Where can I find general advice for improving speed control?
See “Fundamentals – Part VII: speed control” (BD, March, 2009).
Probably the most useful speed control advice is: Use a shorter backstroke for softer-speed shots, and don’t decelerate into the CB (i.e., finish your stroke, going through the ball, even with soft speed).
The only way to truly master speed control is to specifically practice speed control with speed control drills.
from MattPoland (in AZB post):
These are the tips that come to my mind. The theme is that not needing precise speed control comes before achieving precise speed control in terms of priority for developing my game.
1) Practice shots you miss until you can execute them with finesse. If confidence goes, finesse goes, and thus speed control goes.
2) Think patterns through so that you don’t need precise speed control. Play shape into (and along) the position area rather than across it.
3) Try not to be too perfect. Playing a longer shot (or generally favoring center-table) lets you get away with being less precise.
4) Get your stroke consistent enough with finesse, smooth pull back and smooth follow through that you can rely on bridge length and follow-through length to vary speed rather than more/less muscle.
5) Move the ball less if possible. Getting good at pocket speed (and slightly more/less) means you become more familiar with small variances in speed. Trying to be precise across a wider range of distances is a bigger challenge.
6) Never underestimate how much spin off a rail can accelerate or kill cue ball speed. Perhaps consider the shot with no side spin and more varying° of straight top/center/low.
7) Shoot some ball pocketing drills with and without spin where you need to get the cue ball to a specific location. Repeat until you’re more consistent than when you started.