Using The Pool Table Cushion
USING THE POOL TABLE CUSHION
The cushions on the pool table are often used to control the speed of the cue ball.
The softer the hit into the rail, the more speed will be taken off the cue ball as it leaves the rail.
The harder the hit, the less speed will be taken off, as the rubber cushion will have a greater tendency to spring the cue ball back out onto the table after impact.
Additionally, you can use the pool table cushions to take speed off a shot.
Say you have a very thin cut on an object ball, but you don't want to lose control of the cue ball traveling up and down the table.
Every pool table cushion that the cue ball contact will take more speed off the cue ball. There are theories of how much speed is taken off with each subsequent pool table cushion, such as 60 percent diminished off the first rail, 30 percent off the second, and 10 percent off the third.
This will vary, however, since much depends on the speed at which the cue ball entered the cushion.
BRIDGE AND GRIP HANDS
Here's a little speed control information that lots of players never learn.
The closer the bridge hand is to the cue ball, the easier it is to take speed off the cue ball.
The farther the bridge hand is from the cue ball, the easier it can be for the player to follow through farther for power shots.
For example, there are the little "nip shots"—short bridge shots with an inch or less of follow-through.
You'll see pros be able to kill the cue ball on these short shots despite extreme angles.
They're using a short bridge and more grip pressure to "kill" the cue ball.
Your length-of-the-table position shots will require more follow-through, and often a longer bridge.
Grip pressure will also determine the speed at which the cue ball leaves the cue stick.
The lighter and looser the pressure, the farther it will go.
The tighter the grip, the slower the reaction. As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, if a player wants to kill the cue ball, they will tighten up their grip to take the spin off the cue ball and produce a stunning effect on the cue ball.
You will see that same player produce a beautiful long draw shot with a wrist that's loose as can be.
THE USE OF ENGLISH
Finally, english can be used to control speed.
Inside english (right sidespin if you are cutting a ball to the right, and left if you are cutting a ball to the left), for example, can be used to "stun" the cue ball so it doesn't roll as far, though extreme angle shots require a great deal of experience and feel to accomplish this.
The opposite takes place with outside english (often called running english).
Outside english can lengthen out the shot, and the cue ball will "run" or roll a lot farther.
In other words, with everything else being equal (same force, same stroke) the speed on the cue ball will definitely change depending on your use of english.
Return From The Pool Table Cushion To The Pool Instructions