There are tons of ways to improve in shooting pool without actually shooting pool.
You can watch YouTube videos, read books, listen to podcasts, and even train on apps on your phone now! Technology has certainly come a long way to help us improve in billiards in multiple ways.
Learn Pool Angles Through Chalkysticks Trainer App
You can tell they poured a lot of work into making this a great trainer app for pool players because of how clean the app looks and how smooth it runs.
Chalkysticks Trainer App Is Amazing
There is a library of drills to choose from ranging from easy to difficult. There are over 10 drills to select and they will most likely continue to add more.
Chalkysticks has different racks like 8 ball 9 ball 10 ball.
There are also different ball types like Auto, Standard, Traditional and Televised.
They have a variety of music playing in the background. It usually starts off with elevator music or background sounds from a bar. After playing for a while or if you switch to drills, you’ll notice the music changes to something like rock music change. If it bothers you, you can go into the settings and change it or turn it off.
The cherry on top for me is definitely the random trivia they serve you. If you go to the settings, you’ll see random trivia like
“Did you know Until almost 1920, American billiards was dominated by the carom games?”
How To Download Chalkysticks Trainer
Below are the links to download them on Android and Apple devices.
Other Good Recommendations
8-Ball Pool is probably the most popular billiard app on the market. It has millions of downloads, let alone 15 million reviews. If you want another alternative to just play pool against opponents and earn in-game rewards, this is the game for you.
Fair warning – it’s highly addicting, and frustrating when you lose to teenagers/randoms. The game lets anyone become a decent pool player.
Listen To Podcasts
There is probably only 1 good pool billiard podcast available, but I’m thankful it exists. That podcast is the American Billiards Radio on Pool Podcasts website.
They post about once or twice a month and have great content. They talk about relevant topics that pool players would all enjoy. They talk about what is happening in the billiards world, recent tournaments, interview with professional pool players, and much more.
Their most recent podcast episode included Jayson Shaw!! Professional pool player Jayson Shaw who just competed in the Mosconi Cup.
The podcast and site is a combo of the old Runout Radio podcast and the American Billiard Radio. Runout Radio was formed by Mike Howerton and Jerry Forsyth from AzBilliards and ran 50 episodes from 2007 until 2012.
The current podcast is produced by Mike Howerton.
If you just want to listen to pool talk during a long commute or don’t feel like reading/watching any videos – this is a great alternative. Hear what the pro’s are thinking through interviews, and whats happening with billiard news.
Use YouTube To Watch Billiard Lessons
YouTube is one of the most popular resources in the world. You can have a video up in seconds showing you pool drills or a pool tournament from last week.
This is my favorite method because I am a visual learner. I need to see something with my eyes in order to take it in. I have more trouble learning from reading because I have to use my imagination and that’s tougher.
My ABSOLUTE favorite YouTuber who provides billiard lessons is Tor Lowry. He is amazing. He has one of the most popular billiard videos on YouTube ever. Over an hour of free pool lessons that you can go home and practice for 10-20+ hours. The video itself has over 2 Million views!
The best part about Tor Lowrys videos is it’s actually helpful for a wide range of players. The video starts off explaining the common reasons why players struggle with using Spin (or English) fundamentals they never learned. At the end of the short lessons, he sprinkles in more advanced shots that you can try. Even as an intermediate player, these were not easy shots I could execute in one try.
Check his video out and be prepared to be sucked in.
Another favorite video from Tor Lowry is his video on Drills to Sharpen Your 8-Ball / 9-Ball. This is great for improving your ball positioning and pattern play.
This was one of the most impactful YouTube videos that helped push me from a Skill Level 5 in APA to a Skill Level 6. Once you understand what side of the ball to get on + utilizing the rails, your game is going to get a LOT better.
Other videos or channels I recommend is Dr. Dave. He probably produces the most
Here is a video where he explains Bending/Twisting, and Stiffening Kick and Bank Shots.
Check out his full website here.
Reading Billiard books is a great way to learn about pool. So many people spend time in front of a computer screen or on their phones. Reading a book a good break from all that technology.
Some people may prefer to read books over watching videos, its all a preference of your learning style.
These are the 5 books I highly recommend if you want to really learn more about pool. Many books like Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards goes so much farther then just the game.
- The 99 Critical Shots in Pool: Everything You Need To Know To Learn and Master the Game by Ray Martin
- Byrne’s New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards by Robert Byrne
- Byrne’s Complete Book of Pool Shots
- Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards by Bob Fancher
- The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards by David Alciatore (Dr. Dave)
The books can teach you more about just pool too – It teaches you how to approach the game mentally, and psychologically. If you have the opportunity, I would urge you to read every single book.
Watch DVDs of Billiard Instructions
There is nothing that can beat high quality content on billiard instructions. YouTube is a great resource, but some videos are just shot at bad angles. The video quality can be sub par, the audio could be off.
There is just a lot of problems that you can face with YouTube videos.
This is why I would go the route of buying something professionally made if I can afford it. For example Mastering Pool By Mika Immonen.
Here’s a YouTube snippet of his instructions (Not sure how long it’ll stay up) but it’s pretty solid.
Different camera angles of him performing the shot. Professional images and video editing. Even someone narrating over the lessons.
Why Is Practicing Pool Away From The Table A Good Thing?
People who become masters at their crafts have invested thousands and thousands of hours into learning and perfecting their skill. We can’t spend 24 hours on a pool table (as much as some of us would like to).
It’s good to take in helpful pool knowledge from different types of resources. You may learn something you never thought of, give it a try.
Want to improve in pool? Become obsessed with it. When you aren’t shooting pool at the bar or at home, listen to podcasts while driving or working out. When you aren’t doing that, watch youtube videos at home about pool lessons or a tournament. And when you need to wind down and need some quiet time, pick up a pool book.
Good luck in your adventure to become a better pool player and thanks for reading.