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.
I’ve had teachers who would push their students while they were shooting to illustrate this point. If you are so unstable that a roaming shover can knock you on your ass, odds are a roaming breeze could knock your shot off course. This goes hand in hand with standing still at the table, because if you aren’t rooted to the ground, odds are you are swaying like a tree.
4. Not shooting with a level stroke
Most beginners are not familiar with a phenomenon called swerve. It’s when you hit the cue ball with sidespin (English) and the ball literally swerves off line into the direction of the spin. This effect is amplified as the angle of your cue stick is increased. No big deal if you hit the ball dead center, but as a beginner this may elude you. Keep the cue as close to parallel with the ground and you won’t have to worry about any of this.
5. Strange bridges
You want a bridge that is rooted to the table and is stable. For the beginner, you probably want your bridge about 4 to 6 inches away from the cue ball. Any closer and you inhibit your backswing, any further and you may incidentally veer off your aim.