Speed Control


Once you've mastered the basics, everything, and I mean everything, in pool comes down to speed control.

Pool has often been referred to as a game of inches, and for good reason.

You can send your cue ball three rails and 15 feet around the table, be an inch off, and get snookered (hidden) behind another ball, losing control of the table.

Speed-control and a well-played safety can guarantee you ball in hand on your next shot, but bad speed-control can force you to give up the table to your opponent to run the table instead.

There are things that affect cue ball speed that you cannot control, but what you need to learn and study are all the fascinating ways that you can control the speed and position of your cue ball.

The possibilities of controlling the cue ball are endless, and you could spend the rest of your life working on various techniques for speed control.


The angle at which the cue ball hits the object ball is the first and most obvious physical element that makes a tremendous difference in the resulting speed of the cue ball after contact.

A full hit on an object ball by the cue ball will leave little energy left on the cue ball because the energy has been transferred to the object ball.

That means a full hit will result in the cue ball traveling a short distance.

On the other hand, a thin hit (greater angle) will leave most of the energy on the cue ball.

Even with the same force of hit, the cue ball will travel a much greater distance after contact with the object ball.


Cue stick speed alone offers an unlimited amount of variations: the faster the cue's speed (greater force imparted), the farther the cue ball will roll.

Slower speed translates to less distance. In fact, most of the game can be played with follow, draw, and middle-ball shots with a proper stroke, and it's definitely to your advantage to master these techniques that allow you more control of your speed.

It is difficult to control speed with spin.

Most players, especially beginner and intermediate players, have a tendency to hit the balls too hard. They assume that they have to overpower everything.

But it is a smooth and level swing that provides for the most action on the cue ball. Never forget one simple fact—pool balls are round.

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