Last week we provided some tips on how to move the cue ball between the short rails across the middle of the table. If you have that skill down pat, it is time to move on to avoiding the side pocket. We do not have anything against the side pocket, but there are times in a game where avoiding the side pocket is necessary.
In this situation, the cue ball is in the center of the table. The 1 ball is hugging the long rail between the corner and side pocket on one side, and the 2 ball is hugging the long rail between the other corner and side pocket. You should be able to draw a diagonal line between the three balls.
The goal is to knock in the 1 ball into the corner pocket and have the cue ball retreat to behind the 2 ball, all while avoiding the side pocket. You want to stay away from using any side spin on the cue ball and try to use top spin and back spin instead. The key to this shot is finding the right amount of power that will send the cue ball towards the 1 and back towards the 2. Once you have found it, keep practicing. This shot comes up more often that you realize.