Many times, one great safe can be the difference of winning or losing a game or even a match. Recognizing when to play a safe is half the battle, the other half is executing the shot. Some safes are easy to execute while others are not depending on exactly what you need to do with the cue ball. When the cue ball contacts an object ball, there is an energy transfer that makes the object ball move and also slows down the cue ball. The thinner the cut on an object ball, the less the path of the cue ball moves and the less the speed of the cue ball is reduced. While higher skilled players generally have a good grasp of cue ball control and speed, lower skilled players often have trouble with this very necessary skill. Practice this. There have been many nights at the bar in which a friend and I would practice “sparring” when only a cue ball and one other ball was on the table. The object is to hit the object ball with the cue ball so that your opponent does not have an easy shot. Then he returns (hopefully for him) the favor to you. It’s a great way to practice speed/ cue ball control and will definitely help your safe game. (Obviously, you don’t want to do this at the bar when other players are wanting to play).