Position: Progressive Drill

Here’s a position drill addressing the full complement of vertical-axis English options and adding a progressive element. It’s a real eye-opener. Start with a simple cut shot to sink the 1, and depending on whether you apply draw, follow or a center-ball hit, you can send your cue ball almost anywhere on the table. (The red lines are for the follow shot, the black for center-ball, and orange for draw.) Even better, most of the options are essentially at mid-table, the most powerful place to land. Practice landing the cue ball at the marked positions (mostly corresponding to the short-rail diamonds). Hit one position three times in a row, then move to the next. Master this drill, and you’ll jump a skill level.





You should practice part of your game that you think needs working on. If your break is not working very well, you should spend time playing that shot a dozen times or more. If you find pocketing balls along a cushion difficult, you should practice this shot. Generally speaking, good potting is the key to success. So line up three or four balls in a certain part of the table and try to pocket them in using a particular order. Example, if I missed, I will normally put them back and try to run out. Remember to use your imaginary triangle line. This is where you want the cue ball positioned for your next shot. You should always treat your practice seriously if you want to improve your game! www.improveyourshot.com

Position Play:

Nothing will help your pool game more than understanding position play, often called shape on your next shot. In this article let’s assume you have mastered the stroke, sidespin, draw and follow and we will focus on where you want to position the cue ball. Position for your next shot is usually an area that is shaped in a triangle.

A common misconception is that you want all shots to be easy or nearly straight on. This is true to a certain extent, but rarely does a straight on shot give you the options you need to gain position on your next shot, or shots. In fact straight on position usually makes shape on your next shot very difficult.

Almost all positions for a shot at your next ball have a large area that the cue ball can be in order to execute the shot. Where you attempt to be in this area is key to your success. So the next time your practicing, imagine the triangle you want the cue ball to stay in. I usually use masking tape on my table for this… Use whatever resources you have available to mark your triangle. I challenge you to do this on your practice play and let me know what you think! www.improveyourshot.com


Breathing is useful to settle the body and mind and induce a heightened sense of awareness. I include this with my Pre Routine Shot Exercises before a match. During stressful competition we rarely stop to think how important it is in our billiard game. Not only has this helped me with consistency but it has helped me to calm my nerves. Very important word.. “NERVES”. So try it out! I think you will agree on the concept. www.improveyourshot.com

How to improve your billiard game:

Needless to say, continuous practice is the only way to better your billiards game. One of the practice techniques that will best help you improve your billiards game involves setting up the same shot over and over again, but with variable difficulty levels. If, for example, you want to practice a cut shot, you could begin with the cue ball in close proximity to the object ball. When you feel that are finally making that shot fairly consistently it is time to increase the difficulty level of the shot. You could do this by moving the cue ball back while still maintaining the cut angle. This practice technique will not only set the shot in your mind, but it will also help you evaluate your own progress and help you determine your own success potential.

During your practice sessions always be on the look out for opportunities to achieve multiple objectives with a single shot. Look for ways that you can move one or many of your balls into good positions while simultaneously tying up one of your opponents balls in such a way that be will not be able to run-out. When you achieve two or more goals with one shot, you effectively give yourself an extra turn at the table. Sounds intimidating? Practice makes perfect and it is doable.

If you find your shooting becoming too sloppy, the first thing you need to check is the distance between the cue ball and your bridge hand. A bridge that is too long is more than likely to magnify even the tiniest wobble that may be present in your stroke. While some professionals may be successful with a bridge ten or more inches from the ball, seven inches may be a better place for someone who is less experienced.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your guard down when faced with an easy shot. If you want to better your billiards game it is critical to your success that you should have a specific goal in mind with each and every shot. Develop a billiards inner mind set that governs every shot you take at the billiards table. Think carefully about a strategy, plan it out in your mind and then go out there and execute your carefully planned strategy.

Build confidence and precision in your aiming by lining up the ball with a particular pocked and carefully setting up your shot keeping that pocket in mind. If you find that you have a choice of several different ways of playing any one shot, do not opt to send the cue ball across the line. Instead opt for a shot that allows you to send the cue ball along the line of the zone of acceptable position. This will open up possibilities of decent angles for your next shot even if you hit it a bit too soft or too hard or if your speed is a bit off the mark.