How to get the cue ball to hit the object ball right

It looks easy.

Find the spot to hit on the object ball and then bump it there. Into the pocket it goes! It doesn’t take long to realize that hitting that spot isn’t that easy. There are many small errors for you to make. Longer distances magnify those errors in less than perfect shots for misses. You can even hit the spot and still miss the pocket because of physical forces like “throw” (to be covered later) that influence round balls. Here’s what can go wrong if the cue ball is hit off center:

In (A), the cue ball is hit perfectly in the center and the object ball goes strait. (B) and (C ) show how being off center will alter the path of the cue ball. Hitting the cue ball to the right or left of center is called “english”.

So it is important to hit the cue ball dead center in the beginning of learning the game. This is harder than you might think. English is useful in the more advanced game level, but it is far better to master the basics first. Here are ways to learn to hit dead center.

A good way to practice center hit is to hit the cue ball into a rail or cushion and have it come back to where it started. Hold the cue stick after the shot and aim to have the cue ball come back and hit it as close to dead center as you can. It is also important learn to hold the stick steady after a shot too.

In this diagram, the cue stick went through the cue ball as it should in all cases except “stop” shots (to be covered later). When the cue ball hits the cushion and comes back to hit the cue stick tip, you have hit the cue ball dead center and succeeded in staying still and finishing the stroke straight. This is a super drill in spite of its simplicity.

A straight stroke is a must for accurate shooting. You can hit the center of the cue ball and still have a path off aim. Here’s how:

These are exaggerations of strokes off angle to show how it pushes the cue ball a little and adds a slight spin. These are magnified by longer distances and miss shots. So learn a straight stroke like the one on the bottom.

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