can assure you that top players, if they have any hiccups in their
form they will
go straight to the practice table to sort things out.
They would need and wish to make sure they are going straight
through the cue ball smoothly and with a good
follow through. All that is needed to check this is correct is
to cue along the baulk line addressing the brown spot, (Fig
Now with nice long waggles and a good rhythm, you can check to
see that the cue remains constantly over the baulk line, (Fig
must also remain so after you have finished the last back swing
and gone through to hit your chest with the back hand. Because
you have addressed the brown spot to start with you can also check
to see how far you have gone through the cue ball, (Fig 3).
If you should find that the cue is slightly offset from the baulk
line all that is required is to feel just where you are hitting
your chest and adjust accordingly. With practice you should be
able to groove a good straight cue action without even hitting
you have re-familiarised yourself with straight cueing, now you
can concentrate on potting balls. First of all line the balls
up and down the table, (Fig 4) trying to pot red and colour.
Afterwards test your cueing by lining up the balls across the
middle of the table, (Fig 5). The
exercise is to pot the balls after making sure you have a straight
shot from the baulk line into one of the top pockets.
After this exercise vary your practice and attempt the longer
shots with the object balls level with the pink spot. These should
be played with both back and top-spin. Remember these shots can
all be match winners and 100% concentration should be applied
when practicing. (For
more information on practice visit Practice Routines).
So how many hours practice is needed every day? I have lost count
of the amount of times I have been asked this question and I will
repeat again - you will not get any more out of the game than
you are prepared to put in.
Having said this, practice does not have to be continuous. Regular
breaks and rests are advisable if you find your concentration
and attention span slipping.