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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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January: Practice The Lag
Jan 2016

Q: Do players actually practice the lag? Particularly in alternate break formats, it seems like getting the first break is important because breaking is such an advantage. Is there any way to practice the lag? And are there any secrets to doing it well consistently?

Bernie Way, Merced, Calif.

A: Absolutely, you should practice the lag. And as you might suspect, it's really important at the highest level for the very reasons you pointed out. The break is such an advantage, and getting off to an early lead in any match puts pressure on your opponent. To me, asking if we practice the lag is like asking a pro basketball player if he practices free throws. It's a shot that we all know we have to shoot and it matters more and more as the competition gets tougher. I know that with all of the top women, we want to win the lag because we know that whoever breaks has a definite advantage in winning that game and possibly a few more. Of course, if a player is a social player, or someone who doesn't compete in events that require a lag, it's not that important. Then again, you weren't asking them, were you?