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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:
• October 2014
Walk This Way


• 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


• 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


• 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


 
Power Outage
January 2012
CUE-BALL CONTROL can be an issue for just about every person who's looking to improve from a beginner to an intermediate player. This month I'd like to address speed control, which is just one aspect of successfully positioning your cue ball for the next shot.

As I've said before, players who lack confidence — either in a specific situations or in their strokes in general — tend to overcompensate by using additional power on a given shot. With that in mind, let's think about a situation where a player must use a soft stroke to play position. When you need a light touch, some players have problems developing a feel for the cue ball.

Focusing on the physical execution of the stroke, most players who use too much power for position are not used to following through in the proper fashion. It's highly likely that they are decelerating their cues mid-stroke to soften the hit on the cue ball, which can result in a punchy delivery of the cue. It's imperative that you build your stroke in a way that allows for the proper follow-through on every shot, no matter the speed. If you can rely on your follow-through, you'll feel like you're hitting the ball softer while still getting the same amount of speed, as opposed to a hard jab stroke with limited follow-through.

As far as the proper distance your cue should travel after hitting the cue ball, there's no standard answer. The stroke ends when the cue comes to a natural stop on it's own. When you're using plenty of power, the cue will travel a substantial distance after impact. But when you must lightly stroke a shot, bring the cue back a few inches and then follow through just two or three inches.

To drill this, set up a straight-in shot and hit it with pocket speed, meaning the object ball has just enough momentum to make it into the pocket. Keep executing this shot until you hit it as softly as possible, all the while noting how far forward your cue moves with each attempt. You'll be amazed at how little power is often necessary to sink the ball, which will allow you to then focus on the position of the cue ball.


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