A different sort of Practice Routine

Written by Mark Finkelstein

Most of my students want to know how they can win more games. The sad part of my answer is that I really don't know how they can win any specific game. What I do know and do with them though is to prepare them for anything when they are playing. By giving them the stroke, speed, and pattern skills to play excellent pool, they increase their overall chances of winning.

This next practice routine is one I would suggest you do at least once per week. If you are a competitive player, you might want to practice 2 or 3 hours a week on these drills. I can't guarantee that you will win more games, but you will definitely be more prepared.

The first drill is to run 5 racks playing with only the bridge. Do the first two with all 15 balls, then run the next 3 racks of 15 in rotation. Use the Bridge on every shot. Not only do you have to use the bridge, but you have to play position with it.

Next is an off the rail drill.


Off the Rail Drill

What you are trying to do is make the spot shot on the 9 from the positions on the end rail. This is really challenging, but you will be glad you practiced it.

Next is to practice being jacked up. Here is a good drill to test your abilities at these trying shots.


Jacked Up Drill

Again, you are trying to make the spot shot shooting from being jacked up over a ball. This is another very challenging drill, but the time you spend doing it will reward you.

Next on our list of tools to develop is our jump shot.


Jump Shot Drill

Lay a cue stick on the table and set up the shots here. The object is to jump over the stick and make the one ball and then the 15 ball from different positions. Keep at this and you will soon develop a feel for using the jump shot.

The final drill in this sequence is one to help you develop your masse shots.


Masse Drill

What you want to do here is curve around the 8 ball and try to hit each of these balls in order.

This routine should take you about an hour and the next match you play, you will use most of these shots. Make sure you are prepared.

Keep practicing and see you on the road.

About The Author: Mark Finkelstein is a professional pool player, a BCA Master instructor, an American Cue Sports (ACS) level 4 instructor, and house pro at Slate Plus in New York. Mark can be reached via phone at 347-545-1916, email at nycpool<at_char>gmail<dot_char>com or thru his website at www.mfpool.com.

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Author Info - Mark Finkelstein