall with it, you'll get your ass kicked! :)