Playing on different speed tables, often in the same tournament, in back to back matches, is something you need to be ready for if you’re a competitive pool player or even if you just like to perform at a high level all of the time.

This ability will directly affect if you are a winning player or not, if you take the cash home or not.  So let me give you a few recommendations for adjusting to different cloth speeds…

  1. Pick smaller position areas or spots as your cue ball landing goal.  I like an area about the size of a quarter as my cue ball target.  What this does is gives you accurate feedback on your results based on the force you used, so that your next cue ball speed control attempt can be delivered with more accuracy, and probably more accuracy than your opponent who is most certainly picking bigger zones.  It’s amazing how fast you can “get the feel for the speed of a table” when you do this.
  2. Put your emphasis on cue ball control.  Sounds basic and it is.  Winning strategy is usually simple.  Your shot making process should basically stay the same anyway so turn up the volume on your awareness of how hard you need to hit each shot.  This will directly affect your speed of stroke.
  3. Learn from your results.  Pay close attention to just how long or short your cue ball is going when you miss position.
  4. As always, stay down during your stroke.  Stay down and follow through…  This solves countless problems and helps you focus on cue ball speed control.
  5. Do some drills that you are good at on an unfamiliar table.  This will help you calibrate to the new cloth faster.  I love the one rail lineup drill where I line up 9 balls in a straight line from the center diamond on the foot rail up to the foot spot where you rack the balls, you must run all the balls in order and must hit one (and only one rail) only on every shot (not as easy as it sounds).  Any precise speed control draw drills you can invent are great.  Also hit a few lags up and down the table and try freezing the cue ball on the rail like in the pre-match lag.
  6. Watch other players play on a table before you play on it and even ask them about how fast the table is playing.  This could give you some valuable info so you can adjust faster than your opponent.

Add a few of these to your game and I guarantee you’ll play better and win more matches.  Good luck on the pool tables this summer with your cue ball speed control!

See you soon…

Max Eberle

PS:  CLICK HERE to pick up your copy of my 3 hour audio book so you can even improve your game while driving to your next tournament.