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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:
• July 2015
I Notice A Pattern

• 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

• 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

• 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

Balancing Act
March 2012
WHEN YOU feel like youíve hit a plateau or youíre stuck in a slump, itís important to look closely at your game and try to identify any weaknesses.

But things can get complicated if you think thereís one specific area thatís especially troubling for you. Self-examination is good. But ask yourself: ďIs it possible that the shots I struggle with most are affecting my game to the point where my confidence is suffering?Ē Iíve seen it many times, where a player allows a certain shot screw up her whole game. At this point, with confidence on the decline, itís easy to start questioning your stroke. It might not even be a mechanical problem, but now your fixing what isnít broken.

But there is a balance in the struggle between honestly assessing your game and overthinking things. Walking that fine line will keep you focused on improvement, while not building obstacles for yourself.
Letís say, for example, you struggle with shots similar to the one shown in Diagram 1. If you trust your fundamentals, conquering your fear of this shot should be a matter of time. Before challenging yourself with a sharper angle or longer shot, start with a manageable situation, like the solidly outlined cue ball. Once you can make the same exact shot five times in a row, try for 10 straight. When you can make 10 consecutively, increase the difficulty.

Try to figure out what scares you most about the initial situation. Is it the awkward angle you have on the 1 ball? If so, once youíve mastered the initial shot, set up a thinner cut by moving the cue ball toward the side pocket. If the distance is more of a problem, pull the cue ball straight back so you have the same angle, just more table to cover.

Confront the most daunting shots during practice, so you can handle your fears on your terms. This way, youíll keep problems from growing inside your head and causing even more difficulties.