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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:
• 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

• 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

Stop For A Review
March 2011
REGARLESS OF skill level, every single player can benefit from reviewing the fundamentals. Even when I’m in the middle of a match, I’ll run through certain things: Am I sticking to my pre-shot routine? Is my backstroke smooth and controlled? Am I staying down on my shots?

So when I say that the stop is the most important shot in pool, it may make sense to revisit it from time to time, right?

Basically, with a stop shot, your goal is to have the cue ball die at the moment of impact with the object ball. In essence, this is the simplest position play you can face, because the cue ball will not move an inch after contact if you execute it correctly. You want to stroke the cue ball so that it is skidding (not rolling forward, not spinning backward) when it strikes the object ball. To do so, you have to adjust your contact point on the cue ball based on the distance and speed of the shot.

In general, as you increase your speed at a given distance, you need to decrease the amount of draw. Also, if your speed remains constant but you increase the distance, you have to use more draw.

Try practicing the shot in Diagram 1. When you can make the shot at C-1 and stop the cue ball directly behind the 1 ball (in the position of the ghost ball), put the cue ball at C-2. By the time you can routinely pocket the 1 ball from C-4, you’ll have strengthened a vital part of your game.

If you’re having trouble with a particular shot, pay special attention to your contact point on the cue ball. If you think you’re using ample draw but the cue ball limps forward after hitting the 1 ball, you may be hitting the cue ball higher than you think. Conversely, if the cue ball is falling backward after contact, you can reduce the amount of draw or speed on the cue ball.

No matter if you’re new to the game or the next Johnny Archer, you can benefit from drilling your ability to use the stop shot. In addition to being an important way to sharpen your position play, this drill also gets you in tune with your stroke, so you know exactly where you’re hitting the cue ball.