In any sport, becoming a pro is the ultimate dream. Their incredible skills, impressive strategies, and ability to play exciting matches are what professionals are greatly rewarded for in the form of money, fame, and prestige.
However, becoming a pro in a sport like pool is not something that can happen overnight. It’s a long journey with many sacrifices and constant struggle involved. It demands consistency, determination, and the right attitude.
If you’re not willing to go through those things to become a professional pool player, then you can always just play like a pro instead. There are no shortcuts in life, but in sports, there are ways to improve your gameplay in an efficient manner. You can start by choosing among the best pool tables and equipment as everything you’ll use in pool will affect your performance in the long run. Once you have those, follow these tips in order to play like a pro in no time:
- Master The Basics
In playing like a pro, you shouldn’t focus on your physical abilities alone. You must also be knowledgeable about various aspects of the sport. Movements can easily be copied but strategizing and good decision-making while playing require more effort to learn. Basically, if you want to play like a pro, you have to think like one.
Work on the basics and take the time to master them. The essential starting points are as follows:
- Basic Concept Of Pool: In its simplest form, this game is all about pocketing the object balls as well as the opponents. Learning the game and its rules also means becoming aware of the differences between pool and the other two categories of cue sports: snooker and carom. It’s a matter of understanding what the player is doing and aiming for as well as each subdivision’s distinct characteristics.
- How To Hold The Cue: Use a cue stick that’s comfortable and easy to lift. Most cues weigh anywhere from 18 to 21 ounces. Place your non-dominant hand on the pool table at least 22 centimeters behind the cue ball. With your dominant hand, control the line of the cue for a couple of centimeters just above the base. Those are the basics of lining up a shot. Curl your index finger over the cue line to create a ‘closed bridge’ form if you want to add steadiness.
- How To Take A Shot: Every professional pool player knows how important it is to coat the cue’s tip with chalk. Doing so will result in a cleaner shot. You should aim to strike beneath the radial point of the cue ball, and the shot’s force should be directed at a downward angle. You can control the trajectory of the ball by applying the correct pressure. In taking a shot, the player must trust the process and the physics involved. One may give the ball sidespin, which is referred to as ‘English,’ to aim off-center for an impressive style. This is an effective tactic when applied with a low shot.
- Play Using The Six Essential Shots
Sports can benefit one’s mental health in many ways. For example, if you excel at a particular sport, you’ll not only feel accomplished but also become more confident in your abilities. When it comes to getting better at the pool and playing like a pro, it would help to take advantage of the following types of shots:
- The Break: This is the first shot to be done whether you’re playing eight balls or nine balls. Its purpose is to scatter the balls across the table and hopefully pot one so you can continue playing rather than allowing your opponent to pocket a few. Place the cue ball behind the balkline, aim just off-center, and then hit the ball at the tip of the triangle.
- The Plant: This shot is risky and must be avoided if possible as it requires extreme accuracy. The shot demands the cue ball to hit an object ball and then hit a third ball, which is to be potted. The best advice is to avoid adding swerve to the ball because this will cause it to be potted somewhere else.
- The Double: This shot has its risks, but when played with proper pace, then a player can have a good chance with it. Aim for the point on the cushion halfway between the object ball and the pocket. This particular shot is satisfying and can either annoy or impress your opponent.
- The Draw Shot: This is one of the basic shots you should learn. A draw shot applies backspin. This will make the cue ball hit the object ball to pot it and return to its former position. To do this, simply aim lower on the cue ball.
- The Cushion Shot: This shot is used when the object ball is stuck on the cushion. Play it right, and the ball rolls down to the pot. Approach the shot like the cushion isn’t there at all.
- The Masse: Also known as the curve shot or the banana shot, this is useful for balls that seem unhittable. Hold the cue perpendicular to the table and hammer it down, but make sure not to damage the cloth.
- Keep Calm And Win
Like the highest-paid athletes in the world, you should always keep a cool head since pool games require intense concentration. There’s no room for unnecessary distraction and pressure. To train for games and tournaments, you must condition yourself through consistent practice. This will help you with long, straight-in shots. Cushion shots are recommended if you want to be sharper and merciless in aiming for object balls.
Practice makes perfect. No matter how slow your progress is, don’t stop because you can only achieve your goals if you’re determined enough. Even if you only want to play like a pro and not necessarily become a professional, it’s a must to keep honing your skills despite the challenges that may come your way.