Refer to the Figure 1 below. The idea behind this practice drill is to determine if you have a straight stroke. Place the cue ball on the head spot and aim straight at the second diamond on the other end of the table. Make sure that you aim without english or spin on the cue ball and then shoot. The cue ball should hit the rail and go back on the same straight path that it came from and return towards the head spot where the cue ball was originally placed.
Any error in your stroke will show right away after the cue ball hits the rail. If any spin is inadvertently applied on the cue ball, it will not come back in a straight line towards it’s initial position on the head spot (as indicated by the dark lines in Figure 1 above).
Shoot this drill about 20-30 times a day until you get to about 90% to 100% accuracy.
This second stroke drill is a little more difficult and is the ultimate test of your stroke.
Refer to the Figure 2 above. Arrange the balls as shown. Place an object ball on the rail on the second diamond from the top right corner pocket, then place the cue ball on the same vertical line from the object ball.
Proceed by shooting at the object ball. You should aim at the cue ball without any english or spin. Aim at the exact center of the object ball. Similar to the drill #1, the cue ball should go back in a straight line towards the position it started from.
In this drill, any error that you may have in your stroke that did not show in the first stroke drill would surely show here. Since you are hitting another ball which is round… unless the cue ball hits the object ball dead center, the cue ball will not come back in a straight line. Try it and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Practice this drill until you are able to execute it correctly about 80-100% accuracy.
In this next stroke drill, try pocketing the object ball by placing your cue ball starting at position A then proceeding to the next position (position B) and so on and so forth (Refer to Figure 3 below). Hit your cue ball exactly at the center. If your stroke is straight, the object ball should go into the pocket with no problems.
You should take note of your misses because this allows you to determine what is wrong with your stroke. If the object ball misses the pocket and goes towards the outer left side of the pocket, then your stroke is off on the right. This means that you are hitting the cue ball on the right of its center spot. If the object ball misses and goes towards the outer right, then you are hitting the cue on the left of its center spot.
Also remember that as the distance between the object ball and the cue ball increases, the difficulty level of the shot also rises. Pocketing the object ball with the cue ball in last position shown in the diagram (after position D) is the ultimate test of your stroke.