More from a player devoted to turning pro-but with smart practice for a brief time daily instead of long hours of tedious drills.
And if you must drill, try my fun one-person routines to change the pace.
First, avoid what I call "hung wrist strokes". If you're an avid reader of this About.com GuideSite, you already do. If not, check on my advice on the ultimate, correct positions and movements of the wrist through the classic stroke.
The "Laser Aim Drill": Left-hand strokes using follow (topspin) to a corner pocket from along a cue ball path near the third diamond, with the cue ball set a few inches from the rail. The laser trainer I recommend is ideal to add to this drill.
This is NOT the standard cue laser that goes inside a cue stick's tip, this is a laser that rides atop a cue or your hand to 1) aim at the cue ball 2) aim on the object ball 3) review tangent lines and 4) align your stroke to show you any side-to-side flaws instantly.
Perform some shooting hand strokes as best you can using follow to a distant corner pocket from the same cue ball position. Purpose is to teach the bridge hand, not the shooting hand, what a dead straight stroke feels like.
Note how the correct cue laser is great for seeing one's shot line and stroke; keeping the laser straight on any shot line is difficult but an aspiring pro must drill enough so the laser line does not deviate from their shot line/aim line.
Break and run some 7-Ball also.
Keep your stroke pure, do you aim straight on from where you planned to stroke toward, or can you feel for any Carabao-style deviations that are "correcting" your stroke in the middle? That is to say, is a Carabao stroke making you score an occasional ball but your aim was wrong to begin? You don't want to feel like your cheating your own aim technique.
Drill getting into a good looking, complete pro stance. Ensure you occasionally hit the cue ball with your cue tip or ferrule once in a while-that's your commitment to get very close to the ball at address.
Next, ensure that in your stance the cue's tip is less than the width of a cube of pool chalk away from the cue ball. From here, you may play happy and be satisfied. Why? Because the width of a chalk is nearly half a cue ball's width. All the time in the world during the final stroke to miss the precise aim target you've planned to strike on the cue ball.
Practice your open breaks. Release that cue! If you almost throw your cue into the head ball on the break you're doing super work.
Work hard also with the CueTrack device (along with laser aim trainer, one of the very few pool training aids I enthusiastically endorse-Matt "Quick Draw" Sherman
I'm constantly asked, how to improve billiards skills at speed. This will get your playing to a whole new level, and extremely fast. Top pro Gerda Hofstetter does more than 200 repetitions of stroke in a CueTrack daily. She wants to become even better than what she is, already one of the best players on Earth.
Daily routine for a right-handed pool shooter:
- 125 right-hand strokes
- 100 left-hand strokes
- 30 left-hand strokes (from right side rail as when caught needing a mechanical bridge)
- 30 left-hand strokes from rail next to left side pocket to other side pocket
- 30 right-hand strokes from right side rail in place of using bridge with right hand stroke
- 27 right-hand strokes from left side rail in place of using bridge with right hand stroke
- 30 left-hand strokes from right side rail in place of using bridge with left hand stroke
- 25 left-hand strokes from left side rail in place of using bridge with left hand stroke
Stay with it, dear readers. You can become a sharpshooter and not just a pool shooter. Write anytime for billiards advice and for free tips.
And I charge good monrey for private lessons so take full advantage of the opportunity for free help by e-mail to About.com! I welcome your videos, photos and descriptions of what's good in your billiards game and what's ailing you, how to improve your billiards play, always.