No More Fancy Pants Shooting!! - January 2009

No More Fancy Pants Shooting!! - January 2009

I hope that your New Year’s resolutions include something about pool playing. If you’ve been unsure how to plan this year’s pool playing resolution, I may have just what you need, No More Fancy Pants Shooting.

You know exactly what I’m talking about; overdoing a shot to the point that you get yourself in trouble or simply missing and giving up the table. Often times you know full-well that you shouldn’t do what you’re about to do, but you think, while you’re down on the cue ball, “Hey, if I can pull this one off, I’ll really show them, plus I’ll win this game in style.” Then, while you’re not focusing on the shot, you shoot and it’s a disaster!

This first table diagram is a perfect example of a shooter who is trying to be a Fancy-Pants player. The shooter has to make the last striped ball on the table and pocket the Eight-Ball to get the win. Feeling good about running the last five balls, you figure that a two rail power draw shot, with a touch of bottom left English, would bring the cue ball back and park the cue ball right in front of the Eight-Ball for the win in the corner pocket. So you load up and WHAM! We’ve all been there. The object ball makes six rails, the cue ball gets somewhat close to the intended position and the shooter will usually say something like, “Look at that, I got perfect position.” Not!

What you needed to do was simply pocket the last striped ball with a medium but firm stroke, using Center English and let the cue ball bounce out from the rail 6 to 10 inches. That’s it! Walk around the table and make the slightly longer cut shot on the Eight-Ball

Let’s face it, if you have the skill to pull off the first idea about power drawing two rails back, than you surely have the skill to make the cross table cut shot on the 8 ball. Besides, the two rail draw back stroke is the harder shot to make of the shots.

I’m giving you one of a thousand examples so you can understand my point. The drill needed to break the habit of shooting unprofitable and often stupid fancy-pants shots is this: when you’re down on a shot and you know you’re about to attempt a fancy shot, ask yourself, “Am I using the KISS principle?” In this case it stands for, Keeping It Simple & Safe.

Sometimes you should only use two rails instead of three, or one rail instead of two, or none instead of one, if doing so would still get the job done. If the choice between using English or not using English means you’d have a small cut on the next shot, drop the English. KISS! Using English usually complicates a shot. Remember you New Year promise, No More Fancy Pants Shooting. It just might keep you at the table longer.

If you have a question about playing a shot and want to explore another way to play it using the KISS idea, write or call me and we’ll work it out together.