Speed Control

Vanessa

Member
Hey everyone,
Forgive me, if this topic has been covered in the past. I'm new on here and just looking for input from the community.

I've just recently been getting more serious into pool. Thanks to reading posts on here, advice and tips elsewhere online, YouTube instructions and watching professionals play, my game has been noticeably improved over the last year. The one thing I still struggle with is controlling how hard I hit my shots and cueball speed.

What would you recommend for improving cueball speed? Any favorite drills or practices come to mind?

Any advice, and suggestions, would be appreciated.

Thank you.
 

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hey everyone,
Forgive me, if this topic has been covered in the past. I'm new on here and just looking for input from the community.

I've just recently been getting more serious into pool. Thanks to reading posts on here, advice and tips elsewhere online, YouTube instructions and watching professionals play, my game has been noticeably improved over the last year. The one thing I still struggle with is controlling how hard I hit my shots and cueball speed.

What would you recommend for improving cueball speed? Any favorite drills or practices come to mind?

Any advice, and suggestions, would be appreciated.

Thank you.
No substitute for hitting a million balls.
A cue ball only knows 3 things.
> direction (angle)
>spin
>speed

Speed is the toughest to get down in my opinion.
It will come.
If you are new to the game the plateaus and overcoming them come quickly.
Enjoy your time at the table.
 

Vanessa

Member
No substitute for hitting a million balls.
A cue ball only knows 3 things.
> direction (angle)
>spin
>speed

Speed is the toughest to get down in my opinion.
It will come.
If you are new to the game the plateaus and overcoming them come quickly.
Enjoy your time at the table.

Thanks!
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Speed is as simple as rolling the lone cue ball at the desired speed. Doesn't take much force or calibration either. Start with slow/short, med, and fast for more distance. You can narrow this down as you progress through those million tries prescribed earlier. The main issue I and I suspect most learners had/have with speed is much of their shot repertoire is speed dependent. Habits of this nature will keep you out of line forever. You must develop to a stage where shot accuracy and cueball control are independent. Shoot ducks and play the best speed you can. The idea is pocketing is not a concern; only cueball speed.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
Speed control, like many other aspects of pool, will become intuitive. In addition to a million balls, shoot on ten different tables with different cloth conditions. (Speed and spin are directly affected by the cloth.) At some point, you will recognize and adjust without thought.
 

Vanessa

Member
Speed control, like many other aspects of pool, will become intuitive. In addition to a million balls, shoot on ten different tables with different cloth conditions. (Speed and spin are directly affected by the cloth.) At some point, you will recognize and adjust without thought.

Thanks for this!
That's actually another issue for me. Just when I feel like I'm doing really good, I'll go to another pool hall or bar to play, and it's like I'm starting all over again. LOL
It takes me a while to get used to different tables, cloth, cushions.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
If you don't already, you might try pausing for an extended moment at the end of your final backstroke before making the shot stroke. This "separates" the backstroke from the shot stroke and gives you a moment to focus just before pulling the trigger - helps with speed and aiming.

Also remember to accelerate the shot stroke smoothly to the desired speed at impact - don't jerk it.

pj
chgo
 

Vanessa

Member
If you don't already, you might try pausing for an extended moment at the end of your final backstroke before making the shot stroke. This "separates" the backstroke from the shot stroke and gives you a moment to focus just before pulling the trigger - helps with speed and aiming.

Also remember to accelerate the shot stroke smoothly to the desired speed at impact - don't jerk it.

pj
chgo

Interesting. I've never tried that.
From what I've read and watched, pros like Darren Appleton and many other aficionados say to not pause during the back stroke. They say to keep it like a fluid pendulum.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Interesting. I've never tried that.
From what I've read and watched, pros like Darren Appleton and many other aficionados say to not pause during the back stroke. They say to keep it like a fluid pendulum.
Many respected instructors/coaches (I'm not one of 'em) recommend a pause both at the cue ball before the last backstroke and at the end of the last backstroke.

Be selective about trusting advice from pros - they often (and understandably) think their knowledge is naturally as high as their skills.

pj
chgo
 

Vanessa

Member
Be selective about trusting advice from pros - they often (and understandably) think their knowledge is naturally as high as their skills.

Very true 😊 thanks so much.
I'll definitely give the pausing a try and see if it helps. The reasoning does make sense to my logic.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Very true 😊 thanks so much.
I'll definitely give the pausing a try and see if it helps. The reasoning does make sense to my logic.
It made an immediate difference in my game, particularly in "gathering focus" and "triggering" subconscious control. Doesn't need to be real long - mine is maybe a second, but makes a much bigger difference than that would suggest.

pj
chgo
 

PoolPlayer4

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Scott Lee has a speed drill where you practice lagging the cue ball certain distances. You may be able to find it with a search on this site.

Bob Jewett has some drills at sfbilliards.com (click on the link for miscellaneous files, then number 4 - progressive practice drills). These are really good because you move back and forward at different distances which sort of naturally builds speed control. (http://sfbilliards.com/miscellaneous.htm).

Also, at Billiards University, Dr. Dave Alciatore has playability exams that work to build speed control. (https://billiarduniversity.org/testing/exams/). Click on the links for the several sets of exams.

On adding the pause at the back of the stroke, I've done that and it has helped me just as Patrick Johnson said. However, I would think hard before changing your stroke at this stage. If you're making steady progress and have a repeatable stroke, I'd work with drills like those mentioned and save the stroke changes for later. Maybe get an instructor to help with stroke changes when you start to platuea. (Tor Lowry has some really good stuff too, btw, but the drills mentioned above are nicely focused for where it sounds like you are at as a player).

Hope that helps. Shoot well!
 
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