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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:
• 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 ĎLí

• 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

• January 2016
Staying Down

• 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

Reach For It!
March 2017

I talk a lot about consistency and repetitiveness because pool is, to a large degree, about doing the same thing over and over ó and thatís addressing the next shot. The preshot routine needs to be just that, a routine. The benefit to preparing for the next shot the same way every time is that it removes distractions and inconsistencies that only add to the difficulty of that next shot. Keep these tips in mind when you play. Your attention and focus during that time between shots should be directed entirely on the shot.

First, stick to your plan. The key to approaching a shot efficiently is to make up your mind. Players often think one thing (ďIím going to hit this shot medium speed with high, left EnglishĒ), only to completely change course after they are down over the shot. I know because Iíve done that in the past. All of a sudden you start questioning your original decision. If you question yourself at this point, you are sabotaging the shot because you arenít trusting your abilities. Again, I know this from experience.

How should you approach the shot? You have to say to yourself, ďHey, even if this shot doesnít go where I want it to go, Iím going to hit it here. That way, if I donít get the result I want, I will know how to make the adjustment.Ē Itís part of the process of building trust in your decisions. If you switch plans after youíre down on the shot and you donít get the result you wanted, you wonít really know how to adjust. In fact, at this point you need to learn to accept the possibility of failure. And then you must learn to analyze your adjustment.

Another key is to take your time. Step into the shot. Donít come at it from the side. Donít just walk over to your next shot. Circle around in front of the shot and walk directly toward it. Fight the tendency to rush. Thatís hard to do when you feel like you are in stroke and shooting balls in rapid-fire. As soon as you become too comfortable, you will almost certainly cut a corner somewhere in your preshot routine and it will cost you.

Take the time to step back. Line up your body with the shot. Youíll avoid the tendency to have any side-to-side faults as youíre stroking the ball. If you fail to line up properly with the shot, your body has a tendency to overcompensate, especially if you are stroking the ball with power.

Finally, pick up the chalk. Itís a great move. One of my former coaches told me to always pick up the chalk. Chalk up for five or 10 seconds on every shot. That time forces you to slow down, reset your focus and think about your plan going forward. Make it a habit. As a bonus, chalking up will help you avoid unneccesary miscues.