(S&D) Safety & Defense – Playing Styles, 2 of 3

(About the author)

Safety Toolbox (Advanced)

(This is today’s bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)

Here are more descriptions about the habitual behavior of players you will face in your lifetime of playing pool. Your opponent’s default playing style make it easier to design a strategy and an efficient set of tactical tricks.

Bad fundamentals

Your opponent may not have a good stroke. His elbow might be angled out, the stick grabbed inappropriately, the bridge formed poorly, etc. His stance is poorly balanced, he bends over too little, his head isn’t aligned over the stick, etc. He may even stroke with his whole body in motion.

All of these indicate a player lacking in experience (and guidance on the fundamentals). He might, someday, realize that adjustments are necessary and call upon a PBIA or ACS instructor to show him how to do a stroke correctly. In the meantime, take advantage of him. If you feel merciful, allow him to win very fourth or fifth game.

Distance dilettante

This is a player who has almost no ability to consistently make long distance shots. Watch closely to identify where his accuracy starts to break down. It might be around a half table or three quarter length. He treats a long, low percentage shot with the same intent as an easy situation.

Once you know where his chaos zone starts, concentrate on leaving these types of shots. If you think this is heartless, consider that you are providing him with an educational opportunity to practice on his weak shots.

Rake disaster

Some players have an absolute abhorrence against the use of the rake (also known as the mechanical bridge). This is not a problem for snooker players on those huge 6×12 tables. They reach down, grab a rake, setup, and shoot the shot without hesitation or fumbling around – the result of extensive experience.

Many times you see a player assume the most absurd and awkward physical stances – just to avoid pulling the mechanical bridge out from under the table. Your response is obvious – go out of your way to give him many opportunities to help you.

 

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