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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:
• 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


• 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


 
The Dreaded Straight-In Shot
February 2008


Many players develop a phobia about straight-in shots, but the added level of difficulty is all in their heads. They are tougher, in a sense, because players’ mechanics break down when they believe the shot is too tough.

Let’s look at the shot for different skill levels. First, all players should be aware that their grips tend to tighten when they’re unsure of a shot, making the cue sway to the left or right on the stroke. So, check in with your grip beforehand.

With a straight-in shot, you basically have three options: a stop stroke, follow or draw. A stop shot is your safest bet (see Diagram 1), and beginning players should practice short and long straight-in stop shots as a matter of course. Stay away from follow shots, unless you have great speed control.

Advanced players miss straight-in shots because they get caught up in getting shape for their next shot. Some use left or right English (even just to pocket the ball), but the off-center hit increases the chances of deflection. Try a simple center-line draw shot, bringing the cue ball straight back up-table for better position (Diagram 2). You could try some side English on the draw shot, changing the angle of the cue ball’s path when it hits a cushion (orange lines and text). Follow shots likely will scratch.

Elite players might cheat the pocket — slightly cutting the object ball so it will drop in the right or left side of the pocket, sending the cue ball the opposite way (Diagram 1, purple lines and text). Side English is an option, but you’ll very rarely see me use it. It just raises the degree of difficulty, and I’m already getting an angle by cheating the pocket.


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