View Full Version : Technique question
fast n loose
10-27-2003, 03:19 PM
I'm fairly new to the game, or at least new to devoting time and effort to actually practicing shots that are difficult for me. Anyhow, I have difficulty with long shots where the cue ball is frozen to the rail, even if it's a relatively straight shot. Situations like this:
are difficult for me to make more than 50-60% of the time--I just have trouble getting enough "meat" of the cue ball to make it go in the direction that I want it to. Currently on this shot I use an open bridge and a relatively level cue stick; should I be raising the butt end of the cue? Any suggestions on how to make this type of shot any easier?
10-27-2003, 03:52 PM
Make sure you hit the ball right in the center axis.
Line up the highest point of the ball to the line of the shot.
If you "grip" the cue, you will surely miss.
Let it slide.
10-27-2003, 03:53 PM
These shots are difficult for all players. They are delicate and there is no room for error. I watched Jimmy Reid playing off the rail and it changed the way I did it.
The hard part about rail shots is hitting the cue ball in the dead center (of the verticle axis). I suspect you are hitting right or left of center which will quickly squirt the cue ball right off the path.
So, you have to be very careful with setup and aim before you stroke the ball. Make sure you're on the line and in the middle of the cue ball. You definitely want an open bridge, but a pretty flat one and a long one, with your fingers extended resting on the edge of the table. You also want a pretty level cue (on long rail shots at least), and you do want to get down low on the shot but still keeping your body and head back - to keep your normal balance and perspective on the shot.
My other suggestion is that you develop a soft, kind of short "pokey" stroke for these shots. I usually play position off these shots just with the speed of the stroke and, to a lesser extent, the amount of cut on the object ball. Putting english on long rail shots is asking a little much.
Straight-in long rail shots are harder than the shot you diagrammed as far as I'm concerned, and they are actually good practice for all rail shots because you will immediately see why you missed.
10-27-2003, 04:08 PM
This is good advice! Two more things...elevate your cue to the same angle as the bevel on the cushion. This will be a very slight elevation of cuestick (perhaps 15 degrees, at most). This allows your tip to contact the CB a little better than with a "normal" level cue stroke. Second, be sure you have a preshot routine, that involves a pause at the CB, before a slow backswing and committment to a followthrough stroke. Like Joey said, if you are lifting the cuestick off of your bridge hand, you're gripping too tightly, and you will have much more difficulty with accuracy. I don't necessarily agree that you always have to use a "soft" or slow forward stroke (and NEVER a poke...always followthough), but you MUST have a slow backswing, so that you can change direction and accelerate smoothly and accurately through the CB. Your tip should almost always finish on the cloth, regardless of where you are aiming on the CB. This is the function of a natural pendulum swing. Lifting the cuestick off of your bridge hand reduces the accuracy and action on the shot (even though some pros shoot this way quite expertly).
10-27-2003, 06:18 PM
Fastnloose, I use this drill for practing rail shots. It is very helpful. The object is to make all balls without missing. You start with bih anywhere you want. After that you play from where cue ball goes, no bih. The ob on the rack spot can be used incase you blow position, but as you can see, you only get the one opportunity. Should you miss, place balls back as shown and try again. The goal is zero misses. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
10-27-2003, 06:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote fast n loose:</font><hr> should I be raising the butt end of the cue? Any suggestions on how to make this type of shot any easier? <hr /></blockquote> Some cushions and rails, you'll need to jack up a few degrees. Some cushions and rails, you won't have to. If you have a problem with where to aim at on the cueball, remember that the very top of the cueball represents the vertical center line. You might want to make sure you look at the cueball last on this shot.
If all else fails, jack way up and shoot with english. Then at least, you'll know what not to do.
10-27-2003, 07:05 PM
We had a drill for practicing these in pool school and I used to practice these a lot. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get back to practicing these more. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
fast n loose
10-27-2003, 07:15 PM
Thanks for all the good advice. I don't mind putting in the time and effort, but (as you all know) it's important to be drilling on the correct fundamentals to develop good habits.
Those shots are not a gimmie, you have to pay attention. As you have read, hitting center ball is a must to be accurate. Stay well balanced and bridge hand flat on the table. Shoot some 1 rail lag shots and have the c/b come back to where you started.
You may want to elevate the butt slightly but it will magnify unwanted english. I suggest this shot is not a normal stroke, especially if you just need to make the ball. I like to say drop the cue/tip on the c/b. Meaning, light grip and let the arm and cue drop forwards. No forced movement and a shorter backswing to keep it compact.
Here is a good shot to practce a smooth move. START(
10-28-2003, 04:49 AM
Lots of great advice from those in the know. Let me add my 2 cents worth. I was given this tip many years ago and it works for me. Most of the time just the weight of the cue is on your bridge hand. My suggestion is to add a little downward pressure with your grip hand. Do this in addition to all the other advice about staying level and hitting center ball. Practice these and have confidence in what your doing.
10-28-2003, 10:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Paul_Mon:</font><hr> My suggestion is to add a little downward pressure with your grip hand. <hr /></blockquote>I've heard this advice before, but how can you do that without increasing your grip pressure? If you "cradle" the cue with your "grip" hand, how can you apply downward pressure? Doesn't that involve increasing grip pressure, which then changes everything else?
one thing that helps me is to shoot easy and line up shot and look at cue ball rather than object ball.
10-28-2003, 10:12 AM
I've been taught to line up the shot and look at the cue ball, not the object ball when you are ready to pull the trigger.
10-28-2003, 10:52 AM
I try not to use too much back stroke when I shoot from the rail. I line the shot up and then shoot smooth and straight through the cue ball with a straight follow through. This was taught to me by Danny Green, a great local player. He was right. I make more of these shots than I expect I should.
10-28-2003, 10:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Vicki:</font><hr> I try not to use too much back stroke when I shoot from the rail. I line the shot up and then shoot smooth and straight through the cue ball with a straight follow through. This was taught to me by Danny Green, a great local player. He was right. I make more of these shots than I expect I should.
vicki <hr /></blockquote>
BINGO......and it is that easy... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
10-28-2003, 11:00 AM
It can be done either way, with or without pressure. He or she should practice just with the cb. Line it on the ctr diamond, frozen to the end rail and aim for the ctr diamond at the other end of the table. This should help in a short period of time. JMHO I too apply slight pressure on the bridge hand and elevate the back of the cue slightly. I find it's better to relax though while shooting off the rail as it's easy to throw the shot out. All and all everyone is right. They just put it in different ways to look at it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
fast n loose
10-28-2003, 08:53 PM
I practiced this a bit when I got home last night, both making sure to line up on vertical center of the CB and keeping my eye on the CB instead of the object ball, and it definitely made me more consistent on these shots. Thanks again for all the help.
10-29-2003, 06:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote fast n loose:</font><hr>
.....keeping my eye on the CB instead of the object ball, ...... <hr /></blockquote>
...is also something you frequently will need to do when shooting over other balls. Same theory, slightly different situation.
10-29-2003, 12:10 PM
woody...That is what I teach also. However, it doesn't matter so much where you look last, as long as you have a straight stroke, good timing, and a regimented pre-shot routine. Many good players switch back and forth where they look last, depending on the shot.
10-29-2003, 01:50 PM
The slightest amount of pressure down on the cue when shooting a rail shot helps me also. It really increases my accuracy. Not too much but just enough to keep the tip from popping up.
Center ball is the most important thing to me when shooting these shots though!
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