Today I’m showing you a few principles that every pro player does
In this lesson you will learn the main concept when it comes down to the positional game
There are a few rules or principles that you just have to take care of when you play position for the next ball
I’ve put six of these principles together. So, let’s get started.
This is our first situation.
We are playing ten-ball and have ball in hand on the four ball
If you want to, pause this video right now and think about how you would run this rack so that we can compare afterwards.
I will now try to run the rack without using any of the principles that you will learn. Just watch and analyze what I’m doing.
Well, did you spot the problem? The problem began from the 5 to the 6 ball where I came too short.
The problem was the poor position from the 5 to the 6.
Or did the problem even start at my first shot from the 4 to the 5?
It was the 4 to the 5 ball that caused the missed run…and here we come to the first principle: Think three shots ahead.
When I’m playing the 4 ball in, I don’t only think about getting a nice shot on the 5 ball.
I’m thinking about getting a nice shot and position on the 5 ball in order to get as easy as possible to the 6 ball
So I want to be on this side of the 5 ball to easily use one rail to the 6.
In my run, I was on the wrong side
I’m trying this shot again.
And I came too short, so I’m trying again.
I came too far. And now we come to the second principle:
Pick a point on the table.
Every time that you’re playing position, you want to pick a point on the table where the cue ball should end up.
Of course, many times, there’s a large area where the cue ball could end up.
But if you want to be more accurate and have less margin for error,
you have to pick a point on the table.
If you want to know more about that topic, watch my videos about secrets of visualization.
So I’m picking a point and I finally get the right angle on the 5 ball and can go up table,
but the problem with this shot is that the speed control is very tough.
A little further, or a little slower, and I have no position on the 5 ball.
So this leads us to the next principle:
Going towards the line.
As you saw, this is the point where we want to be.
If you are drawing this line
from the object ball to the cue ball to the rail,
the angle is always the same if the cue ball is on this line.
So our goal is to find a path so that the cue ball is moving on that line and isn’t crossing that line.
That means that the cue ball has to hit here on the rail and then it goes towards the five ball on that line.
Now I’ve just got to manage to hit the short rail, and bounce to that point on the long rail,
and I’m going on the position line towards the five ball.
Here my speed control is much easier because the angle doesn’t change on that line.
The cue ball can be from here to here and it doesn’t change anything.
So going towards the line is a pretty powerful way to get safe position. Do this as often as possible.
Look for easy ways to go towards the line and don’t cross the position line.
Now we can watch my final attempt to run this rack.
For the next principles, we have a different situation.
Again, we’re playing ten-ball and have ball in hand on the four ball.
Here, we’re already using the “three shots ahead” principle
This is the best spot for the cue ball, in order to get from the five ball to the six ball into the side.
We’re just going one rail up table.
What happened now is that it got safe. So our next principle is called:
Avoid danger zones
Well, what is a danger zone? A danger zone is a part of the table where we have no shot on the next ball.
So, if it’s possible,
we should not travel through these danger zones with the cue ball.
So, do you see another way to get to that point without going through the danger zone?
Before you think too much about that, there is no need to get to that point at all
even if it’s probably the best spot for the cue ball to be.
We will just use this angle and go the other way around to get position for the six ball.
So we’re playing the shot, and we get a nice position on the five ball
and get easily up table to the six ball
But wait, what happened now?
I didn’t manage to get to the seven ball but was the problem really my bad shot into the side pocket?
No, my problem was that I didn’t get a nice angle on the six ball.
This leads us to the next principle: Get into position zones
So, let’s start over again. Here, you see me picking a point for the cue ball.
This time, I’m going another way where I use the principle of going towards the line again.
So, let’s take a closer look at the six ball. This is the straight-in shot on the 6
Obviously this side is bad. So I want to be on the up-table side of the line.
Here I have a large zone where the cue ball can end up,
so I’ve got to make sure that I’m in the zone
I won’t take this point for my cue ball because it’s too close to the straight in shot.
Instead, I want to be on one of these points.
Now I decide to go the long way, because once I’m over that line,
I will always have position.
And even when I’m hitting the rail, the cue ball will spend a very long time on the right line in the position zone.
I put too much left hand spin on the cue ball.
That’s why I got dangerous with the cue ball and nine ball.
But even with this misjudged amount of spin,
I’m still in the position zone and I still have a perfect angle on the six ball in order to get to the seven ball.
I’m not getting perfect position on the eight ball,
but here you see another perfect example of going towards the nine ball.
So remember: if there are zones for the cue ball to end up in, then don’t pick a point too near the border of the zone
Just look for a point deep in the zone,
so that there is no danger that you don’t make it into the zone with the cue ball
For our last principle, we have this situation.
This time we do not have ball in hand.
We’re playing ten-ball and we have to get position from the four to the five ball again.
Pause this video and think about it again.
In my first attempt, I’m trying to draw the cue ball back and play the five into the same corner pocket,
but as you see, it’s very tough to get on the right side of the five ball
Now, I’m at the wrong side.
I have to pound the ball in and do something crazy and not natural with the cue ball.
What happens most of the time is something like this:
Here I misjudge the shot again, and the only thing I have left is a combination on the seven ball.
Finally I got a position to work with, but this also was luck and not really predictable.
And look, I still have to go up table with the cue ball.
This doesn’t work perfectly – I have another tough shot on the 6 ball.
I came too short on the 7 ball into the side pocket.
So I have to cut it very thin and hit it very slowly to hold for the 8 ball.
This was just way too hard because the perfect pool should look easy and should be easy.
I accidentally got the perfect position for the cue ball,
but look how small the position zone for the cue ball is!
You should never play that way. The margin for error is just way too small.
But how do we play the shot then? For the last principle, I give you a quote from Buddy Hall:
He was pretty much saying “Why should you try to get position if you already have position?”
But what does it mean? It basically means:
If you get position by just playing a stop shot or small draw or small follow or stun shot and you have position for the next ball –
maybe not the perfect position for the cue ball on the table, but a position – you should play it.
And in our example, we have that type of shot. Just play a small stun shot.
Play the longer shot into the corner pocket.
Draw a little back and the hard work is done, and that’s how easy pool can be.
As I already mentioned in an older lesson,
you can get so much better at pool just by planning things right – just by doing the right things and making right decisions.
You don’t have to be better at making balls or better at getting position. No, it’s just the way you approach the game.
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so I really hope you enjoyed this lesson. And that’s it for today guys. Thanks for watching. See you at the next lesson. Take care.