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View Full Version : 9ball goes against the grain

trob
04-28-2007, 04:18 PM
Let me start by saying I've been playing this game for a long time. When I first started playing seriously 20 years ago I didn't want to learn from the local 9 ball bangers so I joined a local club where all the straight pool players play. I've always enjoyed playing 8 ball more then anything but I honestly must say I never felt comfortable playing 9 ball. not that I haven't played it a bit I just never played at the level I play 8 ball. Now that 8 ball leagues just ended I'm going to be playing in a local 9 ball league so I've started playing it more. I'm starting to understand why I'm not comfortable playing the game..why the confidence to get out isn't there for me. I've always been taught to simplify the game. When I play 8 ball I pick out the best out ball and then the best ball to get to that out ball. Then I pick the run of least possible resistance. The out that lets me move the cue ball the least. 9 ball goes against that. The run out is laid out in front of you and sooner or later your going to have to roll the rock around to get position. I'm fighting trying to break that mold but it's tough. I guess I'm just waundering if theres any older players on here who have gone through this same thing and what you've done to get yourself out of it? maybe some cue ball drills. I just don't know.

bataisbest
04-28-2007, 08:38 PM
9-ball, I feel, is a great way to improve your position play because there is less traffic than in 8- ball and you can pin point where exactly you want the cue ball to end up after each shot. What I do when I want to practice precise position is throw the balls out on the table and spread them out so that the numerical sequence 1 -9 is spread over the whole table i.e., 1 ball on one end 2 ball at the other end, etc. Then, I take ball in hand and use a piece of chalk to mark where I want "whitey" to end up for the next shot. You can increase the degree of difficulty to where you eventually can freeze one of the object balls and create a shot to where you have to have the cue ball travel down table or several rails to loosen them up to set up your next shot and continue to run out. This was something that the great EFREN REYES told me when I asked him how to improve my position play.I know there are other ways to go about this but to me, this way helped me the most and I've stuck with it ever since. Just my 2 cents of course

Scott Lee
04-28-2007, 09:20 PM
The best way to practice, regardless of the game, is to throw out just THREE balls (any three), take b-i-h on the first shot, and pocket them in numerical order. The key is that you MUST get easy position (defined as a 30 degree cut angle, or less) on both the second and third balls. Just being able to pocket the shots doesn't count. When you can successfully complete this exercise 15 out of 20 tries, you can move up to throwing four balls out, with the same concept. This will do a lot to help improve your position play for 9-ball. Of course, this is presuming you have an accurate, repeatable stroke to begin with. Best of luck in your summer league!

Scott Lee

trob
04-29-2007, 05:44 AM
Both of those sound good ...I'll have to put in some good old fashioned practice time.

randyg
04-29-2007, 06:38 AM
Great progressive drill.....SPF=randyg

Sid_Vicious
04-29-2007, 08:22 AM
Wade Crane tought that drill 10-15 years ago in his hourly lessons, 'cept you actually racked the three balls and I believe he had the game count go to 50 games, and looked for 70 or 80% success to pass. I shortened it to about what you suggest to 20 myself and lazied up on racking, but failed to really work that system, so I got what I put into it, little. Time to work it again, thanks...sid

Snapshot9
04-30-2007, 08:51 AM
This is just my opinion, but I feel you feel this way because you are not confident of your 'cue ball control', and that you do not completely understand your rails, and how the cue ball reacts to rails with english on it.

Another simple drill is to cut a 6" diameter piece of paper out, and you can play 8 or 9 ball, and before you shoot each shot, put the circle down where you want your cue ball to be for the next shot, and then see how close you get to the circle. If you are way off, then reshoot the same shot trying to get closer to the circle. You could start off with the suggested 3 balls and do this for each one except the last ball, of course. This is one of the ways I taught myself english and postion 45 years ago.

The other question is: Do you really know where the cue ball is going when you put different types of english on the same shot? with different speeds?

And that is why, I shot the most common shots with 12 different types of english with 2 different speeds on each shot. Yes, that is 24 shots total for each shot, but you learn a lot, and that's why my positional play is still considered one of my biggest strengths today, 45 years later.

SpiderMan
04-30-2007, 09:43 AM
Playing the game "Target Pool" is considered by many to be excellent practice for 9-ball because it helps you develop a feel for precise open-table cue-ball control. It falls in the category of "progressive drills" because it provides score-keeping for monitoring improvement, and it may hold your interest because you can play it alone or with a friend.

Target Pool was developed by Kim Davenport, and the boxed version is (I think) about \$40. Mine was only \$15, but I've had it about 15 years.

I still prefer 8-ball, though.

