It's a beautiful thing to watch someone glide around the table, effortlessly pocketing shot after shot, making the cue ball dance to a perfect position for the next shot. They didn't get where they are by watching others do the work. They drilled and drilled, and practiced some more, and the next day they did it all over again. So it's time to crack the whip and get yourself a good old-fashioned workout. (It's still a lot easier than going to the gym.)
Practice and Discipline
What are drills? Just think of something a drill sergeant might say. How about, “Give me twenty!” In a way, you're doing the same thing in pool when you practice a drill. You are repeating the same shot or pattern of shots on a pool table until you get it right.
It's a really great way to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. You know that if you can execute a drill really quickly, that particular shot is your strength. Likewise, if you have to keep trying over and over again to get it right, then that's one of your weaknesses.
The great thing about drills is that you can gauge your progress and watch how your weaknesses become your strengths right before your very own eyes! When you think about it, that's a pretty cool thing. In fact, watching their own continual progress is what keeps the pros working at their games day after day, week after week, year after year.
If you think there will come a time when you're done with drills, you're in for a surprise. As long as you want to improve, you'll have to do something that at least resembles a drill or you may find yourself at the dreaded “plateau,” with no upward movement in your game. So go ahead, “Give me twenty!”
Types of Drills
There are three basic types of pool drills:
Stroke drills: Stroke drills help you fine-tune your stroke. After all, without a good stroke, how can you expect to beat all your friends at all the new games you've learned?
Ball-pocketing drills: The drills are just what the phrase describes — ways to improve your ball-pocketing skills. We all can never have enough of that!
Position play drills: Using this kind of drill is a great way to help you improve the ways in which you move the cue ball around the table in setting up for your next shot.
Remember as you read along that you can create your own drills that you can taper to your needs. Once you get the hang of it, why not try to create some of your own and see how creative you can get?