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Matt Stockman
06-22-2009, 02:12 PM
First time poster here. Im a huge fan of this forum and have been observing for quite some time.

My post here has to do with the evolution of the pool stroke. Ive spent countless hours soaking up every pool related youtube video I could find, and its struck me that the pool stroke has undergone a bit of an evolution, or change.

I noticed distinct charecteristics in the strokes of the old schoolers like: Lassiter, Mosconi, Crane, Butera...and a few years later McCready. They all employ a very similar kind of compact, short bridge, accelerating stroke, with little or no wasted motion and hardly any warm up passes. they also seemed to employ a more upright stance. A very different motion from the longer more languid strokes of guys like: Souquet, Reyes, Strickland, and even now Keith Bennet, Dennis Hatch and SVB)

I myself Have always been a bit of an emulator, be it music, golf, and now pool. When I first grabbed the cue, I was all about trying to be like Efren (ya, right)!! It didn't take long to realize I would never have the ability to cultivate success with a motion like that. So, I moved along to trying to ape the Keither with the Either, and let me tell you, that sidewinder stroke can do some things other strokes cant. that stance and side handed grip can produce force follow and inside english that doesnt even seem like it should be fair!! I had a hell of a time making straight shots - especially long ones, but damn it if it wasnt a king hell blast to dance around the table and crack off a rack like Keith, or should I say - in my case -finish a rack :rolleyes:

Ive since wised up and have been working on becoming my own pool player. Ive found it doesnt really matter how fancy you look, or how much stuff you can put on the cue ball. What matters is working your way through each opportunity at the table with poise, visualization, and concentration. Still, I cant help but wonder what has caused the pool stroke to change so much over the years? Is it the balls, tips, or equipment in General? Is it the popularity of different games?

Anyway, thanks for indulging me. I finally got brave enough to post something, but I want to thank you all for helping to keep my sanity at work for the past year and a half.

Matt

stormshadow1
06-22-2009, 02:17 PM
Keith's sidearm stroke is legendary.It would be very hard to emulate his stroke and have great success with it.My favorite is the smooth stroke and power of Larry Nevel.Check out him out also Ralf Souquet has a great stroke that is consistent and good to study.

prewarhero
06-22-2009, 02:32 PM
Welcome to the board Matt, what part of chicago are you from?



There is no question that there has been some evolution in stroke over the years. Some might say that the Fillipino players had something to do with it and some would also say it is from a better understanding or better analysis of proper stroke. It also depends on who you watch. Minnesota Fats could almost shoot from a straight up position. Tom Kennedy seems to poke the ball. Buddy hall as little movement anywhere and does an excellent example of set, pause, finish. Mike Sigel seems to contort his body on the way up after the shoots sometimes. I watch him and say to myself, how in the world did that still go in. I guess he has great body English.

Then came Efren. A long fluid stroke, wobble at first, and boy did he get action on the CB. I donít have anything better to contribute other than I proper fundamentals, so I have come to learn, come from have something repeatable that works for you. Then I am sure there are somethings that just make sense. For example, I have come to learn (read was tought) that I was gripping my backhand to hard. This would limit my stroke power, not to mention cause me to miss since I would intorduce some unintended sidespin from missing my target from a slight jerk caused by said grip. I now have taken steps to correct it.

Matt Stockman
06-22-2009, 02:48 PM
Hey Prewarhero,

Im from Geneva, IL. Its about 40 miles west of the city.

Interesting analysis you've provided. I'm definitely going to give the light grip a whirl.

I think you also may have touched, or at least eluded to a sort of individualism in the strokes of pool players of old. I wonder what caused it. Perhaps it was the fact that they learned the game without the benefit of being plugged into a computer with the ability to watch and study practically every high level pool player playing anywhere at anytime.

androd
06-22-2009, 04:14 PM
First time poster here. Im a huge fan of this forum and have been observing for quite some time.

My post here has to do with the evolution of the pool stroke. Ive spent countless hours soaking up every pool related youtube video I could find, and its struck me that the pool stroke has undergone a bit of an evolution, or change.

I noticed distinct charecteristics in the strokes of the old schoolers like: Lassiter, Mosconi, Crane, Butera...and a few years later McCready. They all employ a very similar kind of compact, short bridge, accelerating stroke, with little or no wasted motion and hardly any warm up passes. they also seemed to employ a more upright stance. A very different motion from the longer more languid strokes of guys like: Souquet, Reyes, Strickland, and even now Keith Bennet, Dennis Hatch and SVB)


I myself Have always been a bit of an emulator, be it music, golf, and now pool. When I first grabbed the cue, I was all about trying to be like Efren (ya, right)!! It didn't take long to realize I would never have the ability to cultivate success with a motion like that. So, I moved along to trying to ape the Keither with the Either, and let me tell you, that sidewinder stroke can do some things other strokes cant. that stance and side handed grip can produce force follow and inside english that doesnt even seem like it should be fair!! I had a hell of a time making straight shots - especially long ones, but damn it if it wasnt a king hell blast to dance around the table and crack off a rack like Keith, or should I say - in my case -finish a rack :rolleyes:

Ive since wised up and have been working on becoming my own pool player. Ive found it doesnt really matter how fancy you look, or how much stuff you can put on the cue ball. What matters is working your way through each opportunity at the table with poise, visualization, and concentration. Still, I cant help but wonder what has caused the pool stroke to change so much over the years? Is it the balls, tips, or equipment in General? Is it the popularity of different games?

Anyway, thanks for indulging me. I finally got brave enough to post something, but I want to thank you all for helping to keep my sanity at work for the past year and a half.

