Guidance for your Game
Striking the Cue Ball
Last time we went over some pointers regarding the Pre-shot routine. This time I would like to share with you some pointers regarding the actual execution of the shot.
Once you have finished your pre-shot routine, and you are ready to execute your shot, begin with your approach to the table.
Approaching the table
One would generally be standing away from the table after assessing it thoroughly, and would have to step closer to the table to assume your position or playing stance. In doing so, keep your eyes on the table and take a step forward and place your bridging hand on the table firmly in front of the cue ball. At this stage remember to still visualize in your mind how you would want the shot to play out. This you do so, by imagining the whole shot happening as you would want to have it happen, before it actually does.
Next, lean over the cue with your chin in line with the cue so that you can see down the line of the cue. By aiming down the line of the cue, you should be able to exercise your line of aim easier, very similar to looking down the barrel of a shot-gun and aiming at a particular target. At this stage you can position your cue’s tip accordingly, to where you would be striking the cue ball. Remember to visualise the entire shot again.
Feathering is the action of moving your cue to and fro before actually striking the cue ball. One does this really to assist you in visualising your shot before executing it. When you are confident that you are ready to strike the cue ball, the following moment leads us into the most crucial moment of the actual execution of the shot. The Strike.
Striking the Cue Ball
I have found the following to be effective for me in the execution of my shots, and am sure that it would help you in yours. I generally like to feather with short quick strokes, and closely to the cue ball, and then dedicate one long stroke for striking of the cue ball.
Just before I am ready to strike, my eyes are on the object ball. Then I slowly draw my cue back as my eyes move toward to the pocket to where I will be pocketing the object ball. At this stage I have a moment to pause my cue it’s back position, while my eyes are looking at the pocket. I visualise the ball dropping in the pocket. I then move my eyes back the object ball and follow through with my cue as I strike the cue ball confidently.
The key is to consistently practice the same routine for it to become second nature. Try and keep your head still and your body movement to a minimum, only having your arm pushing through as you strike the ball. If you are gliding the cue under and against your chin when feathering, then if you maintain a good and accurate cue action when striking the cue ball, your cue should still be against you chin after striking the cue ball.
This can take some practice and patience, but will inevitably build consistency in your game.
…Play skilfully with a shout of Joy!