Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Myth of the Trick Shot Artist

This may be one of the best kept secrets. When people see me shooting trick shots, they automatically assume I'm a great pool player as well. While I can generally hold my own, I'm generally not a threat to run racks on a consistent basis. Most people would assume that you have to be a great pool player first and then you can become good at trick shots. That's not really accurate. There are other examples of this as well, Florian 'Venom' Kohler and Steve 'Triple C' Markle mastered trick shots well before honing their 8 ball or 9 ball games.

Certainly, being good at pool already will quicken the learning curve for trick shots, but there is more to it than that. Most good pool players will have a decent stroke, good aiming, and can control the cue ball. To be a great trick shot artist, it takes a monster stroke, ability to make fine adjustments, and coordination (think speed shots or one-handed shots). One of the biggest weaknesses in my pool game is the ability to control the cue ball. I tend to overhit it because I'm used to juicing it up so much for trick shots.

So, next time you see a trick shot artist, don't be so quick to assume they're great at pool. There are a fair number that made the crossover from typical pool to trick shots, but there are plenty of others that became trick shot specialists without developing their general game.

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