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Have you ever wanted to get started on the fundamentals of learning pool but don’t have the money or space to actually get one of your own? There are alternative ways to take your billiards skills to the next level and all you really need is a pool cue – for some of these tips, you will not even need that!
During the times of the pandemic, you may not be able to go to your favorite pool bar, or even join up in a league but this is no reason to give up practicing.
For this article, we will go through some ways you can practice pool without even using a table. Doing so will allow you to keep the rust off if you’re a seasoned player, or practice efficiently if you’re a beginner.
Can You Practice Pool Without a Table?
You most certainly can. Some people may not be able to keep a table in their home but still love the game and want to get better and there are ways you can do that to keep a competitive edge.
Of course, the best method is to play as much as you can on a real table but for many budding players that is not an option, so they will have to improvise a bit.
5 Best Ways to Practice Pool Without a Table
With that in mind, let’s jump into what we believe are the five best things you can do to improve your game without a table.
#1: The Bottle Practice
All you need for this common practicing method is a bottle and your pool cue. Place the bottle on a flat surface and keep it from rolling around. Then take your stick and start practicing by lining up the tip with the bottle’s opening.
You will want to try and get your stroke cleanly into the opening of that bottle without hitting the edges or grazing a part of your bottle. Do this until you have mastered it and you’ll be surprised how well it helps your shot.
This practice helps with stepping into your shot and moving into your shooting position and your precision when actually hitting the ball. It will keep muscle memory in place and you can even do this with a mirror so you can physically see if something is off in your shot.
#2: Watch Professionals
You surely know how most professional sports players always watch tapes of other great players to see what they are doing. This is a great practice even for a beginner that doesn’t even involve working on mechanics or anything like that.
Try and emulate what the best of the best are doing in their games, see their strategy and what balls they go for in certain situations. This can help your in-game smarts and even give you some ideas on how to tweak your form or shooting methods.
Not to mention, this is a fun way to see how good people can get. If you have never watched a professional match, it is mesmerizing to see the kind of preparation and precision these players put into every shot.
#3: Read Up on the Game
If you are more of a book-smarts kind of person, reading up on different types of shots and strategies can elevate your game before you even pick up a pool cue.
There are all kinds of books out there such as “The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards” by David G. Alciatore and that is just one of the more famous out of many that are available on Amazon or even your local library.
If you are just starting out you can read up on all the rules you need to know and you may even find a few nifty variations of pool games that you can break out for fun to liven things up around the table.
#4: Watch Instructional Videos
For all the visual learners out there, this may be the best way you can practice pool without a table for you. There is no shortage of these types of videos for beginners all the way to advanced players that have plenty of valuable information to better your game.
You can go on Youtube or simply Google “how to play pool better” and you can take an hour or even less out of your day to learn some possibly valuable tips without even having to get up off your couch!
#5 Get Your Pre-Shot Routine Down
If you plan on using the “bottle practice” mentioned earlier, you can also use this time to get your routine down before taking a shot.
Almost every pool player has their routine down before they take a shot. You see batters do this in baseball, basketball players do this before taking a foul shot; it can be seen in every sport that requires some kind of precision and is more important than you think!
Bend your legs a few times, twist the stick around in your fingers, or just get a good stretch in before you start practicing your shots. Eventually, you’ll get used to the routine and be that much more comfortable when shooting in real games.
Sometimes, not having a pool table can discourage you from playing and, because of this, many players will give up before they even have the chance to succeed.
Hopefully, after reading this article you have found that practicing billiards does not necessarily require a pool table and you can even get a heads up on those that do by using the methods talked about above to strengthen your mental game and your technique.
So stay committed and try your best to enjoy the practice as much as you enjoy actually playing because that is how you can truly advance your game and make the impressive shots you see the best of the best make.