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S E L F   T E A C H I N G

Self Teaching: The following tidbits I am about to present are some of my most powerful discoveries since I have been playing pool. I hope you will find them helpful beyond your wildest expectations!

The greatest power in the techniques that I am about to present is that they are self diagnosing which means you can get better in private and surprise your opponents when they least expect it.

The essence of superior pool play is the stroke. Secondary to that is aiming. If you master these two fundamentals, you will dominate most of the players that you encounter.

Exercise 1: There are too many muscles in our shoulders, arms, and back that get in the way of a proper pool stroke. You have to train yourself to eliminate these muscles when playing pool to obtain the deft stroke you need to prevail. These two drills are almost going to sound too simple but here we go.

Practice shooting balls one handed. Start with simple shots, short shots into the side pocket. Before long, you will develop the feel necessary to shoot stun stop shots and draw. How is this possible? You are forced to find the balance point of the cue when shooting one handed. You don't have a bridge hand keeping a wildly errant cue in line when using too many muscle groups. Learning to float the stick out in a balanced 'stroke' will reveal the amazing powers you cue has when it can strike out in a smooth and balanced execution of force. Most importantly, you are learning to leave extraneous muscle groups out of the pool playing equation.

Exercise 2: Do not chalk up. In fact remove all chalk from your cue with a towel or even your thumb. Doing this will force you to hit center ball and give you haptic feedback when you do not do this. You will quickly learn that there were probably many times when you thought you were hitting center ball but really not. Learn the limits of what you can accomplish with a chalkless cue stick. The results may surprise you.

Once you get comfortable with this try it one handed and really fine tune your stroke with a level of precision you have never had before. Remember, this can all be done in private. And if someone walks in, just chalk up and don't even reveal that you were practicing.

Drill 1: Set up straight in shots. Shoot the shot with the intent of scratching behind the object ball. If you can't shoot a straight in shot and not scratch behind it, you may have some stroking issues. Return to exercises 1 and 2.

Drill 2: Set up straight in shots into the side pocket. Shoot the straight in shot with draw so that the cue ball returns back to the other side pocket and scratches.

Exercise 3: