Short Shape Drills
I first saw these drills on a tape I borrowed from a friend. I liked them a lot, and they have really helped me. That tape or DVD, Bert Kinister #35, The Short Game can be purchased from Bert at his site. I’ll be putting up reviews of a number of Bert Kinister videos, so keep on the look out for more info. I’ve put my own spin on these, so if you don’t agree with my approach, take it up with me, don’t blame Bert.
In every one of these drills, the object balls are always within one spot of their designated corner pocket, so making the ball is not the challenge. These drills are about getting shape.
In all of these drills you are to start with ball in hand and pocket the balls in the closest corner, doing so in rotation, 1st the 1, then the 2, etc. The cue ball is not allowed to touch any object ball other than the one you are shooting. If you miss, hit a ball, or scratch you are done and have to start over.
The drills differ in a couple of ways from one another. In some the balls are parallel to the long rail, in others they are parallel to the foot rail. In some you work from the rail in, in others from the inside toward the rail. Some will have additional limitations for where the cue ball is allowed or required to go. For example you may be required to hit the side rails on every shot but never the end rail, or vice versa.
There’s more than one way to run a series of balls, but there are a few general approaches that everyone should be familiar with. Once you can do them all you will be better able to pick the right shot in a game situation. If you learn one way only, you artificially limit yourself, and sometimes you won’t even see an option that would make your run out simpler, or even possible.
Lots of drills are hard and people get discouraged because they don’t believe they can do them. These drills will test you, but are runnable by players of intermediate skill. You will have to work at them, though, because there are lots of opportunities to screw up.
You should always be cognizant of which side of the line you want to be on for your next ball. That way you can much more easily move the cue ball to the desired location without any need for a Herculean effort. Good pool is about moving the cue ball to locations so you always have relatively easy shots. Getting on the right side of the line is a huge part of this.
In each of the drill pages, I attempt to describe how to run the drill in a straight forward way, within the limitations of the rules of each drill. In the lower right corner of each Cuetable diagram there are two numbers, the one on the left is the current page, the one on the right is the maximum # of pages in that diagram. Clicking the arrows beside each number will take you forward and back through the pages.
Below each diagram is a scrollable text window with my ramblings about the shots. As you click from one page to the next in the diagram, you can scroll through the text to the appropriate section marked with headlines for each page. This way you can read the relevant text while still seeing the diagram, which makes understanding easier.
There are quite a few variations within this drill set, and I haven’t completed diagramming them all, but there are more than enough here to give you plenty to do, and I’ll be adding the rest over time. As I do I’ll post to that effect, so if you wish you can keep up with them.
Don’t be bashful, let us know how you’re doing with these. I really like them, but maybe you have a different perspective.
|Drill 1a||Draw Variation||Low|
|Drill 1b||Long Rail Variation||Medium|
|Drill 2a||Outside-In Side Rail Follow Variation||Low|
|Drill 2b||Outside-In Side Rail English Variation||Low|
|Drill 2c||Inside-Out End Rail Only||Medium|
|Drill 2d||Inside-Out Two Rail Variation||Low|
|Drill 2e||Inside-Out Follow Variation||Low|