This month we are going to analyze a very interesting follow shot. This shot has been recently added to the world championship of Trick shots and is classified as a 10/10 in difficulty level. I have to say it is actually both very useful and pretty. Unfortunately, also quite hard.
Anyway, this shot definitely find some applications in the game of 9 ball and if any of you encounter the same type of shot in a game and make it, it will probably become a great highlight!
Let’s have a look to the ball’s position.
The one ball is frozen on the foot rail, on the first diamond exactly. The 8 ball is on the same diamond line exactly a diamond away from the rail. We then have a combo 2-9 hanging in the corner pocket. The cue ball itself is in hand after the first diamond line. I personally set it up half a ball away from the 8 ball.
The objective of the shot is actually to execute a kiss shot out of the one ball , so the cue ball ill draw to the long rail, hit it and then go around the 8 ball with follow before pocketing the 9. To make it easier to understand, there are 2 parts in that shot. A kiss shot that will have to result to draw the cue ball and a follow that will have a result to send the cue ball forward before making the nine.
As for the execution itself, I would advise a full follow, with a touch of right English. In fact the right English is very important because it is going to help the white ball to reach the 9 ball after the contact on the long rail. The force is very important, too hard, the cue ball will draw too far. Too soft you won’t be able to pass the 8 ball. The aiming is the toughest part to my mind. When you think about it the contact surface of the 1 ball that you have to hit is very very slim. You want to hit as much of the 1 ball as possible in order to keep the spin but you still have to hit a little on the left side of the 1 ball otherwise you won’t have the direction required. Once you find your aiming point if you still can’t get the shot, focus on your follow.
It has to be a very ‘pure’ stroke with a lot of quality in the spin. Remember everything you know about following the ball. I very strong left hand first: the cue ball after the kiss shot will directly go in your bridge hand direction so everybody will have a tendency to ‘jump’ and as a matter the quality of the stroke won’t be good enough. For a lot of player it seems the bridge hand is the biggest issue. If this still doesn’t work, focus now on your grip hand, you need a very lose grip so the cue can really go through, push into the cue ball as far as you can and try to give that ball the more action you can get. Remember the cue ball needs to be still full of top spin when hitting the first rail. About the adjustments, they are really simple for this shot. If it doesn’t touch the long rail, take thinner. If it seems to have good chance to go but doesn’t pass the 8 ball, hit harder. If your cue ball go too fat down the table, hit softer.
I have hours and hours of practice on that shot, it remains a very tough one even after you fully understand it, especially if you are on an old table without very ‘bouncy’ rails. I actually showed it to a couple a top players and if they all loved it, they all had a hard time duplicating it as well, so good luck and have fun practicing this ‘ultimate kiss shot’!
Author: Florian Kohler
Editor: Shaylyn Troop