After my league match last night (which I won, after being down 0-4, I came back to win 9-6), I hung around and did some practicing.  I wasn’t doing very well with some of my usual drills, so instead I decided to focus on a single shot and experiment with position routes.  For whatever reason, there are two nearly identical shots which sometimes give me more trouble than they probably should. 

I set the shot up and swung away using all different kinds of english.  After a while, I noticed a pretty repeatable pattern.  Below is what I’ve discovered works for me and my stroke.

The majority of these were shot at around the same speed: Approximately 1.5 lag speed (3 table-lengths).  The shots with orange and green lines (sometimes purple) do require a stronger throw, 2 or even 2.5 lag speeds.


Here’s the position routes of the same shot with draw:



The other shot is nearly identical, but don’t freeze the object ball and move the cueball to the 1st diamond:



And here are the routes for draw:



As you can see, there are a lot of lines that are dangerously close to both the side and corner pocket; which makes this, in my opinion, a very important shot to understand.

I didn’t diagram the 1st show with the ball not frozen, but the routes are mostly just widened going forward and shortened going backward.  Similarly, the 2nd shot with the ball frozen, sent the cueball through the top-right quadrant for nearly all forward shots, regardless of english.  For draw, it was nearly impossible to do anything to keep the cueball above the side pocket on the left half with even half-lag speed.

This drill really helped me realized why I so often scratch on these shots; it turns out what I think the cueball will do is nothing at all like what it actually does.  Seems odd that I’m just now realizing this, since I’m usually pretty good at predicting the cueball path, but everyone has their own “demon shots”. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on these routes/results.  I hope to actually catch a video of these routes sometime to further help me visualize and memorize these.  If/when I do, I’ll be sure to share it here.