This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.
All defensive shots can be categorized into a small set of basic safety types. Every safety played in your entire lifetime is a variation of one or a combination of the types. Each of these, when wisely selected and carefully played, improves your chances to win. As you study and practice the various safety exercises; your knowledge, abilities, and confidence expands.
Study each safety type carefully. At the practice table, set up table situations that you've experiences and figure out how you could play defensively. Keep in mind this primary condition - shoot the shot you want to leave your opponent. If the layout you want to leave is tough for you, it is tough for your regular opponents. These concepts can then become core tools of your defensive game.
All safeties are selected with the intention of reducing your opponent’s chances of successfully winning the game. When you play a defensive shot, you are letting your opponent come to the table. Among the variety of choices, select one that gives him a very small chance of success. In this way, you limit his ability to play his best.
You may calculate the percentage of a successful shot for you to be 5%. Therefore it would be a similar problem for your opponent. With the chances of your opponent's failure in your favor, that is the kind of shot to offer your opponent.
The whole idea about safeties is to introduce problems and difficulties to your opponent. You have to be “mean” to him. This is your biggest advantage - you can intentionally leave him "bad" - as often as you want. The idea is to hurt your opponent’s chances of beating you.
Here are some common safety types:
- Bad angle – making it tough or impossible to cut the ball to a pocket.
- Bridge-required – forcing the use of the mechanical bridge.
- Confusion – creating problems by rearranging the furniture.
- Distance – offering shots far, far away.
- Frozen cushion – forcing him to shoot off the rail.
- Hidden ball – making him kick for a legal hit.
- Illegal shot – doing something bad to make it worse.
- Over-a-ball – forcing him into an unnatural pose.
Apply some common sense to the shot you decide to play. If you don't have an easy way to win from the current layout - focus your attention on playing a shot that leaves your opponent with a miserable layout. If you HAVE to let him come to the table - there is no rule that says you must make it easy for him to beat you.
How to Win by Helping Your Opponent Lose
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