SpiderMan

dr_dave
04-30-2007, 11:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> The best way to practice, regardless of the game, is to throw out just THREE balls (any three), take b-i-h on the first shot, and pocket them in numerical order. The key is that you MUST get easy position (defined as a 30 degree cut angle, or less) on both the second and third balls. Just being able to pocket the shots doesn't count. When you can successfully complete this exercise 15 out of 20 tries, you can move up to throwing four balls out, with the same concept. This will do a lot to help improve your position play for 9-ball. Of course, this is presuming you have an accurate, repeatable stroke to begin with. Best of luck in your summer league!<hr /></blockquote>Excellent drill!

FYI to others: links to this and other useful drills can be found here (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/resources/index.html) under "drills."

Regards,
Dave

Bob_Jewett
04-30-2007, 12:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>.... Target Pool was developed by Kim Davenport, and the boxed version is (I think) about \$40. Mine was only \$15, but I've had it about 15 years. ... <hr /></blockquote>
Was about \$40. Target pool is no longer produced, although I think the guy who marketed it would be willing to accept backing for a new run. It's now a collector's item, and usually goes for \$30-\$60 on eBay, although a recent sale was for \$200.

Here is a form of target pool without the equipment:

Choose a random spot on the table for the object ball and a random spot for position. The cue ball is in hand. Play the shot the easiest way until you get within your margin of error (for example, within a hand-span, or a dollar biil, or covering the exact spot). Then try to get to the same but by using one or two or three cushions. You could make up a bull's-eye target like Target Pool has, with high, medium and low scoring areas.

Here is how to select random spots on the table. Get a deck of cards. Stand by the side pocket. Draw a card. Count across the table the number of the card going in 1/3 diamond steps. An ace is next to the cushion you are standing by. A king is at the opposite long cushion. Now draw a card to go up or down the table. A red card moves you to the left 1/3 diamond per count, and a black card moves you to the right. A king-king draw would be in a far corner pocket, and an ace-ace would be the side pocket you are standing by. Put the two cards by the spot that they indicate as a marker.

When you do this drill, you should be able to discover pretty quickly the sorts of shots you have trouble with. Work on them separately with some kind of progressive practice.

SpiderMan
04-30-2007, 02:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>.... Target Pool was developed by Kim Davenport, and the boxed version is (I think) about \$40. Mine was only \$15, but I've had it about 15 years. ... <hr /></blockquote>
Was about \$40. Target pool is no longer produced, although I think the guy who marketed it would be willing to accept backing for a new run. It's now a collector's item, and usually goes for \$30-\$60 on eBay, although a recent sale was for \$200.
<hr /></blockquote>

You are correct. I was going on the assumption that Walter Hawley kept his web site reasonably up-to-date Target Pool @ Hawley's (http://www.billiardstore.com/supplies/otherAcc/m903.htm) , but a quick phone call proved that was not the case - I wonder what else on that site is no longer available /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan

mr_griff
04-30-2007, 02:49 PM
Here is a practice drill that kind of goes against the grain that has helped me a lot. You can either break a full rack or spread them out evenly, doesnt really matter.

Take ball in hand on the one and try to play the perfect position on the two to give you the shot plus an angle to get on the three. Always be thinking about the next ball and the ball after. Here's the catch if you miss your shot, take the ball and drop it in the pocket anyway. This has helped me emphasize the position aspect of the play. If I can get on that next ball with a nice two rail position shot with some english, and I miss my shot, oh well. I take a second to realize why I missed it but I dont go backwards. I try to go through a whole rack counting my misses. Im not an expert at 9 ball at all, but starting with ball in hand and playing position for the next shot I can usually run out with one or two misses. By emphasizing making the best position play shot each time you can bring that part of your game up to the level of your ability to make balls.

Dont stop trying to make balls, but if you miss keep going.

trob
04-30-2007, 03:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Snapshot9:</font><hr> This is just my opinion, but I feel you feel this way because you are not confident of your 'cue ball control', and that you do not completely understand your rails, and how the cue ball reacts to rails with english on it.

Another simple drill is to cut a 6" diameter piece of paper out, and you can play 8 or 9 ball, and before you shoot each shot, put the circle down where you want your cue ball to be for the next shot, and then see how close you get to the circle. If you are way off, then reshoot the same shot trying to get closer to the circle. You could start off with the suggested 3 balls and do this for each one except the last ball, of course. This is one of the ways I taught myself english and postion 45 years ago.

The other question is: Do you really know where the cue ball is going when you put different types of english on the same shot? with different speeds?

