What are some good drills for practicing speed control?
Many people suggest hitting the CB up and down the table different distances to practice speed control (e.g., see the speed control drill), but this is really good only for judging speed with hitting the CB up and down the table (e.g., with a lag shot or long kick shots). To master the speed control required in most game situations, it helps to specifically practice speed control pocketing balls with different types of shots and over a range of cut angles.
Target practice drills are very helpful for developing CB speed and position control. Drills F2-F5 and F8 in Exam I, and S5 in Exam II of the Billiard University (BU) Playing-Ability Exams are also very useful for practicing speed control with a wide variety of shot types, as demonstrated in the following video:
from Bob Jewett (in AZB post):
Place ten or so object balls along the head string. Hit the object balls directly with your cue stick as if each one was a cue ball. Hit the first one very softly towards the foot rail. Hit each additional ball so that it goes just beyond the last one you hit. See how many you can do without ever getting to the far cushion. If you do it right you will end up with a diagonal line of balls at the end. Here is a typical result with a failure on the 10 ball:
Same line up but this time you have cue ball in hand on each shot and are shooting each object ball an increasing distance.
Finally, place balls anywhere out of the kitchen. For each shot take cue ball in hand behind the line and shoot to just touch one of the object balls. The cue ball must remain within a short distance of the ball you hit (a fist, a hand span, one ball — you pick it). You can continue until all the balls are on the far rail. This drill is also a good way to find out if the table is level.
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