When you get better as a player, you’ll find that when you get down on the shot, you’ll notice you’ll immediately feel you’re not right on the shot. What we mean is you will feel you’re not on the right line of aim. This is because you’ve played shots many times and your sub-conscious memory is alerting you to the fact that you aren’t positioned properly.

Where beginners fall down is they aren’t aware of this phenomenon (yet)

and therefore, just play the shot and hope they’re on the right line.

For those who understand the mechanics, if you don’t feel like you’re in the right position, get up off the shot and get down again. This is part of the pre-shot routine and will help you.

The Imaginary Pot Exercise – Visualising the shot can help you to take extra care on pre and during the shot…

So, here’s a quick exercise you can do which you can test out for yourself to see if you were on the right line of aim or not.

It’s called the imaginary pot!

Get down on the shot as you would doing your normal pre-shot routine. But don’t play any shot. Just imagine you’re playing the shot in your mind. Visualise where the object ball is going and make a note of where you think the object ball will go. Did the ball go in the pocket? Did it miss? And where?

Now, if you imagined the pot and it went in, then you were on the right line of aim and you cued it well, in your head! If it didn’t, then you may well have been set up wrong.

Now, play the pot for real. What happened? How far were you from the imaginary pot?

The Benefits

This exercise will help with two things:

  • It will help you take that bit extra care on aiming when you’re standing up on the shot
  • It will help you understand your set up better when down on the shot.

Visualisation routines like this can be very powerful in helping to understand what your position is when aiming. Visualising where the object ball is going will also help to understand where the cue ball will go.

Don’t forget to plan what you’re going to do as well with the cue ball. Do your pre-shot routine, and just visualise the pot. Imagine what happens after you’ve played the imaginary pot as well. Envisage yourself in that photo finish – having played the shot and finished in the correct position! 

Do this in your practice sessions for around ten minutes on different shots. And then see if it makes a difference. 

Also, this little exercise will help teach you good habits for addressing the cue ball on ALL shots. That little bit of EXTRA care and attention pre and during shot can make all the difference. It will teach you not to rush!

Discover how to aim and cue like a pro using Nic Barrow’s Aim Frame training: Practice these 3 ESSENTIAL tactics to improve your potting – now!

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