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Become a Sure Shot with this billiard training ball from American Heritage

The Training Cue BallWant to learn how to shoot like a professional pool player? The Training Cue Ball with Wood Case from American Heritage will teach even the most novice pool player how to be the next Minnesota Fats!

Marketed by American Heritage as a "revolutionary cue ball" that will show you exactly where to hit the cue ball to draw, curve and fade your shots, this product will also help you position your cue for precise play, improve your long shots, short shots, breaks and jumps.

The Training Cue Ball with Wood Case from American Heritage (view the Training Cue Ball by American Heritage here) is split in half, with one side offering a red crosshair surrounded by blue spots that are marked high, low, high right, right, low right, high left, left and low left (see right picture).

The opposite side of the Training Cue Ball (not pictured) offers another red crosshair surrounded by blue spots that are marked Masse shot, power break, draw shot, stop shot and jump shop. The blue spots and red crosshairs will help you determine the type of shot.

There are guidelines for the red crosshairs and blue spots. Be sure your cue tip is properly rounded and chalked when attempting these shots. One side emphasizes cue ball control and movement, which we will discuss first. When hit perfectly on the blue marks on this side by the cue tip, the shooter will be able to control the movements and pathways of the cue ball before and after the impact.

Training Cue BallHere's a rundown of the blue marks on the one side of the training cue ball devoted to movement control and their effects:

  • Center (Hard Stroke) - The cue ball will stop when it impacts the object ball.
  • Center (Light Stroke) - The cue ball will pass the impact point of the object ball a small distance. This should be used if you wish for the cue ball to follow the object for only a short distance, while the "High" mentioned below will make the cue ball follow the object ball longer distances.
  • High - The cue ball will continue to spin forward when it impacts the object ball, the cue ball aggressively following the object ball's path.
  • Low - Use this to create "English" to control the final resting position of the cue ball. Hitting the "Low" mark will cause the cue ball to spin backwards after impact with the object ball.
  • High Left - This will cause the cue ball to spin clockwise, rebounding off of the object ball with a slightly curved path forward. When struck in this fashion, the cue ball will eventually hit a rail, bouncing off to the left of the normal rebound angle.
  • High Right - This will cause the cue ball to spin counterclockwise, rebounding off of the object ball with a slightly curved path forward. When struck in this fashion, the cue ball will eventually hit a rail, bouncing off to the right of the normal rebound angle.
  • Left - Use this blue mark when attempting to cut the object ball to the right. Just like the center shot above, using a hard or light stroke will change the movement of the cue ball after an impact. If you use a hard stroke on this mark the cue ball to stop and carom off the object ball in a natural angle. A soft stroke on the "Left" mark will cause the cue ball to veer off to the left after impact, and depending on the strength you use, will place the cue ball at various spots on the left side of the table.
  • Right - Just like the "Left" above, but opposite. Use the "Right" blue mark when attempting to cut the object ball to the left. As mentioned above, using a hard or light stroke will change the movement of the cue ball after an impact. If you use a hard stroke the cue ball to stop and carom off the object ball in a natural angle. A soft stroke on the "Right" mark will cause the cue ball to veer off to the right after impact, and depending on the strength you use, will place the cue ball at various points on the right side of the table.
  • Low Left - A shot that is intended to ultimately send the cue ball to the right. When the cue ball impacts the object ball it will spin or draw backwards with a clockwise spin, away from the original line (right). Once it impacts a rail, this shot will bounce forward of the natural rebound angle.
  • Low Right - A shot that is intended to ultimately send the cue ball to the left. When the cue ball impacts the object ball it will spin or draw backwards with a counterclockwise spin, away from the original line (left). Once it impacts a rail, this shot will bounce back of the natural rebound angle.

The other side of the Training Cue Ball with Wood Case from American Heritage emphasizes "Power Shots". It is essential when practicing these shots you gain a consistent stroke. Your stroke should be average, avoiding strong or weak impacts. Consistency is key with "Power Shots". This side has the following blue marks for "Power Shots":

  • Power Break - Used when performing a break shot, the Power Break blue mark will create excessive top spin. This top spin will cause the cue ball to enter the cluster of balls with greater force after impact, punching it through the cluster with power. Be sure to keep the cue shaft level throughout this stroke.
  • Stop Shot - Use this blue mark when you need the cue ball to stop at the point of impact. Elevating the butt end of the cue will change the outcome of this shot, so practice various levels to learn all of the nuances.
  • Draw Shot - Use this blue mark when you need the cue ball to reverse course after impact, spinning back towards the shooter. The distance the cue ball spins backwards is determined by the force of the cue. Like the stop shot, the elevation of the butt end of the cue will change the outcome, so be sure to practice this shot with the butt end of the cue at various levels.
  • Jump Shot - One of the coolest shots in billiards, the jump shot will make the cue ball jump over other balls to strike the object ball. Chalk is essential to this shot, so be sure your cue tip is well-chalked. The butt-end of the pool cue will have to be held at a height greater than 6" for this to work.
  • Masse Shot - One of the sexiest shots in billiards, the Masse shot will cause the cue ball to follow a curved path around an obstacle ball, striking the object ball. High, low, right or left "English" will determine the spin and pathway of the cue ball. Be sure the cue tip is chalked and the butt-end of the cue is held at a 75 degree angle away from the playing surface.

Remember the most advanced shooters have spent years practicing these shots. Creating a uniform stroke and consistent impact speed is key to becoming the very best pool player possible. While it will not instantly transform you into a pool hall hustler, the Training Cue Ball from American Heritage will certainly get you started in the right direction.

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