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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:
• 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


• 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


 
Romancing the Stance
January 2009
The mail keeps pouring in …

Dear Tony: What is the one thing you ask beginners to master before they move on? — T. Simon; Topeka, Kan.

The stance should be about 45 degrees to the line of the cue.


Their fundamentals — their stance, grip, stroke, rhythm and making sure to stay down on the shot after their follow-through. If it’s someone who has hit the balls a few times and has a little stroke going, the most difficult thing for them is usually keeping the arm in a dead-straight line. Total beginners struggle the most with stance. You try to get them to stand a certain way, and they just can’t force their body to do it, so you have to constantly remind them where they have to place their feet and how far apart and how much you bend the knees.

You could have the most incredible stroke in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything if your stance is incorrect and not lined up with the shot. I always tell them to make sure that their right foot is underneath the cue stick, and that the left foot is roughly at a 45-degree angle from the line of aim, which is the cue stick. It can be a little more or less than 45 degrees, depending on body type. Mine is about a 40-degree angle.

Dear Tony: When I start missing shots, I develop a really bad attitude about my game and it just makes it worse. How do I stay positive? — Teri P.; Evansville, Ind.

In practice, the best thing to do is say to yourself, “I’m having a bad day. Let me take a five to 10 minute break and think about what’s going on.” Then set up the first shot that you missed and shoot it over and over until you get into a comfort zone — until you can say that you’ve mastered the shot. Then move on to other shots that you missed.

In a match, it’s a different story. The one thing that I’ve always taught myself is that the first thing you have to ask yourself is, “How bad do I want to win?” If the answer is that you want it really bad, you have to be willing to go through whatever it takes in order to get that win. You have to be able to completely erase what has happened to that point and focus only on the present. After the match, you can jot down the shots that you missed so you can practice them later on.


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