If you’ve been following my twitter feed, you’ll know that I’ve been spending a lot of time at the table lately – and most of it has been alone and working on drills, really trying to hammer out this new adjustment to my stance and grip. If you haven’t been following, then just hit that button over there in the side bar. 😉
I’ve been working several drills lately, some of them have been successful, some of them haven’t. For example, I usually start off with this drill for a while:
This one gave me the most trouble and took me about an hour to figure it out. The 1 and 2 are no problem, but you have to get as close to straight on the 3, without actually being straight (unless you wanna cheat the pocket some) and without crossing the straight-in line, so you can get good on the 4 and then 5. Rules of this drill is that the CB can NOT touch any rail, and no bank shots, and for all of these IPAT drills, the CB can not any other ball during a shot.
This one has a much larger margin of error, so it only took me a few attempts to get through; though always room for improvement. I can play better shape and not have to rely on my thin-cut ability as much. Run the balls in numerical order, odd’s up the one half of the table, evens on the other half. No banks, no contacts, all pockets available.
This one is fun – and it’s an “infinite” drill. You start with the 1, 2 and 3 in the marked positions and run the balls in order. Starting with BIH, make the 1 ball, place the 4 where the 1 was. Make the 2, place the 5 there, make the 3, play shape for the now-in place 4 ball. Place the 6 where the 3 was. Repeat this processing replacing balls for however many rounds you like. The IPAT documentation only has 3 rounds. It’s interesting to see how much you have to think about how to get around the balls when you get out of line.
This one was pretty easy, I did it on the 1st attempt. Technically, you can shoot the balls in any order, but no banking. But, I just ran them out in order, since it was the most natural (for me).
Lastly, I tried an 9-ball situation drill. Once I got the setup correct, I was pleased with how quickly I saw the only (and best) path from the 1 to the 2. The 2 to the 3 offers some variety, if you want it, but I found that simplicity is your friend with these layout drills. I used primarily 2 shots from the 2 to the 3, depending on how straight I got on the 2. The next “tricky” part is 3 – 4 – 5. You need to get on the 3 suck that you can get just hair off-straight on the 4, so you can stun into the gap between the 5 and 6. If you’re close to straight on the 5, then the 6 – 7 is a no brainer. And going from the 7 – 8 – 9 should be pretty automatic for most players by now.
You guys are lucky winners, as I was filming all of this!
Once I completed that layout, I decided to call it quits for drills and just relax by playing racks of 9-ball. I did a couple of a good outs and a pretty solid break and run.
Now, upon watching all of the footage, I did notice some times where my stroke seemed incomplete, and most of the times, those were the shots I missed or fell short on position. But, in general, I feel pretty good about having ingrained most of my new adjustments into the nearly-automatic category.
I’ll write about the scotch doubles tournament later.