View Full Version : Practicing safeties?
01-24-2005, 08:28 PM
My safeties are by far, the worse part of my game due to always trying to run out when I'm messing around. It's really dragging me down. Occasionally I'll throw out all 9 balls and just hit safeties on the 1, but this doesn't seem to help a whole lot. I've decided to dedicate this next week to just safeties so any advice is appreciated.
01-24-2005, 09:19 PM
I have the same problem, every time I try to play safe in 9-ball I seem to sell out. I tell to myself that I am better off trying to make a tough bank than to play safe because that way I do have a chance at winning though be it a small chance.
I train safety play too, but I am not that optimistic as to say that I will do it for a week and that is enough, I will work on it every day.
I do not think that for someone like me who really sucks at this the "play safe on the one" game is good. This requires you to have a set of safeties that you can play consistently. For someone like me who can not execute the standard safeties this game requires too much creativity and the safeties go wrong all the time because I am trying to do something that is impossible but I just do not know it is.
I am currently working on learning the angles the cue ball takes after hitting different parts of an object ball that is on the rail. This will help me to know exatly where the cue ball will go on my safeties.
The next thing I do is to play several safeties over and over again till I know how to play them right. I hope to build a defensive arsenal here that I can tap into if I need a safety. This in my opinion is much better than to develop a new safety each time.
01-24-2005, 10:15 PM
I practice safes like you stated. However, they come easy to me possibly because I have an extensive 8 Ball backround. You can't win at a game of 8 without defense... By the time I started playing nine ball, safes were already part of my game.
Maybe you should try practicing safes in 8 ball instead. Put all 7 solids up and 2 stripes. Then play safes on the stripes. Safeties are much easier to find in eight ball. Once you get some confidence you can go back to 9 ball safeties. Although, finding safes on the 1 ball are pretty simple too /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Just a thought...
01-25-2005, 01:40 AM
I'd suggest to use safeties in a 2 way fashion until you get good, one-way if you miss the speed you will still leave the guy long or with a forced bank, two-way you get the hook if it's hit right. Your speed and confidence will follow in time. I'll go offensive in a heartbeat if I see a real opportunity to sell out. Hope this helps, you merely have to get accustomed to the pressure of hitting safes right...sid
01-25-2005, 02:30 AM
The key to safety play is knowing the table speed. There's also the what some would call natural or standard safety play. For those of you that are trying to understand what I'm refering to is knowing clusters, walls, funnels and that sort of recognizable things during a match.
Geez, a can of worms here. lol Ok, a "Wall".
If your speed is right? You can clearly see, it's tough to get out of this "Wall safety".
Funnels, these are my favorite things. They can win the game for you in a good sence, either for the win ny gaining bih or making the ball needed to win. All depending on the outcome.
Funnels, in 9 ball, one pocket or in 8 ball. This in 9 ball for a win example:
I suppose that I could of used a better setup than this particular one. Anyway, the one thing in common with all these aplications is knowing the "Tangent Line" and the other 3 things needed. Angle, Spin and Speed. or A.S.S. as RandyG would say. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
C.C.~~hope this helps.
01-25-2005, 05:01 AM
Learn billiards, 3 cushion,straight rail billiards, how the object ball is influenced by english[right or left][high,center,low]If you want to play good nineball knowing billiards is its main ingredient.####
01-25-2005, 08:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote UTAddb:</font><hr>My safeties are by far, the worse part of my game due to always trying to run out when I'm messing around. It's really dragging me down. Occasionally I'll throw out all 9 balls and just hit safeties on the 1, but this doesn't seem to help a whole lot. I've decided to dedicate this next week to just safeties so any advice is appreciated.<hr /></blockquote>
If you have a copy of "The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards," pp. 152-168 discusses principles and shows a bunch of examples you can practice. In Capelle's "Play Your Best Pool," pp. 289-316 is an excellent resource. In Byrne's "New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards," pp. 162-164, 173, and 181-184 show some good examples. Happy reading and practicing!
01-25-2005, 09:58 AM
My method of learning new stuff has worked for me in the past and I am now doing that with safety play...
First I learn all I can about it - books, videos, internet.
-Add shots I've learned to my practice sheets.
-Practice at home daily at first, then once a week.
-Use small money tournaments to try out what I'm practicing (don't care if I lose).
-Don't use new shots in important tournaments until I am good at them.
For safety shots, books don't cut it. I found some videos on safeties by Bert Kinister here...
The videos are better than books because I can see how fast he is shooting the shot, where he is aiming, and where he is hitting the cue ball. I can play a shot back in slow motion and see what is happening exactly. Also in the videos, he explains why he is doing that particular shot in that particular situation. So the videos just made everything click for me, whereas the books didn't.
I am taking notes as I watch these videos on different shots to practice. I've added every different type of shot to my practice sheets.
Also I have been asking about safeties here and have added those suggestions to my practice sheets as well.
I made a sign which I placed on my wall in my pool room. It says...
2. Think chess!
3. Think of traps or escapes while waiting your turn.
4. Can you leave the cue ball in a bad spot?
5. Can you block a pocket?
6. Can you tie up one of his balls?
7. Can you mess up one of his balls (intentional foul)?
8. Move key ball or game ball to other end of table?
A. Decide if you need to control the CB or the OB.
B. Half ball hit - OB will travel same distance as CB.
C. Thin cut - great distance safe.
D. Bank at pocket speed - a miss will block pocket.
E. Ball-in-hand - break up cluster and leave CB hidden.
F. Wall safety.
G. Funnel safety.
With 7 above, this is where you can directly hit your opponents ball into such a nasty situation, he will not be able to do anything even with ball-in-hand.
