by: Bob Jewett – San Francisco Billiard Academy, www.sfbilliards.com
Last time we were practicing follow shots with the cue ball frozen to the cushion. That’s the sort of shot that it’s easy to do badly because the cushion interferes with your bridge and your elevation.
For that shot you need to pay special attention to your fundamentals and to do the shot as simply as possible with as little power as possible.
This time, the shot itself is no problem, so the goal is to work on power and accuracy. Start with
Shot 1. The cue ball and object ball are one diamond apart. The goal is to pocket the ball and follow
to the end cushion and back. Try to return the cue ball as close as you can to where the object ball started. Pick your own margin for “close enough” on the cue ball position.
Shown in the diagram is the easiest position. If you do it successfully, move both balls back one diamond so the object ball is even with the diamond numbered “2”. If you fail to do the shot, make the next shot easier. The cue ball and object ball are always one diamond apart. You need a very slight cut angle to avoid the scratch but no so much angle that you can’t keep the cue ball near the side cushion.
You need to pay special attention to keeping side spin off the cue ball. On shots like this where you hit the object ball nearly full, any side spin you do have on the cue ball will in effect be multiplied because all of the speed is taken away by the hit on the object ball but the spin mostly remains.
For a slightly more advanced shot, use a little left English on the cue ball so that returns to the side cushion after it hits the end rail. Try for just enough spin that the cue ball gets back to exactly the starting spot of the object ball. Even if you do the easy version of the shot well, you will probably have trouble getting beyond position 2 and still leaving the cue ball within a hand-span of the goal.
Shot 2 is a little different. It has the object ball always a diamond from the pocket and the cue ball is moved back to make the shot harder as your skill progresses. Try to return the cue ball to its starting location. Remember to mark the current cue ball location with a coin and move the coin after each shot depending on whether you do the shot well enough or not.