(S&D) Safety & Defense - The Frozen Cushion Safety

(About the author)

Safety Toolbox (Advanced)

This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.

A frozen cushion safety type requires the cue ball to stop on or close to the table cushion. Being forced to shoot from that position creates some interesting problems that plague a large percentage of players.

Most players are wary of cushion shots because they have miscued many times before. And they hate the idea of not being able to use draw or side spin on the shot. Shooting the cue ball that is snuggled up to the cushion is considered with the same pleasure as going to the dentist. Yet, these shots are very common.

Note: When you have a frozen cushion shot, do it right. Slide the stick over the cushion and parallel to the floor to catch the upper part of the cue ball. Make sure you are well-chalked.

Consider yourself at an advantage when your opponent approaches a frozen cushion rail shot and jacks up his stick. When a shot is attempted with this stance, a large number of self-inflicted problems can be created. At the very least, he is exhibiting a fear of miscuing.

When the cue stick is jacked up for a steep angle into the cue ball, this becomes a masse stroke. These are difficult to control without significant practice. The slightest deviation from the vertical center line of the cue ball creates unknown ball activity. Miscalculations are not uncommon.

This safety type is even more effective when combined with bad angle and distance safeties. Many players really hate to shoot a full-length table shot off the cushion. When your opponent makes a big deal, complaining about how troublesome these are, provide as many as possible.

Laying a cue ball close to the cushion is not difficult, only needing a little practice. Any place within an inch or two of the rubber could be considered successful. Set up and practice the examples until you are consistently successful.

The examples show how to get a cue ball into position against an opponent who can't play an effective stoke off the rail. When you have excellent speed control, you can send the cue ball to a second or even third rail. When learning this tool, use the simplest solution (i.e., the nearest rail). Even against an experienced rail shooter, a little extra bit of brain energy is burned up to play the shot.

Frozen cushion, example 1

A soft, gentle roll glues the cue ball to the cushion.

Frozen Cushion Safety, Example 1

Frozen Cushion Safety, Example 1

Frozen cushion, example 2

A little roll puts the 8 ball out in the middle of the table, and the cue ball on the rail.

Frozen Cushion Safety, Example 2

Frozen Cushion Safety, Example 2

How to Win by Helping Your Opponent Lose

The FAQs of Pool & Pocket Billiards


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