Few people consider the possibility of using the cushion first to set up a defensive situation. This technique can be used to control either ball. If practiced ahead of time, you have predictability. In the right circumstances, you can generate some interesting set-ups your opponent could never expect. This is actually easy to learn.
When the object ball is close to the rail, as in the examples below, consider whether a cushion first shot can create a beneficial situation.
Cushion-first example 1
When the object ball is just off the cushion, there are interesting opportunities to create results that are unexpected. In 8 Ball, if both of you are on the last ball, and your opponent thinks he’s made your life tough, he would never expect this response. In 9 Ball, this creates an unexpected distance/bad angle safety.
Apply right spin to the cue ball, and control the speed so that the cue ball doesn’t come back down table. Try this with the cue ball coming in at different angles.
Cue Ball Management Exercises - Cushion-First, Example 1
Cushion-first example 2
Here, the object ball is several inches off the rail. When you can come in directly behind the object ball, it stops the cue ball dead.
Cue Ball Management Exercises - Cushion-First, Example 2
Cushion-first example 3
This example is easy to master. You can control both the cue ball and object ball paths. Speed control is critical. No need to add side spin.
Cue Ball Management Exercises - Cushion-First, Example 3
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