Shooting Off the Rail
“…my backward action is slow and short, and the tip brushes the edge of the cushion.”
SHOOTING off the rail is one of the most challenging shots in pool. Aside from a slightly awkward bridge, you can only see half of the ball and this presents a number of problems.
The first is cueing. It is very important to contact the cue ball on the vertical axis. A hit even slightly off will massé the cue ball. Add a little cue stick elevation and a little massé is magnified tenfold. You could miss a ball two feet away!
Be aware there is a tendency to rush any shot that makes you uncomfortable. If you rush a rail shot, there is a good chance of miscuing off the top of the cue ball. So take your time.
Shorten the grip to above the balance point of the cue. Take a slow, short backswing keeping the cue stick as level as possible.
Many players like to use a gentle punch stroke. This can prevent you from twisting your wrist and helps to eliminate the majority of miscues.
If you are an advanced player, a good workout is to practice running racks off the rail. After every shot, move the cue ball to the nearest rail for the next shot. You can also experiment with a no backswing stroke. Take a few warm up strokes, pause with the tip almost on the cue, and then push forward. It’s guaranteed alignment!
When shooting off the rail, keep your backstroke slow and short.
Love our Tip of the Week with Mike Roque, you can purchase your own copy of his book "Build Your Game" at the BEBOB Publishing Website at http://bebobpublishing.com/