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Using a slight angle to make it easier to draw short distances
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Tin Man
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Using a slight angle to make it easier to draw short distances - 11-27-2019, 07:07 AM

I was doing a drill yesterday in which I started with ball in hand and the first shot demanded I draw back very accurately about 4-6". My preference on this of course was not shooting with a low tip position and soft speed, but rather a medium speed and cue ball ever so slightly below center.

Straight back would have worked all right for position, but I found that I preferred setting the cue ball down so my shot was at a slight angle. I found myself wondering why I did this. In my gut it had to do with overcoming inertia. On a straight in shot the cue ball wants to stick dead, and it seems like it can take a fair amount of speed and draw to get it coming back. So many times I've wanted to draw back a few inches and have just stuck dead in place, or overdone it and came zipping back. But when I'm cutting the ball slightly the cue ball has some sideways energy to get it rolling, then it seems like it takes less energy to get it to dribble back of the tangent line. And it seems like I am very, very precise.

Is there something to this or is it all in my head?

Also, for what it's worth, I have a technique for drawing back 4-6" on straight in shots as well. I use enough draw to stop the cue ball on a ghost ball about a foot past where the object ball actually lies. At contact there is just the right amount of draw to come back a few inches. This has bailed me out of some tight spots. Still, I find a slight angle easier.


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Last edited by Tin Man; 11-27-2019 at 07:26 AM.
  
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11-27-2019, 07:17 AM

I agree.

I have always referred to these as micro draws in my head, and the slight cut just seems easier to stop on a dime. Sometimes I use a touch of side spin to force the angle, along with the draw.


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11-27-2019, 08:06 AM

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Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
Is there something to this or is it all in my head?
Physics-wise, it's all in your head.

Pool-wise, the stuff going on in your head is actually the most important part.


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11-27-2019, 10:17 AM

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Physics-wise, it's all in your head.

Pool-wise, the stuff going on in your head is actually the most important part.
Two true statements in one post. Is this an AzB record?

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Replies - 11-27-2019, 10:33 AM

Thank you for the replies.

Iíll have to play with it more. It does seem easier to me so hope to hear more thorough explanation either validating or debunking.

One possibility is that when I have a slight angle my bridge hand isnít covering the spot Iím trying to place the cue ball and itís easier to visualize, but I donít feel thatís it. It seems easier to get the cue ball started backwards when itís already moving.


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11-27-2019, 10:46 AM

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Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
It does seem easier to me so hope to hear more thorough explanation either validating or debunking.

...

It seems easier to get the cue ball started backwards when itís already moving.
I'll try to be more thorough, but first when you say "easier" do you mean you feel you're getting the desired amount of draw with a softer stroke, or more draw with the same stroke? Or easier in some other way?


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11-27-2019, 11:04 AM

I agree with this method of setting up to draw back a few inches consistently
  
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Easier
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Easier - 11-27-2019, 11:26 AM

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I'll try to be more thorough, but first when you say "easier" do you mean you feel you're getting the desired amount of draw with a softer stroke, or more draw with the same stroke? Or easier in some other way?
It feels like there is more resistance to getting the cue ball started when Iím dead straight, like the cue ball wants to stop dead and it takes a little extra oomph to get it moving. With a slight angle where the cue ball will move an inch or two along the tangent line it seems like since itís already in motion it doesnít take as much speed/draw to get it to dribble backwards.

This may not be the case and it isnít a prohibitive difference. I can generally put the cue ball where I want it either way. It just came up yesterday and I was curious if there was any substance behind it.


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11-27-2019, 11:47 AM

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Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
It feels like there is more resistance to getting the cue ball started when Iím dead straight, like the cue ball wants to stop dead and it takes a little extra oomph to get it moving. With a slight angle where the cue ball will move an inch or two along the tangent line it seems like since itís already in motion it doesnít take as much speed/draw to get it to dribble backwards.

This may not be the case and it isnít a prohibitive difference. I can generally put the cue ball where I want it either way. It just came up yesterday and I was curious if there was any substance behind it.
Well, the thing is it's already in motion in both cases.

On a dead straight shot, it does momentarily seem to pause before coming back, but it's spinning during that pause. This means the friction between the ball and the cloth is dynamic, not static, so in terms of friction between the ball and the cloth, it's equally "in motion" for both shots.

In terms of the inertia of the CB, both shots are also essentially the same. In the slight angle shot, yes it's already moving before the draw brings it back, but that movement is perpendicular to the direction you want the ball to draw, and so it does not help overcome the inertia of the ball in that direction. The ball's momentum in the draw direction is zero during the instant after contact with the OB, for both shots, making them essentially the same in this aspect as well.

