Need some good side pocket drills.

jtaylor996

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Who's got some great side pocket drills?

Over time I've elevated my game quite a bit, but side pockets shots need a lot of help. I miss em from all over the table, mostly longer ones.

What are some drills to address this? Any particular spin I should be using to help the ball fall and not bobble?
 
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DrCue'sProtege

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As part of my "Routine Shots" that I practice a great deal are these shots into the side pockets.

As many have told me on here, there is no magic bullitt for any part of the game. Its like Jim Rempe said once:
"Focus focus focus focus focus"
and
"Practice practice practice practice practice"

Shoot these shots 1,000 times and you should get better. But just remember, if the OB hits the facing of the side pocket a lot of times it wont go. Unless it has perfect pocket speed.

UPDATE: Be sure and shoot these three shots into the side pockets using a different hit on the CB. High inside, 6:00, low left, low right, slow, fast, etc, etc.

r/DCP


https://pad-v1.chalkysticks.com/c5a44
 
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MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Who's got some great side pocket drills?

It is not so much of a drill as of a practice preference.

For the next two (2) weeks, when you are practicing, preferentially choose side pocket shots over other shots available on the table. Then, because its practice, if you miss, restore the table and shoot it again.

You will find that 150º shot range into the side are potable at high percentages.
 

jtaylor996

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As part of my "Routine Shots" that I practice a great deal are these shots into the side pockets.

As many have told me on here, there is no magic bullitt for any part of the game. Its like Jim Rempe said once:
"Focus focus focus focus focus"
and
"Practice practice practice practice practice"

Shoot these shots 1,000 times and you should get better. But just remember, if the OB hits the facing of the side pocket a lot of times it wont go. Unless it has perfect pocket speed.

UPDATE: Be sure and shoot these three shots into the side pockets using a different hit on the CB. High inside, 6:00, low left, low right, slow, fast, etc, etc.

r/DCP


https://pad-v1.chalkysticks.com/c5a44

Thanks, these are exactly the type of longer side shots I'm missing too much. Off to the table now!
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Who's got some great side pocket drills?

Over corn teen I've elevated my game quite a bit, but side pockets shots need a lot of help. I miss em from all over the table, mostly longer ones.

What are some drills to address this? Any particular spin I should be using to help the ball fall and not bobble?
In another thread I suggested marking the target in the side pocket with a donut. There is a single spot that you can use for all shots. If you do that during practice you will learn where the center -- equal to best target -- is for the side pocket.

A practice I like to do is scatter the balls near the center of the table and then run them all into the sides. That forces you to play position as well as pocket the ball. The level after that is to get as many as you can into only one side pocket.

My favorite side pocket drill is Willie Mosconi's "ring around the side" drill. Here is a video of someone doing it with a lot of motion on the cue ball. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfxBvoDL350
I prefer to work on minimum motion for this drill.
 

jtaylor996

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In another thread I suggested marking the target in the side pocket with a donut. There is a single spot that you can use for all shots. If you do that during practice you will learn where the center -- equal to best target -- is for the side pocket.

A practice I like to do is scatter the balls near the center of the table and then run them all into the sides. That forces you to play position as well as pocket the ball. The level after that is to get as many as you can into only one side pocket.

My favorite side pocket drill is Willie Mosconi's "ring around the side" drill. Here is a video of someone doing it with a lot of motion on the cue ball. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfxBvoDL350
I prefer to work on minimum motion for this drill.

I've been doing something like the mosconi drill. Shorter shots like that I don't usually miss. It's the half table distance side shots I'm missing.

I'll try the donut thing, though. That sounds pretty useful.
 

jtaylor996

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It is not so much of a drill as of a practice preference.

For the next two (2) weeks, when you are practicing, preferentially choose side pocket shots over other shots available on the table. Then, because its practice, if you miss, restore the table and shoot it again.

You will find that 150º shot range into the side are potable at high percentages.

I've been doing that sort of thing, but for me just hitting balls and preferring one shot over another doesn't seem to help my game at all. Even for a few weeks now, I've been setting things up again when I miss on side shots.

Maybe I just need more structure. I find structured drills do a lot for my game pretty quickly.
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been doing that sort of thing, but for me just hitting balls and preferring one shot over another doesn't seem to help my game at all. Even for a few weeks now, I've been setting things up again when I miss on side shots.

Maybe I just need more structure. I find structured drills do a lot for my game pretty quickly.

During my lock down time, I can only play with myself-----durn.....

However, what motivates me is a game I invented where I play 8-ball with/against myself and I keep score--not on who wins--but on how many balls of the opponent I can sink after I make the 8-ball. I keep score by allotting each said ball $100 value. If I don't take the shop, game is over and no money transpires, if I take the shot and miss no money, if I take the shot and make it +$100, if I take the shot and scratch, he gets the value of all balls left on the table.

