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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:
• June 2015
Two-Way Prt. 2

• May 2015
Two-Way Shots

• April 2015
The Fine Line

• March 2015
Straight Break

• February 2015
The 'Walkaway'

• January 2015
Pushing Your Luck

• 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

• 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
ĎBuzzí 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

Creative Drilling
February 2012
IN MORE than a few columns, Iíve stressed the importance of fundamentals. Whether your dealing with the physical act (that is, your stroke) or your mental preparation for a shot or match, you canít be successful when youíre worrying about the basics.

That being said, when youíre able to find a little time to practice, you need to reinforce these fundamentals. You need to build your confidence to a point where you feel properly prepared for competition. This month, letís look at an old standby that can continue to pay dividends as you improve.

The three-ball drill is one of the most widely used practice routines. Even if you can run 100 balls, thereís value in returning to this drill. If drilling three balls in any order isnít challenging enough, up the ante. Thereís an infinite amount of variations you can come up with, so donít be afraid to experiment.

One simple tweak: Throw out the 1, 2 and 3 balls and shoot Ďem in order. Obviously, this will force you to map your route to an empty table (which is always a good idea, regardless). But there are other restrictions you can place on yourself. Do you need to work on shots along the rail? Throw two balls out randomly, but always place one against the long rail.
One of my favorite versions is shown in Diagram 1. As you can see, the three balls are all along the center string, with the 1 and 2 on opposite short rails and the 3 in the dead center of the table. This is a great way to hone your position play for 9-ball. You have to move from one side of the table to the other in order to play final position on the 3. Still too easy? Take away half the pockets. Try to make each shot in either the top or bottoms pockets (as seen in the diagram).

No matter where youíre at with your game, donít be afraid to try the three-ball drill. And donít be afraid to get creative.