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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:
• Mar 2014
Turn The Beat Around

• Feb 2014
Straight Is Great

• Sept 2013
Cover the Basics

• June 2013
Getting It Right

• 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

• 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

Strength Training
May 2013

ITíS ALWAYS easy to practice certain shots or skills that youíve mastered. If youíre particularly strong playing position with a ball on the rail, for example, itís not much of a challenge to stay sharp in this area.

But one of the most important aspects to becoming a complete pool player is self-assessment. You have to be honest with yourself ó and honestly approach your strengths and weaknesses. While itís great to maintain the well-developed aspects of your game, itís perhaps more important to improve on your weaknesses.

If you know thereís a certain skill ó long, straight-in shots or drawing the cue ball, for example ó that is especially challenging for you, work on it. Customize your practice schedule and drills to focus on problem areas.

A common problem I see in many players is when someone lets a particular shot screw up her stroke. Constantly struggling with something can start to erode your confidence ó and at that point, the problem is bigger than it needs to be.

Luckily, thereís a simple way to take a great diagnostic check on your game. Shoot 10 racks of balls. In doing so, make note of specific shots that cause trouble. When you see certain things bothering you on a regular basis, you know itís something that needs work.

For example, what if you notice problems when you have to send the cue ball across the table? Take a look at Diagram 1. Here, you have a long position play from the 8 ball to the 9. Set this shot up as shown, where youíre going off the bottom rail and into position for the 9 ball in the bottom right. Once you get a hang of this, experiment with other paths to position. Can you draw the cue ball back off the top rail for a makeable shot on the 9? With ball in hand, can you find a way to pocket the 8 ball in the bottom left and the 9 ball in the top right without hitting a rail?

Be creative when addressing your weaknesses. Sooner than later, youíll see that those tricky shots arenít bothering you all that much.