Summary: Billiards Digest March, 2009
David Alciatore, PhD ("Dr. Dave") ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES
"Fundamentals - Part VII: speed control"
Note: Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, and
technical proofs (TP), and all of my past articles, can be accessed and viewed online at
billiards.colostate.edu. The reference numbers used in the article help you locate the
resources on the website. If you have a slow or inconvenient Internet connection, you
might want to view the resources from a CD-ROM or DVD. Details can be found online
This is the seventh article in a series on fundamentals. In the last six months, I've covered
the stroke, the basics of aiming, issues involved with cut-shot aiming systems, the effects of
bridge length, and the basics of cue ball direction control. This month we will look at speed
control, which refers to how firmly you strike the CB to have it stop close to the spot you want for
the next shot. Obviously, with good aim and alignment, a consistent an accurate stroke, and
knowledge of CB direction, speed control is the critical skill that separates the average players
from the great players.
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be really "taught" or explained about speed control.
There are some drills that can help you develop speed control "feel" (e.g., see the speed control,
stop/follow/draw, and English drills in the "Instructor and Student Resources" section of my
website), but there is no silver bullet for success. The only true recipe for success is to practice