I'm looking for information on the actual mathematics of pool to do a college project.

"Contact me as I have done research into the physics and mathematics of pocket billiards."

Consistency is my biggest problem. What can I do to correct that? Plus, I get an {ache}in my left shoulder. I'm left handed. Finally, my break has much to be desired What can I do to improve my break?

"A lack of consistency is usually caused by not having a good shooting system or mental laziness. Have a certified instructor look at your mechanics and bear down more while practicing. 2, usually poor breaks indicate a lack of power or not hitting the head ball dead center. For power lengthen your bridge 2 inches,use a very slow backswing and make sure the stick goes dead straight toward the object ball"

I've been playing pool for a while now, and one problem always seems to plague me. At the break, the cueball will hit the head ball and make a good ball spread,but the problem is that it {the cueball} will usually fly off the table. What could be my problem?

"This is a very common problem It is almost always due to a less then full hit on the head ball or an elevated butt of your cue stick!"

I have a problem with my stroke I can't let the movement go smooth, what can I do?

"Picture the stroke as a smooth throwing motion as in pitching softball. Practicing by stopping the cuetip at the ball after your aim is perfect. Bring the cue stick back slowly and accelerate or "throw" it through the ball 4-6 inches. Do this from the head or foot spot. Stop and observe the position of the cue stick. It should be directly over the spot."

I consider myself a decent player with above average luck! I'm playing in an upcoming tourney,and I believe I'm in the upper echelon among players there, but to win I need to get by some pretty stiff competition. Do you have any advice on how I can gain an extra advantage to be able to win?

"The edge comes in practice It's important to practice hiding the cueball, it's also important to practice at the same speed and pace at which you play in competition. Too many players lose because they slow down their game."

Hi Ken, I'm an intermediate player with a problem. CONSISTENCY! I have that one hurdle left to jump before I can call myself "good". My stroke is good, accuracy is good and my shooting system works well, but my mental game is consistently found lacking. I know I can overcome this but would appreciate any advice to possibly speed up this process.

"When practicing,always keep the thought in mind of getting ready for a tough match. Put intensity into your practice- the same as you would in a match. When you miss an easy shot in practice, it's easy to say, "I wasn't really trying"too many matches are lost missing easy shots."

I recently purchased a hard tip cue, what is the best way to rough it and how can I tell if I have done a good job on it?

"The best way to rough it is with something that is shaped like the tip. Hitting balls compacts the tip and prevents it from holding chalk. When you can see the leather through the chalk after chalking. It's time to rough it up!"

Ken, I'm a league player for two leagues. What I'm wondering is if 3.5 x 7 foot tables hinder my learning process instead of playing on a regulation table. I took a lesson from you back in 1998 and you told me my game would take off. Well it did, but now I feel I'm not progressing any further. What would be your suggestions to help me get over this plateau?

"The key to your question is in the word "instead". Playing and practicing on both bar size and full size tables will help you to sharpen your skills. Everybody reaches plateaus and a lesson by a good instructor can take you to the next level."

Ken, are there any special tips for getting that extra spin on the cueball?

"If the cue tip is in good shape, if it is roughed, and properly chalked, with a good stroke,you can hit the cueball higher, lower, further left or further right than amateurs who don't have such a good stroke. It takes a lot of practice-you need a good shooting system, a good bridge and a good stroke to be able to hit the cueball as high, as low, and as far to the left or right without miscuing."

Ken, can you advise me on the most effective way to improve my game? I enjoy practicing but know there must be certain games that will help improve my above average game. Thanks for your insight.

"This is a great question that I have talked about before. Play 3-ball. Throw 3-balls out on the table and start with ball in hand. Shoot them off in rotation. Remember-there are no difficult shots allowed. If you end up with a difficult shot or if you end up with the wrong angle on the second ball to get to the third ball, then you must put the first ball back. They must be three easy shots! When you do this 15 out of 20 times without any bad angles. Then your ready for 4-balls. When you can 4-balls 15 out of 20 times without any bad angles or difficult shots, you're ready to play 5-ball. When you can play 5-ball successfully, you're a great amateur player."

Ken, I'm a fairly good shooter, but I seem to miss a high percentage of shots when I used draw On the other hand, I'm very consistent with top. Is this a problem with stroke or just english?

"When you have trouble with draw but can follow, using a different stroke for draw usually causes it. Many people do well with follow but think they have to elevate the cue and poke to get it to stop or draw. When you master a stroke for draw or stop that is exactly the same as the stroke for follow, but throwing the cue through a point lower on the cueball, it will help you a lot."

Hi Ken, I'd like to really improve my draw shot. I really can't seem to get enough backspin on the shots unless the two balls are relatively close together. Thanks!

"This is a common question Sometimes when we use more power, our form tends to fall apart a little. You might be aiming at the bottom of the cueball, but if your elbow drops when you shoot harder, it will raise the cue tip up and you might hit the ball higher then you're aiming. Use a slow back swing and keep the tip pointed exactly where you want to hit the cueball. As the cue tip moves through the ball, it should hit the felt about an inch past the contact point and follow through 4-6 inches. If the cueball is jumping you may be hitting the cloth first."

Hi, Just recently found your tips and list of questions, and immediately improved my break!I'm paying more attention to the backstroke; I'm right up close to the head spot line and way off to the right rail. {In enough so I can get a comfortable bridge}, and using just below center ball english. I'm regularly 2 balls on my 9-ball break now. Problem though-2 out of 3 times when I'm breaking like this, the cueball goes shooting into the corner pocket {right side} like lightning. A few times the cueball has jumped up on the impact of the break, and at least once it jumped right into the same corner pocket!Any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

"Anytime the cueball flies into a pocket or even into a rail, you need to improve you accuracy. You must strike the head ball dead center from wherever you place the cueball. Generally you will hit the head ball consistently to the left or right. Adjust your aim an eighth of an inch at a time until the cueball does not hit the rail."

Hey Ken, why is a closed bridge hand so common among good players? I personally find it quite difficult to stroke smoothly with the friction of the cue trapped between my fingers, and have noticed that snooker players shoot quite well with an open bridge.

"There is nothing wrong with an open bridge except when you are hitting a power shot or a shot with extreme spin. The closed bridge gives you more stability and helps prevent miscues. Snooker player are using smaller, lighter balls and seldom use as much power or spin as pool players. You can reduce the friction on your hand by washing them frequently. Some players prefer to use a glove or a little talc. Remember that you don't have to squeeze the cue with your bridge hand."

Ken, I'm never confident that my bank shots are going to go in. I'm an above average player,but I have been self-taught. Are there any pointers you can give me to improve my bank shots? I also have problems making long straight in shots;I'm not consistent, what pointers an you give me to improve my draw shot from long distances?

"First, realize that most of the bank shots you miss are short of the pocket. Understand that most generally banks will not come off the rail at the same angle that they go in. you have to shoot the banks as if to go past the intended pocket. In other words, play the left banks a little long. As to the question of not making long straight in shots, this probably comes from not having a good shooting system or maybe your stroke is not straight. Try putting the cueball on the head spot then place an objectball to set up one of those long shots. When you shoot it and the shot is over you should freeze and see if the cue stick is dead center across that little white dot. If it's not, you have some work to do on your right arm. {Aiming is off}

If you are having trouble drawing from great distances, your shooting system probably need some help. When we use power it is difficult to strike the cueball ezactly where we want. In this case, you are striking the cueball higher than you should Being inconsistent with long shots, is usually a sign of a poor-shooting system Set up your long shots a little bit shorter than normal until you can make them, then work your way back. Just find a instructor, or come to me for a lesson and learn how to do this stuff."