And that is why, I shot the most common shots with 12 different types of english with 2 different speeds on each shot. Yes, that is 24 shots total for each shot, but you learn a lot, and that's why my positional play is still considered one of my biggest strengths today, 45 years later. <hr /></blockquote>

Not the problem man..I've been playing along time. I've put in my time. I have great cue ball controll. Like I said I certainly have the stroke and the ability to play this game at a high level It's just a matter of playing it more. I've put in about 5 hours a day since puting this up and I'm running racks pretty consistantly. I think every game has it's own rythem and I was just struggeling to find mine playing 9 ball.

trob
04-30-2007, 03:12 PM
Bought it the first year it came out and your correct it was a great way to get better. I've lent it to alot of guys I've played with and really got to see the dividens this pays off if you stick with it as a practice drill.

Cydpkt
05-01-2007, 10:37 AM
I like practicing for the break outs and runs as well. One thing I have not seen mentioned is also playing safe to get the ball in hand or to make your opponent kick and break out your problem as well. Nothing says that you have to run out each time you get to the table. Some times letting your opponent do the hard work will allow you to come back to an open table. Just my 2 cents.

Stretch
05-01-2007, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote trob:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Snapshot9:</font><hr> This is just my opinion, but I feel you feel this way because you are not confident of your 'cue ball control', and that you do not completely understand your rails, and how the cue ball reacts to rails with english on it.

Another simple drill is to cut a 6" diameter piece of paper out, and you can play 8 or 9 ball, and before you shoot each shot, put the circle down where you want your cue ball to be for the next shot, and then see how close you get to the circle. If you are way off, then reshoot the same shot trying to get closer to the circle. You could start off with the suggested 3 balls and do this for each one except the last ball, of course. This is one of the ways I taught myself english and postion 45 years ago.

The other question is: Do you really know where the cue ball is going when you put different types of english on the same shot? with different speeds?

And that is why, I shot the most common shots with 12 different types of english with 2 different speeds on each shot. Yes, that is 24 shots total for each shot, but you learn a lot, and that's why my positional play is still considered one of my biggest strengths today, 45 years later. <hr /></blockquote>

Not the problem man..I've been playing along time. I've put in my time. I have great cue ball controll. Like I said I certainly have the stroke and the ability to play this game at a high level It's just a matter of playing it more. I've put in about 5 hours a day since puting this up and I'm running racks pretty consistantly. I think every game has it's own rythem and I was just struggeling to find mine playing 9 ball. <hr /></blockquote>

Ya you can blow a lot of dough on fancy targets, intricate drills, and other shape games. The old timers used to just put a couple balls on the table and throw a knickle down. Play every shot to the knickle and after every shot throw the knickle somewhere else. Play like that enough and prety soon you'll just be looking to a spot pryor to getting down and you'll know how to get there.

Your correct about the rythm and tempo of playing 9 ball. Totally different than eight ball imo. In 9 ball i have to almost force myself to speed up ( and i'm by no means slow ) but i play better 9 ball if i pick it up a notch. Reason is *for me anyway, that by and large 9 ball is a shooters game. Open tables plenty of room to let your stroke out, it's not always tic tac toe believe me lol and the only way i can cope with faceing shot after shot and still be loose and acurate is to speed it up and go peddle to the metle. Not just offence either, attack the safes and lock ups with just as much gusto. St.

joepool
05-01-2007, 07:16 PM
Great practice drill, Scott...Thanks....

I will pass it on to some players this weekend.

Sid_Vicious
05-01-2007, 10:08 PM
"One thing I have not seen mentioned is also playing safe to get the ball in hand or to make your opponent kick and break out your problem as well. Nothing says that you have to run out each time you get to the table. Some times letting your opponent do the hard work will allow you to come back to an open table."

What an evil man, I love it! 9-ball is strategic more than people give it credit for, especially if you know your opponent.

BigRigTom
05-02-2007, 08:49 AM
The drill mentioned by Scott Lee was also recommended by Phil Capelle in "Play Your Best Pool" and there is another thread that mentions that Running 3 balls drill (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showflat.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccb&amp;Number=248130&amp;Forum=Al l_Forums&amp;Words=BigRigTom&amp;Match=Username&amp;Searchpage =0&amp;Limit=25&amp;Old=allposts&amp;Main=247996&amp;Search=true#P ost248130)

I found it extremely helpful and I realized by doing that drill just how sloppy my leaves were. I have been working on that aspect of my game every since.

You have to try it for your self and you have to keep track of your performance and track your progress to truly see how you do. As with anything else you HAVE to be honest with yourself and try to isolate the problem areas then work toward fixing what is wrong....that usually means putting the ego on the side for a bit.