Pro Skill Drill - Get Your Pool Shape In Shape

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This Month's Featured Skill Drill

pro skill, pro billiard skill, pro billiards skill, pro pool skills
Hone your skills with the D.I.'s Pro Skill Drills series... Illustration courtesy of The Drill Instructor

Another visit from the amazing Dominic Esposito, The Drill Instructor. Pay attention and straighten out your pool shape -- Editor.

Last month, I told you that becoming a better pool player would take luck. Check it out if you're tuning into The Drill Instructor for the first time. You'll recall from last month's instruction article how "luck" is acronym for applying Labor Under Correct Knowledge.

Is this mere clever billiards semantics? No, just truth made easy to understand. Actually, I'm training you to start a new methodology of thought. Why thinking you might well ask? Because 70% of this great sport called billiards is played between your ears. The remaining 30% is physical shot execution. If you've missed and thought or said, "I knew I was going to overcut that shot," or "I shouldn't have gotten into my stance until I decided on spin and speed" you know this fact.

Your knowledge of everything from how the balls will act and react, what the cue ball can and cannot do and why, to what your opponents may or may not do, plus much more, all determines how good you'll get at the game, ever.

I turned pro at the tender age of 19. Long journeyman years have taught me there are three types of pool shooters. Keep in mind this is merely my opinion, even though I am right! Which kind are you?

First are you perpetual students who love to watch, learn and shoot pool. While many things feel awkward at the tables even as the pool well of knowledge appears bottomless, your minds are sponges soaking up the good the sport offers. You students want to grow in your abilities and are the type who love my clinics and lessons before returning to enjoy "the journey of the rolls".

The next type of player I've encountered are you fine shot makers. You hold a fair understanding of navigation through the rack but therefore tend to lock into offensive mode. If you are of the sort who has added to this a flaring temper when things don't roll your way, you generally are not very teachable. Wanting to do it your way causes you to think trial and error are superior teachers to someone like me teaching you how to not make errors.

Finally are you seasoned players. You've seen, stroked and felt it all on the cloth, and so truly respect the sport of pool and billiards. Willing to learn something new, (really little you haven't seen or done, though) you often believe you've forgotten more than the average player knows (you have). You still win despite this fact, and not because you're great shot makers. You simply manage to make just those shots needed to win. You are forever the pillars of our sport!

You had instructions last month including writing down some specific billiards goals. We saw in our last lesson that if you want to be one or two balls better at this same time next year, then you need to write a plan with goals to make that happen. Your written plan need not be complicated, but it is necessary or you face a much harder time to become a seasoned player. But if you will do as I'm instructing, you'll be more than good, you'll be LUCKY.

You add the Y to your LUCK. The Y in LUCKY stands for You! Now put it all together, as it's your job to go from getting better at pool to good. Apply Labor Under Correct Kknowledge Yourself.

Labor Under Correct Knowledge Yourself

This is what I want to help you understand with this month's Pro Skill Drills instruction. Let's continue from last month's drills by again working your cue ball path predictability and speed control. Set the object ball along the bottom rail as shown above. After pocketing the 8-ball in the corner, get your cue ball to land up table on points A, B, C and D.

Listen to the D.I., dear reader! The middle of the table at A and the three other sections of table you're aiming for are critical if you want to shoot the winning 9-ball after the 8 as suggested. --Matt Sherman

I agree with Matt. And on your first time through the ABCD sequence, freeze your object ball to the cushion. After go one inch away then do the four shots again with the object ball two inches from the cushion. Your goal is to make the cue ball land on zones A through D 7 out of 10 times or more. Then you have begun mastering this Pro Skill Drill and performed the kind of workout Matt and I do to play at a high level indeed.

Notice how the accuracy of making the cue ball land on the finishing point sharpens your cue ball path control, in addition to impacting your speed control skills.

And remember when someone says, "You're a great shot maker," smile and reply, "Thanks, I really am LUCKY." Matt and I know what you mean, and the best part of your knowing is not having to tell.

Visit more drills like this in my Pro Skill Drills series of books and DVDs. And please visit my website and check these out. Please remember also Facebook and your viral marketing thing, too!

Pro Skill Drills

Rail Finishing Points/Understanding Tips Of English

The Double Kick System

Clutch Safeties For 8- And 9-Balls

Play Safe, Mr. Bond

Four Ways To Bank Balls

Walk The Line

The Short Jump Shot

"Chalking Time" - Mastering A Shot Routine

Sample 8-Ball Pattern

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