Improving Your Skills At Pool
Pool is one of the most enjoyable IRL games out there, and one that is especially fun to play with a wide variety of people. Whether you have been playing pool for a while or you are just getting into it, you might be keen to try and improve how you play and how well you play, too. And as it happens, that is something that you can actually do quite easily, as long as you are careful about how you approach things.
In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the major ways to improve your skills at pool. As long as you have done the following, you should find that you get a lot more out of the game, that you enjoy it more, and ultimately that you win a lot more games of it too.
Practice Your Grip
One of the most fundamental skills in pool is the grip you hold on the cue. This needs to be worked at as it has to be just right if you want to make sure you are playing as well as possible. At first, you might wonder what kind of difference it can make, but it really can help a lot with your game and you’ll find it’s always worth revisiting and checking in to see if your grip is as it should be.
So what is a good grip for playing pool with? One of the main things to remember here is that you need to avoid holding your cue too tightly, which is something that people very commonly do. Instead, you ideally want to have a loose and light grip, enabling you to firmly move the cue but with flexibility too.
Your grip should be just strong enough to pick the cue off the table. Any tighter, and it could cause problems.
Develop Cue Ball Control
A lot of players spend time getting really good at potting balls, not realizing that this is actually only a part of the way to play pool. You also need to make sure you have a decent ability to control where the cue ball ends up. That gives you a chance to plan ahead for your next moves, which ensures you can keep on potting those balls. So actually, developing a decent cue ball control is likely to be a really important thing to consider.
Try visualizing the contact point between the cue ball and the other ball, and imagining where the cue ball will end up. The more that you work at this, the better you will get at predicting where the cue ball ends up – and then you’ll be able to influence that by getting good at spins and so on too.
Work On Your Swing
How you swing your arm is a hugely important part of the process of potting balls, too. There are many ways to think of this, but one that might be particularly useful is to try swinging your arm like a pendulum. That means that you are shooting with your body in alignment with the aiming line, but that’s hard to do if your shooting arm doesn’t keep still.
So if you think you have too much movement in the arm, try to move it like a pendulum instead – that is going to help ensure that you have a much better movement, better control, and a better aim, which obviously makes everything you are doing in your game so much better.
Hone Your Strategic Thinking
There is a lot of strategy in pool. It is just generally a highly strategic game, and you need to make sure that you are also working on this element of your game if you want to do better and win more games. Honing your strategic thinking is absolutely going to help you to figure out what you are trying to do next and how to do it, and that is obviously vital if you want to ensure that you are playing as well as possible, and opening up your own chances more and more, as well as limiting the opponent’s chances.
Fortunately, you don’t even have to be standing at a pool table to practice your strategy. In fact, when you are not playing at the pool table, you can simply fire up an online pool game and play there. This is exactly the same game, so it’s still a perfect opportunity to work on your strategy and your strategic thinking. Of course, practicing this during a physical game too is going to help you a lot as well.
However you do it, as long as you work on your strategy, that is going to help you to have a much better pool game overall.
Avoid Inconsistent Bridges
The bridge – the way that you hold your hand for the cue to move over – is another hugely relevant part of your game. And one of the most common problems that people come across here is having inconsistent bridges – in other words, your bridge being too high one moment and then too low the next, for instance. These are problems which can really cause a lot of trouble for your pool game.
So it’s worth spending some time, in and out of actual games, practicing your bridge. The more you do this, the more stable you can get it, and that is going to make it so much easier for you to cue in a stable and sensible manner. All in all, that will help to ensure that you are ultimately potting more balls.
A professional player is one who spends time analyzing games as much as possible. The more that you do that, the more you are going to find yourself with an intuitive as well as concrete understanding of what needs to be done in a game and how to make it work for you. This means that you are analyzing your own games, but also those of others that you are spectating.
In fact, the more you do that, the more you are going to find you understand about the game of pool overall. So this is an invaluable way to spend your time.
The more comfortable you are as you play, the easier it will be to play, and to get the results you want. This is especially important in the approach to the table and in your stance, and it’s the stance that will need the most work if you want to make sure you get this right. Your feet will ideally be in a comfortable position, and your back should keep straight even as you bend.
The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to ensure you are going to play well. But more to the point, you will also find that you enjoy the process more, and what’s the point of playing pool if you don’t enjoy the process?
Play Against Pros
If you only ever play against people of your level or below, you will find it difficult to improve your game. It’s much better to take the opportunity to play against the pros, wherever you can, or at least against anyone who is a stronger player than you are right now. That is actually the only real way you can ensure that you improve your game over time, so it’s a really important thing to bear in mind.
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