Off a Cushion Position Drill & Tracking Progress

Written by Ron Kurtz

Many position shots are acquired by taking the cue ball off of a cushion. This is an excellent drill to learn accuracy in placing the cue ball anywhere you want coming off a cushion. It is probably the most beneficial drill I have ever done because of its continued use in real games.

Diagram 1

Basically set the 1 ball one ball away from the cushion, center dot. Set the cue ball 4 balls from the cushion, first dot as pictured. The purpose is to sink the 1 ball in the upper left corner then the real object of the drill is to have the cue ball hit the 2 ball. Once successful, re-set the 1 ball and cue ball to their original positions and make the cue ball hit the 3 ball. Re-set then do the 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10. This really teaches you how to get the cue ball anywhere you want it by coming off any cushion and it really does not change much on ball distances from the cushion unless the 1 ball is on the cushion itself. It gives you the confidence to manuver the cue ball through a cluster of balls and out the other side.

Tracking your progress

Sometimes it is good to have a written record to see progress. One method is to track the number of strokes it takes to run a rack of 9-ball. Do it for five games then write it down. After 10 sessions you can have a 50 game average which should be and accurate assessment of your 9 ball abilities. It can be broken down in any segment you like but I find more than five starts to get tedious.

Count the break as one stroke and each hit of the cue ball as another stoke. A perfect run without sinking the 9 ball before its time and no balls on the break would be 10 strokes, one for the break and one for each ball. If you pocket the 9 ball through a combination that would count just as in a real game of nine ball. If one could sink the 9 ball early on every game that is a skill that should be reflected in the skill rating. If the 9 ball is made on the break, that would be a one stroke game. It is a tool to chart progress, if you goal is to determine only rack run skills and not real 9 ball rules then ignore the 9 ball on the break and disallow combinations on the nine. It’s your tool, use it to support your goals.

About The Author: Ron Kurtz started pool when he was about 14 years old and was given his first cue, a Sampaio from Lisbon Portugal, and still have the same cue 40 years later.

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Author Info - Ron Kurtz