The follow shot, sometimes referred to as topspin is a fun and effective tool to use while working for position on your next shot. Follow can increase your chances of getting shape, break up ball clusters, totally change direction of the cue ball, and open your eyes to shots you never thought were possible.
Follow is nothing more than the cue ball at a rolling state on its way to your object ball. It rolls at different speeds depending on how hard you hit it, but rarely is it ever spinning forward faster than the rate that it is moving forward. After the cue ball contacts an object ball that forward spin may last a split second depending on how fast it was traveling at the point of contact.
After contact with an object ball a sliding cue ball (not rolling forward or spinning backwards with draw) caroms off at a 90 degree angle from the direction of the object ball. This is called the tangent line. Nothing will improve your position play more than identifying and understanding the tangent line. When the cue ball is rolling when it contacts the object ball, it rolls in front of the tangent line.
Depending on how hard you strike the object ball with follow, the cue ball will spin forward of the tangent line starting within a few inches of contact. The harder the hit on the cue ball with follow spin, the longer it will stay on the tangent line before moving forward as shown in yellow. In white is a medium to soft hit with follow. The ability to alter the cue ball path away from the tangent line with top english makes it a special shot. You can avoid trouble, create openings and break out problem balls. learn where the tangent line is and adjust your follow and ball speed from there.You'll be amazed at how well this works, if you know what to look for.