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:
• July 2017
Trust Issues

• June 2017
Rails Away!

• May 2017
Weight Watchers

• April 2017
Opposites Attract

• 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 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

Making a Check List
August 2017

One thing Iíve been going over a lot with my students is impressing on them the importance of having a checklist that you look over at least once a month to see whether or not you are becoming more consistent ó eliminating the things that donít work for you and keeping the things that do. This is something I did for years, making notes every time I played. The checklist is more for fundamentals. Am I really taking the time to step into every shot? Or do I sometimes find myself missing easy shots because Iíve rushed into them? You need to give yourself the opportunity to get properly lined up.

Also, am I staying down? Or am I moving on the shot?

Every time I donít play well or Iím struggling, it always comes back to an issue of fundamentals.

You also have to make sure you always keep the same rhythm and pace. You donít want to shoot some shots fast and others more deliberately.

One of the most important things to continually check is whether or not you are managing your emotions. The time to manage your emotions is when you are in the chair, never while youíre at the table. If you are angry, you are going to lose focus. Top players let it go immediately and get their focus back. Many amateur players let the anger linger on and it will continue to have an adverse effect on their game. You canít have that shot back, so move on. Even if it is just bad position, you must clear your head and think, ďOkay, where do I go from here? Whatís the best I can do from here, even if it means I have to give up an inning by playing safe.Ē

If you make a checklist part of your normal routine, checking it both before and after a match, it will eventually become incorporated into your game to the point where you learn to trust your ability and play without thinking. At the beginning, though, when youíre learning the game, you have to make a more conscious effort to check these things before they become ingrained in your mind. The checklist before and after you play is very revealing. It helps you identify the holes in your game.

As you continue and you adhere to the checklist, you will be able to identify other areas of your game that need work. At some point you will have the ultimate checklist.

Also, always keep the checklist positive. Donít write, ďNever get up.Ē Write, ďAlways stay down.Ē The difference may seem subtle, but it is a big deal.

Buddy Hall once told me, ďThe more comfortable you become, the more you practice. The more you practice, the better you play. The better you play, the more comfortable you become.Ē Itís a cycle.