How can you make your pool practice more effective?
Knocking balls around a table aimlessly (excuse the pun) won’t automatically help you become a better Pool Player. You need to have an aim, a plan, a strategy. That is not to say that having a knock is completely pointless, it definitely helps to get your cue arm going before a match – in a similar way to an athlete loosening their joints with a light jog before a race.
An effective practice session should serve a purpose. Ask yourself which area of your game are you trying to improve?
Pool Practice – Shot Selection
- Shot Selection – Your pool Shot selection is best practiced against an experienced player who invariably chooses the right shot. In my opinion this opponent should be an all round match player. There are many players that are either all-out attacking or far too defensive and apprehensive about going for the finish. The most successful players in this area of the game tend to be more measured and think of the percentages before making their shot choices. Learn by studying their decisions and don’t be afraid to question them afterwards to gain a better insight into their thoughts. Most players will be glad that you respect them enough to value their thought processes. If they aren’t willing to help, then find a practice partner that has better manners and etiquette. Now I know what you’re thinking. You’ll feel stupid, asking players about their shot selections. If you want to improve and raise your game in any area of your life, you have to be prepared to do things that take you out of your comfort zone.
Pool Practice – Single Pots and Angled Shots
- Single Pots or Angle shots are Specific pool shots need to be practiced repetitively. Complete these drills on a regular basis to stay at the top of your game. Single Pots and angled shots are ideal to perfect your technique, better understand your angles and consistently pot the balls that can sometimes catch you out. These simple drills can be done on your own but can feel like hard graft if you don’t get someone to spot the balls for you. The more you repeatedly play any shot, your memory will develop to the point that your consistency will improve.
Develop your memory to improve your 8-Ball Pool game.
Your memory is a powerful tool that you use over and over again in your everyday life. All memories are generated from the Limbic System in your brain, notably the Hippocampus.
From remembering your morning routine, recalling how to get to work and even any appointments or commitments you need to keep each day.
Any 8-ball pool player just starting out has to work out the points of contact between the cue ball and object ball in order to successfully make shots. However, over time their brain, vision and co-ordination combine together to form a visual memory of the contact points needed to make the shots. These visuals are known as sensory memories and by themselves are only fleeting, they typically last up to a second in duration. Again, this only comes with practice!
After only a few hours of deliberate, focussed practice, you can go from total beginner to developing these visuals. Repetition is the key to creating Long-Term memories. Long-Term memories can last for decades. These are the ones we want to tap into through repetition and sensory memory.
If you’d like to know more about how your memory functions then I recommend heading over to this website which understands everything in much more detail:
When spotting a ball to pot, always start by playing the shot with plain ball (cue ball centre) striking. Once you’ve mastered the plain ball shot then try it with variations of spin.
I hope that helps you Raise Your Game until next time.
THE POOL COACH 🎱