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View Full Version : Do you hit the ball too hard?


X Breaker
02-10-2006, 06:10 PM
I played some friendly set with a friend of mine in the DCC and he told me I was hitting the ball too hard. Another friend of mine also told me the same thing before and she was also a pretty decent player. So, I started to pay attention to how hard the pros hit the balls.

I cannot believe how soft they are stroking the ball sometimes. They are not rolling the ball but they are stroking it so smoothly that the cue ball just moves! I was sitting in my chair watching Efren making balls after balls for more than an hour and it seems like the guy has never even used a single muscle during the whole time.

Once I started to pay attention to this, I have begun to see perhaps one of the biggest difference between the stroke of a pro and an amateur.

I have since tried to stroke the ball softer with a looser grip, I think this new way of hitting the balls is definitely working for me.

Does anyone here feel the same way?

Richard

bruin70
02-10-2006, 06:41 PM
beginners in ever endeaver overworks their approach. one way i've found to control and see just how little i need to do to get the job done is to play snooker. after playing on a 12' table, i find myself using less muscle to move the cb on a 9'er.

Mr. Wilson
02-10-2006, 06:42 PM
More often, too hard than too soft.

CaptiveBred
02-10-2006, 06:52 PM
i find myself using less muscle to move the cb on a 9'er.

I don't think it has much to do with moving around the CB. I gan get position if I shoot hard or soft most of the time, one way or another...

The benifet from hitting the balls softer is pocket speed. The softer you hit a ball, the bigger the pocket. That is why it is very important to not hit the ball any harder than you have to.

X Breaker
02-10-2006, 07:09 PM
I don't think it has much to do with moving around the CB. I gan get position if I shoot hard or soft most of the time, one way or another...

The benifet from hitting the balls softer is pocket speed. The softer you hit a ball, the bigger the pocket. That is why it is very important to not hit the ball any harder than you have to.
Yes, that is what I was told as well. The pocket is bigger when I shot the ball at pocket speed.

What I meant by not able to move the ball around is that sometime I would hit the ball real hard but the cue ball seems dead. It looks like all those energy has been wasted because the cue ball barely moves. Does this make any sense?

Richard

Blackjack
02-10-2006, 07:09 PM
A stroke is a series of to and fro movements.

A hit is a directed collsion between two objects.

A hit is what a baseball player does to baseball with a baseball bat.

A stroke is what the bow of a violin does to the strings.

You would not try to hit a homerun with the bow of a violin.

You would not try to play the violin with a basebal bat.

Remember that you should never sacrifice accuracy for power. In pool, with power, there comes a loss of control. I have always believed that if you STROKE the cue ball, then the cue ball will STROKE the object ball - which will in turn stroke the cloth and eventually STROKE the back of the pocket. If you HIT the cue ball, the cue ball will HIT the object ball, and after that its anybody's guess whether or not something good will happen.

Here are a few of my stroke tester shots:

START(
%HL9L8%Ir4O6%P]8T5%QA4A6%UC4C3%VL4L1%Wi9Y7%XK1C9%[D1H3%\L1L5
%]H7D4%^C9F4%eB9a0%_N2M6%`]5T6%a]9T4
)END

With a medium hard stroke make the 8 in the corner, following 2-3 rails for shape on the 9 ball.

START(
%HF7Z1%Ir2O4%PK8Z2%QA3[2%Sm4Y9%UC3\4%VF1Z3%WH1Z2%XK0Z1%eC1b2
%_l6Z3%`W2C6%aG3Y6
)END

In this shot, we stroke the 8 ball into the pocket and draaw the cue ball into the rail as shown for position on the 9 ball.

Remember that cue ball should be spinning faster, it should not be slammed or hit into the object ball "harder". These are finesse shots that are designed to strengthen the fluidity of your stroke.

PoolSleuth
02-10-2006, 07:19 PM
I will make a couple of observations based upon my personal observation of watching Professional, Great, Good & Bad Players.

