Chalking the cue not only serves an important physical function to play, it serves as an important element in your pre-shot routine that contributes to your consistency as a player. Chalk marking is a ritual that helps to succeed at the table. It has a place in the sequence in the way you get into your stance/shots and therefore deserves your attention.
To begin with, start paying attention to how and when you chalk the cue. See if your technique and chalk frequency changes depending on what happens at the table or in a match. See if you can notice a rhythm in the way you chalk when you are playing well and try to duplicate or recreate it every time.
Also, if you don’t have a personal chalk, how neat are you with the chalk on the table? Do you turn it upside down allowing everything around you to get dirty? Or you have more respect for the game than that, I hope. I might get annoyed by players who are really sloppy with the chalk, but those guys tend not to beat anybody. Don’t be one of them if you want to be a champion.
See how all pool pros carry their own chalk and it’s part of their pre-shot routine. The table stays clean and the game progresses faster. Also, you don’t have to constantly go looking for chalk, you have to move it out of the way…
Instead of making chalking just something that needs to be done, build it into your shooting routine so it contributes to your success! And keep it clean and tidy like cue ball control should be.
Options for chalk. I recommend that you keep fresh chalk, your favorite brand, in your pool crate so you always have access to good chalk. I was abroad and had to do a show, but there was no good chalk, so I had to make do with what they had. You will really be rescued from time to time if you bring your own.
I also recommend having a personal chalk holder that clips onto your belt or pocket, or if you prefer, it could be in your pocket. This way you can more easily incorporate chalk into your pre-shot routine instead of always having to search for a piece of chalk. Plus, this helps keep the table and rails free of excess chalk!
See you soon…