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View Full Version : Excellent results tonight by changing one thing with my stroke


codeoncoffee
05-24-2011, 07:31 PM
I lengthened the back-stroke of my practice strokes from approx 4 inches to 8. Simple little thing.

The effect is probably more in my head but hey that's fine. I probably paid more attention to my stroke by consciously doing something different, and anything would have had the same effect. Sill, maybe there' some merit to it! I'll see if the effect wears off when I'm not paying attention :)

ShootingArts
05-24-2011, 11:21 PM
I lengthened the back-stroke of my practice strokes from approx 4 inches to 8. Simple little thing.

The effect is probably more in my head but hey that's fine. I probably paid more attention to my stroke by consciously doing something different, and anything would have had the same effect. Sill, maybe there' some merit to it! I'll see if the effect wears off when I'm not paying attention :)

It could indeed be that any change makes you focus better for a short time. It could also be that you are accelerating more smoothly in your final stroke with more room to do so.

Please follow-up in a few weeks and let us know if you continue to see improvement with the longer stroke or if it was just the change. Eight inches is a nice stroke length. Still compact enough to easily keep it nice and straight, long enough to avoid a tendency to jerk into forward motion to get the speed you need at the cue ball. Not that you need to jerk with shorter strokes, it just seems that people have more of a tendency to.

Hu

scottjen26
05-25-2011, 08:07 AM
I've been playing with my own preshot routine lately quite a bit (sometimes to my detriment) as I'm getting back into the game full time again and trying to firm up a consistent, repeatable routine. I've noticed that minor changes in the number of practice strokes, the speed or length of the practice strokes, and the coordinating eye movement can definitely have an impact on my rhythm and consistency. When I really concentrate on it, it impacts my shot making because I'm thinking more about the routine than the shot, but once I narrow this down I think it will raise my game up a slight notch, since it's something I've been playing around with for a while.

For me, when I use longer practice strokes, I notice it keeps my grip hand more relaxed and more closely mimics the final backstroke, I also get good feedback through the warmup process that everything is in alignment since you can better feel if the stick is out of alignment with your body. If I take shorter or quicker practice strokes - which unfortunately I like better :) - I do notice sometimes that I can sometimes get some tension at the back of my final full length backstroke (since I was dabbing at the ball and now I feel like I'm exceeding my prior stroke length) or that I don't notice until the last stroke that something feels a little off.

As you can tell, I probably overthink these types of things... But on the flip side I really get into a lot of fine details about the various sports I play, and once I figure out what works for me I don't think about it anymore.

Good luck with the change, hopefully it's not just a quick change success and it continues to help your shooting!
Scott

Pushout
05-25-2011, 09:00 AM
Sammy Jones just suggested a change in my stance about two weeks ago that seemed to help me quite a bit. Sometimes it's a very little thing that can make all the difference in the world.
Good luck!

Edit: I've personally found that if I take the backstroke all the way to the ferrule/tip I'll follow through straighter and better.

JoeyA
05-25-2011, 09:38 AM
It could indeed be that any change makes you focus better for a short time. It could also be that you are accelerating more smoothly in your final stroke with more room to do so.

Please follow-up in a few weeks and let us know if you continue to see improvement with the longer stroke or if it was just the change. Eight inches is a nice stroke length. Still compact enough to easily keep it nice and straight, long enough to avoid a tendency to jerk into forward motion to get the speed you need at the cue ball. Not that you need to jerk with shorter strokes, it just seems that people have more of a tendency to.

Hu

You said a lot with that first sentence!

To capitalize on that improved focus, you should play more. In addition to that new technique, you have to REALLY pay attention to the new changes, especially when they aren't so new. It is easy to fall back into old structures.

Want to improve your game? In regards to your stroke, simply say the mantra (in your mind, while you are playing): Smooooooth; over and over throughout your match. The idea is to smooth your stroke so that you don't pull yourself offline as well as to deliver a consistent, accelerating stroke. (I should have been doing that when Bartram and Parica spanked me this pastweek. :p)
JoeyA

codeoncoffee
05-25-2011, 03:31 PM
I'm also coming back after a long break. In another life I had a fluid pump style stroke with a real light grip. I admit it. I was a total feel player :(

I managed to get it back and working again, but it's just too high maintenance. Gotta play every damn day with that machinery. So for the past half-year I've been working on a very simple stroke, more disciplined stance, measured english, etc. I'm patterning my pre-shot routine on Niels Feijen. So far, I'm loving it.

nelldrake
05-25-2011, 03:50 PM
I'm also coming back after a long break. In another life I had a fluid pump style stroke with a real light grip. I admit it. I was a total feel player :(

I managed to get it back and working again, but it's just too high maintenance. Gotta play every damn day with that machinery. So for the past half-year I've been working on a very simple stroke, more disciplined stance, measured english, etc. I'm patterning my pre-shot routine on Niels Feijen. So far, I'm loving it.
Niels Feijen has IMO the perfect stroke as does Line Kjoersvik. They are my role models when it comes to what I want my stroke to look like. I also have trouble with backsliding into my old stroke (Poke and Hope). Anyone have any thoughts on how to make the new stroke a habit. As long as I am thinking about it I do it but under the pressure of the game and planning my pattern somehow the stroke goes away.

scottjen26
05-26-2011, 09:10 AM
Struggling with the same thing right now as I'm changing my routine. Works in practice most of the time but still requires a lot of conscious thought.

My only advice is to keep working on it until it's automatic in practice, then put yourself in pressure situations (league, tournaments, gambling, etc.) until it's automatic there as well. Don't think there's any other way to ingrain it unfortunately...

Good Luck!
Scott

codeoncoffee
05-26-2011, 12:05 PM
That reaction to pressure is part of the reason I'm going to a more conscious stroke and shot routine. It's true about what they say, 'It's not about how good your good game it. It's about how good your bad game is'.

Back when I had that fluid "touch" stroke, my good game was good, my bad game was plain terrible.

At least now when the pressure is on I can concentrate on my routine instead of feeling lost out there.

scottjen26
05-26-2011, 12:50 PM
I'm doing the same thing, agree that years ago before my time away from the game my good game was very good, but the bad was really bad. Now working on less flash and pump strokes and crazy english/power and touchy/feely last minute adjustments, more on routine and focused aiming and consistent delivery and only pulling out the big guns when absolutely necessary.

Taking longer than I'd thought it would, but hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel... :cool:
Scott

JoeyA
05-26-2011, 01:40 PM
Niels Feijen has IMO the perfect stroke as does Line Kjoersvik. They are my role models when it comes to what I want my stroke to look like. I also have trouble with backsliding into my old stroke (Poke and Hope). Anyone have any thoughts on how to make the new stroke a habit. As long as I am thinking about it I do it but under the pressure of the game and planning my pattern somehow the stroke goes away.

If I wanted to develop a habit I would practice ONLY THAT thing which I wanted to become part of my game for 30 days, not caring about the outcome of any shot, and only practicing "that stroke" while at the table regardless of whether I was competing or not. It takes a lot of discipline to concentrate on only one single thing but that is the best way to make that stroke your own, imo. Oh yeah, ideally you would practice that stroke every single day for 30 days. Yep, that ought to do it......

JoeyA