Ask Allison – Shooting Under Pressure

Hi pool fans, thanks for all the e-mails. I am going to answer some more questions sent to me through my website (

What weight of a cue do you shoot with?
I use an 18 ounce Cuetec cue. When I played snooker, I played with a 19 ounce cue, which was the average used by most players. I like an 18 ounce for pool, as I think I get more feeling with this weight. It really does not matter, as long as the weight is balanced in your hands and feels good. My break cue is also 18 ounces, which gives me more velocity when breaking. Because my break cue is also a jump cue, the lighter weight in my rear (right) hand also helps for jump shots.

Where are your eyes looking when you strike the cue ball?
That is a good question. When I strike the cue ball, my eyes are focused on the object ball at the point that I want the cue ball to make contact on the object ball. There are a few special situations, however, when my eyes look at the cue ball last. They are:

1. When I am bridging over a ball and looking down at the table from above
2. When I am breaking
3. When I am striking a ball on the rail
4. When I am jumping the cue ball over an impeding object ball

These times are the only times I change my routine, as my head position in relation to the shot is different, and it is very important to hit the center of the cue ball in order to avoid a miscue on certain shots.

When you play pool, how far in advance do you plan your shots?
After the break, I view the table and look for an obvious run out. If the answer is yes, I have an idea of where I want to be on each shot. When I am ready to start executing, I am planning three shots at a time, making sure I get to the correct side of balls and leave the right angles for my next shot. As I make one shot, I add the next shot on to continue my pattern of three shots ahead. For example, if I can see the 1, 2, and 3 balls, after I make the 1 ball I now look at where I want to be on the 3, 4, and 5 balls, as I am already positioned on the 2 ball. If the rack is not an easy run out, I look for the problem balls, and if I cannot break them out, maybe my best solution is a good safety.

How do you stay cool under pressure?
I don’t always! Of course there are times when we all get upset or annoyed with what happens at a pool table. The simple fact of the matter is that once it is gone, it is gone. We cannot bring it back, so why worry? I think the main thing is to be able to let go of a poor shot right away. This sounds easier than it is, but how are you going to play when you get back to the table with negative thoughts still in your mind? Be ready for anything, take it as it comes, and more than anything enjoy it because this is why we all play the game.

About the Author

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post comment.

Free Download Pool Hall, Billiard Management Software
  • jbobcat09 on
  • tedbratton on
  • darylistehshiz on
  • VampyrePoet on
  • MirageBistro on Marlon Manalo vs. Rodney Morris