cue to billiards in the Upper Midwest
May All The Rolls Go Your Way
Article written by The Monk of Monk Billiard Academy
If you hit the same shot the exact same way every time, you will become a consistent player. Almost every student I encounter is looking for consistency in their game. And why not? If you can trust yourself to turn in a fine performance, you will win more game, more tournaments, and raise your league average. In addition, you will enjoy this game. No longer will you hold your breath to see which one of you shows up for the match. Sometimes the good players shows up and gets you off to a big lead, then, in the middle of the match, the good player changes heads with the bad player and you can't make three balls in a row. Consistency is worth working for. And it takes a professional approach to the fundamentals in order to achieve consistency in your game.
First of all, you need a good grip. A firm grip. If your grip changes, even the slightest, it will change the shot. So we must master a firm grip. Place an object ball near the number one diamond on the long rail. Put your cue ball on the back rail. You are about a foot away from the object ball, on the rail. Shoot this shot down into the corner pocket with your normal grip. Now shoot it with a tight grip. At the moment of impact, squeeze the cue in your hand. Notice the difference. Your hit is solid. The cue tip goes through the cue ball in a nice tight solid manner and gives you a truer response.
We must go through the cue ball with absolute precision. Those who have developed good speed dynamics are using the exact same grip on every shot. There is no give, or hop or inconsistency in their play. Therefore they become more confident in their game. They experience better trust skills. When the money is on the line, they can trust themselves to deliver the winning stroke. They win more games simply because they know they are going to deliver a quality hit on the cue ball. This gives them confidence.
Next time you get a chance, compare a quality grip to a choke stroke. You will see a vast difference. Grip is directly related to a good stance. You cannot have a good grip with a poor stance. Remember, the true measurement of a good grip and stance is in the quality of hit. You will not rise to the top if you are constantly fighting your grip and stance. The grip and stance must work for you. It must serve you so you can conserve energy for the tough matches. If you experience fatigue late in a tournament it can be traced to your struggles with grip and stance. You are working to hard, wearing yourself out. You are not letting your grip and stance work for you.
Your stance must put you in position to see the angle of the shot. If you have having a hard time seeing the shot, it can be corrected in your stance. It must be well balanced. If someone pushes you while you are in your stance, you should not fall over. For right handers, your right shoulder needs to be in a direct line with your target. Pretend you are looking at the shot from an eye in your right shoulder. Your left foot is in line with the shot. And your inner right thigh is in line with the shot. Once you accomplish this solid stance, all you need to do now, is deliver a quality hit on the cue ball and let the shot work for you. In my book Point TheWay, I talk about the shot shooting itself. Let it happen.
Next time I will give you a set of exercises to help you develop a great grip and stance. For now, May All The Rolls Go Your Way.
Tim Miller, The Monk
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