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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:
• August 2015
Patterns - Part II

• 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

• 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

• 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

Rust Proof?
April 2013

IN PREVIOUS columns, we’ve discussed what to do if you’re in a slump. If nothing’s going right, it can be a tremendous challenge to snap a cold streak; you often have to check a number of different areas of your game, including physical fundamentals and your mental game as a whole.
,br> This month, I’d like to address something that, while it can be frustrating, shouldn’t pose as many problems: How you do shake off the rust when it has been awhile since you’ve last played?
,br> First of all, it’s important to keep your perspective. If you haven’t touched a cue in six months, you’re not going to be running racks like you just got back from Manila. Expect a bit of a rough start, but keep focused on your fundamentals. Depending on your experience level, there should be some muscle memory as you get more and more familiar with your stroke.

In recovering your form, it’s also important to work incrementally. Just like you’re not going to run racks out of the gate, you’re also not going to be drilling table-length cut shots left and right. Work on short, straight stop shots, like the example on the 1 ball in Diagram 1. Once you can successfully pocket the ball and stop the cue ball at the moment of impact, add distance until your cue ball is all the way against the bottom rail. If you can consistently hit this shot and kill the cue ball, you should start to feel in stroke.

Next, move to a short angled shot, like the example on the 3 ball. Now you want to drill cue ball control, by working on stun, follow and draw. Try to sink the 3 using stun to send the cue ball along a 90-degree angle, like the middle target in the diagram. Then start working slight draw and follow.

The first drill will help you get everything in line. The second shot will help you reconnect wit hthe cue ball. After a short time, you should feel on your way back to your old self.