Are fundamentals important in 9 ball or 8 ball?

Are fundamentals important in 9 ball or 8 ball?

Are fundamentals important in 9 ball or 8 ball?


Are fundamentals important in 9 ball or 8 ball? Having great fundamentals can’t be understated according to the pros. Most accomplished amateurs also agree.  I have seen some of the wildest strokes by players around the world that can break and run out, so how important are fundamentals really? I would argue that while many players have adjusted to their quirks in the playing style, it also limits their ability to reach the top end performance. Let’s start with the stroke.

The stroke is when you swing back and then forward with the cue striking the cueball to hit an object ball or rail. The best stroke is when you move the forearm below the elbow like a pendulum. You should try not to move your upper arm. The more body movement the more inaccuracies could creep into your ability to hit the shot correctly. Your goal should be what we often called being “dialed in” on your stroke. The arm should be directly in line of the shot. It should not be off to the side. Again, introducing imperfections in the stroke will affect performance largely. Speed is critically important. The harder you hit that cueball the longer it stays on the tangent line. Also, the harder you hit the cueball into the object ball the smaller the pocket becomes. The last and most important part is to stroke through the shot. Do not jab at the cueball with the pool cue. The next step in good fundamentals I would place on is the stance.


I have seen some weird stances over the years. I had a player on my APA team putting his feet together and then leaning over. Then there is the Criss cross scissor effect with the feet and legs. I weak blow of the wind would knock the player over given how off balance they are standing at the table. Generally placing the right foot under the line of sight to the shot and the left leg off to the left a bit is best. Depending on your height as a person most end up having feet just wider than shoulder width apart. Some people bend the knees and others don’t. Some bend only one knee. This is pretty much dependent on personal preference in my opinion. Whatever is comfortable to you after playing for a few hours is best. Then we have the cue placement and eye line of sight.


The cue stick should run between the eyes and under the chin. The cue stick should be in direct line of sight of where you should hit the cueball. Some beginners will place the cue in line with shot of where they will hit the cueball to make the ball or hit the spot on the rail in a kick shot. Then they will place the right foot under the cue stick and then drop down on the shot. The cue stick is under the chin and between the eyes in the line of sight to the cueball.


The next problem I see many players do is jump up after the shot. It is highly important to stay down with the shot. Often when players jump up when stroking through the shot that can hit the cueball differently than the player planned. It can also cause the cue stick to hit another ball on the table. This causing a ball in hand foul in the pros.


The last basic fundamental I would stress on is keeping the cue level with the table as possible. When you jack the pool cue up it reduces the cue ball spin, English, you are applying. The shot will not perform as desired, and you will be left with a substandard outcome. Most beginners will jack that pool cue up in the air 45 degrees or more. It absolutely kills all the properties you are trying to apply on the shot. Also on a draw shot the cueball will not roll back much at all. In fact you may end up performing a stop shot instead. I can draw the length of the table even when it is a 9 foot table. This is done by aiming at 6 o’clock and keep the pool cue level with the table. Adding stroking through the shot, and I can almost guarantee you will draw the length of the table when you need to.


I’ll wrap it up by saying that proper fundamentals will allow you to reach your absolute best potential as a player. Yes, some players can shoot well with all kinds of imperfections. However, that took a really long time as much of their career was garbage. They would have reached a much higher level of play much earlier on if their fundamentals were spot on. Ultimately their game can reach greatness if they dial in their basics first. The difficult shots become effortless with solid fundamentals. For really good tips on pool fundamentals don’t forget to stop by our home page at Alamo Billiards to watch our Influencer Josh go over many different ways to improve your game. #josh'scorner 

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