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  • Rail Cueing Drills

    Anyone know any good drills I can use to improve my play when the cue ball is either tight to a rail, or within a few inches, so I can't get my hand on the table?

  • #2
    Yes, place the cue ball tight to a rail and try potting a ball. Repeat until you're good at it.

    To be serious I don't really know of a great drill for this. I remember watching an old Ray Reardon video where he had some decent suggestions for how your hand should be placed, though.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SheffPro View Post
      Anyone know any good drills I can use to improve my play when the cue ball is either tight to a rail, or within a few inches, so I can't get my hand on the table?
      Gradually increase the distance of the object ball from the pocket in a straight line back to the cue ball. When the object ball is close to the pocket, a slight misalignment will be accepted by the pocket. As the object ball gets further from pocket, your errors in cueing and alignment (the main issues off the cushion) will be amplified. Keeping everything in a straight line will show you where you might be consistently mis-aiming or mis-cueing by looking at how the object ball behaves (does it move left/right each time?).

      For example, try the cue ball on the cushion directly in line with the black spot and the pocket (so it's a dead straight pot). Start with the black close to the hole (maybe a few inches). If you are ok with that, then bring the black gradually closer to the cue ball (and further from the pocket). Practice the black spot in particular a bit more at the half way mark. Eventually ending up with the black about 4 inches from the cue ball and in line with the pocket and the black spot (again, it should become easier as the two balls get near to each other). This should provide reasonable complexity and is probably a pot you will want to have in the back pocket as having practiced a lot of.

      If you can master these mid-range straight pots, then move onto mid-range with angles, and then on to long distance straight, and lastly long-distance with angle. If you try to start with long-distance at odd angles, you have nothing to improve upon because you have no way to diagnose the inherent errors off the cushion.

      The key in these drills is repetition of the same angle, distance, position, and then diagnosis: discover weaknesses and imperfections and then have a strategy on repairing them.
      Mayur Jobanputra, Snooker Coach and Snooker Enthusiast
      My Snooker Blog: www.snookerdelight.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by thelongbomber View Post
        Gradually increase the distance of the object ball from the pocket in a straight line back to the cue ball. When the object ball is close to the pocket, a slight misalignment will be accepted by the pocket. As the object ball gets further from pocket, your errors in cueing and alignment (the main issues off the cushion) will be amplified. Keeping everything in a straight line will show you where you might be consistently mis-aiming or mis-cueing by looking at how the object ball behaves (does it move left/right each time?).

        For example, try the cue ball on the cushion directly in line with the black spot and the pocket (so it's a dead straight pot). Start with the black close to the hole (maybe a few inches). If you are ok with that, then bring the black gradually closer to the cue ball (and further from the pocket). Practice the black spot in particular a bit more at the half way mark. Eventually ending up with the black about 4 inches from the cue ball and in line with the pocket and the black spot (again, it should become easier as the two balls get near to each other). This should provide reasonable complexity and is probably a pot you will want to have in the back pocket as having practiced a lot of.

        If you can master these mid-range straight pots, then move onto mid-range with angles, and then on to long distance straight, and lastly long-distance with angle. If you try to start with long-distance at odd angles, you have nothing to improve upon because you have no way to diagnose the inherent errors off the cushion.

        The key in these drills is repetition of the same angle, distance, position, and then diagnosis: discover weaknesses and imperfections and then have a strategy on repairing them.
        Thanks, that sound like good advice.

        I've been doing this kind of thing - I can do blues off the spot with the white by the middle pocket both following the blue in and screwing back into the pocket fairly reliably, but can't do this for either the black or the pink. The pink I always miss to the left by around 4 inches, cueing over the middle pocket. I'm fairly sure I'm not putting right hand side on it because when I play the same shot with the pink not in the way, the white sails cleanly into the middle of the pocket (same is true for black).

        So I suspect the issue is something like if the object ball is a bit further away from me, I have a lot of trouble hitting it exactly full ball, and I guess to my eyesight it looks like 'full ball' is slightly to the right of where it actually is in reality. I'm terrible at long potting, straight or otherwise, if that's relevant.

        What's the best way to make sure that this is the issue, and if it is, to fix it? I'm fairly sure my analysis above points to that I can't quite hit full ball properly at a distance, but should I just deliberately try to aim a little to the left of full ball, or? I have a feeling if I do that it's really going to mess with my mind along the lines of "this is not lined up properly..."

        Thanks!

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        • #5
          A good vid from John Parrott.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SheffPro View Post
            Thanks, that sound like good advice.

            I've been doing this kind of thing - I can do blues off the spot with the white by the middle pocket both following the blue in and screwing back into the pocket fairly reliably, but can't do this for either the black or the pink. The pink I always miss to the left by around 4 inches, cueing over the middle pocket. I'm fairly sure I'm not putting right hand side on it because when I play the same shot with the pink not in the way, the white sails cleanly into the middle of the pocket (same is true for black).

            So I suspect the issue is something like if the object ball is a bit further away from me, I have a lot of trouble hitting it exactly full ball, and I guess to my eyesight it looks like 'full ball' is slightly to the right of where it actually is in reality. I'm terrible at long potting, straight or otherwise, if that's relevant.

            What's the best way to make sure that this is the issue, and if it is, to fix it? I'm fairly sure my analysis above points to that I can't quite hit full ball properly at a distance, but should I just deliberately try to aim a little to the left of full ball, or? I have a feeling if I do that it's really going to mess with my mind along the lines of "this is not lined up properly..."

            Thanks!
            There are a number of possibilities

            I'm guessing you are not walking into the cue line properly. Visually, when you are down it might seem correct, but in actuality, the cue is not in the right place. It's hard visually to know this when you are down. Starting with a consistent walk in to the shot is the starting point. Once you are down, if the alignment is off, it's very difficult to change visually because the final cue delivery will go back offline again. Ideally, you actually shouldn't be aiming once you are down. By the time you are down on the shot, it should already look visually as if you are going to pot the ball. If it doesn't look like that, then your head or cue may need to come into line in which case something in your stance or walk in to the shot needs to be adjusted.

            Most definitely do not adjust your aim to compensate for a missing angle. This is a classic mistake of trying to patch up imperfections with various adjustments and will spell trouble in the long run. Determine the source of the issue and fix that, rather than compensate.

            To be 100% sure you are actually hitting middle ball (a common problem off cushions), look at the cue ball only as a test, disregarding for the moment, the object ball.

            Ideally, you should be aiming as you walk into the shot and on your way down into the shot, and then once you are down, feathering to get a sense of pace control, and to make sure the pot goes in while looking at the object ball.

            Best thing you can do for yourself is record yourself on video from various angles (back, front, side) and then watch to see whats happening. You will be surprised if you do this.
            Mayur Jobanputra, Snooker Coach and Snooker Enthusiast
            My Snooker Blog: www.snookerdelight.com

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            • #7
              What you are trying is really hard.
              This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
              https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

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