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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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November: Practice Shots
Nov 2015

Q: If you have 15 minutes to warm up on a tournament table, what is your sequence of practice shots that will get you in stroke and will also allow you to get a feel for how the table is playing?

Cody Cheetham, Great Falls, Mont.

A: That's a great question. My warm-up regimen essentially has three objectives: Stroke accuracy and timing; to guage the speed of the table bed and rails; and to check the cleanliness of the balls and cloth to understand how the balls will react to English and rails. First, I set up simple straight-in shots. That makes it easy to see if I'm striking the cue ball accurately. I adjust with speed and different points on the cue ball along the vertical axis. I love this drill, because the slightest imperfections get exposed. I shoot these with an exact point that I anticipate the cue ball to come to rest. I also practice banking balls, kicking balls and shooting shots that require maximum spin to see how the English takes. I get a ton of information about the balls and the table in a short amount of time. Don't make the mistake of warming up with low-percentage shots. You're just practicing missing!