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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


• 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


 
Along the Rail
August 2010
BACK WHEN I first started writing this column, I spent a few weeks discussing a shot that is a common problem for many amateur players: the cut shot along a rail. For a variety of reasons, people often grow intimidated by this shot where the object ball is frozen to a rail. But as I’ve said before, whenever you have a shot that worries you, practice it until you are confident you can make it — and make it often. So if you’re tentative when facing a cut shot along the rail, here are a few practice tips that will help you conquer your fear:

• Visualize the Aiming Point. The ghost-ball system is one of the easiest and most effective ways to aim a shot. I started using ghost ball when I was a kid and I still use it today. When you’re at the practice table, use this little method of seeing the shot. Line up the shot on the 1 ball in Diagram 1. Instead of just imagining where the cue ball needs to be at impact with the 1 to send it into the corner pocket, actually place the 8 ball against the rail. Now you can clearly see where you should aim. Once you have that image in your mind, pull the 8 ball away and go for it.

• Practice Progressively. When I watch players practice, they often make the mistake of being too hard on themselves. Don’t start practicing cuts along the rail from the other side of the table. Instead, start from a foot away, like the shot in the diagrams. Back up only when you can make a shot 20 times in a row.

Similarly, the angle of the cut is also important. Don’t start with an absolutely paper thin cut. Start from 45 degrees and gently increase the difficulty as you get comfortable with each angle.

• Center’s Best. Some players will try to use English with shots of a certain angle. In this situation, stick with simple. Introducing left or right English will increase the amount of variables involved in the shot. The same can be said for follow or draw. When you’re practicing this shot on your own, work on hitting the cue ball at its exact center. Only when you have mastered pocketing this shot with center-ball can you even think of introducing English.


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