We all like to go billiards from time to time with our best friends. However, even though we love to play it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can. Billiards is a simple game when you look at the rules, but when it comes to skill, this is one of the most challenging games.
You have to be an expert and think like a mathematician if you want to put every ball in the hole. That is why a large number of people do not know how to hit the ball properly, and they all do it approximately. Although most of them somehow manage to hit the pool balls and enjoy the game, there are some tips for improving your pool skills and technique.
1. Breaking the Pool Balls
Many pool enthusiasts do not know how to break balls properly, and almost no one knows how to put a ball into holes from the first break. First of all, you have to put the balls together well and make sure that they all touch each other well because if there is a gap between some balls, then you will not be satisfied with the results. The next step is moving the white ball slightly to the right so that the white ball is not in line with the first one in the triangle. From that, everything someone has to do is to hit the white ball hard and precisely in the middle and shoot the first ball in the triangle. If everything goes to plan, one ball should be in the middle right hole or the upper right corner, or even both. Need more guidance for racking the pool balls? Check pingpongetc.com, and you will find everything on this topic explained in detail.
2. Shooting Stance
Shooting stance is essential for your game, and the preferred position is the one where your rear and front foot are shoulder-width apart. Feeling stable and comfortable is the goal, and the front foot should be straight while the back foot is at a 45-degree angle. No need for putting too much weight or either foot, just when leaning to take a shot, keep head low, stable, and in lever over your cue.
3. Body Alignment
To get the most from every shot and to be at the best of your game, the significant thing is lining up stroking arm, cue, eyes, and the head in the direction of the ball you want to hit. For the perfect alignment to become natural to any player, the practice is a must. Also, while practicing this, taking a few shots is recommended.
4. Proper Grip
One of the most usual mistakes newbies make is holding the cue to tight. There is no need for that as tight gripping will not affect the precision, and it will just make it worse. What is needed is a loose and light grip, which will make the whole stroke much smoother, and you will be able to hit the ball right where you want. There is no need for the cue to touch your palm, and your pinky can rest as well.
5. Pre-shot Routine
This one maybe doesn’t have that much influence over how someone holds the cue, their body alignment or posture, but to be able to get to that part, a calm approach and focusing are vital. That routine can be applying chalk on the cue, going around the table and focusing on the target ball, aligning the body and getting into the position, etc. We all have our things and routines, and it is the same for this – no one can tell you what to do because everybody has to figure out what works for them, and the whole point is taking a few moments to focus.
After the shot, there is no reason to stand up right away as most of the beginners do, follow your shoot, and see it through. By doing this, everyone can see if they did something wrong, learn, and not repeat the same mistake in the future. And as another benefit, with a follow-through, you will not unknowingly and unwillingly sabotage the shot.
7. Practicing Bridges
One of the essential aspects of billiards is the bridge, and if someone has an inconsistent bridge, everything else and the whole game falls apart. The most common types of it are the open (for amateurs) and closed bridge (for advanced). The practice makes perfect, but to get to practice the basic bridge, knowing where and how to place your hand is crucial. Placing a hand on the table and pressing the thumb against the forefinger is required to form a V shape (open bridge).
After forming this shape, using the fleshy parts of the thumb and index finger for better guiding the shots is also a bonus, and one can lower or raise the bridge just by pushing the fingers away or pulling them up. It may look simple, but considering that you will have to repeat this many times in only one game, makes it quite tricky.
8. Visualization and Aiming
Visualizing is another integral part of any player’s game because it helps your aiming and precision. Make and follow an imaginary aiming line from your cue to the object ball, target ball, and the pocket you want to place it. It doesn’t matter if a bank shot is needed and solely focus on the desired aiming line. During practice, trying to do this with every shot you make will help you boost your game and take it on another level.
9. Training Weaker Arm
Someone may think that it is unnecessary, but being able to play with both hands can be of great advantage. Avoiding awkward and inaccurate shots is only one advantage, and some players are even able to make some shots that they thought they could never do by using their non-dominant hand. It isn’t easy, and a lot of practicing is required, but once you achieve this, it will all be worth it.
Just like with the grip, staying lose will help you make shots on a more consistent level. For doing this, the upper arm needs to be firm, and the part from elbow to wrist, loose. It is like a pendulum where your upper arm helps and allows your swing to be smooth, with the steady and slow backswing.
Playing against better pool players or watching professional matches is also a good way to learn and pick up some things and tricks as there are a lot of ways someone can improve their pool game, but following these tips will surely make your game even better.