Following advice from Roger Morgan and Martins Goodwills site I recently purchased a spotted practice ball. This allows you to see the side imparted on the ball on each shot.
I really should have got this right at the start it really makes you see and appreciate each shot you take and quite often if you miss it is due to the failure to put side on and run the cue through the shot.
I have spent sometime using the ball to play drag shot and losers around the table. This has really helped with the shots. I never realised you could play a long drag shot with side at quite a speed. You can really judge the side off the cushion. I have also started to play drag on small close shots with some impressive results.
My advice to anyone is go and get a spotted white Aramith ball as soon as possible.