Potting the ball into the middle pocket can seem trickier than the end pockets, owing to the layout of the cushions on a snooker table. However, with practice, middle pocket shots will soon become a viable option for you. Learning the basic focusing techniques will help you to improve, although in snooker, there is no substitute for practicing shots with which you struggle. With practice exercises, and by concentrating on your cue technique, middle pocket shots will be no harder than any other type.
- Skill level:
Line up the shot before going down into the cueing position. Think about where the white ball should finish. If the pot is straight, plan the spin you will need to put on the ball to prevent the cue ball from going into a pocket as well.
Get down into the cueing position. Focus on the centre of the cue ball. Have a few practice cues to check that the weight and the angle of the cue feel correct. Focus on the centre of the cue ball. Look briefly at the object ball, then the pocket, and then back to the cue ball.
Line the cue up with the centre of the ball. If you are attempting to spin the ball, make sure that the cue is lined up correctly. Pull the cue back, preparing to take the shot. At this point, look at the object ball and play the shot. If all goes well, the object ball should drop into the middle pocket and the cue ball should progress to the desired, next position.
Practice shots. In snooker, there is no substitute for practice. Practice by lining the 15 red balls up so that they bisect the baulk line. Place the cue ball behind the reds and practicing hitting them into the middle pocket. Stop each time you miss a pot and reset. Your challenge is to continue until you hit all 15. This will not only help with your middle pocket practice, but also with playing shots under pressure.
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