Hockey Draw

So you have two balls left before the eight. You have a perfect angle on the first ball to get down-table to your last stripe. You take your time, stroke well, and float the cue ball down the table perfectly! Uh oh, too perfect...


You're now staring at a straight in shot on your last stripe with seemingly no way to get down table for the eight ball shot. Who hasn't been in this situation? Well, this post is intended to give you one more tool to add to your arsenal that comes in handy in many situations, but especially on these straight in shots.

The problem is, with the shot outlined above, you are too straight in to cheat the pocket with top spin and come off of a rail and to make matters worse there are some solids in your way. Solution? Use a lot of bottom to draw the cue ball off of the rail and open the angle with reverse side spin! It works the same as opening and closing the angle on a follow shot, but since you are bringing the cue ball back in the opposite direction, you need to put the spin on the opposite side. So in the layout above, you'd need to put left spin on the cue ball in order to draw it back to the rail and open the angle more to the right side of the table. I call this "Hockey Draw" because the cue ball's path looks like a hockey stick...


In order to perform Hockey Draw, you'll obviously need the ability to draw well and that requires a good stroke. So work on those fundamentals if you find this shot difficult to execute. Also keep in mind that the distance from the rail is important. It can be done from close or far as long as the cue and object balls are relatively close to each other, but it requires more stroke from further out and more magic when really close, so you'll want to practice at varying distances to figure out what you're comfortable with and expand from there. The #DrawShot pictured above is kind of a sweet spot, so that's a good place to start.

This technique also works well in many other situations that don't necessarily involve a "too straight" shot. It can be used to get breakouts, avoid traffic, or simply because it's the easiest way to get to where you need to be. Once you master this shot, you'll be amazed at how often it becomes useful. Plus, it looks really cool! ;)