There’s always room for improvement. No matter how good you are at the pool, you need to keep focusing on getting better. That’s how you are going to master the game. As you start playing pool, there’s a lot to learn about it. Like any other game, you cannot learn everything right at the start. Instead, you learn as you play, as you practice, as you improve!
Here are the five fastest ways to develop a good skill set to improve your pool game:
1. Practice, Practice, and Practice…
Practice makes a man perfect. As much practice as you add to your daily routine, you are putting yourself up for learning and improvement. However, there’s something you need to be keen about. How you practice, yes!
The way you practice makes a huge difference. Practicing it the right way makes you a better player while practicing the wrong way never lets you improve. When you practice, there are a lot of elements you need to focus on, such as:
To make accurate shots, it is important to have proper body alignment. Your posture says a lot about your expertise. In a pool, proper body alignment refers to straight positioning of your stroking arm, head, and eyes with the line of your target.
Also, keep your front foot apart from your rear foot, at least shoulder-width apart. Place your rear foot at 45 degrees angle. As for the front foot, point it straight, 90 degrees. It makes you feel comfortable and ready.
It is totally fine if your body alignment takes a few days to get into order. No matter where you make a shot from, adjust your alignment first. As you are just practicing and not losing here, it is going to help you in the long run.
Even though your cue is not part of your body, it is the most significant part of a pool game. And so, let’s add its alignment here too. Line up the cue in a way that its tip is near the vertical center-line of the cue ball. Keeps your eyes level and your head low.
Practice some shots as you align yourself and the cue. Stay centered and keep going!
2. Focus on Your Grip
It is very natural to have a hard and solid grip of your cue stick. However, that’s against the basics of pool games. Your grip needs to be low and light yet focused. It takes an effort to focus on your grip. Every time you hold your pool cue stick, make sure the grip is not too tight.
If you think holding the cue tightly will provide a precise shot, that’s not the case in a pool game. Instead, the pool game demands light and loose grip. Holding the cue stick too tightly will raise its butt, which leads to a bad shot. Also, the cue ball might jump off the table.
The best way to hold your cue is to use your fingers, except your pinky finger. Your palm has to play no role here. All you need to do is maintain control with a light grip. However, you will need to determine the appropriate balance point of grip and control. Once you do, hold onto it.
3. Work on Your Pendulum Swing
As you get better at body alignment, cue positioning, and grip, pendulum swing is the next important thing. And so, working on your pendulum swing helps a lot during your improvement journey.
Once your body is in alignment with the line of target, you are perfectly positioned. However, if your stroking arm is not still, it is difficult to stay aligned.
Moving your upper arm is the wrong way to make a shot. It should still be instead. To understand this, think of your upper and lower stroking arm as a pendulum. While your upper arm stays still and even, your lower arm moves back and forth. As you move your lower arm back, make sure it is nice and slow.
Also, keep your stroking hand right under your elbow. It eases pendulum swing.
4. Have a Consistent Bridge
The bridge is another crucial aspect of the pool game. Getting your alignment, grip, and pendulum swing in order is not just enough. Without having a consistent bridge, there are less chances of improvement.
You must know that there are two basic types of bridge – open bridge and closed bridge.
If you are a beginner, the open bridge is the best to start with. It goes well for softer shots. However, it allows enough control and power when needed.
Closed bridge, on the other hand, is for professional pool players. It is suitable for harder shots and results in an increasingly spinning cue ball.
Some other types of advanced bridge include a rail bridge and over the ball bridge. With a pool mentor or a YouTube tutorial, you can easily learn basic and advanced pool bridge.
5. Develop Your Pre-Shot Routine
Your pre-shot routine is what lets you get into the rhythm of the game. The pre-shot routine varies from player to player. Some like to move around the table for a quick inspection of target pockets and choose their target pocket silently.
This helps you determine your line of target, adjust the alignment, and place your eyes on the cue ball. Before you get into a stance, get your body into alignment. For professional players, alignment is the most significant part of their pre-shot routine.
However, your pre-shot routine should go naturally. The aim of developing a pre-shot routine is to get you familiar and comfortable with the game. Do not try to go for a hard pre-shot routine. It can have bad effects on your pool game.
Improving your pool game is challenging. To make effective and efficient improvements, you need to pay great attention to basics like body alignment, cue positioning, grip, pendulum swing, bridge, and pre-shot routine. Study pool game thoroughly, watch your favorite players, and get going!