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A little off - 06-25-2019, 05:20 PM

For reference, I'm an APA 6 and in my 50s (old dog, new tricks etc.) and play mostly on 7 foot tables.

I noticed a few months ago that - especially on long shots - I was missing shots.I was missing slightly to the right of the pocket which means I was hitting the OB slightly to the left - especially when I shot firm.

I had a friend watch my shots and he noted that I was cueing about a quarter tip right while I was seeing centerball. This could explain some unexpected deflection in my shots that only becomes an issue on long shots (I'm shooting with an OB pro+2 - low deflection shaft). It's important to note that I am blind in my left eye (hello Niels Feijen!) so it's important that I get my good eye directly over the cue and I thought that I was doing a good job of that.

When I play the full table drill where I set the CB on the spot and shoot at the far center diamond I can roll the CB back over the spot 99% of the time. But I usually shoot this at a medium pace so I think my stroke and my sighting are at least consistent at medium to medium slow pace.

Here's where my question gets interesting. I was running some straight in drills this week and found that when I gripped the cue with my thumb and middle finger instead of my thumb and index, I was dead center on every shot regardless of the speed. Is this a function of change causing me to focus more precisely on the shot? Or could my index/thumb grip have caused a mechanical, weird hitch in the stroke. At present, I think it's a focus issue - the change required that I give more attention to the PSR (I have a solid PSR BTW), grip pressure and follow through but can anyone explain it from a mechanical stand point?

I do have a tendency to anticipate the hit and choke the cue on my follow through. I feel like my middle finger grip removes this error in my stroke. Should I continue stroking with a middle finger grip? or should I work out my choke grip on the index finger? I wonder if the change in grip has allowed me to escape the tendency to "steer" the shot. I'm worried that my older, less elastic muscle memory means that correcting my normal grip would take more work than transferring to a newer middle finger grip... do any pros use an alternate grip and should I just lean in to what is working for me?
  
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06-26-2019, 02:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobprobst View Post
... I was missing slightly to the right of the pocket which means I was hitting the OB slightly to the left - especially when I shot firm. ...

I had a friend watch my shots and he noted that I was cueing about a quarter tip right while I was seeing centerball. This could explain some unexpected deflection in my shots that only becomes an issue on long shots (I'm shooting with an OB pro+2 - low deflection shaft).
It could be the reason for the CB hitting the OB to the left. But just to make sure though: have you actually seen the cue ball spin counter-clockwise (use a measles ball or play with a stripe as the CB if yours is completely white)? At least in theory, hitting the cue ball in the center (from the cue's perspective, not yours), but with the cue angled to the left of the line of the shot, can also lead to hitting the OB to the left without imparting any side spin to the CB. You could be doing that at the last second, subconsciously correcting the tip offset your friend observered with your back hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobprobst View Post
When I play the full table drill where I set the CB on the spot and shoot at the far center diamond I can roll the CB back over the spot 99% of the time. But I usually shoot this at a medium pace so I think my stroke and my sighting are at least consistent at medium to medium slow pace.
When you do that drill, does it also appear to an observer that you're cueing a quarter tip to the right? And what happens when you shoot that at a firm pace? Does the CB go more or less towards the diamond and then spins away (angle in != angle out), or does it already deviate from the line before it hits the rail?

It does sound like a technical issue when more power is required, as you seem to be doing fine on medium paced shots and the issue is greatly diminished when you remove your index finger (which is often adviced both here as well as on www.thesnookerforum.co.uk ).

But to be able to diagnose without guessing, can you record yourself with your phone on a tripod (or leaning against a glass or such) from behind the line of the shot. The easiest way to setup your camera is to play straight in shots down the long rail, like so:
https://youtu.be/y7Fdno1R0Y8
(but maybe have the camera closer to the cue and with a bit more exposure.) Switch to the right side if you're right-handed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobprobst View Post
... do any pros use an alternate grip and should I just lean in to what is working for me?
The only one I'm aware of was late Alex Higgins (the snooker player). He let his thumb and index finger hang down. But I cannot find a good picture showing it, and the rest of his technique/fundamentals were far from text book snooker.

Last edited by deraltefritz; 06-26-2019 at 03:02 AM.
  
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06-26-2019, 05:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobprobst View Post
For reference, I'm an APA 6 and in my 50s (old dog, new tricks etc.) and play mostly on 7 foot tables.

