Billiard Shot Planning
Billiard shot planning is as important a skill as shooting itself. It requires thinking ahead a few innings and focusing just as much on where you will position your cue ball as you do on the actual shot itself.
Once the break shot has been completed, the shooting player should carefully inspect the layout of the table, as they should before each and every shot they take. The shooting player should be inspecting the layout for any patterns or sequences that will better allow them to make runs and clear the table. Players should also pace themselves between shots, since this habit will allow them the time to get their mind in the right place and to properly assess and survey the table.
Billiard shot planning also requires players to be brutally honest and accurate when it comes to their skill level. The better you know and accept which shots you are likely to make, and which shots you are unlikely to make, the better you will be able to plan your billiard shots successfully. Once you have accomplished this, make it a point to play only the shots you are certain to pocket. If you are only 55 percent sure you will make a shot, perhaps it is best not to try for that one. Play it safe. If you know that you can't likely make any of the shots available to you, switch to a defensive play mode, and endeavor to leave your oponent with nothing but terrible shots.
In billiard shot planning, it is always the best choice to choose any shot that allows you to both shoot with the natural roll of the cue ball path, and to shoot at an object ball that is in line with cue ball. Additionally, in billiard shot planning it is best to attempt to come directly in to your next shot, rather than having to go across the angle. It will be easiest on you, as far as billiard shot planning goes, to learn to shoot in such a way that once the cue ball hits the object ball, it will rebound with natural speed that is not intentionally controlled. When you focus on rebounding the cue ball with natural speed, and natural directional roll toward the next object ball, you'll find billiard shot planning and position play will be much easier and simpler.
Another critical aspect of billiard shot planning is to focus on properly shooting the easy shots. This means that you should not just rocket an object ball in because it is a sure thing. Keep the shot simple, and aim to pocket the ball as casually as possible and do so in such a way that is conducive to producing a good next shot.