Back to the Drawing Board

Posted by : Samm Diep

Do you have difficulty getting your cue ball to draw back to you? Or, when you do finally get backspin on the ball, does it seem to have a mind of its own? If you have trouble with the accuracy and consistency of your draw shots, don’t worry. You’re not alone. This is one of the more difficult techniques to master.

Here are 10 Surefire Tips to Develop Your Draw Shot:

Start placing an object ball in front of the side pocket and the cue ball in the very center of the table. Practice drawing the cue ball back into the opposite side pocket.

1. Keep your elbow up during your follow through.

In my experience, the number one reason my students have trouble drawing is the dreaded elbow-drop. If your elbow drops in your follow through, the butt of the stick will lower and drop with your elbow. When this happens, it’s inevitable that the cue tip then goes up in the final follow through. This means your cue tip does not contact the cue ball where you may be aiming. This is the first step to ensure you contact the cue ball as low as you’re aiming.

2. Always have a loose grip.

If you’re going to keep your elbow up, the only way to get enough momentum is to keep your cue very loose in your fingertips. It’s normal to want to squeeze tightly when you need to put a big stroke on that long draw shot but any tension will only work against you. Think about “throwing” the cue stick.

3. Don’t be afraid to miscue.

You’ll never know how low is too low if you don’t get close enough to the edge of the cue ball. The player that’s constantly afraid of miscuing will never aim low enough to draw it. Aim for the very bottom of the cue ball. Allow yourself to miscue a few times. Once you do, slowly bring your tip higher and now you know your boundaries.

4. Look at the cue ball last.

If you find you’re not getting enough backspin on the cue ball, you may need to start by looking at the cue ball last. This should only be done until you get comfortable contacting the cue ball so low.

5. Keep your cue stick level.

I cannot stress this one enough. Often times I ask a student to draw and they automatically raise the butt of their cue so they can contact the bottom of the cue ball. This is a big no-no. Regardless where you’re aiming on the cue ball, you always adjust your tip position using your bridge hand, not your stroke hand.

6. Shorten your bridge length.

One simple way to help increase accuracy is always to get a little closer to the cue ball. I recommend an approximate 8-inch bridge. This gives you enough length for your warm strokes without too much wobble room.

7. Get your tip closer to the ball.

If you’re able to get the cue tip as close as possible to the cue ball on your warm strokes, it will only reinforce where you’ll be following through. Anything you can do to emphasize this will also build your confidence.

8. Don’t hold back.

In your final follow through your cue should always be in the forward position. I often see players poke at the cue ball and pull back after they shoot because they’re afraid of the cue ball coming back at them. I like to call this the “lasso” stroke. Keep the momentum going forward and follow through completely.

9. Stay down.

Make an extra effort to stay down on your final follow through. Any unnecessary body movement when you’re shooting can cause your cue tip to veer off track resulting in a mishit.

10. The Jim Rempe Training Ball is your friend.

If all else fails, get yourself a Rempe ball and a fresh piece of chalk. Set the ball up before shooting and check the chalk mark after you shoot. This ball does not lie and can show you exactly where you actually contacted the cue ball versus where you thought you were contacting it.

Incorporate these tips and improve your draw stroke in no time.

The next time you’re in the mile high area and looking for a Denver billiard instructor, be sure to look me up.