Watch Your Speed
The only way to successfully manipulate the cue ball is to learn how to control your speed. Controlling your speed will allow you to maneuver the cue ball to the most beneficial spots on the table to make your shots. Speed control gives you the ability to strategize.
For example, you look the table over and see a great shot. You lean down to make that shot and you suddenly realize, if you hit the cue ball gently, you will not only pocket the intended object ball, but the cue ball should wind up in the perfect location to make another shot. You can carry that along as far as it will take you — let's say you hit the next shot a little harder and send the cue ball a little farther down the table right in line with another potentially great shot. Right now you may think that's impossible. But it's not. Again, it's all about practice.
You can use the following examples to practice your speed: Try standing on one side of the table so that you are looking down the entire length of the table. Strike a ball gently down the length of the table for a soft hit. If the ball bounces lightly off the cushion and stays at the far end of the table, you've made a soft hit.
Now try a medium hit by standing in the same spot and striking the ball with a little more power so that it bounces off the opposite cushion and comes back to you.
Finally, a hard hit is if the ball bounces off the opposite cushion, comes back to you once, and then rests at the opposite side of the table.