You can compare this to a boxer's jab, you flick the stroke out to stop the cueball dead in its tracks.
By stopping the cue ball at the point of impact with the object ball, you will be less than a half table away from your next shot.
This often requires the cue ball to stop exactly at the point of impact.
A "Stop Shot" (Some insist it’s a “Stun Shot” , is when the cue ball stops
dead in its tracks upon contact with the object ball. This is normally done by hitting the cue ball at its center.
If the object ball and the cue ball are only a short distance apart, a center ball hit on the cue ball with medium stroke will generally stop the cue ball after it collides with the object ball.
There are however, a few exceptions.
The further away the object ball is from the cue ball, the lower you need to hit your cue ball. Keep in mind that if you hit the cue ball too low, you will end up with a "draw" shot or a miscue.
The Draw shot will be discussed in another article. So simply lower the aim on the cue ball (as needed) no more than one cue tip below the center of the cue ball.
Note: Make sure that your cue stick remains level... do not lower the tip of your cue stick by raising the butt end of your cue stick. You need to have a dead-level stroke to succeed at this shot.
Spin Fatal To Effective Stop Shot
In order for the cue ball to stop at the point of contact with the object ball, the cue ball cannot have spin on it. This means that the cue ball has to slide smoothly on the table cloth without creating a back spin or a forward spin before it hits the object ball. Upon contact with the target ball, the cue ball should stop immediately. No forward roll, no slipping sideways and no drawing back.
The things that cause “slippage” in your stop shot are hitting the cue ball just above or below and either right or left of center. If the cue ball has a slight forward spin when it hits the object ball then it will move forward after hitting the object ball. If the cue ball has a back spin, then it will move back after hitting the object ball.
• At short distances, a stop shot is done with a center ball hit on the cue ball at medium stroke. The cue ball simply slides across the table without any spin on it and it stops dead in its tracks the moment it makes contact with the object ball.
• At longer distances, a below center hit is needed coupled with a slightly stronger stroke. Hitting the cue ball below center will create back spin on the cue ball which will gradually diminish (due to friction caused by the table cloth) as it comes closer to the object ball. By the time the cue ball comes into contact with the object ball, the cue ball will have lost all of its back spin and stop mmediately.
Only with enough practice will you be able to learn at what distances to use center ball hit or a below center hit on the cue ball. All I have given you above is a guideline. Keep on practicing this shot and you should be able to instinctively learn when to hit center or below center.
Practicing the Stop Shot
Refer to the image above. Start by positioning your cue ball directly across from your target which is right in front of the side pocket. Using a center ball hit and medium stroke, put the object ball in the pocket. I like to do 200 to 30 of these in succession by pulling another ball out of the side pocket I’m at and walking around the table to the cue ball, shooting another stop shot and repeating the process.