Pool is about shots and strategies, the technical stuff mainly. And as a beginner, instead of getting into complicated stuff like combo shots, draw shots, run-out patterns and other things, go basic. Like any other sport, practice is what one lacks most of the times and practice is what one needs. This article helps you outline the realm of what that practice must include.
It is the grip
The cue stick is where the game begins. Holding it right is the key. And that right is loose and light grip and not a hard grip. Holding it tightly may lead to the butt of the cue becoming raised; at the time of a backswing, a tight grip results at the end of the stick being raised above horizontal and hence lessening a chance at a straight and accurate shot. It may also lead to a higher probability of jumping a ball off the table. Hold it light enough to pick it up, it should not touch your palm and it would be fine if it doesn’t touch your smallest finger.
Stillness of your shooting arm
Your body should be aligned with the cue and your shooting arm should not be moving much (especially your upper arm.) To make sure that your upper and lower arm swing perfectly to make the move, keep your shooting arm under the elbow. Have a slow and steady backswing but you can experiment with the speed of your forward swing.
Know the bridges better
The open bridge – it is the one meant for newbies and not so professional player, the softer shot. You can begin with placing your bridge hand on the table, cupping your hand to form a V with your thumb pressed against your forefinger and index finger and hold the cue between that V. Control this bridge by moving the fingers towards (raise it) or away (lower it) from you. The area of contact between the index finger and the cue decides the firmness of your cue. And then there is the closed bridge, which is meant for advanced players. This is the one with harder shots and includes more spinning of the ball. Get comfortable with the open bridge. And then you can work on the rail bridge and over the ball bridge once you master the standard technique.
Work on your stance
Your lower body also matters when it comes to being comfortable while you make a shot with your cue stick. You can’t have yourself falling uncontrollably all over the pool table and knocking the pool balls everywhere. For starters keep your front foot and the rear foot a shoulder-width apart, with the front foot pointing straight and the rear foot at an angle of 45 degrees. All this, so that you can be stable. At the time of leaning, your head should be leveled and low over the pool table, you can put some weight on your bridge hand as well. Just make sure that your weight is distributed evenly on both of your legs.
You won’t want to miss the perfect shot because you weren’t standing correct. Once you find the perfect stance, you need to work on its consistency as you move around the table. You need to learn to carry it well.
Being all about your equation with the cue and the pool table, these practices do not discriminate if you are playing billiard games (9 ball or 8 ball), cutthroat or straight pool. They will prove to be helpful in every way. And so, start practising them already, the rest is just a walk in the park if you master the art of being comfortable while making your shots.