22 Nov 7 Quick Tips For Getting Better at Pool
Imagine yourself, stealthily and calmly, circling the table as you make shot after shot. You slowly aim, ease back your cue, strike with perfect precision, and bam! You’re in. One after the other– combo shots, draw shots, run-out patterns, powerful breaks, cue ball spins, you name it! Your pool shark skills can’t be stopped as you dominate the game.
No matter where you are in your billiard journey, this scenario may be in your future– with some practice, of course. But first, make sure to take into account the fundamentals. Before your ambition (or imagination) gets too carried away, refine your necessary billiard skills. In this article, we’ll discuss some of our favorite helpful pool-playing tips so you can get on your way to pro status!
Quick Tips to Becoming a Better Pool Player:
- Practice your grip. One of the most common mistakes seen in new players is a tight hold on their cue. While this may be a natural assumption, we suggest aiming to loosen up a bit with a lighter grip. Holding it too tightly can cause the butt of your cue to rise as you shoot. Likewise, this mistake will take the end of the stick above your line on the backswing. This makes it much more difficult to shoot straight and accurately. Try to avoid this with a light, yet controlled grip. Rest your fingers, so your palm doesn’t even touch and keep your pinky finger free. This perfect balance of a light grip and focused control is hard to find, but once you do, stick with it.
- Master the pendulum swing. With a good grip down, you can work on your swing. In getting started, you’ll first want to practice restricting the movement in your upper arm when you shoot. It is helpful to approach this task by imagining your upper and lower arm as a pendulum. While your lower arm should swing back and forth to shoot, slow, and steady, your upper arm should remain even and still.
- Practice your bridges. This is an essential aspect of a good pool game. There are two basic types of bridges, open and closed bridges. For beginners and more casual players, we recommend using an open bridge that can be formed with your palm and fingers on the table and your index finger pressing against your thumb. You’ll move your other fingers inward to create a slope with your hand. Practice your open bridge until it feels comfortable, and you can make it consistently.
- Perfect your stance. When it comes to pool, your positioning, from your feet to your hands, is critical. Keep your feet at least shoulder-width apart, with your rear foot at a 45º angle and your front foot facing forward. Your weight should be balanced in both feet, and your stance should feel comfortable. As you shoot, lean forward, keeping your head low over the pool cue. Once it all feels right– balanced, comfortable, and low– practice consistency and put it to the test around different spots at the table.
- Practice your body alignment. To make the perfect shot, everything needs to work together– your arm, head, eyes, and cue all must be aligned and angled toward your target ball. Try to keep your head low and square with your aiming line, position your cue, so the tip is in line with the vertical center-line of the cue ball, and finally, make sure your forearm is also in line. Aim for consistency once you have this perfected.
- Find your imaginary aiming line. When you have an idea of your target pocket, and to where you’re aiming, you can envision an imaginary line from the center point of the pocket to the center of the ball. And from this line, you can align everything else. Practice makes perfect with this tip, so keep at it until you’ve reached some consistency.
- Practice stroke execution. Your execution begins with a smooth and steady backswing. No matter the force you use to hit the cue ball, your backswing should remain consistent. Remember, all of your accelerating force should be reserved for your forward swing. Keep your body as still as possible and follow through 4-6 inches straight ahead as you strike just above the center of the ball.
With just about anything, one piece of wisdom rings true: practice makes perfect. And becoming a great billiards player takes a lot of it! But if you refine these basic skills, soon enough, you’ll be playing like a pro. And if you need a table on which to practice regularly, do not hesitate to reach out to us at Games For Fun. We are prepared to answer your questions, so you select the table that’s right for you. Reach out today!