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cfrandy
11-19-2006, 11:12 AM
An inexperienced player asks me, "What would you recommend if you are not at the level where you can run racks on a consistant basis? I was told that you should not just pocket all your shots and leave yourself with three balls that you can use as a safety."

I respond with, "Improve YOUR level of play. Start practicing by coming to the table with "ball in hand" after every missed shot (not just fouls). This helps you look for patterns of runs. Begin to shoot softly and control the cueball. No matter what anyone might tell you, 8-ball is an aggressive game. The timid will NEVER win consistently!"

What would YOU tell him?

randyg
11-19-2006, 12:56 PM
Find an Instructor....SPF=randyg

cfrandy
11-19-2006, 01:14 PM
Find an Instructor....SPF=randyg

That's good advice! I give it often, and...I always suggest finding a BCA Certified Instructor!

Klopek
11-19-2006, 01:18 PM
I would tell him decide before the first shot if the rack can be run out or a safety is required. Waiting until the last three balls to plan for a safe is never a good idea because your options are minimal.

I would tell him to plan a way to break apart any tied up balls before taking the first shot. Break free the tied up balls and your run out percentage will skyrocket.

I'd also encourage him to develop a better understanding of the best group of balls to take after the break. Inexperienced players usually take the wrong group for all the wrong reasons.:)

Billy_Bob
11-20-2006, 10:04 AM
I would say the cue ball is key!

Being able to *know* where the cue ball will go after each shot, then being able to leave the cue ball where you want to leave it after each shot.

For this practice the 30 and 90 degree rules.

Practice stop (stun) shots.

Practice drawing back the cue ball one diamond, two diamonds, three, one table length, etc.

Practice getting the cue ball to follow the object ball 1 diamond, two diamonds, three diamonds, one table length, etc.

Practice speed control.

With no english and just follow, stop, draw, and speed control, you can go a long way toward leaving the cue ball where you want.

Also going forward... Not always necessary to try to draw the cue ball backwards to a get a good leave. You can go *forward*! If the cue ball goes forward, it will hit a rail and come back! (Many people do not get this.)

When you have ball in hand, don't shoot a ball into the corner with stop when all your other balls are at the other end of the table. Instead it might be a better idea to shoot the ball in at an angle, use follow and the cue ball will hit a rail and then travel to the other end of the table leaving you with an easier shot on another ball. (Many people do not get this either.)

Then practice running in 3 balls and leaving the cue ball in a good position so you have an easy shot on each ball. You need to leave the cue ball on the 2nd ball so after you shoot it, you will be able to leave an easy shot on the 3rd ball. You need to think 3 balls ahead. If you can do this with three balls, you can do it with 4, 5, or 6.

xidica
11-20-2006, 11:48 AM
That's a really good post. Rep points for you! :D

While I like to play fairly aggressive 9-ball, I prefer to take a defensive stance a lot of times in 8-ball. Anyways, keep it coming!

supergreenman
11-20-2006, 12:05 PM
An inexperienced player asks me, "What would you recommend if you are not at the level where you can run racks on a consistant basis? I was told that you should not just pocket all your shots and leave yourself with three balls that you can use as a safety."

I respond with, "Improve YOUR level of play. Start practicing by coming to the table with "ball in hand" after every missed shot (not just fouls). This helps you look for patterns of runs. Begin to shoot softly and control the cueball. No matter what anyone might tell you, 8-ball is an aggressive game. The timid will NEVER win consistently!"

What would YOU tell him?

As several other posters have mentioned, the first thing to do is to decide whether the rack is runable or not. If it isn't you must decide whether or not it is advantages to choose a suit. Most times one suit or the other is clearly a better choice. Once decided you have to plan a safety as soon as possible. Every time you take a ball off the table you've removed an obstical for your opponent.

Remember when you safe your opponent, you should try and anticpate how he's going to safe you back.

If the rack is runnable....

1) find out which pockets the 8 ball goes too.
2) choose a key ball to the 8 ( the ball that sets you up for the 8 in the best pocket)
3) identify your trouble balls and select a pattern that would get you onto those balls at the beginning of your run.
4) when breaking out balls it's best to plan your next shot for a ball other than the one you have just broken out if possible.
5) avoid bumping balls as much as possible.
6) divide the table into zones and work your way back to the key ball then onto the 8 using the least amount of cue ball travel as possible.