the object ball is very close to the pocket, the margin of error
on a pot can be so high that 100% effort is required to play
every shot, something which
most players can seldom achieve. Hence "The Drill."
But remember, in most cases, potting the object ball is not
the only requirement. Positioning the cue ball for the next
shot is another consideration and this alone can often lead
to a missed pot.
As an example, imagine a situation where having potted a red,
you are now in a position to pot the blue off its spot into
a centre pocket. But because there are no loose reds available,
you have to play a cannon on to the pink ball to disturb the
reds in the pack.
your brain has two tasks to achieve:
the pot on the blue, which remains the number one priority.
2) to strike the cue ball in exactly the right place and at
the right speed to achieve the cannon on the pink.
is a top-class shot, which is extremely difficult to execute.
Things can go wrong and there is always the danger of catching
the pink awkwardly and going in-off into one of the top pockets.
Alternatively the blue is missed as your brain focuses on achieving
second part of the shot instead of the first. If this is the
case, what has happened is this;
Before you have struck the cue ball, your eyes have drifted
towards the pack to see if you have come into contact with the
pink correctly. This is a very common fault and happens in so
many other situations. How then can we ensure that your eyes
remain on the object ball when striking the white?
There are three ways. ·
The last time that you cue up to the white ball, after making
your preliminary waggles, pause slightly to transfer your
eyes from the white to the object ball. Now carry on with
the last back swing and after another pause at the back, go
through with the shot. This, in effect, means that two pauses
With your eyes still fixed on the white ball and after cueing
up to the cue ball for the last time, switch your eyes forward
to the spot on the object ball that has to be hit to as your
cue comes back on the last back swing. Care should be taken
that the last back swing is slow to give you time to transfer
your eyes from the cue ball to the object ball.
This time, the eyes are on the white until the last back swing
is completed. Then the eyes are switched to the spot on the
object ball that has to be hit before going through with the
entails a good pause at the back, and as Steve Davis would
say, it could almost be classed as a 'wait' at the back rather
than a pause.
again, I recommend practising all these methods to find out
which works best for you. Do not underestimate the importance
of sighting the shot correctly.
Clearly this is only one example of when your mind may be faced
with more than one issue to consider. A distraction in the crowd
or your playing surrounds, a referees decision, the requirement
for inch perfect position, the position on the scoreboard all
create distractions from the most important thing of all. What
happens on the table!
Following the correct routines and having method in your game
can prevent the errors that occur when your brain is faced with
a number of tasks.
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