Bad Players Bang Balls with no Rhyme or Reason.

Professional, Great, Good Players hit the Cue Ball only HARD ENOUGH to Sink the Object Ball they are Shooting at, and to Position their Cue Ball for the next PLANNED SHOT.

The BETTER the Players Skill level is the more Ball Control they have....:D

Slasher
02-10-2006, 07:31 PM
Usually having to pound a ball is because you did not or were not left enough angle.
The positional play will come with an easier stroke if you have a good angle.

If you find you need to pound the ball to get more draw or top spin it usually means you are not hitting the ball low or high enough, or you are short stroking and hitting instead of stroking the ball.
Long easy strokes will surprise you with power, accuracy and control.

AuntyDan
02-10-2006, 07:33 PM
I forget which one it is, but Bert Kinister opens one of his training tapes by saying "I don't care who you are, you're hitting the balls too hard".

ryeth
02-10-2006, 07:33 PM
Yea, I've noticed the same thing in different levels of players. It seems bad players hit the balls really hard to accomplish the same thing a pro type player does with a simple smooth stroke.

It honestly amazes me how "soft" they hit the ball sometimes, yet they get plenty of cueball action.

I'm definantly guilty of hitting too hard sometimes :)

Guru
02-10-2006, 07:52 PM
Do you hit the ball too hard?
Well, I haven't broken the back of the pocket off yet, so no.

More seriously, slightly... I am starting to play a bit lately after about a decade-and-a-half hiatus, and with everything being played on Simonis now I do feel as if I overstroke a lot of shots. I wouldn't say I pound the balls just to pound them though, just when I'm trying to get whitey to move. I'm a fluid-stroke, loose grip (slip-stroke when really moving the ball), player. On the tables now it seems I either skid out, or overplay my position a lot of the time. (We'll see if I'm able to adapt as my back gets into condition and I can put in some actual long-hour practice sessions)

Rod
02-10-2006, 08:11 PM
What I meant by not able to move the ball around is that sometime I would hit the ball real hard but the cue ball seems dead. It looks like all those energy has been wasted because the cue ball barely moves. Does this make any sense?

Richard

Sure it does. Your stroke is not as accurate at faster speeds. By stroking it softer your accuracy (on the c/b is much better) not to mention accuracy at the o/b. For instance you may use say two tips of english. But when you (HIT) it may be a miscue or hardly any english at all because you lost that accuracy. Learn how to get good c/b action (exactly where you address the ball) at slow speeds then only increase speed as needed.

Once you build confidence you can stroke the c/b slow or firm and make contact exactly where you intended. Not only that but the c/b reacts faster to a slower smooth stroke. That's not always wanted however, if so you use more force.

The draw shot that Blackjack shows is hardly more than a little dink shot. As he explains don't hit the ball. I'll add go through it like its a marshmellow. Take away the hit and you have a good stroke.

Here is a tag line I used on CCB for years.

be smooth; better control, more power, with less effort. :)

Rod

Paul Mon
02-10-2006, 08:12 PM
will happen.

Here are a few of my stroke tester shots:




Dave, here's one of mine:

START(
%Hg7Z9%IC8V1%PN8O4%We9Z8%XO6O6%Yr8[2%Zh7[0%eA4b4%_E0O3%`W0C6
%af7Z6
)END


Paul Mon

vagabond
02-10-2006, 08:48 PM
I hit hard making loud sound when I want pretty girls in pool hall take notice of me and also when I want all the rail birds to think that I am an idiot.
i do really hit them hard.

TATE
02-10-2006, 10:15 PM
This doesn't come up too often in discussions, but strength of stroke is something to keep in mind when you're making choices in playing patterns.

When choosing angle on my patterns, I pretty much choose the smallest angle that allows me to get position to the next ball if i use a soft to medium stroke. Sometimes this might mean more angle. But I almost never play position that leaves me a shot that I have to fire in. Too much can go wrong when you fire the ball.


