1) Learn from the best. Consider a coach/ mentor or instructor. Find a BCA instructor in your area and attend their school / seminar. Tom Simpson takes his pool clinic 3 day instruction “Beat People with a Stick’ to about a dozen cities across the country. Or look for an instructor in your local room.
2) Develope a straight stroke. I see there is a new stroke trainer on the market called Cue Track. I use a similar device and pull it out once every 3 months of so and work with it for 2 weeks or more almost every day. I couldn’t find a link to this product. Or use a coke bottle and stroke through the opening. The stroke trainers will take the twists and crossing patterns out of your stroke.
3) Master the stop shot. The most important shot in pool is the stop shot. You need to know there are two variables to mastering the stop shot – speed and distance. The lower the cue to the axis the slower the speed to stop the cue ball. The stop occurs when the cue arrives with no spin at time of impact with the object ball. The farther away you are away from the object ball the harder you have to hit to create the stop. If there is an angle and the cue arrives with no spin then the cue slides at a right angle to the direction of the object ball. Knowing the stop shot gives you the ability to start mastering position play. Throw the balls on the table and position cue ball straight in for first stop shop. Shoot the stop shop and then select next ball that is straight into a pocket. This drill will teach the two things to master the stop shot. Speed and distance.
4) Do the circle drill. Place all 15 balls in a circle in middle of table spanning about 2 diamonds. Start with cue in circle and object is to pocket all the balls without cue touching another ball or a rail. When you touch a ball or rail with cue start over. Stick with it and do this daily for 3 months. You will have to learn to shoot softly and stroke through the ball on every shot. This drill develops shooting alignment, stop shots and tempo. This is an addicting drill.
5) Shoot straight. on a straight line form corner to corner pocket set object ball 2 diamonds away from corner pocket and set cue 2 1/2 diamonds from other corner pocket. Pocket ball with stop , follow and draw 33 times each.
6) Enjoy the game. Join a pool league.
7) Play competitively. Play in local 8 ball and 9 ball tournamenets. Play in regional league tournaments.
Read “Inner Game of Tennis” . Best pool book ever written but it is not about pool.
9) Study the game and read the best books about pool. Learn aiming by the numbers, banking systems, kicking systems and safety paly.
10) Practice , practice , practice. Commit to putting in about 10,00 hours of practice.