Use Follow Or Top Spin For Cue Position
The use of follow, also called top spin, is another great tool in the pool player's bag of tricks. Controlling the path and speed of the cue ball after is hits the object ball is a very important factor in winning pool games.
By hitting the cue ball above the center, a forward spin will induced to the cue ball. This will cause it to "follow" the object ball after contacting it instead of stopping in its tracks.
Using follow, the shooter can cause the cue ball to travel to another part of the table, where his next shot is waiting. Depending on where the cue tip contacts the cue ball, different amounts of follow can be generated.
In the picture shown, the purple area on the cue ball is the zone where the cue tip should contact the ball to cause follow. The closer to the center of the ball the hit is made, the less the cue bll will spin. Therefore, if a lot of spin and cue ball travel is desired, the ball should be hit at the outer edge of the purple zone.
Hitting the ball beyond this area is not recommended, because this will often cause a miscue, which is the result of the cue tip sliding off the cue ball and not making good contact. Chalk should always be applied when using spin to help prevent miscues.
The player should decide where he wants the cue ball to end up after the current shot, so that the correct degree of spin is applied to the shot. Looking ahead two or three shots will give the shooter the chance to plan his shots and possibly run the table for the win.
Naturally, follow can be used with side spin as well. Depending on the course you want the cue ball to take after the object ball hit, some left or right english, as well as top, may be called for to get the cue ball just where you want it.
As with all aspects of pool playing, the use of top spin should be practiced as much as possible. This is the only real way to experience how the different english and spins work, and how they can best be controlled to the pool shooter's advantage in a game situation.
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