: PoolDawg Staff
Below is a wonderful article from our friends at Billiards Digest going through 50 tips for improving your game. After you're done reading, don't forget to check out our entire billiards instruction section which includes dozens of training tools as well as free training articles from Samm Diep, Liz Ford, Jennifer Barretta, Emily Duddy, Tom Simpson and more!
It's fair to say that doling out your own advice to others - whether they ask for it or not - is considerably easier than swallowing someone else's medicine. But we promise you'll profit from listening to these pearls of wisdom compiled from the archives of Billiards Digest.
Here are five of the top pool minds in the game. Fran Crimi, master instructor with the Billiard Congress of America, has 10 tips on basic preparation; Bob Jewett, one of the sharpest technical minds in the business, explains the physics of pool; Larry Schwartz, two-time national team 8-ball champion, shows you his winning strategy on solids and stripes; Grady Mathews professes more one-pocket wisdom, and George Fels, one of pool's greatest writers, brings you up to speed in 9-ball.
Fran Crimi: Basics
1. Keep your head straight. Many players tilt their heads to favor their dominant eye. If you tilt your head, you're looking at a sideways view of the shot.
2. Secure your bridge hand. When you're down on a shot, push your fingertips lightly into the cloth to assure that your bridge hand will not budge as your pool cue comes through to strike the cue ball.
3. Finish what you started. It is vitally important that you stay with each shot all the way to the bitter end! Stay firmly planted until the object ball is in the pocket.
4. Keep your backswing smooth and slow. Remember, your backstroke is your hand-eye coordinator. Picture a baseball pitch; if you bring your arm back too fast, you're cheating yourself out of precious time you need to focus on your target. If you can't see it, you'll probably miss it.
5. Keep your back hand loose and relaxed. In pool, tension is your worst enemy. The more tension you apply to your cue stick, the less chance there is for it to travel in a straight line.
6. Walk around and look. Always walk around and look at where you want to position the cue ball for your next shot. If you want your cue ball to wind up in the right spot, you have to know where the right spot is!
7. Analyze your misses. After you miss and return to your chair, figure out what happened. Then make a mental correction. You'll play progressively better through your match instead of making the same mistakes over and over again.
8. Develop a shot-making ritual. Make a list of all the things you want to include in your shot-making process. Then practice performing each step until it becomes your ritual. This method works great under pressure and helps keep the bad stuff from creeping in.
9. Always keep your cool. No matter what happens, be determined not to let it get to you. Unlucky rolls and bad breaks are bound to happen; the balls are round. Those who keep a positive attitude through the bad breaks will prevail in the end.
10. Commit to every shot. If you're ready to begin your shot-making process, you should be clear on how you want to position the cue ball for your next shot. If you're still asking yourself questions when you're down in your shooting stance, you're not committed to the shot, and you'll most likely miss.
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