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Lockbox
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Pressure of bridge hand on table - 01-08-2018, 01:46 PM

Something i've been wondering - what is the consensus on the amount of pressure that the bridge hand (left hand for me since i'm right handed) should have on the table?

The reason I ask is because I believe it affects my stance, which in turn affects my stability. I feel that sometimes i'm basically leaning too far back so that there isn't much weight on the left hand. I feel that I make a more solid bridge which makes for a more stable shot if i'm centered in a way that my left hand is "pressing down" into the table, without actively trying to do so, if that makes any sense.

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01-09-2018, 06:35 AM

How you lean and how you are aligned are directly connected. 9 out of 10 of the best pool players are leaning back in their stances. You can still have a stable bridge hand when you lean back.

Leaning forward can actually cause physical injuries to your bridge arm and shoulder. I've seen it happen to players to the point where playing pool became a painful thing to do for them.


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01-09-2018, 02:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
How you lean and how you are aligned are directly connected. 9 out of 10 of the best pool players are leaning back in their stances. You can still have a stable bridge hand when you lean back.

Leaning forward can actually cause physical injuries to your bridge arm and shoulder. I've seen it happen to players to the point where playing pool became a painful thing to do for them.
Thanks for the response. My question remains - how much pressure should there be on the bridge hand? I have been experimenting with "gripping" the cloth and varying my stance to induce more weight on my left/bridge hand.
  
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Bob Jewett
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01-09-2018, 02:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockbox View Post
Thanks for the response. My question remains - how much pressure should there be on the bridge hand? I have been experimenting with "gripping" the cloth and varying my stance to induce more weight on my left/bridge hand.
The bridge needs to stay still. A little pressure will help with that. Does your bridge move often?


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01-09-2018, 04:13 PM

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Originally Posted by Bob Jewett View Post
The bridge needs to stay still. A little pressure will help with that. Does your bridge move often?
I wouldn't say it "moves" though I don't know if I'm able to gauge any movement. What I do notice is that at the beginning of a practice session, my bridge hand doesn't feel as secure/heavy on the table as it does, say an hour into practice.

My goal in addressing this issue is to figure out why a particular shot doesn't work when I first move up to a table (i.e. a half-table straight in shot) but as I warm up I start to make it more consistently. One aspect of this that I noticed is that my bridge hand "feels" more secure after an hour of shooting than when I first step up.
  
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01-09-2018, 06:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockbox View Post
Thanks for the response. My question remains - how much pressure should there be on the bridge hand? I have been experimenting with "gripping" the cloth and varying my stance to induce more weight on my left/bridge hand.
How much? The least amount it takes for your hand not to move when you shoot. Just remember, pressure can lead to tension, so if you're starting to feel tension in your fingers or arm then it's too much pressure. Gripping the cloth sounds pretty tense to me.


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01-10-2018, 06:16 AM

Some teachers emphasize bridge snugness in lessons, like Max Eberle. A strong foundation, but one with enough play in the closed loop bridge to let the cue pass smoothly through, can be good, certainly. I'm wondering now if I emphasize the right bridge enough in my lessons.

As written above, though, you want to avoid hurting your arm and shoulder. You can do so by pressing downward with the hand, not on regular shots but on all rail and tripod bridge shots--shots that demand a stable platform for shooting.

I press onto the rail VERY hard, downward with the hand, not locking the arm or straining the shoulder. You can hit up to a full break shot this way, without loss of cue control.


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01-10-2018, 08:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BilliardsAbout View Post
Some teachers emphasize bridge snugness in lessons, like Max Eberle. A strong foundation, but one with enough play in the closed loop bridge to let the cue pass smoothly through, can be good, certainly. I'm wondering now if I emphasize the right bridge enough in my lessons.

As written above, though, you want to avoid hurting your arm and shoulder. You can do so by pressing downward with the hand, not on regular shots but on all rail and tripod bridge shots--shots that demand a stable platform for shooting.

I press onto the rail VERY hard, downward with the hand, not locking the arm or straining the shoulder. You can hit up to a full break shot this way, without loss of cue control.
could you post a pic of your bridge hand doing this please ?
  
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01-10-2018, 11:41 AM

I think that for most shots, the open V-bridge will be better for most players. Most beginners make a closed bridge that's so loose and sloppy it hurts their accuracy.

