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Dear Jeanette
By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon "The Black Widow" answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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VIDEO: Pool Fundamentals

Mar: The Pre-Shot Routine
March 2015

Q: What are your thoughts about the pre-shot routine? How important is this for improvement of your game?

R. Diphoorn, Utrech, Holland.

A: Having and following a pre-shot routing is vital for improvement. I approach my shot, make a solid decision, picture the entire shot (direction, speed control), find my smallest possible target, and then I bend down and shoot the shot with all the confidence in the world. I honestly believe that almost all errors in a pool game are made when one of these steps in the routine is not followed. When it comes time to make the ball, the pre-shot routine is a basic checklist that allows your mind to focus better. Body alignment is so important, so that's the first step. I never change my stance while I'm down on a shot. If need be, I will get up and reposition myself. I make my shot decision while standing and commit to that decision. I picture the cue ball traveling and contacting the object ball, the ball going into the pocket and the path of the cue ball after contact. It's an important step in developing your feel for speed control and position play.