View Full Version : Help... I'm terrible at safety shots!

01-16-2005, 10:06 AM
I live in a rural area and have improved my game to where I can win games against many of the locals. So I have been winning a lot of games recently.

I took the advice of others that I need to play with better players if I am going improve my game...

Well I have done just that. I found some really good players in further away cities who can beat me every game.

I have realized that I have almost no defensive/safety skills whatsoever.

Up to this point, other players have been defending themselves against me. Now I need to learn to defend myself against these sharks I am playing.

For safety practice, I played a friend all last night for one jellybean per game, told him in advance I needed to work on my safeties, and lost every game almost due to my poor safety play. (I would mess up on a safety and leave him with a shot, and deserved to lose.)

Anyway he started getting really pissed at me even though he was winning every game. (He was pissed because sometimes my safety would work and I was leaving him without a shot about 30% of the time.) So I stop my "safety practice", switched to my offensive game, and beat him every game from then on. Now he was happy playing me even though I was winning!!!


Anyone have suggestions for learning to shoot safeties?

Who can I practice my safeties with if other players get mad and frustrated when I do this?
(The locals around here consider it sh^t head pool, so that is out of the question. I do have one money tournament each week where safeties are OK [race to two - double elimination]).

01-16-2005, 10:29 AM
First of all you cannot soar like an Eagle when you are hanging out with Turkeys.

Those gals need to know that safties are an intergral part of the game.

I would concentrate on SPEED and hiding either the OB or the CB untill you are proficient enough to hide them both. If you cannot hide a ball DISTANCE is your friend.

Sometimes you can tie up balls also to prevent a runout.

Play One Hole often as that game will help anyone's safety play.

Every game is a struggle for me but "I Try" /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

01-16-2005, 11:36 AM
OK, here's what you do. Rack up just like you were playing 9-ball. Break the balls, then take ball-in-hand. The only ball you'll use in the game is the 1 ball (and the cueball, of course), the others are just there for "blockers". The object of this game is NOT to pocket balls, but to play safeties and escape from safeties. The player that breaks gets a second shot with ball-in-hand whether a ball is pocketed on the break or not (since the object is not to pocket balls). If a ball is pocketed accidentally on the break, it is spotted as near the foot spot as possible. A point is awarded every time a player hooks the other player so that he can't hit the 1-ball directly, but has to kick, jump or masse' to hit the 1-ball. If you successfully escape from a safety, you also get a point and an opportunity to play a safety for a point, but NOT ball-in-hand. If you successfully escape from a safety AND accomplish another safety in the same shot you get 2 points, but you must call the new safety and your inning is over and the other player gets an opportunity to escape your safety. If a player tries for a safety and misses (does not accomplish the safety), the other player gets ball-in-hand for an opportunity to play a safety. The first one to 10 points wins.

01-16-2005, 12:27 PM
I practice safeties and kicks at the same time. I play myself and play nothing but safeties (never pocket a ball). If I make a good safe, I get to kick at it /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I get practice at both. If I miss the kick, I get ball in hand...

As far as making people mad with safes, it is part of the game and quite fun. If I am playing a fellow who gets mad at safes, I safe him every chance I get for the first couple games. It takes their head out of the game and is quite humorous to watch them loose their cool /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Just tell your bar buddies to deal with it and emulate you if they wish to improve...

01-16-2005, 02:33 PM
when practicing by yourself, do you play a normal game against yourself ( the ghost )? If so, integrate safetys as part of the game. If you don't have a shot, try to play safe against yourself, than try to kick out of it.Play both sides as if your 2 different people trying to seriously beat each other, you'll start getting the safty play down quick enough.

Sounds like the people you play locally are not serious players or else they would know that safetys are part of the game. Weekend recreational players do not like safetys cause they don't know what to do with them. Sounds like the only way to get good practice in with other serious people is keep going to the farther away pool hall to play. Even if you keep losing for awhile the experience will be worth it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

01-16-2005, 08:08 PM
just practice it like anything else. break a rack of 9 ball. and just play safe. if you don't want to do that, then break a rack of 9 ball and look for the place where you would most likely play safe. run the balls down to there and play safe.

or just set up certain shots. practice freezing the cue to another ball.

again, just like any other shot on the table, practice it by yourself.

01-16-2005, 09:10 PM
Start out trying to hide the c/b. Many times people get caught up with both balls when their focus should be on one or the other. I'm not saying there are not times when both need attention but keep it simple for a while.

Remember, if a hiding safety doesn't exist you still have an option. Leave them long with whitey on the rail. No one on the planet likes those shots. I can't stress how important it is to know how to kill whitey on a rail. In the game of one pocket it's essential knowledge but it carries over to every game.