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Pool Tip of the Day. ~ Barbara Lee

To pause or not to pause?

And that can be debated every which way—some do as part of their shooting pattern and some don’t.

Early on, here is what one coach told me after a few minutes at the table with him, “I really can’t tell when you are going to let go and stroke”.

I asked him, “Is that a problem?”

“Yes!” he told me.


“Because there is no consistency without an obvious pre-shot routine—it will be why you make some shots and miss the same ones all in one game!”

“Ohhhhhh, I see!”

As I’m writing this, I’m trying to recall my last tourney appearance: Did I include the infamous “pause” or not? I used to. And that is how one can subtly go “out of stroke” and stop incorporating something they used to do routinely. They slip back, having forgotten all about how they used to set up their shots.

This particular coach liked the idea of the slight “pause” right before the stroke. Allison Fischer is the queen of the pause, as we all know! However, she did not always have that during her career. It got incorporated along the way. Rodney Morris has no major pause, but you do have a feel for when he is ready to shoot, and you know for sure it’s going to be quick.

But as to the question of pause or no pause, top players have a “method” or “pattern” of play, and a consistent pre-shot routine they do on every single shot.

Remember, it’s never too late to learn a new concept and put it into practice if it will move forward our skills.

The moment we think we know it all, we stop growing. We stop learning. And, yes, we usually become pretty intolerable to others around us.

For more pool tips, join my Pool Tip of the Day Facebook group!

Photo: Christine Webster/Flickr Editor: Marcee Murray King
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