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recoveryjones
04-04-2005, 08:51 PM
I noticed that the BCA instructors and instructors from the Billiard Sanctuary all put great emphasis on Set-Pause-Finish-Freeze on their teaching to their students.Are their any instructors,or any students of the BCA or Billiard Sanctuary who can explain each of the four concepts more clearly and the reason for each.

I've never taken a lesson from either place,however,if I were to give my opinion on it here's what I've come up with:

Set:
Align your body (legs,cueing arm,eyes,shoulders,) as well as your cue, cue ball desired contact posistion,bridge hand and object ball contact point in a straight line in relation to the attempted shot.

Pause:
A definite brief COMPLETE STOP after your practice strokes that takes place on the completion of your final back swing.This gives your tricep a chance to stop being active and gives way to your bicep to complete the forward stroke.
This STOP as I understand give the bicep and tricep muscles a chance to stop working against one another during the final stroke.Another purpose of the pause is to give the eyes sufficent time to fully focus on the contact point of the object ball as the eyes have earlier been shifting back and forth between the cue ball and object ball during the practice strokes.

Finish:

To totally complete the stroke,follow through and not to stop it prematurely with a jabb.Nothing should move up to this point including the head and other body parts with exception of the cueing arm from the elbow down.

Freeze:

To stay down for a period of time AFTER the the shot has been completed.Some pros recommend staying down until the cue ball has made contact with the object ball.Others say until the ball goes in and some instructors actually say stay down for a two count.For whatever duration is chosen, a freeze in my opinion is staying motionless for a period of time after contact with the cue on the object ball.Another purpose of the freeze is to analyze the shot.

My question to the instructors is, is a pause completed when there is no stopping in the rythmn of the practice strokes and there is no noticable difference in one's practice strokes and ones final stroke?Some say that everyone pauses automatically because it's impossible not to. Is this true?

Also is a freeze accomplished when one jumps up immediatly after finishing the shot while staying down for the set-pause-finish aspects of the shot.Is that considered a freeze and is that what the freeze is all about as taught by BCA instructors?

Just kinda curious as to some instructors answers on these questions because there seems to be a few pros who don't complete the four step process. RJ

woody_968
04-04-2005, 10:33 PM
I will try and explain, but I strongly encourage seeking out a qualified instructor to help you through the proccess. Nothing can substitute for the benefits of having a qualified instructor work with you and help you along.

Set - most people guess this is just what you said, setting the body. Actually it is performing a "set" of practice strokes. It is important to have a standard preshot routine, and this routine is after you have addressed the ball. Most people will find a set of 2 to 5 practice strokes works best, but you will have to experiement and find what works best with your playing tempo. Dont misunderstand that if your set is 3 practice strokes that once you have taken these strokes you have to pull the trigger. If you are not comfortable with your alignment or anything else you need to adjust and start your set over. Any major adjustmenst call for standing up from the shot and starting over from behind the ball.

Pause - after you have completed your set the pause happens while your cue is in the address position close to the cueball. This gives you that one last "check point" to make sure that you are ready to hit the shot. Again, if at this point you have doubt about anything on the shot you should start your set over or get off the shot completly and start from the beginning standing behind the cueball. Yes there is a slight pause at the end of the backstroke, but the pause as we are talking about it here happens before your final backstroke is started.

Finish - Like you said, finish the stroke. Stroking through the cueball 4 to 6 inches.

Freeze - yep, you guessed it, after your stroke stay down on the shot. Sure it can be argued that the cueball is already gone and nothing you do at this point will effect it. But if you are in the habbit of letting yourself move off the shot right after contact there is going to be a high pressure shot when you move before, or while you are hitting the shot. And no, staying still during the set pause and finish does not take care of the freeze. The freeze in and of itself is a step that should be practiced until it becomes natural.

Yes you will see pros and top amatures that dont appear to do some of these things. But if you watch closely I think you will find there are not as many as you think. Virtually every good player will pause at the cueball before the final stroke. When playing well almost all will go through there "set", or the same number of practice strokes before a shot (this one can be tricky to spot because the set can be restarted). They all finish there strokes. The freeze is probably where you may see the largest variance in some of the top players.

Hope this helps, and again I recommend contacting a qualified instructor to help you with your game.

