Getting better at any skill takes dedication and practice. So when it comes to pool, that can only mean spending more time at the table if you want to improve. That’s where a structured practice routine comes in handy because you keep track and see physical changes in your game as time goes on. And to make your life a little easier, we put together a sample pool workout routine you can use to practice your game and start seeing real improvements right away!
Quick tip before you start:
A great practice for this workout or any pool session is to write down how well you did on each drill. The best way to measure your improvement, is to track your performance during these pool drills and over time you’ll gradually see your numbers go up. This is awesome for two reasons.
1. You find tangible strengths and weaknesses in your game as you improve
2. It will keep you motivated to keep practicing because you know you’re getting better
Too often beginner players don’t track their progress or don’t have a practice routine they track which can lead to frustration because they feel stuck in one place. So, to avoid these pitfalls, track this routine and see how it works for you!
It's important to get in stroke before you start any practice session, that’s why the best drill to do before any session are simple straight in shots. In the middle of a session this is easy to do, but if you haven’t hit a ball all day you’ll actually find this is a little more challenging than usual. Shoot the shot below as a stop shot and try to make it 25 times to get ready for the rest of your workout.
The ability to put backspin on the cue ball is essential to playing pool well. And the ability to control how much backspin you apply in crucial for an effective pool player, which is why this is a great progressive drill to help improve your game.
Start with the cue ball two diamonds away from the object ball, which should be on the rail close to the corner pocket. From here, make the object ball and draw the cue ball back one diamond. If you are successful, then move the cue ball back another diamond and try to execute the same shot again drawing the cue ball back one diamond. Continue this until you get all the way to position 5.
The key to getting backspin on the cue ball is to accelerate during your stroke. The best way to visualize this is to image the cue stick pushing the bottom of the ball as your stroke through your shot. If you can get this pushing motion down, then you’ll get the backspin you want.
Now, if during this drill you miss the ball or don’t pull the cue ball back one diamond, you don’t have to start all over again, just move the cue ball up one half diamond and try again. That way, we have a shot that’s still challenging, but achievable at the same time.
Not every shot is going to be directly straight in, so it's important to work on shotmaking skills when you can. This progressive shot making drill will help a lot when it comes to pocketing balls along the rail. Start with an object ball a ball's width off the rail and the cue ball one diamond from the side rail. Pocket the object ball and don’t worry about position. After making this shot 3 times in a row, move to the cue ball to the next position until you get all the way to the last position near the side pocket.
This is one of the most common shots in pool, so being able to execute it from any angle on the table is a great skill to have. If you can do this drill all the way through without missing, your well on your way to becoming a dangerous pool player.
At the end of any practice session, you should try to play a real pool game to get more experience and apply the skills you just learned. Whether your game of choice is eight ball or nine ball, play a few racks by yourself trying to run out missing as little as possible. You’ll be surprised how much better your game is after each of these practice sessions working on a few of these skills and overtime as you incorporate new drills into your routine, you’ll have a well rounded game that makes it easy to run out a rack.
What is your practice routine? Have you seen improvements in your game by doing a routine? Tweet us on Twitter @thedelta13.
Guest Post by Luca Bares, Creator of BasicBilliards.com.