Chris

JLW
02-10-2006, 10:51 PM
I had the flu last week and didn't play at all for several days. Once I got to feeling better, I went downstairs and hit around a little, shooting very softly. I always try to shoot softly, but because of my recent illness, I was really taking it easy. What's amazing is some of the draw shots I hit. Shots that I intended to draw back 6 inches or so drew back several feet. It's always amazing to me how little physical effort a good stroke actually requires.

tom
02-11-2006, 04:56 AM
Hi Richard, take a look at the clip of 1993 wpc finals Chao-Hasch (you can download it from dc++ or emule, i think). That's what I mean by smooth stroke. ;)

tom

Cornerman
02-11-2006, 08:07 AM
I cannot believe how soft they are stroking the ball sometimes. They are not rolling the ball but they are stroking it so smoothly that the cue ball just moves! I was sitting in my chair watching Efren making balls after balls for more than an hour and it seems like the guy has never even used a single muscle during the whole time.



A couple of points to remember when watching the pros.

You won't notice how hard they hit a ball (when they hit hard) because they don't miss. It's easy to tell someone "you hit the balls too hard" when you rattle the pocket.

The tables at tournaments are hopefully level and play fast. So, slower shot speed is a happenstance. I guarantee that when a pro gets on a slower, less level table (like what Efren would be seeing in the PI), they hit the ball every bit as hard as anyone else.

When I saw in person a professional for the first time (Grady, I believe) I was most impress by how he controlled the firm shots. I grew up watching Sigel, Varner, and yes they hit them slow, but they also fired balls when they needed to. You have to be able to do both, or you can't play the full game.

Fred

Masayoshi
02-11-2006, 01:48 PM
i tend to over hit the balls when confronted with a difficult shot, its something of a habit that ive been trying to break recently by shooting with a looser grip and playing a bit slower so i know what i am doing before stepping to the table. i see a lot of other players around my level do it too, but most of them dont notice it.

hilla_hilla
02-11-2006, 02:00 PM
Several good players that I have talked to have said that hitting the ball hard is good to start with so that your arm learns muscle coordination. It is also good to learn how to muscle the ball around so you can use it when you need to.

Ghosst
02-11-2006, 02:33 PM
I've only recently started playing again and much the same as everyone, found I was trying to hit a little too hard when it wasn't warranted. Thankfully (and I question the method, not the result) I managed to break my index finger one night and now my grip has to be loose for fear of the numbing pain. I play much better and am happily back on track.

After 5 years of not playing it's easy to slip into bad habits, like strangling my poor cue. If it weren't for that drunken break with a house cue I might still just be a banger ready to give up. Now I can proudly look down at my swollen digit and see there is a reason for everything.

sasman
02-11-2006, 04:07 PM
I played some friendly set with a friend of mine in the DCC and he told me I was hitting the ball too hard. Another friend of mine also told me the same thing before and she was also a pretty decent player. So, I started to pay attention to how hard the pros hit the balls.

I cannot believe how soft they are stroking the ball sometimes. They are not rolling the ball but they are stroking it so smoothly that the cue ball just moves! I was sitting in my chair watching Efren making balls after balls for more than an hour and it seems like the guy has never even used a single muscle during the whole time.

Once I started to pay attention to this, I have begun to see perhaps one of the biggest difference between the stroke of a pro and an amateur.

I have since tried to stroke the ball softer with a looser grip, I think this new way of hitting the balls is definitely working for me.

Does anyone here feel the same way?

Richard


same here... by watching Efren and other big guys storke at DCC, I finally reliazed how much unnecessary actions I used to give my cue ball

sasman
02-11-2006, 04:13 PM
I hit hard making loud sound when I want pretty girls in pool hall take notice of me and also when I want all the rail birds to think that I am an idiot.
i do really hit them hard.


try jump the balls off the table, it works REALLY WELL!! :D