Use Bottom Spin And Draw for Great Position Play
The phenomena of bottom spin, also called draw, is the result of hitting the cue ball, with the cue tip, below its horizontal axis. Basically, this causes a reverse spin on the cue ball that affects how it reacts in a particular shot. Mastering the use of bottom spin/draw can be very advantageous to your pool game. One important tip here - chalk up that cue tip before using it.
If you are a beginner and still learning the basics of pool, you should be hitting the cue ball directly on dead center to avoid any unwanted deviation to its direction of travel. However, after you become more proficient at the game and develop an efficient stroke, you will want to begin to take advantage of this more advanced aspect of the game.
Bottom spin/draw allows you to manipulate the way the cue ball behaves after it hits the object ball during a pool shot. This manipulation enables you to "play position", or in other words, send the cue ball to an optimum location on the pool table, so that you have a good shot for your next ball.
Playing position is one of the keys to improving your pool game and raising your skill level.
There are several ways and reasons to use bottom spin/draw. If you have a straight shot on a ball that is hanging in front of a pocket, you want to put some reverse spin on the cue ball, so that it does not follow the object ball into the hole and scratch, but rather stops in its tracks after hitting the object ball.
You can use draw to actually back up the cue ball after it hits the object ball, so as to move the cue to a location that will afford you a better shot on your next ball. Bottom spin and draw can be combined with side spin to affect the direction of travel of the cue ball after object ball contact for the same reason.
Hitting the cue ball below center has to be done correctly however. If hit too low, the cue ball may jump up in the air and leave the table, or at the very least, cause you to miscue and miss the shot. As seen by the purple section in Diagram 1, there is a certain area on the cue ball where is is safe to hit the cue ball below the horizontal axis. Any contact by the cue tip outside of this area will almost certainly result in a miscue.
The further out from center that the cue ball is hit, the more spin will be put on it. So, to just stop the cue ball after it hits the object ball, the cue should be contacted by the cue tip a short way below center. To make the cue ball really reverse direction and draw back the way it came, the cue ball contact must be as far away from center as possible.
To really make the best use of bottom/draw you must practice using it over and over. Set up scenarios of different shots for yourself and observe how the cue ball reacts when different degrees of bottom spin are used on a shot. Decide before shooting where you would like the cue ball to end up, so that you have the easiest shot for your next ball.
Once you understand how bottom spin/draw works and you are able to use it with confidence, your position play will greatly improve. It will often times allow you to avoid getting stuck without a shot, and will enable you to position the cue ball, to make the shots you do take, that much easier.
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