Being able to control where the cue ball will go is a really important skill to learn in snooker.
You may well pot the ball you were aiming for, or play the safety shot you were after, but if the cue ball doesn’t land in the right position, then you will more than likely hand over control to your opponent.
Here are five snooker drills to improve your cue ball control.
Just have the cue ball, and the red ball in a potable position. And pot that ball over and over again.
To give you an idea of how hard you are hitting the cue ball, line the coloured balls up, spaced out, on top of the table. From there, you can see just where the ball will end up if you hit it a certain way.
This would be handy going into matches, you can make a mental note of where you want that ball to end up, and so long as you focus your brain on that shot, you should be able to make it.
Playing for specific balls
When in the midst of a match, particularly during a break, it is easy to make the decision to pot a colour, without a red in mind, particularly if most of them are still together.
To sharpen your cue control, you can line all the balls up in a straight line, and aim to pot each ball as you go.
If you aim a shot at the pink for example, you could then make a mental note, even before you’ve potted the pink, about which red ball you want to pot.
If you keep aiming for specific targets, naturally your cue control will get better over time.
Naturally, straight shots tend to be the easiest ones to get. All you have to do is hit the cue ball straight down the middle, and the shot should land.
But if you change the angle of the shot, even slightly, it can become harder. Even if the distance is the same as the straight shot, getting the angle right can be difficult.
Practice making the angle shot like that, and also prepare for where the cue ball could land. Make a mental note of where you want it to land, to prepare you for the next shot.
Practice makes perfect
If you are lining up a particular shot, then repetition is good for consistency in that respect.
It is good to keep that muscle memory in the forefront of your mind, as you are more likely to retain it in a match.
Just carry on potting a red ball until you have that consistent rhythm in your cue control.
Potting the colours
Line the yellow, brown and green in their usual positions, leaving the cue ball close by. What you are aiming to do is pot the balls, and keep the cue ball in the same area. Place your cue down by where you place the cue ball to give you a guide.
Pot each ball, and then replace it. But keep going where the cue ball lands- so you should be able to give yourself a decent shot for each ball.
Looking for more advice? Check out our post on snooker practice drills to improve your safety play.
Snooker JimGone from a 6ft table in my dad's garage as a kid to a 9ft table at the office, with the full-size snooker club visits in between. Hoping one day to get the playing technique right.
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