Shooting Hard with English

Written by Joe D'Aguanno

One of the stumbling blocks that prevents a mid-level player from moving up to the next level is the ability to shoot a longer distance shot with english hard enough to move the cue ball around the table using 2 or more rails. Normally I don't believe in shooting the cue ball with a hard stroke especially when using english. There are some cases however that leave little choice unless there is a viable safety available. I have seen many good B Level (7 to 8 rated in Arizona) players that get stuck with one of these shots. Using english they shoot harder than normal and usually end up with close to perfect shape. The only problem is that they almost always miss the shot. If you understand the mechanics of shooting the cue ball harder with english you will have another weapon to help move you to the next level.

First you must divide your stroke up into at least 10 levels of power with 1 being the softest. The huge majority of your shots should be shot with a 1 1/2 to 3 level of power. Any advanced player knows that they need to compensate for throw when they use english. They also know about cueball deflection when using english and most have learned to keep their shot power level low enough to minimize this deflection. The problem arises when they are faced with a shot that requires english and a significant increase of power level beyond what they are comfortable with.

The 2 keys to understanding how to adjust your aim when using english is the power level of your stroke and the amount of english you apply. When shooting using english (I normally use 1 to 1 1/2 tips) and your power level is approximately 2 or lower you must compensate for throw. Let me say here that the stroke power levels where these principals take effect will vary from cuestick to cuestick depending on the amount your shaft deflects the cueball. The principles however will remain the same. The softer you shoot and the more english you use under the approximate power level of 2 the more you compensate for throw. As your stroke speed exceeds an approximate power level of 2 you need to shift from compensation for throw to compensating for deflection. In other words if you are shooting an object ball to a pocket on your left and are using right english you normally aim more to the left to compensate for the throw. With this shot (using right english) as you increase your stroke power the cueball will begin to deflect to the left (it would deflect to the right using left english) and you would need to adjust your aim on the object ball to the right. If you shoot hard at say level 5 using english you might have to adjust your aim a 1/2 inch or more to the right to compensate for deflection.

This might have you aiming in thin air if the contact point is less than 1/2 inch from the edge of the object ball. Don't forget that when you shoot harder it also makes the cueball deflect more off the object ball which will definately affect where the cueball strikes the rail and where it finally ends up. If you think about it a little further you can find the perfect stroke speed using english where the throw and deflection cancels each other out and you aim dead nuts at the point of contact. For me that is around a 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 power level.

Once you have experimented with the principals above and begin to get a feel for it you will be able to shoot hard enough to pratically rip the pockets off the table, pocket the ball and make perfect shape. Your rival though will attribute it to pure luck though as everyone knows that you can't pound the balls and still control the cueball.

About The Author: Contents, concepts and images Copyright 2004, Joe D'Aguanno. This information may be shared freely so long as the Copyright notice is included. If any contents or images are used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained from Joe D'Aguanno. Email Joe D'Aguanno at joedaguanno<at sign>hotmail.com

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