Matt

The guys that start playing before they're tall enough to reach the table use the side arm method. IE, Hoppe McCready and many others.

measureman
06-22-2009, 04:56 PM
Let an old guy who saw most of the Greats in person say a few words.
First off the side arm stroke for me (see avitar)is because i shoot right handed and am left eye dominent so i have to get the left eye over the shaft.Secondly i think (no proof but just my take)that because most if not all of the old timers were primarly straight pool players they could stand a little taller and take a shorter stroke because they were most of time very close to the object ball and did not need to power the cue ball or spin it as much as 9 ball requires.Just as a side note i think all short shots should be shot standing a little more upright to see the angle better and with a shorter stroke. The longer the stroke the more chance to go thru the cue ball a little less straight. Longer shots get a little lower and lengthen the stroke a little. Of course there are exceptions such as a difficult bridge hand such as pocket interferance and closeness of the cue ball to the rail but in general thats how i do it and it works good for me. You have to find your own way and if there are any real good players around you ask for a little help. Good fundementals are key to playing well.

9BallPaul
06-22-2009, 09:23 PM
That sidewinder stroke is often the result of a wasted childhood!

Kids shoot that way cause they're short and carry it through life. Keith was one of them, I'm pretty sure. I like your attitude and the way you jumped into the forum, so good for you.

Because you shouldn't get hung up over rep points on this board, I've already maxed out your greenies. Cheers.

Matt Stockman
06-23-2009, 06:45 AM
That sidewinder stroke is often the result of a wasted childhood!

Kids shoot that way cause they're short and carry it through life. Keith was one of them, I'm pretty sure. I like your attitude and the way you jumped into the forum, so good for you.

Because you shouldn't get hung up over rep points on this board, I've already maxed out your greenies. Cheers.

Thanks for the warm introduction and the rep 9ballPaul. Its been a pleasure to read about all the happenings, intstructional tidbits, and general anecdotes on this forum. I look forward to chiming in on occasion now.

As soon as I can figure out how it works, I'm definitely going to hit you with some rep for the quote on your avatar and for knowing Bob Dylan's real name :thumbup: I wonder if we can somehow convince dylan to write a song about the other Hurricane??

tom mcgonagle
06-23-2009, 07:23 AM
The side-winder stroke is definitely the result of starting the game at a very young age. Kneel down beside your table, and try to shoot, and you will see what I'm talking about. It was the only way to reach the table and shoot.

Starting at a young age is a big advantage. But having the side-winder stroke takes it's toll on a player when it comes to controlling your nerves on tough shots as you get older. It's to easy to flinch, with the arm dangling out there in mid air.

I suggest the more conventional way most people hold there cues.

Welcome to the forum. Don't be afraid to jump in, once in a while.

____________________________

http://tommcgonaglerightoncue.com

alstl
06-23-2009, 09:51 AM
Whenever I see somebody with a sidearm stroke like McCready or Hoppe, I figure they must have started at a young age when they had to play that way to get their elbow above the table.

Rob_jerrylee
06-23-2009, 10:07 AM
You know it's funny because everyone has there own stroke and everyone is different I watched McCready today on ESPN Classic today so seen his stroke and thought wow now that's different but plays very well .

I get told by alot of people to change my stroke because they can't understand how I can make a ball with it , and the reason they say it because in my view I've got more of a Fillipino stroke than a normal stroke and I do very well , but when someone tells me to changes it's hard and I can't do it because I feel very comfortable and I don't want to be uncomfortable playing .

So everyone has something different in this game ,

CreeDo
06-23-2009, 11:05 AM
I dunno if the basic normal stroke has changed much, we just remember the funky strokes like keith's. But look at clips of mosconi, aside from a slightly more upright stance it's pretty textbook.

I think what's happened is we've figured out the fact that a stroke can be reduced to practically just one moving part, and that fact has been able to spread much better through modern stuff like DVD's and the internet (vs. one student at a time by word of mouth). So a lot more players have grown up learning the by-the-book stroke. Back in the day they just had to wing it, so to speak.

Matt Stockman
06-23-2009, 12:08 PM
The side-winder stroke is definitely the result of starting the game at a very young age. Kneel down beside your table, and try to shoot, and you will see what I'm talking about. It was the only way to reach the table and shoot.

Starting at a young age is a big advantage. But having the side-winder stroke takes it's toll on a player when it comes to controlling your nerves on tough shots as you get older. It's to easy to flinch, with the arm dangling out there in mid air.

I suggest the more conventional way most people hold there cues.

Welcome to the forum. Don't be afraid to jump in, once in a while.

____________________________

http://tommcgonaglerightoncue.com


You make a very good point Tom. I noticed I could sit at my table at home and have all sorts of fun with the sidewinder, but in leauge and money games, it was far from dependable.

Still, every once in a while I would catch fire with it and run a rack or pull off a nice out. Im talking using the sidewinder and attempting to move through a pattern as fast and as confidently as McCready did. Its next to impossible not to make numerous mistakes when you play at a clip like that. McCready must have truly been a feel player - to use a golf analogy, he must have been the Fred Couples or Jon Daily of pool, if you will. I would imagine that style is what made him such a devastating money player. Could you imagine working your ass off to pull even with him in an 8 ahead set, only to sit in your chair and watch him lay a 5 pack on you in 15 minutes!! Might be a litte disheartening.

swrooster
06-23-2009, 12:30 PM
I play with a distinct side arm, snake killing stroke. After many hours of trying to change to a "conventional" stroke and six months of not being able to pocket three balls in a row, I switched back. I now apply and experiment with advanced advice and ignore things that don't apply to my cueist motion and no long flowing stroke. It's not pretty and sometimes burns the eyes of a purist but at my advanced age it was like teaching an old dog new tricks. To a beginner, learn the fundamentals as they will bode well under pressureand help minimize the yips.