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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:
• April 2018
Break Dance

• March 2018
A Safe Path

• February 2018
Stunning Results

• January 2018
Know Your Rails

• November 2017
The Straight Dope

• October 2017
Confidence Boosters

• September 2017
The One-Armed Man

• August 2017
Making a Check List

• 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 ‘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

• 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

Professional Help
May 2018

No doubt there is a lot of great instructional material on the internet for pool players to view. You can learn a lot about the game and about how top players and instructors view the game.

But will watching videos make you a great player?

I have a lot of people ask me, “Why should I pay for instruction when I can get all this information online for free?”

To me, the answer is obvious. I’m here. I’m right in front of you, watching you shoot, observing your technique and fundamentals. You might be doing all of the things that you see online correctly. You might be trying to stay focused. But is a little man going to jump out of the video and say, “Your hand is flinching on the shot?” Or, “You’re jumping up on the shot?”

If you are flinching your bridge hand as you’re stroking the ball and you don’t notice it because you’re focusing on the outcome of the shot, how are you going to correct the mistake? You won’t even know why you are missing the shot. Is that little man going to tell you?

Even if you videotape yourself, you have to know what to look for and how to correct any errors. You can’t analyze yourself, particularly if you are a beginner or intermediate player.

You need to understand the value of one-on-one coaching and instruction. I have a student who watches videos and reads online all of the time. But in the end, he’s getting lessons from me. That’s where it all comes together.

Also, not everyone is the player in the video. All players have different ways of playing, different strengths and different weaknesses. There are options on shots, and sometimes experimentation is needed to help determine the best way for a player to approach shots. That can only come when someone is observing your game.

Because of all the help available online, beginners and intermediate players think there is a shortcut to being good; that there is a magic pill. There isn’t. You can have all the knowledge in the world, and it still comes down to putting in the work. And you need help knowing how to do that work.

Self help guru Tony Robbins always said, “Knowledge isn’t power. Knowledge is potential power.”

Another key is selecting the right instructor for you. A beginner shouldn’t necessarily pick a top professional as an instructor unless that pro can effectively help build your game from the ground up.

What makes a good instructor? An instructor must make sense, keep things simple and help you improve. You must get information that you can add to your game and apply to different shots. And your instructor must be able to quickly detect flaws in your fundamentals and must be able to help you correct those.

And, you have to put in the work.