The Brian Cook Drill

Introduction:

Crokinole Skills Tip Number Nine
This drill is a fantastic way for us to build on last week’s challenge of shooting Hogan’s Alley. If you are looking for a way to really challenge your skills, you are in the right place. Let us look.

Background:

I remember seeing a video of Brian Cook doing this exact drill and making it look easy. It is not. Brian is a fantastic player who can make amazing Crokinole shots look like child’s play.

I got to witness this first hand at the 2019 World Cup of Crokinole in Budapest, and I can tell you I absolutely loved watching him do this when I was competing as his doubles partner. The very next day, I absolutely hated watching him do this as I competed against him in singles.

Disclaimer:

Before we dig into this, please know that this is an advanced drill. If you are new to Crokinole or consider yourself more of a beginner-level player, go ahead and try it. But if this just is not fun for you, please do not do it. Wait a few weeks or a few months, or do not come back to it at all. The point is, only do it if this is a fun engaging challenge for you.

The Drill:

What I want you to do for this drill is take three buttons, a stack of them, and put them directly behind a peg on the far side of the board. Take another three buttons and stack them on the other peg on the far side of the board. Then, you want to go one side or the other, and you are going to shoot Hogan’s Alley, hitting the bottom disc.

On one side, you want to shoot hard; you are going to lose your shooter and knock that button out. The other two are going to drop straight down, leaving them in the same position.

Jeremy playing a game of Crokinole on Tracey Crokinole board.

Pro Tips for the Drill:

As you do this drill, you are going to notice that you want to leave just a little tiny bit of space between the peg and your stack of buttons. There are two reasons for that. One is if they are too tight, then when you shoot the bottom one out, as the other two drop, they are going to catch that peg and fall over.

The other reason is, as I said, you are probably going to catch pegs here and there. When you hit a peg, if they are too tight, then as you hit the rubber, it will bump those buttons back, and that is not what you want.

I still remember doing this as a kid when you take a stack of buttons and just put them right out in the open and then blast away to see if you can knock the bottom one out and leave your stack still standing.

Benefits of the Drill:

There are a few really great things about this drill. First, it is tough—tough. You are probably going to catch some pegs as you start doing this. I can even see people turning this into a drinking game. Now, listen, that is a prediction, not a suggestion. Play Crokinole responsibly. Second, it is measurable.

So, you can do this drill and see if you can improve upon your score, see how few shots you can use to be successful in this drill. And the third great thing about this drill is it is scalable.

What I mean by that is you can adjust the challenge within it. It is always going to be tough, but you can make it a little less tough or more tough by shifting how much of the button you are able to see by looking down Hogan’s Alley. So, if you get super skilled at this, I encourage you to make that sliver thinner and thinner and thinner and see if you can still pull it off.

Drill Execution Tips:

As you tackle this drill, remember to shoot hard. You are also going to want to remember what you picked up in tip 8 about shooting Hogan’s Alley. Where you do not necessarily want to aim directly at that button or else you may catch the peg.

You want to aim just to the side of the peg so you can catch that button on the way through. Most importantly, remember to have fun even when doing the drills. Make sure that you are having fun with the greatest game on earth.

An image of a game of Crokinole on Tracey Crokinole boards on a table.

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