Champions Pool Technique - This Shot Trains Your Aiming

If You Shoot Only One Pool Shot To Warm Up, Make It This One

Pool Shot
Pool Shot. Matt Sherman

This little-known shot is perhaps the single best pool shot to train your eyes in making any other (every other!) pool shot.

The Shot

We all want time savers and drill that can make us better in pool, faster. This shot is a super warm up to enhance your eyes and mind and stroke. I love this one.

The following "ultimate pool shot" is excellent for perfecting your aim and will teach you more about your correct pool stance and object ball aim than most any other pool shot that comes to mind. I used this same shot to train a new player yesterday, a 12-year-old who quickly learned fine form with it and then started making most of the simple shots I placed in front of him just after this training pool shot.

Shoot at the 4-ball from one the cue ball positions as shown (or somewhere else nearby). Follow this pattern of taking the pool shot in a precise manner:

1. Walk behind the 4-ball to line it up for the center of the side pocket (the center of the opening where the cloth meets space and not the back of the pocket liner).

2. Keep your eyes on that spot/hold that spot in mind as you return to your stance position behind the cue ball. Be deliberate about lining up to shoot center ball directly at the spot on the 4-ball, even if you feel this stroke and aim will cause the four to utterly miss the pocket.

3. Take your best try at this penultimate pool shot, noting whether you a) pocket the ball successfully b) overcut the ball (slice it too thinly) or c) undercut the ball (strike the ball to thick and too directly to cut it in the side) Set the balls up again and repeat. This stroke will:

* Build your confidence in aiming using center ball and in playing the cue tip towards the object ball's contact point (for most strokes)

* Force you to be precise with your aim and stroke

* Show you how you must trust your sightlines on a pool shot like this and others taken at an extreme angle--you have to shoot, feeling as though the cue ball will miss the spot, then watch and learn as it strikes a glancing blow against the object ball to pocket it

A Simple Pro Aim System

Careful readers will note I advocate playing the cue tip/center ball of the cue ball so that it is aimed directly at the target spot on the object ball. You'd better believe I know as well as any geometer that this spot on the cue ball into the object ball target point is inexact and geometrically, utterly incorrect.

However, even though I realize as will anyone working out with circles on pen and paper that going through center ball on the cue ball to the object ball contact point leads to too thick a hit on any cut shot, the system works so well that many pros and other top shooters (e.g. hustlers!) use it. We can discuss fixing the geometry and counteracting collision-induced throw another time or you can look on my articles.

For now, take it from me--most amateurs overcut the ball far too often and this aim system--center ball to edge of object ball--does the job nicely. And if you really want to investigate further, try my Overcutter's Tale: Why Dick And Jane Miss Cut Shots.