ONE OF the greatest things about pool is discovering something new. What in essence is a rather simple game that using one ball to knock in another, pool has so many nuances and hidden complexities. Iím pretty sure if anybody claimed to know everything about the game, you can be pretty sure he/she certainly does not.
One problem for pool players, however, arises when the improvement in oneís game apparently stops. Everyone who approaches pool with an intent to better themselves has hit a plateau at one time. For players, itís almost a rite of passage, albeit an incredibly frustrating one. The key is not to get too discouraged by a perceived lack of development.
Instead, you need to bear down and work that much harder. First, go back to the basics; drill the fundamentals so you know you can trust your pre-shot routine, your thought process, and your stroke. You can then start practicing specific shots that you want to incorporate in your game. Work on banks, kicks and safeties. Do drills reinforcing proper position play from one ball to another.
Shoot particular shots 10 times and record how many times you are successful. Keep track of certain shots over a period of time (say, once a week for a month). Over time, you should notice the number of successful attempts increasing. By focusing on specific shots, youíll be sure to see improvement after a certain period of time.
Letís look at last monthís shot (in Diagram 1) as an example. See how many times your can pocket the 1 ball from C-1 while stopping the cue ball at impact. Then try it from C-2, C-3 and finally C-4. You may struggle from the longer distance, but after a month, you should be more successful from each of the four spots than when you started.
Making practice somewhat competitive (in this case, against yourself) is also a good way to maintain your focus. Itís easy to let your mind drift when youíre brainlessly hitting the same shot over and over. When youíre trying to beat your previous best, though, youíve got an incentive to put all of your mental energy into each shot. Plateaus are unavoidable, but you can do all you can to shorten them.
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