Eight Ball Coaching
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Accordingly the Australian Eight-Ball Federation’s National Coaching Accreditation Scheme provides co-ordinated training courses for coaches at three levels:-
LEVEL 1. Is an introduction to the principles of coaching and provides basic training in the skills required for teaching beginners, privately and in clubs.
LEVEL 2. Deals with the conduct of training programs for Club Competition players.
LEVEL 3. Involves the advanced theory and practice to develop Club players to reach National and International level and provide effective administration and guidance to Level 1 and 2 Coaches. Coaching courses do not, in themselves, provide everything the practising or prospective Coach needs to know and experience. However, by providing a frame work of fundamentals and a system of guidance and support, the Scheme aims to stimulate a process of self-improvement in coaching skills and knowledge.
1. OBJECTIVES OF THE GAME
To use a cue to propel a cue ball, Ball A, along a straight line to contact a stationary object, Ball B, so that ball B enters one of six pockets on the table.
Traditional boxers stance of tripod stance. This is a way of standing which will allow the pupil to propel the Cue smoothly along a level plane, through the cue ball whilst sighting down the cue. Pupils should make the stance to the cue, not the cue to the stance.
Technique for forming bridge with free hand, either “open” bridge or “boucle” and reasons for using either. Bridge hand to form a firm rest on which the cue slides during the stoke.
Both eyes are open at all times, but with the stronger eye taking preference and the cue running directly under the chin on the side below the stronger eye. It does not necessarily apply that a person who is right handed is right eyed. In fact a number of prominent competitors sight with the opposite eye, requiring a slightly different stance eg. Professional Graham Miles.
A test for confirmation of stronger eye, involves holding a sheet of paper with a small hole in the centre, in one hand – at arms length, and sighting normally with both eyes open and focussing through the hole at a distant object, such as a light. Then, without moving, alternatively covers each eye with the free hand. It will be found that the pupil will always automatically sight through the hole in the paper with the strongest eye. It should be noted that some competitors claim to aim at all times with both eyes.
The ability to legally pocket object balls, relies on the ability to stroke the cue ball in a straight line from point A to point B. Point B, being called the “Point of Contact”, is the position, which the cue ball makes contact with the object ball at the point of contact when both balls are touching and lined up on an
imaginary line (or chalk line drawn on the table) that travels through the centre of the balls to the centre of the balls to centre of the pocket.
6. THE GRIP
The grip on the back of the cue should be the same pressure as is required to pick the cue up by the butt end from the bed of the table in a normal “handshake” position. The grip however, does vary slightly according to the required stroke (see point 8, topside and screw back).
7. THE CUE ARM
Imagine the cue arm in two sections:-
. The shoulder to the elbow is the part holding the cue on the right level, and during the stroke there
should be little or no movement.
. The elbow to the hand is the part that swings back and forth in a pendulum action to propel the cue
“At rest” should hang in a vertical position and 90 degrees.
8. THE STOKE (combines 1-7)
As in all ball sports, distance from the ball is important, allow correct stroking of the cue ball. A guide to
this is to move in where your cue hand (right hand in this example) is at your hip, with the tip of the cue
close in line to the cue ball, in a further straight line to the “point of contact” of the object ball. Face the
direction the cue ball has to travel. Standing in a slight boxers stance, leave the right foot where it is, and
move the left foot forward for comfort and balance. Bend forward from the waist, placing bridge hand on
the table. At the same time bend the left knee slightly at the knee, and thrust the right leg back at the knee,
without moving the right foot. This will have the effect of swivelling buttocks and hip in a rolling action to
the left and creating a free area between the right hip and the chest for the cue to travel smoothly and almost
parallel with the bed of the table.
Address the cue ball with the tip of the cue, dead centre, aiming through the cue ball to the “point of
contact” on the object ball. With the cue arm at the “rest position”, commence one or two pendulum swings
with the tip first stopping short of the cue ball. At the same time, check that the tip is directed at “dead
centre” on the cue ball. When satisfied that the preliminary action of the cue is correct commence the final
backward stroke. Pause slightly at the end of the backward stroke and then complete the forward stroke to
strike the cue ball at dead centre, propelling it towards the “point of contact” on the object ball.
It is most important during the final backward and forwards movement of the cue, the only part of the body
or head that moves is the cue arm from elbow to hand. There must be a slow pull back, minute pause,
and smooth follow through.
From the pause to striking the cue ball, the eyes must be looking at the “point of contact” on the object ball.
If the body is still, the preliminary strokes are aimed dead centre on the cue ball, and the action is smooth, it
is not necessary to look at the cue ball
9. FOLLOW THROUGH
Correct follow through, along the line of travel of the cue ball is essential at all times.
If a pupil that is being coached can execute a stroke correctly, using a style other than what is considered to
be perfect and appears comfortable and relaxed, contact a higher level Coach before attempting to change
the pupil’s style.