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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:
• September 2021
Never Stop Learning


• June 2021
Not As Easy As It Looks


• May 2021
Watch Your Speed


• April 2021
Speed Kills


• March 2021
Uncomfortable? Good


• February 2021
Watch and Learn


• January 2021
Angles Off The Rail


• December 2020
When You Slip


• November 2020
The Inside Track


• October 2020
The Inside Dope


• September 2020
Experimentation


• August 2020
Challenge Yourself


• July 2020
Drill Sergeants


• June 2020
No Table Required


• May 2020
Opening Eyes


• April 2020
Three birds, one stone


• March 2020
Red Alert


• February 2020
Endless Possibilities


• January 2020
Starting position


• December 2019
Advanced Safeties


• November 2019
Frozen Solid


• October 2019
It’s A Thin Line


• September 2019
Joy in Repetition


• August 2019
Soft Touch


• June 2019
Thin To Win


• May 2019
Perfection Not Required


• April 2019
Shake ’n’ Break


• March 2019
Hangers


• February 2019
Correct Easy Errors


• January 2019
Weight Problems


• December 2018
Position, Everyone!


• November 2018
Be a Chairman


• October 2018
Never Stop Learning


• September 2018
Carom Corner II


• August 2018
Carom Corner


• July 2018
Slump Dog


• June 2018
Stopping Is Power


• May 2018
Professional Help


• 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


 
Stay the Course
July 2021

So much of success in pool is traced to consistency, which often comes from repeatability. That is especially true with your fundamentals. If you can pin down your fundamentals and repeat the same process on each and every trip to the table, your game will profit immeasurably, and consistency will be the cornerstone of your game.

Of course, you can only gain this kind of consistency and confidence in your stroke through hours and hours at the practice table.

The foundation of consistency at the table begins the second you approach your next shot. The pre-shot routine is the single most important facet of consistency. Every time you go to the table — no matter how easy or how difficult the shot — you should have the same pre-shot routine. Now, that doesn’t mean that you should take the same time to shoot every shot. Some shots, of course, are going to take a second and maybe a third look. Some shots require more study. But once you’ve determined your course of action, your pre-shot routine should kick in and you should approach the shot like you do every other.

Here’s a solid pre-shot routine that you should adapt for your game:

Before stepping into your stance, stand directly on the line of the shot. That line is the path from the cue ball to the contact point on the object ball. Don’t fall into the habit of “sliding” into the shot, which is moving into position from the side instead of stepping back and aligning yourself with the next shot.

Once you’ve stepped into your stance, maintain focus on the shot line. As you lower your body, your eyes should follow directly in line with the intended path of the cue ball. Again, avoid the sliding motion that can creep into your routine. A direct approach to the cue ball will keep everything in line. Maintain focus on the cue ball’s intended path to the object ball. There is precious little margin for error in pool, so it’s important that stepping into your stance becomes a bedrock of your pre-shot routine.

Okay, now you’re down on the shot. What do you do with your eyes? I like to tell players that it is important that there is a rhythm to the movement of your eyes. Always try to keep the same pattern of focus, switching your focus back and forth between the cue ball and the object ball to ensure that your alignment is set and correct.

Are you comfortable? If you are not 100 percent committed to the shot, now is the time to get up off the shot and start over again. Never try to make an adjustment while you are down on the shot. It may take more time, but you will get used to it.

Like all other aspects of your game, the pre-shot routine should become a trusted process and second nature. A consistent, reliable pre-shot routine will allow you to then confidently shift focus to your stroke delivery.

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