Some of the best drawings of bridges are in Clive Cottingham's book from the 1960's. You can get one these days for almost free -- well, delivered to your house for $6 or less. There's some other useful stuff in there as well.


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Bridge
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Bridge - 01-10-2018, 06:42 PM

Id suggest using your phone or iPad and videoing your bridge from different angles to see if the thumb moves, the index finger opens, your hand moves, etc. This will tell you a lot and point you in the right direction.
  
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01-10-2018, 09:39 PM

Lockbox...This is an excellent suggestion from Mark, and will show if your bridge hand moves when you're stroking through the CB. The pressure should be on just your fingertips and palm...not the entire hand. Not enough weight and your hand will move, especially when adding some pace to your shot (with an open or closed loop bridge). Too much and you'll get at least a stiff neck and sore shoulder, if you play for a few hours...and potentially injury, as Fran pointed out. Video yourself shooting a rack and post the video. You'll get some solid feedback.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfinkelstein3 View Post
I’d suggest using your phone or iPad and videoing your bridge from different angles to see if the thumb moves, the index finger opens, your hand moves, etc. This will tell you a lot and point you in the right direction.


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01-10-2018, 09:45 PM

IMO, it is unnecessary to press onto the rail "VERY hard". The cuestick can easily just rest on the rail, using a rail bridge to guide it. Whether it goes straight or not is the issue...not how hard you press down on the rail. I would agree with a VERY solid bridge when jacked up shooting over another OB. Some folks press down hard on the rail, because they feel like the cue is going up in the air...that's a stroke and grip issue, and not how hard you press down on the cushion. Also, you can lock the elbow and still have minimal (but enough) pressure on your bridge hand. This is not a "right or wrong" issue...just different ideas on how to accomplish the objective.

Scott Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BilliardsAbout View Post
Some teachers emphasize bridge snugness in lessons, like Max Eberle. A strong foundation, but one with enough play in the closed loop bridge to let the cue pass smoothly through, can be good, certainly. I'm wondering now if I emphasize the right bridge enough in my lessons.

As written above, though, you want to avoid hurting your arm and shoulder. You can do so by pressing downward with the hand, not on regular shots but on all rail and tripod bridge shots--shots that demand a stable platform for shooting.

I press onto the rail VERY hard, downward with the hand, not locking the arm or straining the shoulder. You can hit up to a full break shot this way, without loss of cue control.


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01-11-2018, 06:07 AM

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could you post a pic of your bridge hand doing this please ?
There would be nothing different to see. Pressure comes mostly from heel of the hand opposite the pinky finger, less from the thumb side of the heel of the hand. The forearm might lower with the pressure a tiny bit.


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01-11-2018, 06:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
IMO, it is unnecessary to press onto the rail "VERY hard". The cuestick can easily just rest on the rail, using a rail bridge to guide it. Whether it goes straight or not is the issue...not how hard you press down on the rail. I would agree with a VERY solid bridge when jacked up shooting over another OB. Some folks press down hard on the rail, because they feel like the cue is going up in the air...that's a stroke and grip issue, and not how hard you press down on the cushion. Also, you can lock the elbow and still have minimal (but enough) pressure on your bridge hand. This is not a "right or wrong" issue...just different ideas on how to accomplish the objective.

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com
Some players don't need to apply a lot of pressure onto the rail. Many students, however, solve many of their rail bridging issues using this simple fix.


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01-11-2018, 03:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
How you lean and how you are aligned are directly connected. 9 out of 10 of the best pool players are leaning back in their stances. You can still have a stable bridge hand when you lean back.

Leaning forward can actually cause physical injuries to your bridge arm and shoulder. I've seen it happen to players to the point where playing pool became a painful thing to do for them.
In the October 2007 edition of InsidePOOL magazine, Allison Fisher wrote an article entitled "Back Foot First." While she is mainly discussing foot placement, she does state:

Quote:
Both feet should be shoulder-width apart for balance. You should feel completely rooted, like a tree with your weight coming slightly forward. As you do this, you should also naturally shift the majority of your weight to the front leg, which will then automatically move your hip away from your cue arm.
At the very least, it appears there is some debate here. My own experience tends to reinforce the belief that when i'm warm and shooting well, there seems to be more pressure on my left hand, which may be just that i'm more centered in my stance.
  
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