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What is the Purpose of Defensive Shots? ~ Allan Sand

How many times has this happened to you?

You come to the table with a difficult shot. You are two balls away from winning—if you can make this ball. Your mind believes that the chances of success are 50%. In reality, you couldn’t make the shot even once in 10 tries.

You decide to ignore the truth and reality of your skills and proceed to attempt the fantasy. You declare your intent to your opponent and all the railbirds.

You shoot—and fail!

And of course, the cue ball stops in the perfect place on the table for your opponent to do an easy runout. This miss gave the game to your opponent. (To make it worse, your opponent thanks you for giving him the game.)

If you are getting tired of throwing away games, you are beginning to become a more intelligent player. Maybe you need to spend more practice table time on how to play a defensive shot, instead of making shots. This actually will ensure an opportunity to become a better shooter. This one little change in your regular shooting style will be key to becoming a better shooter. And all that is necessary is this little pattern change of your playing style—think before shooting.

You are going to be faced with many shooting situations with little or no chances of success.

Instead, consider this: play a defensive shot and your opponent can only shoot the table layout that you decide to give him.

Think whether you want to depend on the billiard gods for good luck or a chance to give your opponent bad luck. Therefore, before  bending down over the shot, have a plan to play offense or defense.

The purpose of an offensive shot is to pocket the ball and get onto the next shot. The purpose of a defensive shot is to prevent your opponent from pocketing a ball and getting to the next shot.

Strategic Tip: When you think about it, you don’t really have to win games. You only need to help your opponent lose.

*Blog originally posted on Billiard Gods Productions.

Allan Sand is a certified pocket billiards instructor, qualified by the PBIA (Professional Billiards Instructor Association) and ACS (American Cue Sports). His focus is on helping players become the “Intelligent Shooter” (thinking before shooting). He has played the Green Game for more than 50 years and now resides in Santa Clara, CA. He keeps his skills sharpen on a 5×10 Saunier & Wilhelm 1938 table with double-shimmed pockets. He has written 10 books on pocket billiards and produced five videos on how play better and smarter. He has one of the most popular billiards blogs on the planet with three posts every week.

Photo: blog Editor: Dana Gornall
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