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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 2018
Carom Corner

• July 2018
Slump Dog

• June 2018
Stopping Is Power

• May 2018
Professional Help

• April 2018
Break Dance

• March 2018
A Safe Path

• February 2018
Stunning Results

• January 2018
Know Your Rails

• November 2017
The Straight Dope

• October 2017
Confidence Boosters

• September 2017
The One-Armed Man

• August 2017
Making a Check List

• July 2017
Trust Issues

• June 2017
Rails Away!

• May 2017
Weight Watchers

• April 2017
Opposites Attract

• March 2017
Reach For It!

• February 2017
Adapting to New Rules

• January 2017
Systems vs Feel

• December 2016
It Happens to the Best

• November 2016
Maintaining Focus

• October 2016
Riding the ĎLí

• September 2016
Tips on Tips

• August 2016
The Art of Deflection

• July 2016
Note To Self

• June 2016
Object of Safety Play

• May 2016
Speed Zone

• April 2016
Frozen Ball Shots

• March 2016
Hide and Go Seek

• February 2016
Two-Rail Kicks

• January 2016
Staying Down

• December 2015
One-Rail Kicks

• November 2015
Breaking Bad

• October 2015
Call Shot, Call Safety

• September 2015
Own the Shot

• 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

• 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

• 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

Cover the Basics
Sept 2013

Every three months, you should be checking your fundamentals. I recommend compiling a list of concepts to practice until you internalize it. However you do it, catching mistakes early is imperative to keep them from becoming habits that can snowball and jeopardize your game and career. Just recently, I got out a slump myself. When I was in Vegas at the July BCAPL in Las Vegas, I wasnít confident at all. And what a shame because, as soon as I got back to New York, I went through my basics and finally got out of my slump.

Hereís a simple checklist that has helped me get back on track. Itís based off my personal experiences and observations of where players tend to be lacking.

1) First things first: have your preshot routine down. Check your stance and alignment with the shot.

2) Maintain a good rhythm. You donít want to have one stroke in one shot, then 10 in another, and back down to two. Your pace should be more or less the same.

3) Remember to stay down as youíre stroking the ball. If your body starts to move before you strike the cue ball, you will completely throw off the line of aim 100 percent of the time.

In all my years of teaching, the number one reason players fail to pocket balls with consistency is they fail to stay down on their shots. When I teach that aspect of the game, I always say ďstay down.Ē This is because when you hear ďdonít get up,Ē the words ďget upĒ are in that sentence and can throw you off.

Players will easily get into comfort zones, which is why I recommend brushing up about every three months. They get into a groove pocketing everything and lose touch with the basics. Every once in a while, something will sneak in there. If you start developing that bad habit and donít realize youíre doing it, it becomes a problem after about a month or two. And if you donít have a checklist to go back to test yourself, thatís when it becomes even worse of a problem. Iíve seen people quit this game because they could not figure out what they were doing wrong. Once you identify the issue, practice it in isolation until itís a breeze.

Youíve also got to have the right attitude. Your self-conscious mind will take if you let it. Have some positive lines in that checklist:

ďI am the best. I am a champion.Ē

Remind yourself of what you are, all the hard work you put into the game and that you deserve to win despite making a few mistakes. Itís important to adopt a winning attitude to accompany your technique and good habits. That combination will make you a solid player no matter what your expertise.