Woody

pooltchr
04-05-2005, 06:23 AM
Woody is pretty close. Actually, set is the position when the pre-strokes are done, the tip of the cue is just short of the cue ball, and your alignment is set. There is a pause at the set position.

Pause is the point at the back of the back stroke. Since the triceps are used to bring the arm backward, and the biceps to move it forward, a pause at this point allows for a smooth transfer of muscle action from one to the other.

Finish is the point where the forward stroke is completed. With the proper stroke, the grip hand should be stopping at the same place on most every shot (somewhere around the chest or pecs). In the process of moving the grip from the pause position to the finish position, the cue will move the cue ball toward the target. We do not teach you to "hit the ball", but rather to finish your stroke.

Freeze is exactly that, and is a time to check yourself to make sure your stroke was completed properly, your alignment was correct, and you delivered the cue stick to it's intended point. It's feedback to you on how well you did.

His first statement is the most accurate. It is almost impossible to teach this concept in a forum like this. An instructor can tell you, show you, demonstrate, have you demonstrate, and make sure you have it right. After all, if you don't have everything right, you are just practicing bad habits...not something anyone should be doing.

Steve

woody_968
04-05-2005, 07:17 AM
Thanks for the corrections Steve. Your explanation is slightly different than the way I was taught. Thanks for sharing it.

Woody

Zims Rack
04-05-2005, 04:10 PM
That is basically the idea behind the S-P-F-F method, but to fully understand it, seek a qualified instructor that teaches this method. All BSACA instructors teach this method and I believe most BCA instructors do also.

Best of luck!
Zim
"BSACA Intructor"

recoveryjones
04-05-2005, 07:54 PM
That is basically the idea behind the S-P-F-F method, but to fully understand it, seek a qualified instructor that teaches this method. All BSACA instructors teach this method and I believe most BCA instructors do also.

Best of luck!
Zim
"BSACA Intructor"

Thanks Zim(and others),this brings me to another question.

There is a person here locally who has recently got his certified teaching papers from the BCA having taken their course.This person however, seems to be a fairly weak player and is a B+ at best.Should the fact that he can't play well be a hindrance for me to approach him for some lessons on SPFF.I fully understand that the best players don't make the best teachers, however, I just want to make sure that with his papers (from the BCA) that he will be able to tell if I'm aligined properly etc etc.

Can anybody obtain papers from the BCA? Just curious as the only other available option (locally) for a teacher is a local pro (Paul Potier) who wants a $1000 down(minimal) for a series of lessons.RJ

JOEY
04-05-2005, 08:06 PM
im no instructer, but i help ppl better than i shoot. im a decent shot, but practicing what i preach is my downfall. but no doubt i can turn someone who never shot into a decent player in no time. i myself want some lessons to do some tweaking. i dont have a video camera to film myself, so instruction is my best bet. take care,
joey

cuejoey
04-05-2005, 08:24 PM
Thanks Zim(and others),this brings me to another question.

There is a person here locally who has recently got his certified teaching papers from the BCA having taken their course.This person however, seems to be a fairly weak player and is a B+ at best.Should the fact that he can't play well be a hindrance for me to approach him for some lessons on SPFF.I fully understand that the best players don't make the best teachers, however, I just want to make sure that with his papers (from the BCA) that he will be able to tell if I'm aligined properly etc etc.

Can anybody obtain papers from the BCA? Just curious as the only other available option (locally) for a teacher is a local pro (Paul Potier) who wants a $1000 down(minimal) for a series of lessons.RJ
Recovery: in any sport there are coaches/instructors some great that cannot perform well..but they can coach great..see if you an eavesdrop in and seehow he does with another player..if you like it then hire him for an hour..i'll bet you will improve your game..good luck and keep us posted.....even Tiger Woods has instructors...

Zims Rack
04-06-2005, 06:26 AM
Recovery: in any sport there are coaches/instructors some great that cannot perform well..but they can coach great..see if you an eavesdrop in and seehow he does with another player..if you like it then hire him for an hour..i'll bet you will improve your game..good luck and keep us posted.....even Tiger Woods has instructors...
Good advice!

Zim

recoveryjones
04-06-2005, 06:04 PM
Good advice!

Zim

OK, I'll check this guy out for at least one lesson.

The BCA has four has four levels of instructors: recognized,advanced,certified and master.This guy is brand new and is only in the registered catergory.I'll check him out soon and keep ya all posted. RJ