Lessons with Larry

His name is Fast Larry. We don’t know why, but we are pretty sure it has nothing to do with pool or billiards. Anyway forget his name look at his jump shot.

In the realm of pool and billiards there are very few types of shots that are as eye catching and a skillfully executed jump shot. A jump shot is just what the name implies, a type of shot in pool that sends the ball flying off the pool table and (hopefully) over other balls or obstacles.

The jump shot was formerly an illegal shot in pool, because of its dangerous nature. Supposedly, untrained players have had the tendency to make the cue ball fly off the table into someone’s face or gut. However, it is stated in the rules that unless it is stated otherwise for a specific game, it is legal to cause the cue ball for rise from the bed of the table.

Hitting a jump shot is not too difficult but, as with all of the other shots, it is difficult to master. This is probably one of the reasons that hitting jump shots was formerly banned from formal play.

The basic technique is easy; you will want to aim the direction of the shot a take your stance as if there would be no jumping. Make sure that your grip on the cue stick is as light as possible.

Raise the cue stick so that it is elevated, perhaps thirty degrees or a bit more. Some have said forty-five degrees is a good angle, however, in practice it is somewhat uncomfortable and unnatural for some players.

As you raise the butt of your cue stick, your bridge will pivot in space with your fingertips, with it still resting on the cloth. This is why using an open bridge is much more effective than using a closed bridge for hitting a jump stroke.

Make sure that you maintain a very soft grip on the stick throughout raising the butt end of the stick. This will help you maintain the correct angle as the cue will simply droop downward from your shooting hand and onto your raised bridge.

Then, now that your body and the stick are in perfect alignment, tighten your grip in order to get a firm, but overly firm grip. Finally, let your stroke flow through the jump shot as you hit down on the cue ball, pinching it against the felt on the table, sending it up into the air.

This shot will become very useful to your when you are in a tight fix and some balls are blocking your idea shot. Again, although this shot may come easy for some people, mastery of the shot will come over time.