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Shut up and practice!


Most of us don’t have the raw natural talent to become great players without working at it. If you’re good, you practice. If you want to be good, you practice. You won’t be getting better if you’re not practicing. And meanwhile, somebody else, who may beat you in the future, is putting in that [...]

Shut up and practice!2019-02-28T21:08:06-05:00

Mechanical Players vs. Feel Players


There are some players who play very consciously. They think about many many details of stroke, form, alignment, aim, etc. They have elaborate pre-shot routines to help ensure their consistency. They are aware of a lot of body sensations. They use whatever physics grasp they have of the game to help them plan and execute [...]

Mechanical Players vs. Feel Players2015-12-15T03:11:47-05:00

Getting a Little On the Side


Sidespin. English. It’s the magic that makes extraordinary shots and great position play. It’s also the cause of many badly missed shots and much humiliation. This month we’ll take a look at the various effects associated with trying to use sidespin. Subsequent columns will talk about how to deal with those effects intelligently. Like most [...]

Getting a Little On the Side2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00

Runnin’ Down the Rails


Freeze an object ball to the rail and suddenly it becomes a “special” shot. Many players are afraid of rail shots. You hear all kinds of theories from other players: “You have to hit the rail and the ball at the same time.” Wrong. “If you use inside english on the cueball, the object ball [...]

Runnin’ Down the Rails2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00

The Myth of Center Ball


One of the things that makes pool challenging is that what the cueball is doing changes during the shot. While the cueball is moving, it’s doing some combination of rolling, spinning, and sliding. Exactly what that combination is changes over the course of the shot, as the ball collides with rails and other balls, and [...]

The Myth of Center Ball2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00

Fuzzy Results


A handful of factors combine to make one player better than another. Some factors are things we have no real control over, such as perception, shot memory, and natural physical ability. In some vital areas though, appropriate knowledge and effort can lead to real improvements. So it makes sense to work on things we can [...]

Fuzzy Results2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00

In & Out of The Zone


Pool players frequently mention that magical state – “The Zone” – when they refer to a great performance at the table. “He was deep in The Zone, man.” “He was unconscious.” “It was just him and the balls.” We all talk about it as if we know what it is, but when we try to [...]

In & Out of The Zone2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00

Looking for Trouble


It’s a good idea to stop and check some basics from time to time. We tend to drift into old habits and go into slumps, unless we’re vigilant. When you’re having a slump, or when you’re trying to help someone learn the game, the following are ten of the most common problem areas that cause [...]

Looking for Trouble2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00

Draw Like Crazy


One of my favorite pool expssions is “Draw for show, follow for dough.” This is good advice. Follow is easy to control. Draw is definitely not. Follow is easy to execute. Draw is difficult. Follow works well. But draw is way sexier. Call it what you like – draw, backspin, suck-back, screw – everyone wants [...]

Draw Like Crazy2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00

Follow Through with Abandon


This one is hard to teach, but it’s really important. I’m sure you’ve heard about it your whole life, in every sport you’ve tried. Gotta follow through, gotta follow through. If you’re skeptical, you’re thinking “Yeah, right. That cueball is long gone before I ever have a chance to follow through. What’s the difference?” Well, [...]

Follow Through with Abandon2017-03-29T02:24:45-04:00
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