I mentioned earlier that I’ve been really trying to get a bit more serious about my playing.  As such I’ve been on the lookout for training tools.  Here’s what I’ve picked up so far:

How to Play Pool Right – was a video suggested to me by the guy at C&C (Cue & Cushion in the links list) when I asked him about training materials.  It’s a pretty informative video – if you can get past the 1985 video production quality.  I picked up a few fundamental things I had not known before – and things to watch out for, like squeezing the cue and it’s tell-tale signs.  Also the pendulum position for your grip.  I figured there was a special spot, but I didn’t know what it was.  The video also gives some basic training guides to ensure your stroke is accurate.  Honestly, I need to work on those things – but given that I only have an hour or so a day to practice, it’s hard to forgo gameplay with such limited time available.  In the advanced section he explains and demonstrates the effects of deflection (often called squirt).  It added a whole new level of complexity to the game.  All this time I just thought I was aiming wrong.  In a way, I was – but now I can at least say that my ideas were correct; but my execution was missing a key component – compensation for deflection.

About a month ago, I picked up a Jim Tempe Training Ball.  And while it has been helpful in spotting flaws in my stroke (any clean cue-ball would do this, I suppose), it’s difficult to play with because you have to “reset” the target after each shot and that takes away from the pre-shot routine.

Last week, I bought a Pro Cup Measle Ball.  It was, at first, a little distracting having those extra dots on the ball when trying to set my aim-spot.  But it didn’t take long at all to get around that.  Now I can see, more visually, the spin I’ve put on the ball.  Before this, I had to wait to see how the ball reacted to a cushion before I could tell if I hit the ball center or not.  It’s much easier now to tell when I’ve make a mistake.  It’s also much more fun to watch it spin around the table – from a childish point of view. hehe

The last few weeks I’ve been scouring through YouTube to try and find some good practice exercises and have found a few.  So, it’s nice to have variety in practice, but I’m wondering what else is out there.