With 8 above, (in 8-ball) your opponent may have a ball which he is saving to get position to shoot in the 8. You may be able knock that ball to the other end of the table [later in the game] and wreck his carefully laid out plans. Or move 8-ball to nasty position. (in 9-ball) you may be able to move the 9-ball so it is lined up for an easy combo shot say in front of the 1 ball, while at the same time leaving the cue ball in such a nasty place, you are guaranteed ball-in-hand for the next shot. (I like that idea!)
With C above, you can send the cue ball and object ball to opposite ends of the table - hopefully one or both to locations where they will be hidden behind other balls.
With E above, say you have two balls clustered pointing long ways and all the other balls are at the other end of the table, and you have ball-in-hand. You can place the cue ball in front of the cluster, hit the first ball in the cluster dead on, send the other ball in the cluster to the rail, and leave the cue ball hidden behind the first ball. Then you will probably get ball-in-hand again, but then have your cluster broken up.
F and G explained above in this thread (just added these..)
01-25-2005, 02:11 PM
Another idea is to tape matches off of ESPN. Watch for good safety play by the competitors. Then pause the tape, set up your table similarly, and practice doing the same thing they did. Works best if you have your own table and a VCR/monitor near by.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Learn billiards, 3 cushion,straight rail billiards, how the object ball is influenced by english[right or left][high,center,low]If you want to play good nineball knowing billiards is its main ingredient.#### <hr /></blockquote>
I could not agree with this more learn 3C. not only will it help with your safety play but it will teach you how to kick your way out of trouble when you get safed out. One more thing when you do play a safe in 9B look to leave the OB near the 9B for a possible combo if you get BIH, just don't make it a priority the safety is the main thing.
01-26-2005, 05:15 AM
Developing a good safe game is not an easy thing to do, no matter how you do it. It takes a lot of time and practice. You have to train yourself to look at each shot differently. Sometimes it's dead obvious when you need to play safe, sometimes not so obvious.
You also need to be able to control two balls, not just one. When you are pocketing balls and playing for next-shot position, you only really need to control the cueball. When you are playing safe, you need to be able to control both the cueball and the object ball. That takes practice.
I think that, especially when people first start trying to play safe, they try to play safe at times when they really shouldn't. You have to look at the difficulty of the safe shot vs the difficulty of trying to just pocket the ball and move on. If the safe is a lower percentage shot than the pocket shot, then it doesn't pay to try to play safe. Sometimes you just need to take your time and deal with a difficult shot.
Another big part of safety play is learning to recognize when you have a two-way shot available to you. If you can play for pocketing the ball so that if you miss the shot, that OB would be hooked for the opponent, but you would have had position on your next OB, then that is almost always the shot. It happens more than you would think. It's just a matter of learning to see it.
Once people start learning to play safe, their game almost always slows down a tad. That is a good thing. It's because they are taking a little more time to analyze all of the possibilities.
Many safe shots are touch shots as opposed to stroke shots. One way to help develop the touch is to practice shooting balls from all over the table at pocket speed only and practice rolling balls to the cushions from different points on the table and having them stop as close to the cushion as you can. Then practice caroms where you stop both object balls and the CB at a particular place (or as close as you can get). Set the balls up and mark the table with a piece of chalk where you want each ball to end up. Then experiment with it. Watch where they actually end up as opposed to where you thought they would, then try to adjust speed, angle and spin. That will teach you a lot about how balls really react off each other and the cushions and what effect spin and speed have on them.
01-26-2005, 06:32 AM
One game a friend and me play to practce safeties is you rack up a regular 9-ball rack, break them, then keep playing safeties on each other without trying to pocket a ball. The first person to extract 10 fouls from their opponent wins. The fouls do not have to be consecutive.
01-26-2005, 06:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote c.holtz009:</font><hr> One game a friend and me play to practce safeties is you rack up a regular 9-ball rack, break them, then keep playing safeties on each other without trying to pocket a ball. The first person to extract 10 fouls from their opponent wins. The fouls do not have to be consecutive. <hr /></blockquote>
I use the same thing with my APA 9-ball team. I also use another game where you rack a 9-ball rack and break as usual. Any balls pocketed on the break are spotted up and the player that broke takes ball-in-hand. He then has to call his pocket for his first ball AND the next one. He does not get a point for pocketing the ball-in hand shot, but he does get a point for getting position and pocketing the second shot. Before each shot he has to call the pocket for his next shot and shoot the currect shot into the pocket he previously called for it OR play a successful safety. When he misses, the other player takes ball-in-hand and does the same thing. The first one to 10 points wins.
I break our practice sessions into 3 parts. The first part we play the safety/safety escape game, the second part we play the position game, the 3rd part everyone plays a normal APA format match, but everyone plays to the next higher skill level. When we have a team practice session (at least once a week) we get two tables because this would take entirely too long on one. This practice regimen seems to really benefit the beginning players, but it helps me and my 5's and 6's as well. It keeps you thinking about safety options and it's really helpful to get the beginners to start looking at position. One thing that I noticed right off the bat was that they were MUCH more likely to recognize when they need to call a timeout for help on a shot. That's because they are now thinking about where the cueball is going to end up and having tried to gain position and then seeing the cueball do something entirely different than what they expected, they are more cognizant of the times when they aren't sure what's going to happen. Then, when you coach them through one of those times, they just learned another little tidbit. My female 3 previously could make some shots, but had no concept of position play. The other night at practice I stopped her before a shot and asked "What is your plan for the next shot?" She proceeded to give me her roadmap for the next 4 balls, which happened to be exactly the way I would have tried to play it...as simple as possible, minimum cueball manipulation. Then she proceeded to run those 4 balls exactly as she planned it. She ended up hooked on next shot, but that's OK....she's thinking now.
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