Ask Allison

Allison Fisher

How can you learn to see the angle at pool?
I have a few ways that I teach this.
a) Use the ghost ball method. You imagine a ball behind the object ball in line with the intended pocket and aim your cue ball at the contact point.
b) Imagine a line going from the cue ball to the point o­n the object ball where you want to contact it.
c) Personally, I imagine the part of the cue ball I want to cover the part of the object ball, so I am looking at part of a ghost ball.
 
Why do you have your chin o­n the cue?
From a very young age I learned the importance of keeping your head still during and after the shot. I overdid it at first to the point that I was barely able to move the cue (very painful and not recommended). I am not actually aware that it touches the cue until someone points it out. In my Snooker training we learned to have our chin o­n the cue to help with sighting. It is much like looking down a rifle barrel. It gives me clearer vision of the whole shot ahead, from the shaft to the tip and cue ball to the object ball.

How do I find out about the WPBA?

I may want to someday play in events.
There is a web site where you can get more information: www.wpba.com. There are regional tours across the country and I recommend that you try to qualify to play in a professional event. With any sport it is important to work your way up the ladder. I started by playing people in a local club and then I joined a league when I was 13 years old. I played league Snooker for three years whilst entering national events.

Once I outgrew league events, I wanted to progress to tournament play. I started out o­n a national level and then gradually international tournaments. The good thing about working your way up is that you grow in confidence every step of the way. If I had gone from being a beginner to trying to qualify for professional events, I may have had my confidence taken away. There are some people, however, who like to stay in their comfort zone, but it is hard to get better that way. This is why some players never progress.

Can you explain the pendulum stroke?
Your cueing forearm should be at a 90-degree angle to the cue when addressing the cue ball. This allows you to take a back swing, contact the cue ball at the 90-degree angle, and continue accelerating through the ball with a good follow through to finish the stroke. It is the same in many sports where we take a back swing, contact the ball in a sweet spot, and continue the delivery beyond the contact of the ball.

How do you improve at hitting the cue ball when it is frozen to the rail? Do you adjust the stance and bridge?
If I have the cue ball frozen to the rail, I do make adjustments. First, I move my stance in a little toward the table. The reason is that my bridge hand is closer to the cue ball. Then I move my rear hand further forward o­n the cue, as my front hand is closer to the ball. I try to still create my 90-degree angle I mentioned in the last question. I also like to lean my weight forward toward the table by bending my front left arm raising the butt of my cue to avoid miscuing.

Thanks for reading, and I hope these tips help your game.

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