I made me go from "batting balls" to actually playing.
 

batmmann5

New member
I will have to try a few of these ideas. Any others? What about changing your stroke for sides? It seems that pros shoot shots in side with a very short stroke if hitting pretty soft. I hate side pockets. Ended one run today at 40 because of the side. Not super easy but very makeable and another run at 38 because I was out of lime and tried hitting in the side pretty firm to move the cueball back in line. For whatever reason, I don't feel like I see side pocket shots like I do corner ones.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I've had the same ups and downs with side pockets and I'll share what's worked the best for me. Assuming we're talking about thinner shots to the side (say cutting balls from the spot or the rack area) during some of my practice I try to snap the balls in with a very crisp speed. Also, when practicing I'm not just practicing my aim, I'm practicing my attitude. No getting down, taking twenty practice strokes, squinting, then timidly trying to grind the ball in. I picture being a player that can smoothly drop down, take a practice stroke or two to connect, then snap the ball in with attitude.

This isn't the way I play them in games. In games you usually pace them in with soft to medium swings, which is why the pros might use shorter swings. But I have found that my biggest issues is getting a little low confidence and hitting them a little too weakly and bunty. So by warming up by shooting them with speed it helps me get my mindset right. And by learning how to make them with some pace, when I just have to smooth them in with finesse in a game it doesn't seem so bad anymore.
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I will have to try a few of these ideas. Any others?

Angled shots into the side pocket end up with a delicate balance between OB touching the near-tip of the pocket, and OB not rolling over the arc defining the edge of the slate. You HAVE to miss the "tit" and you HAVE to roll over the arc.

I can make shots up to about 80º into my 8-ft Olhausen.
 
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alphadog

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My favorite side pocket drill is Willie Mosconi's "ring around the side" drill. Here is a video of someone doing it with a lot of motion on the cue ball.
I prefer to work on minimum motion for this drill.
For me that was minimal movement😁
I like to use side pocket shots to move whitey around.
1 rail , 2 rails , or more. I shoot them all the time.

I practice from the line of the 1st diamond on the end rail into both sides alternating pockets and moving the object balls position. Start straight in then introduce cut angles.

I watched a very good player put a object ball 2 1/2" of the end rail 1st diamond- cueball on the rail center diamond and slow roll that ball in the side.
It is tough but easier on new cloth.
 

Willowbrook Wolfy

Going pro
Gold Member
Maybe you are hitting to center pocket on all your side shots. Work on playing the whole side pocket from center. Then when one is tighter you won’t worry about it as much. I threw this one out there a few months ago.

Set up a ball straight into the side from maybe 1’ or so out on a line from side pocket to the second Diamond. Cb should be off the rail to make a stop shot comfortable to play. The longer the shot to OB the better. Now play a stop shot. Ok now set up the ball straight into the highest part of the side from the second diamond and play a stop shot. You have to be playing the shots about medium speed to be able to see cb movement more clearly. If you can’t play a dead stop shot and you make that ball your cb is most likely going to the left a bit because you are probably unintentionally aiming to the real center of the pocket instead of aiming correctly. Or you are putting unintentional spin on the cb and you can stop now and work on that if it is the real issue. 2nd Diamond isn’t a very long shot. So Now try it from the first diamond to the side. Then the side to the corner. If you got that far idk why you are missing them.😂😂😂


Its actually. Do it to the center do it to the top of the side and do it to the bottom of the side. Cb shouldn’t move left or right. It should just stop in place. And the OB should always fall. A little forward or back cb movement is fine. Any left or right movement means you are aiming incorrectly. And remember-no soft stroking allowed or you won’t see cb movement. The point of this whole thing is on a tight cut you are actually aiming to the top of the side not the middle of it. Middle of the pocket hits the inside tiitty

Oh and I wouldn’t recommend inside English on the tighter ones either……..they tend to bounce out more often. At least for me.
 
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straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I take the visual approach. In cuts to the side, there is no cushion to guide the eye / channel the shot. Therefore:



Brutal Sides B.png

Take your stick and make sure you know the swath.
 

Flakeandrun

Well-known member
I take the visual approach. In cuts to the side, there is no cushion to guide the eye / channel the shot. Therefore:



View attachment 752895
Take your stick and make sure you know the swath.
I have always imagined drawing a mental line to the outer jaw. Adding to that, I think it was Poolmanis mentioning drawing 'laser lines' in another thread somewhere that has been stuck in my head since, and evolved my approach into that of the world's worst superhero :ROFLMAO:
I also struggled with middle pockets (had a slight phobia) coming from snooker. No rolling it over the 'sinkhole', but really committing to sending the ball home - really getting that line dialed in and committing. I practiced lots of thinner shots into the outer jaw of the pocket when I first switched to playing more pool, as that was a weakness I could see clearly from the off. Just making sure that became the primary point of mental aim.
 
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