HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks
BD House Pro
Tony Robles
A longtime teaching pro at Amsterdam Billiard Club in New York City, Tony has dozens of regional and national titles to his name, including the 2004 BCA Open Championships.


Instruction Articles:
• March 2017
Reach For It!


• February 2017
Adapting to New Rules


• January 2017
Systems vs Feel


• December 2016
It Happens to the Best


• November 2016
Maintaining Focus


• October 2016
Riding the L


• September 2016
Tips on Tips


• August 2016
The Art of Deflection


• July 2016
Note To Self


• June 2016
Object of Safety Play


• May 2016
Speed Zone


• April 2016
Frozen Ball Shots


• March 2016
Hide and Go Seek


• February 2016
Two-Rail Kicks


• December 2015
One-Rail Kicks


• November 2015
Breaking Bad


• October 2015
Call Shot, Call Safety


• September 2015
Own the Shot


• August 2015
Patterns - Part II


• July 2015
I Notice A Pattern


• June 2015
Two-Way Prt. 2


• May 2015
Two-Way Shots


• April 2015
The Fine Line


• March 2015
Straight Break


• February 2015
The 'Walkaway'


• January 2015
Pushing Your Luck


• October 2014
Walk This Way


• August 2014
Attitude Adjustments


• May 2014
Adapt to the Equipment


• Mar 2014
Turn The Beat Around


• Feb 2014
Straight Is Great


• Sept 2013
Cover the Basics


• June 2013
Getting It Right


• May 2013
Strength Training


• April 2013
Rust Proof?


• March 2013
Not So Fast


• February 2013
Two-Step Jump


• January 2013
Open Your Eyes


• December 2012
Feeling Good?


• November 2012
Hang In There


• October 2012
Back on Track


• September 2012
Straighten Up


• August 2012
On the Rail


• July 2012
Mental Checklists


• June 2012
Respect & Fear


• May 2012
Chin Music


• April 2012
On the Line


• March 2012
Balancing Act


• February 2012
Creative Drilling


• January 2012
Power Outage


• December 2011
Jumping In Line


• November 2011
Soft on Soft Breaking


• October 2011
Find Your Stroke


• September 2011
The Path Off the Rail


• August 2011
Short Position


• July 2011
Inch Along


• June 2011
Into the Unknown


• May 2011
Sharpened Focus


• April 2011
Never Flatline


• March 2011
Stop For A Review


• February 2011
One To Watch


• January 2011
The Straight Answer


• December 2010
Shoot The Lights Out


• November 2010
Never Overmatched


• October 2010
Drawing Conclusions


• September 2010
Through & Through


• August 2010
Along the Rail


• July 2010
The Small Stuff


• June 2010
Three in One


• May 2010
One Ball At a Time


• April 2010
Going Thin to Win


• March 2010
Know Your Game


• February 2010
14.1 For 8-Ballers


• January 2010
Setting It Straight


• December 2009
Hanging Out, Part II


• November 2009
Hanging Out


• October 2009
Control Your Speed


• September 2009
Busting Out of a Slump


• August 2009
Easy Errors, Part III


• July 2009
Easy Errors, Part II


• June 2009
Easy Errors, Part I


• May 2009
Body Language & Breaking


• April 2009
The Break: Body Language


• March 2009
Must-Reads from Robles


• February 2009
Position: Four Square


• January 2009
Romancing the Stance


• October 2008
Look Out for Boingy Rails


• September 2008
Build a Better Break


• August 2008
Q&A: Ask the Pro


• July 2008
'Buzz' Kill: Stay Down


• June 2008
Stop Shots Safeties III


• May 2008
Stop Shots Part II


• April 2008
STOP-SHOT Safeties


• March 2008
How to Keep Winning


• February 2008
The Dreaded Straight-In Shot


• January 2008
Trying the Soft Break


• December 2007
The Hard Way Makes It Easier


• November 2007
How to Sight the Cue


• October 2007
Win from Your Chair


 
Staying Down
January 2016

The number one reason people fail to pocket balls consistently is body movement during the shot. Before the cue ball is even struck, players start to come up off the shot.

And this problem isn't relegated to beginners and amateurs. Even top professionals are guilty of jumping up on the shot early. Most of the time, that happens when the player is under pressure - having to come with a difficult shot at a critical part of the match. I've been guilty of this! Think of it in terms of pointing a rifle at a target. If you start moving before or as you are pulling the trigger, you are going to miss the target. The same thing happens when you come up off your shot. The sad thing is that most players don't even realize they are coming up off the shot early. This causes them to think they aimed improperly at the shot. That actually compounds the problem, because the player starts adjusting his aim when his aim was fine to begin with. I always introduce my players to the "Stay Down Drill." Throw all 15 balls out on the table in any configuration. The challenge is to sink all 15 balls without moving after your stroke until the cue ball comes to a complete stop. Try to freeze on the follow-through. Ask a friend to watch you. You could even record your practice session with the video on your smartphone. If you have a friend or coach watching, tell him or her to make a buzzing sound whenever you move before the cue ball stops. If you are guilty of moving early, you must start the drill over again from the beginning. This will reinforce the importance of staying down.

To make things a little easier at the start, you can give yourself ball in hand for each shot. The only restriction is that you can't set up a straight-in shot. If you do, the cue ball won't travel far enough to make the exercise meaningful.

This exercise will help you train your body to stay down for extended periods of time. It needs to become second nature, because almost all players will move involuntarily in high-pressure situations. Whenever we're anxious or face a difficult shot - a long shot, a power shot, a slow-roller or a game-winner - our physical fundamentals usually go out the window. Sometimes we get overly concerned with the result of the shot and we pop out of our stance to check the result even before we complete the stroke.

I wouldn't do this drill during an actual match. For starters, your opponent will think you are slow-playing! Plus, during a match you shouldn't overemphasize any single part of your game. Practice with this approach three or four racks every day and that should be plenty.



MORE VIDEO...