Just by altering one or both of these variables, you can give yourself a large number of positional options for the cue ball. We all lose control of the cue ball at one time or another - some more than others!
Have a look at the common faults below to see if they could apply to you. If they do, take some of my suggested corrections to the practice table and see how you get on. Shown below are some not all!
A suggested correction is shown underneath each common fault:. Tip addressed at the wrong height on the cue ball: T o position the cue ball using spins you first need to make a judgement on what height your tip needs to be on the cue ball. Many players simply have poor judgement when making this decision. The most common faults are placing the tip too low on the cue ball for top spin and too high for back spin. These faults are generally caused by fear of mis-cueing. It may help to think of the cue ball as a clock face.
For top spin you need to have your tip addressed near 12 o clock. You will be tempted to drop the tip too low or raise the butt of the cue too high to avoid the mis-cue. Experiment with getting your tip as high as you feel comfortable with with a level cue. Even by getting a few millimetres closer to the top of the cue ball you will see your top spin application improve.
This in turn will open up more positional options in your game. For backspin you need to lift the butt of your cue slightly to get to the bottom of the cue ball.
Make sure you keep this plane of delivery as you strike the cue ball and complete your action. Not striking the cue ball at the height you selected at address: T his fault comes about when you have selected the correct height in the address position, but then go on to hit a different part of the cue ball when you deliver.
Some players, like Jimmy White, do this consciously, while most players are not aware that this fault is occurring. Whether you do it consciously or subconsciously, I see it as a fault. This fault usually occurs for one of two main reasons. The first reason is in the back three fingers of your grip. Many players close these fingers too aggressively when they deliver the cue.
This causes the butt to raise and the tip to drop as you make the delivery. The result is often hitting the cue ball lower than you intended. The second reason for this fault is players who drop their back elbow before they strike the cue ball. This causes the butt to drop and the tip to rise. The result is that you will strike the cue ball higher than you need.
Many players including Ronnie O Sullivan will drop their elbow intentionally - and this can give extra acceleration through the ball. The key however is timing! If you have fantastic timing like Ronnie then it is possible to drop the elbow as you strike the cue ball and still get the spin applied as intended.
If however, like most players, you do not have this gift for timing, you may be in trouble! To help negate the damaging action of the back three fingers, try to dominate the grip the cue with the thumb and forefinger. The ring formed by the thumb and first finger should be at a strength of approx. The strength of the back three fingers should decrease toward the little finger.
Try to feel the strike in the 'ring' of the grip and try to keep the back three fingers a little less active during your final delivery. If on the other hand you have inconsistent positional play as a result of dropping your back hand and elbow too early I suggest you look to maintain the height of the elbow during the delivery. To help make sure you can do this while still getting a good follow through the cue ball, I would suggest that you visit a qualified coach to ensure your set up is correct.
A good set up will allow you to have a vertical back arm in the address position and will allow you to maintain the height of your elbow while still getting a complete follow through approx. Delivering too fast or too slow mis-timing the delivery: T his fault is usually caused by a final backswing that is too long or too short or when trying to get the spin through power instead of timing. When this happens you will almost invariably try to speed up or slow down the speed of delivery to make up for your poor preparation - the result is a mis-timed delivery.
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