In terms of cueing, there could be several reasons you find it easier on the angled shot, either mentally or physically. If you're placing the balls very close together, you might be tensing up to abbreviate the follow-through and avoid a double-hit when you line them up dead straight. Or you might not like dead straight shots and might stroke tensely or tentatively due to that. Possibly you actually align your stance and shooting arm differently when you're straight in, subconsciously. When you consider mental and/or technique factors, it could be almost anything, but it's not your "it's easier to draw it when it's already moving" hypothesis, debunked above.


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11-27-2019, 11:50 AM

From your last post I'm thinking you're not following through enough when hitting straight. You might be thinking of the cb coming straight back and hitting your stick.

I practice both ways. I have a progressive drill set-up where I test how straight I can draw back. This is more to work on stroke.

Then I have a quick drill I do before matches and it's more about feel and control. I set-up 3 balls next to each other about a diamond straight back from side pocket. I then put the cb at a slight angle to the first ball in the line. I draw back about 5-6 inches and try to have the same angle to the second ball and then the third in the line. Don't know why but it really dials me in.


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11-27-2019, 11:54 AM

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Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
Thank you for the replies.

I’ll have to play with it more. It does seem easier to me so hope to hear more thorough explanation either validating or debunking.

One possibility is that when I have a slight angle my bridge hand isn’t covering the spot I’m trying to place the cue ball and it’s easier to visualize, but I don’t feel that’s it. It seems easier to get the cue ball started backwards when it’s already moving.
If you were to clock the time it takes for the CB to start drawing back both ways, I think you'd find they're the same. The straight draw shot looks like it takes longer because while the CB is "peeling out" it's not moving. During the "peeling out" with a slight angle it's only moving sideways (not drawing back yet), but that sideways movement (vs. no movement with the straight shot) looks like it's drawing back sooner.

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Stop - 11-27-2019, 03:20 PM

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Well, the thing is it's already in motion in both cases.

On a dead straight shot, it does momentarily seem to pause before coming back, but it's spinning during that pause. This means the friction between the ball and the cloth is dynamic, not static, so in terms of friction between the ball and the cloth, it's equally "in motion" for both shots.

In terms of the inertia of the CB, both shots are also essentially the same. In the slight angle shot, yes it's already moving before the draw brings it back, but that movement is perpendicular to the direction you want the ball to draw, and so it does not help overcome the inertia of the ball in that direction. The ball's momentum in the draw direction is zero during the instant after contact with the OB, for both shots, making them essentially the same in this aspect as well.

In terms of cueing, there could be several reasons you find it easier on the angled shot, either mentally or physically. If you're placing the balls very close together, you might be tensing up to abbreviate the follow-through and avoid a double-hit when you line them up dead straight. Or you might not like dead straight shots and might stroke tensely or tentatively due to that. Possibly you actually align your stance and shooting arm differently when you're straight in, subconsciously. When you consider mental and/or technique factors, it could be almost anything, but it's not your "it's easier to draw it when it's already moving" hypothesis, debunked above.
Thank you for your reply.

You say the cue ball only seems to stop on a short draw shot. Maybe so. But why is it so easy to stop the cue ball? It seems like there is a huge margin of error on getting the cue ball to stop absolutely dead in its tracks. If there was no inertia to overcome I donít know how to explain that.

Stated another way, I would bet I could stop the cue ball dead 9/10 times on a routine shot, whereas drawing back 4Ē would be very hard for me to do with the same consistency. It always felt like it took some extra to get the cue ball moving backwards to any degree. No?


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11-27-2019, 03:22 PM

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It always felt like it took some extra to get the cue ball moving backwards to any degree. No?
Compared to stopping it, sure. Compared to bringing it back the same amount on a slight cut? No.


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11-27-2019, 03:35 PM

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...why is it so easy to stop the cue ball? It seems like there is a huge margin of error on getting the cue ball to stop absolutely dead in its tracks.
That's the reason according to Dr. Dave's Stop Shot Resource Page:

"With a stop shot, the CB has a small amount of top/bottom spin over a fairly large distance, especially with faster-speed shots, and the CB stops within a very short distance (or no distance at all) with a small amount of spin (or no spin)."

Draw and follow distances are more sensitive to small differences in spin - and small errors seem larger when the total distance is small.

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11-27-2019, 05:39 PM

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I was doing a drill yesterday in which I started with ball in hand and the first shot demanded I draw back very accurately about 4-6".
Place 5 balls in a semicircle by a side pocket. Shoot all 5 in that pocket using draw.
You'll find you need to use different cue tip positions to move the cueball sideways.

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