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Pool can be divided into two categories, shot making and position play.
As a beginner, your awareness has most likely revolved around shot making. You shoot at whatever you see, easy or difficult, and the cue ball rolls to wherever it goes, and you repeat the process.
More advanced players, however, are much more focused on positional play. They control where the cue ball goes, and so they shoot mainly easy shots. This is what allows them to break and run multiple racks in succession.
They control the cue ball by using spin. Top (Follow), bottom (Draw), and side (English). Follow and draw, involve hitting the cue ball on the vertical axis, and there is no alteration in the path of the cue ball.
English, involves striking the ball on the horizontal axis. Because the cue ball is spherical, when you hit the ball off center, the cue ball is sent on an altered path. This is commonly referred to as squirt or deflection*. Additionally, there is another phenomenon called swerve, which is a slight masse effect cause by the side spin that will cause another alteration in the path of the cue ball.
Essentially, when you use English, you may aim in one spot, and the cue ball will travel to another.
As a beginner, your primary concern should be developing a straight stroke. During this developmental phase, your mind inputs feedback from your all your shots and makes slight alterations and corrections.
If you begin using english, you will prolong the process of developing a straight stroke. This is because there will be usable data, and more confusing data for your mind to sort through. Eventually, when you actually want to hit a straight shot with no english, you will have much more confusion as to where you are actually aiming. It will be much more complicated then simply looking at your target and firing away.
This is a pretty awesome match. I won't spoil it for you.
Below are some of the most common flaws that beginners make. Limiting these from your game will improve your play significantly, and will help to create a solid foundation for the future. It is possible to have success whilst having these flaws, but consider the road to be much longer and harder.
1. Not standing still
Football is a game of inches; pool is a game of millimeters. In a game where precision is absolutely necessary, you must remain as still as possible. There’s a reason why surgeon’s have hands that are notoriously still, just imagine what it would be like if their whole bodies were swaying. I do know some players with Parkinson’s, and pool is extra challenging for them, but in general think “statue” before you shoot.
2. Jerking up after your shot
But you say, I already hit the ball, what difference does it make? If you remain perfectly still throughout your delivery, then none. But more often then not, this is not the case. If you do lift up, when the pressure comes, this will be even more exaggerated then it was before. Do yourself a favor and stay down, not only will you play better, but you will look better too. If you really can’t stop, have someone hold a stick over your head so you can feel the problem.
This is a very simple puzzle type pool game, kinda like Bejeweled-- but geared towards the billiards fanatic. The only down side is the music and sound effects are really annoying, so make sure you turn your speakers down or adjust it in the game.
Simply line up 3 or more like balls in a vertical or horizontal line to make them disappear. Ready to play? Just click here
If there is one must have book for your billiards collection, this would have to be it. This might be one of the most comprehensive pool and billiards books ever written. Whether or not you are a beginner or an expert, this book should have a spot on your bookshelf.
It consists of two sections, the first is on standard pocket billiards, which makes up the majority of the book. This section consists of fundamentals, rules, general strategy, and the real gem-- the shots. There are so many shots here that are so valuable at the pool table.
The second section is on three cushion billiards, and though it is not the bulk of the book, it is certainly dense with knowledge. If one is looking to learn 3 cushion billiards game, not only will they learn shots, but they will also learn the strategy-- which is not so obvious to most people. It also contains multiple kicking systems that really come in handy when playing standard pool or pocket billiards.
Overall, this book is really a must have. As a beginner, this will make up for years of experience at the table. And as an advanced player, it contains much wisdom and plenty of specialty shots for those tough situations.
Check it out on Amazon here: Byrne's New Standard of Pool and Billiards
3 Reasons why I think they should be banned:
1. Billiards has always been a 2-dimensional game. I feel there is something inherently wrong with deliberately leaving the boundaries and manipulating the physics of the playing surface with a special piece of equipment.
2. It takes the skill out of the game. People argue that you need skill to use a jump cue, but it is minimal compared to the amount of mastery required for one to execute complicated kick shots.
3. You can still jump with a full cue. If you can't hit a home run, you should work on your swing and mechanics rather than investing in a corked bat. The jump cue is just another piece of equipment we need to buy just to stay on a level playing field.
There is a reason why 8-ball will never die, and it is because it is the only game that everyone knows how to play. Think, what was the first game of pool you learned? Most likely it was 8-ball, unless you grew up in a particularly billiard oriented family. Still, despite the fact that you will rarely see it played on tv-- as it isn't as viewer oriented as a game like 9-ball, it is still the game that most amateurs around the world will continue to play-- and enjoy.