How to Shoot Pool: Tips for a Better Technique
It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a legend, you would want to win when you’re playing someone at pool. Whether you are playing 8-ball or 9-ball pool, there is nothing like the amazing feeling of nailing a ball into the heart of a pocket. While most basic players get the odd ball down, you would want to be better than that, right? You would want to be the master of all the essential pool shots. For that, you have to continue practicing the game.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has curbed social interactions and a lot of places are obeying lockdown rules and restrictions. In such a situation, it might be difficult for you to haunt your regular places to play pool with your friends. But, you can keep your love alive for the game by downloading the app on your mobile devices and get to play the pool game online with your friends or with random opponents. By staying in touch with the game, albeit online, you’ll remember all the rules and not completely lose touch.
Also, you need to be ready for the time when lockdown restrictions are lifted and you get to show off your skills. Of course, you’ll be under a lot of pressure since you haven’t held a cue stick in a long time. But, the following tips will help to ease the pressure, improve your shooting technique and help you to perform your best. Take a look below.
- Remember to keep your head and body still
Calm yourself and try to keep your body and head as still as possible. You should only try to move your arm when you are shooting and everything else should be still. You can practice this at home. If you notice that when you are moving your arm there’s a slight movement in your body, it means that you need to practice harder to keep still. Focus on not moving at all. It is often found that the most difficult shots are not missed because you aimed wrong, but because you moved slightly when you were taking the shot. So, it is not only about learning how to aim and picking up the pool shots, but you also have to control your body and sync it with your moving arm. Even the little jitters can ruin your beautiful pool shot.
- Loosen and relax your wrist
Most of the time, when you’re trying to focus on not moving at all, you tend to stress your body, and this results in your wrists becoming too tight. You need to practice and focus on keeping your wrists relaxed and loose so that they can swing passively when you are taking your shot. If the wrist is not loose, you’ll have to force your wrist to move in the direction of your shot. You will gain impact and precision if you have a passive wrist.
- Nail the stance and have the same body stance
Perfecting your stance is extremely important and you can practice this at home. As a general rule, you should keep your front foot at least a shoulder-width apart from your rear foot. You can place your rear foot at an angle of roughly 45 degrees. Your front foot can point straight forward. Make sure that you feel comfortable and stable when taking this stance. You need to equally balance your weight on both of your feet.
When you are leaning forward, you need to keep your head low and it should level over the pool cue. However, do not exert yourself to achieve this position. It should be comfortable. You can move around the table to practice your stance and try shooting from various spots. Also, accurate body alignment is important for precise pool shooting. This means that your stroking arm, eyes, head, and cue should be lined up in a straight line toward the ball that you are targeting.
After you’ve perfected your stance, you need to be consistent. Your stance must be aligned in the same way every time that you are shooting your target ball. If this has been your drawback, you should work on aligning your body and being comfortable with the stance. The stance shouldn’t be uncomfortable for you or make you feel that you have to forcefully stay in that stance.
While these are some of the powerful and basic tips for improving your technique and increasing your chances of pocketing your target ball, here are a few additional tips to perfect your A-game –
- Grip the cue properly and it shouldn’t be too tight or too loose
Before you take a shot or perfect the different pool shots, you need to master the art of holding the cue stick properly. Make sure that you are not gripping the cue very tightly. You might think that if you exercise a tight grip on the cue, your shot is going to be accurate. However, that is not true. You have to work on using a loose and light grip.
If the cue is held tightly, it raises the butt of the cue and it can ruin your shot. This means that the end of the stick is going to be above horizontal on the backswing and you won’t be able to shoot an accurate and straight shot. Also, a tight grip enhances the chances of the cue ball jumping off the table. What you have to make sure is that your grip is tight or strong enough so that you can pick the cue off the table, but it should rest lightly on your fingers. The cue shouldn’t even touch your palm and your pinky finger ought to be free. So, make sure to practice keeping the grip light while maintaining complete control.
- Have a pre-shot routine
This basically means that you have to pace yourself between shots. This will help you to know your rhythm. You can take a quick survey of the entire table, chalk the cue tip and focus on the target pocket. After that, you have to start aligning your body and taking the stance which means you’re getting ready to take the shot.
So, get practicing to wow everyone with your improved technique. Also, you can stay connected to the game by playing pool online so that you don’t lose touch during the lockdown.