“I want to be more consistent at pool” is something I hear a lot. Consistency is an area in which a large number of my clients struggle with in their games when they first come to me. Improving your Pool game starts first with knowledge. Consistency is an ambiguous term that can mean the thickness and texture of a product (such as the lard pictured above) so Let’s refer to the ‘Oxford Dictionary’ for a helping hand of what consistency means to us as Pool Players:
The quality of achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time.
This is an area many 8-Ball Pool Players struggle with and often get frustrated by. Does the following sound familiar?
“It feels like sometimes I can pot any ball on the table from any position, then at other times I can’t seem pot a simple straight shot into the corner pocket!”
Anon, Frustrated 8-Ball enthusiast.
The best way to be consistent is by using a system, a routine way of doing something. Routines may sound boring but they get measurable results. If we can’t measure something then we can’t make it better. The skill here is to create an awareness so that you pinpoint the reason why you missed a shot. Once you know what went wrong, it can be improved upon for the future.
HOW CAN I BECOME MORE CONSISTENT AT POOL?
You can break down each individual shot into stages. I’ll keep this is as quick and easy as possible. As a result you will be able to implement it into your game the very next time you play.
SIMPLE 5-STEP POOL SHOT SYSTEM – S.L.A.R.D:
- Firstly, Select your next shot. This first step will be pre-determined to a large extent by how the balls lie following the previous shot, your tactical game plan will also play a part in your choice.
- Secondly, Line-up your shot. Knowing your angles comes with practice and experience, but don’t worry there are a few aids that can help you “find” the lines as a beginner.
- Thirdly, Approach the shot. Step into the line at least one step away from the shot position. The reason for this is to maintain the bigger picture for clarity of the line and of the table scenario as a whole. So, this could enable you to spot something you may have missed had you rushed in with tunnel vision.
- Then, Remain Stable during the shot. If there is instability in either your stance or your bridge hand. Your delivery will fail to be consistent.
- Finally, Deliver the shot. The key to a successful delivery is ensuring your cue moves through the cue ball in a straight line. It is also important to not rush this step until the shot is finished. This is at least a few seconds after the cue has finished it’s range of motion.
DO I NEED A POOL PRE-SHOT ROUTINE AND SHOT SYSTEM?
A large number of players fail to understand the important of being methodical in your shot-taking process. Balls can be potted without a system. Let’s face it, balls can be potted with no skills and poor, or little technical ability. It’s quicker and easier to play without a system.
However, if you want to be a successful, consistent pool player; a winner – you will need a systematic approach to taking your shots.
CHAMP OR CHUMP? YOU CHOOSE
You can be a flash in the pan, a one-hit wonder, a nearly man/woman, a chump. Or you can be a formidable opponent, a player for every occasion, a champ! SLARD is a ready made, pre-shot routine and 8-ball shot system all rolled into one. The only reason not to include it in your game would be laziness.
Start to practice this routine for every shot and it will instantly improve the level of consistency in your pool. You will be removing the number of possible errors throughout each step of the shot making process.
Without the system you allow for probable failure in either one or more of the steps, which will lead to an undesirable end result for the shot. Give yourself the best possible chance to perform to your highest level on every single shot!
SLARD SHOT SYSTEM RECAP:
Let me know how implementing the system helps you become more consistent at pool. 👱🏻 Composure is another required attribute of a top player that compliments this system.
THE POOL COACH.