How To Control The Cue Ball: One Magic Stance Move

Your Personal Distance Equals A Correct Cue Ball Distance

Cue Ball Control, The Key Distance Drill, pool and billiards, cue control, pool drill
Cue ball control is simple if you take into account this key factor. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Control The Cue Ball Now

I am a cue ball control maven. If you are, you will absolutely love this article. Follow me closely, because very, very few teachers emphasize what I'm showing you below.

The importance of the following drill (okay, it's not so much a drill as fun!) was hammered home to me during a recent private session with a student player desperately wanting to improve their game. I would have wasted the many hours we worked together without establishing his ability for ultimate cue ball control.

Let me tell you what I told him and show you what we did together.

Hit That One, Tiny Point Of Ball Contact

Master That White Ball Before You Actually Shoot

Mastering cue ball movement is fairly simple, and leads to much better shot making, if you follow this simple method:

1. If you get your shooting arm and stance exactly the same for every shot, your pocketing success rate will climb through the roof. I'll tell you more about what exactly means for your game below.

2. Where the cue ball is easily reached, as on most shots not close by a rail or cushion, measure your entire body and cue stick to the shot. See #3 which follows.

How To Aim The Object Balls Better

3. Measure to the shot by getting your shooting hand where you want it on the cue, and hooking a thumb into your pants pocket, bringing the cue tip in line with the shot and quite close to the cue ball. I mean exactly measured and exactly close.

9 of 10 amateurs stand with the tip too far from the ball, and then they bend over and then they mess up their stance by wiggling the tip closer.

You'll know you've done step 3 right in most cases when you feel too close to the table. Now and only now, bend to the table without altering your cue tip distance from the table and cue ball.

Do not forcibly hold the stick in place with rigid muscles but rather relax down into your stance. Gravity will help the ball and you drop into the slot for great shooting.

4. Regard your setup well, because this is how you'll be looking at the cue ball for every stroke you take from now on. Every, every, every stroke.

And if you a) correct your stance overall as per the many articles here at About.com, and b) don't fiddle with your aim while down in the stance but maintain the line of play you chose before bending to your stance, you'll soon be pocketing twice as many balls as before if not more.

I welcome you to the sweet land of cue ball control.

One More Time, Student

Seriously. Watch the pros play on YouTube then compare how close they stand to the table to start and how close their tip is to the cue ball. Then watch the amateurs play in your local poolroom. What do you see? Almost every player placing the tip far, far from the cue ball then wiggling it in.

My theory is--and no one has yet disagreed--that the novice hits the cue ball a few times, fouling the shot, and then for the rest of the career plays too far off the ball. Being an inch or two extra from the ball is not only half a ball or an entire ball away from the cue ball (!) but is like challenging someone to batting practice or golf for money then using an extra-long bat or golf club, forcing their feet far away and with ugly results.

Write me if you have questions about this all-important stance for cue ball control issue.

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