In this piece I want to look at squirt in a slightly different way. Now common wisdom seems to be that squirt is a bad thing and we want to do everything we can to eliminate it. We have high technology shafts, tips and chalk to help use lessen squirt. All these are great tools to have and do improve our accuracy, but I want to look a little closer at squirt and how we can use it to help us, and not just try and eliminate it.
Any time you hit the cue ball off the vertical axis, the cue ball has a slight angle change from the direction the cue stick is pointing. This angle change is dependent on the offset distance from the vertical axis and NOT dependent on speed. A soft hit or a hard hit gives you about the same squirt!
But rather than looking at how we can minimize squirt, let's look at how we can use it to help us move the cue ball around the table. Here is a situation that I see a lot. You want to pocket the 8 and go three rails to get straight on the 9 ball. Most players juice up the cue ball with left spin, over cut the 8, and spin the cue ball 3 rails to fall on the 9! Not a very good result!
What happened here is that when you hit the cue ball with left spin, it squirts to the right, causing you to over cut the shot. To get the result you want, you have to use squirt, rather than fight with it.
What you want to do is aim straight at the 8 ball. Now depending on your shaft, this aiming point will be slightly different for each of you. The key idea is to not cut the 8 ball! What you are doing is letting the squirt move the cue ball over enough to cut the 8 ball in. Play with this a few times and you will have started to use squirt to your advantage, rather than trying to minimize and forget it.
Here is another example of using squirt.
Here we want to use a lot of right spin, pocket the 8, and get the cue ball down table for the 9. Again what happens is that the squirt pushes the cue ball to the left and under cutting the 8. Another miss!
The solution to this problem is aiming to over cut the 8 ball along the dotted line.
Squirt pushes the cue ball over enough to pocket the 8 and get the cue ball down the table!
Remember there are two things we need to consider on every shot, one is throw and the other is squirt. Good luck and see you on the road!
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