I noticed a few months ago that - especially on long shots - I was missing shots.I was missing slightly to the right of the pocket which means I was hitting the OB slightly to the left - especially when I shot firm.

I had a friend watch my shots and he noted that I was cueing about a quarter tip right while I was seeing centerball. This could explain some unexpected deflection in my shots that only becomes an issue on long shots (I'm shooting with an OB pro+2 - low deflection shaft). It's important to note that I am blind in my left eye (hello Niels Feijen!) so it's important that I get my good eye directly over the cue and I thought that I was doing a good job of that.

When I play the full table drill where I set the CB on the spot and shoot at the far center diamond I can roll the CB back over the spot 99% of the time. But I usually shoot this at a medium pace so I think my stroke and my sighting are at least consistent at medium to medium slow pace.

Here's where my question gets interesting. I was running some straight in drills this week and found that when I gripped the cue with my thumb and middle finger instead of my thumb and index, I was dead center on every shot regardless of the speed. Is this a function of change causing me to focus more precisely on the shot? Or could my index/thumb grip have caused a mechanical, weird hitch in the stroke. At present, I think it's a focus issue - the change required that I give more attention to the PSR (I have a solid PSR BTW), grip pressure and follow through but can anyone explain it from a mechanical stand point?

I do have a tendency to anticipate the hit and choke the cue on my follow through. I feel like my middle finger grip removes this error in my stroke. Should I continue stroking with a middle finger grip? or should I work out my choke grip on the index finger? I wonder if the change in grip has allowed me to escape the tendency to "steer" the shot. I'm worried that my older, less elastic muscle memory means that correcting my normal grip would take more work than transferring to a newer middle finger grip... do any pros use an alternate grip and should I just lean in to what is working for me?
Logically, it's possible that a mechanical change also changed your alignment to shots, but it could be a coincidence--but there are possible simple fixes for your misalignment.

I'd start with some vision center/line of sight drills to establish where your best look at the shot comes from. Is it really with your good eye directly over the cue stick?


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06-26-2019, 02:49 PM

It's probably a combination of things but the thumb and index fingers when combined are twisting fingers. You're not wrong to take the index finger out of the equation. Actually, I take the pressure off of my thumb and index finger when I shoot and I encourage my clients to do the same.
  
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06-26-2019, 09:56 PM

Seek out a qualified professional instructor (one who uses video analysis), and have your process checked out. Other players don't know what to look for, nor how to fix it, and you can get all your questions answered with the correct information.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobprobst View Post
For reference, I'm an APA 6 and in my 50s (old dog, new tricks etc.) and play mostly on 7 foot tables.

I noticed a few months ago that - especially on long shots - I was missing shots.I was missing slightly to the right of the pocket which means I was hitting the OB slightly to the left - especially when I shot firm.

I had a friend watch my shots and he noted that I was cueing about a quarter tip right while I was seeing centerball. This could explain some unexpected deflection in my shots that only becomes an issue on long shots (I'm shooting with an OB pro+2 - low deflection shaft). It's important to note that I am blind in my left eye (hello Niels Feijen!) so it's important that I get my good eye directly over the cue and I thought that I was doing a good job of that.

When I play the full table drill where I set the CB on the spot and shoot at the far center diamond I can roll the CB back over the spot 99% of the time. But I usually shoot this at a medium pace so I think my stroke and my sighting are at least consistent at medium to medium slow pace.

Here's where my question gets interesting. I was running some straight in drills this week and found that when I gripped the cue with my thumb and middle finger instead of my thumb and index, I was dead center on every shot regardless of the speed. Is this a function of change causing me to focus more precisely on the shot? Or could my index/thumb grip have caused a mechanical, weird hitch in the stroke. At present, I think it's a focus issue - the change required that I give more attention to the PSR (I have a solid PSR BTW), grip pressure and follow through but can anyone explain it from a mechanical stand point?

I do have a tendency to anticipate the hit and choke the cue on my follow through. I feel like my middle finger grip removes this error in my stroke. Should I continue stroking with a middle finger grip? or should I work out my choke grip on the index finger? I wonder if the change in grip has allowed me to escape the tendency to "steer" the shot. I'm worried that my older, less elastic muscle memory means that correcting my normal grip would take more work than transferring to a newer middle finger grip... do any pros use an alternate grip and should I just lean in to what is working for me?


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