Quite often we notice how a bad environment can have a negative effect on the way a player comports in behavior and mental state. For example he could be held an unreal image, or encounter wrong incitement. Or his way of thinking is being shifted to really short term results, greed for honor or financial motifs etc.
The environment of a player should be positive and stimulating. Proper examples automatically lead to behave or execute things properly. Furthermore, if you can discuss on this with one another, the environment is to be ideal and perfect.
Surrounding yourself with bad examples or wrong influences is to be considered disastrous for your own improvement. It can affect the way you show yourself and the way your mind works. Most of the times you have adapted other habits and you think you are okay.
When, eventually, you start noticing it doesn’t add up, it will still take a while for you to find the courage to start changing things. You will need to get rid of ideas and thoughts. Furthermore you will have to escape the environment you felt so good in before. So we challenge you to questioning yourself permanently. Yes, even with the things we are writing on our website.
There are many examples at hand. Let us start with the easy stun shot. When you ask 50 players about how a stun shot is to be played we hear and see a lot of different stories. For most of them a spot on the white just around centre height, or just below centre height is pointed out. For decades we can read about this in lots of books that have been published. And we think that is also the reason why players are copying this. But is this correct? To find out we need to explain to you what a stun shot is.
A stun shot is a shot where the cue ball always starts with backspin on the table. The backspin will reduce due to friction of the cloth (and gravity). When the backspin is reduced to nothing and the cue ball still has some intention to move ahead, the backspin will change into a spin forward. But just in between spinning backwards and moving forward, there is a slight moment where the cue ball has no spinning intention. When the cue ball hits the object ball on exact that moment, you played a stun shot. When aiming full ball the cue ball will stop once it hit the object ball. At this stage we haven’t said a word about where to hit the ball. We only talked about the intention of the cue ball.
So think now about the exact spot where to hit the cue ball. What happens when you hit it quite low? Will you play a screw shot instead of a stun shot? When there is still backspin left in the cue ball the moment it hits the object ball, yes. But when you reduce the backspin by hitting it softer, there isn't. Or when aiming a bit highe(but still below centre height) you tell the white ball to move ahead with less backspin. There for you need to hit it harder, otherwhise the cue ball will not keep backspinning untill it hits the object ball.
So actually, everything that has been written for the last few decades is incomplete. They only mention hitting the cue ball just below centre. But when you hit the cue ball with less strength, the backspin will be reduced too quickly, thus leaving you with a running intention the moment it touches the object ball. What we all should read, but never has been mentioned, is that you have to hit is below centre, and that you combine the height chosen with the strength you decide to use. Cueing just below centre requires more strength for there is less backspin. Cueing real low requires less strength because you generate more backspin. We also need to inform you that on professional tables cloths are really fast so any touch of backspin will stay longer in the cue ball. That is why on really fast tables the cue ball needs to be addressed higher than on slower club tables; say just below centre.
To make sure you understand this we add the pattern of the cue ball when addressed low.
The cue ball starts with lots of backspin, further more less, then no intention at all, then starts running slightly and will conclude with normal running side.
The stun shot is being executed properly when the cue ball hits the object ball the moment the cue ball shows the pattern of the third ball shown above. Cueing height on the cue ball will always depend on playing distance, length of your positional running line afterwards and cloth condition.
Also … lots of players point the cue just about centre height because they believe the word ‘stun’ indicates the cue ball needs to be hit without any running intention. This is wrong, because hitting the ball without any backspinning or running intention, the cue ball will sustain a forward spinning intention quickly after because of the friction of the cloth. So the cue ball will contain running side. Players that prove us wrong usually mask their cue action. You can play a stun shot centre height, but then you need to descend with the cue when you hit the cue ball, thus creating backspin. This is not a proper way of cueing!
And what if we change our cueing intention? What if the cue goes not through the ball, but blocks the action from going through the cue ball? Short actions on the cue ball may briefly create more reaction, but we do not recommend you playing it this way. The further the distance the more you will start violating and overhitting the cue ball and will get less control. Every time you play a shot, the cue goes through the ball, with one exception when cue ball and object ball are positioned close to one another and you have to avoid the double kiss.
NAMING THE SHOT PROPERLY
As we are talking about naming the shots we might as well clear things out for once and for all. We name the shot based not on where we hit the cue ball, but based on what the reaction of the cue ball is the moment it hits the object ball. So, in a situation of full ball contact we come across 5 basic shots:
- normal running shot: when the cue ball shows a normal running intention after it hits the cue ball,
- stun run through: cue ball shows a semi running intention (slightly running forward). Do not mingle this with a very soft and slow running shot with only little running intention.
- stun shot: cue ball shows no running nor backspinning reaction and stops,
- stun screw: cue ball will show slight returning intention after it hit the object ball,
- screw shot: cue ball will show positive backspinning intention after it hit the object ball.
In order to build breaks you should master these 5 different shots. A lot more can be said here, but should you have a question, just send it to us.