Cue and stroke
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henho
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Cue and stroke - 12-12-2007, 08:33 PM

Although pros largely stick to the fundamentals of pool in regards to stance and basic stroke mechanics, stroke action is a highly personal matter. Two examplars of polar opposites are Earl Strickland and Efren Reyes. Watching Efren, he has an extremely loose stroke, tantamount to throwing the cue. In fact, on many shots the cue slides forward several inches in his grip hand after making contact with the cueball. He essentially lines up his body to deliver an accurate toss. Earl has an extremely powerful stroke that is careful and controlled, involving more muscle then Efren. Rather than "throwing" the cue, he "pushes" it straight through the cueball and far beyond, capable of producing tremendous spin on the ball. Many players have a stroke that falls in between these two extremes in regards to the amount of muscle control exerted during the stroke.

The two pros are also on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of cues. Earl's is extremely light (under 17 oz) and Efren's is unusually heavy (around 22 oz). I believe these choices complement their respective strokes. I own two cues, one significantly lighter than the other. I've gone through periods of using one or the other, and I'm capable of shooting well with both. However, my stroke action is different depending on my choice, with the heavier cue being conducive to a "tossing" stroke and the lighter cue allowing easier control for a more "muscled" controlled stroke.

Getting in stroke for me means attuning my stroking action very closely to my cue's weight and balance, and finding the right mix between letting the cue do the work and maintaining fine control. I also occasionally use the disparity between my cues to coax my game out of a rut. If I find myself freely swinging the cue with perhaps too little control, some time spent with the lighter cue forces me to reattune my muscles to stroking straight. The opposite is true as well, if I find myself muscling my stroke too much, I switch to a heavier cue and it forces me to allow the cue to swing in a straight line with less muscular input.

Last edited by henho; 12-12-2007 at 08:37 PM.
  
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12-12-2007, 08:59 PM

For me getting in stroke useualy mean's Im hitting balls, but Im not hitting balls, once you hit a few right you know your going to start playing good.

I myself have been messing with differnt stroke styles, with a thin shaft I want to stroke like efren, but with a thicker shaft, I tend to slow it down and draw the stroke if you will... I like a lighter cue, because to me it has more feel, and I can determine my speed shots better. Most would think you have to shoot harder with a light cue, but to me thats just not true..

Many people want weight, they feel if it doesnt have any weight, it cant be any good. I think I own the stiffest cue on the planet, whitch is a Ray Schuler, It hits hard, and is light, well mine is.. and Im telling you the truth, a 30 oz cue couldnt hit as hard, pound for pound, its a knockout, and rarely if ever do I feel the need to shoot hard with it..


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12-12-2007, 09:28 PM

I was beginning to think that there is no such thing as "the stroke" just look at some of the players like luat who has sort of a side ways chicken wing cueing. But they are still fantastic players.

I think the secret lies in consistency. Do the same thing or motion or rhythm consistently. Over and over.

I was watching some old clips of efen playing straight pool. His hair was thick and black then and he was slim! I notice the way he was stroking the ball was exactly the same as he does it now.

What do you guy think of that?
  
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12-12-2007, 09:56 PM

i have used differnt weight cues, shaft diameters, lenghts etc over the years and every time we made change I played better and my stroke changed to. My point is I agree some cues lend themselfs to different styles.

Right now I'm a 58.25" 19.6 oz 13.1mm shaft guy and its working good.


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