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Naturally straight stroke vs learned straight stroke - 03-31-2020, 12:13 PM

Prolly been watching too many or the wrong kind of vids . . . LOL

Have a serious problem making shots. I've mentioned here before I can make a ton of straight in shots in a row, then walk away from the table 10 minutes, come back and not be able to make 3 in 10.

So I have been experimenting. I had my wife record me from straight on. I found that when I force my shoulder and elbow in line with my head and the line of the CB/OB, not surprisingly, I can make shot after shot. But it's "forced" and does not feel natural.

Now, the vid explained a way to have my stroke match MY particular physique so it feels natural via stance. The vid said it takes about 6 hours of practicing the technique before it felt comfortable and was repeatable.

Well, I've invested about 10 hours in it and I'm getting worse. I can't make shots at all. Some shots I miss by 1/2 CB at the OB, resulting in a pocket miss of over a friggin' foot. But the stroke and stance feel natural, for whatever that's worth.

When I go back to the "forced" alignment, I can make shots. But the "forced" approach is so easy to stray from, especially after playing about 45 minutes.

So, my question: is a (for now) "forced" alignment the way to go, continuing to really practice it over and over and over until it becomes less forced and automatic, or should the more "natural" stance and alignment approach continue to be pursued?

The "natural" way does NOT afford me the ability to know WHY I am missing, only that I am indeed missing. I can stay down on the shot after contact and still not know why the result was so far off.

But with the "forced" method I can be down on the shot after executing and do an instant analysis and almost always I know WHY I missed (usually I didn't "force" my shoulder and elbow into alignment). My goal to experimenting in the first place was to have alignment, aim, and executing become more natural and automatic.

I'm leaning toward continuing to work on forcing myself into alignment until that feels automatic. Thoughts?

Driving me bonkers . . . . .
  
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03-31-2020, 02:16 PM

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Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
I'm leaning toward continuing to work on forcing myself into alignment until that feels automatic. Thoughts?
Yes.

If you can't get the stroke that feels natural to work, then practice the stroke that works until it feels natural. It'll take time (more than 10 hours), but it can be done. It's probably where the "natural" stroke would end up anyway if you ever got it to work.

pj <- been there; done that
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03-31-2020, 04:15 PM

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Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
Prolly been watching too many or the wrong kind of vids . . . LOL

Have a serious problem making shots. I've mentioned here before I can make a ton of straight in shots in a row, then walk away from the table 10 minutes, come back and not be able to make 3 in 10.

So I have been experimenting. I had my wife record me from straight on. I found that when I force my shoulder and elbow in line with my head and the line of the CB/OB, not surprisingly, I can make shot after shot. But it's "forced" and does not feel natural.

Now, the vid explained a way to have my stroke match MY particular physique so it feels natural via stance. The vid said it takes about 6 hours of practicing the technique before it felt comfortable and was repeatable.

Well, I've invested about 10 hours in it and I'm getting worse. I can't make shots at all. Some shots I miss by 1/2 CB at the OB, resulting in a pocket miss of over a friggin' foot. But the stroke and stance feel natural, for whatever that's worth.

When I go back to the "forced" alignment, I can make shots. But the "forced" approach is so easy to stray from, especially after playing about 45 minutes.

So, my question: is a (for now) "forced" alignment the way to go, continuing to really practice it over and over and over until it becomes less forced and automatic, or should the more "natural" stance and alignment approach continue to be pursued?

The "natural" way does NOT afford me the ability to know WHY I am missing, only that I am indeed missing. I can stay down on the shot after contact and still not know why the result was so far off.

But with the "forced" method I can be down on the shot after executing and do an instant analysis and almost always I know WHY I missed (usually I didn't "force" my shoulder and elbow into alignment). My goal to experimenting in the first place was to have alignment, aim, and executing become more natural and automatic.

I'm leaning toward continuing to work on forcing myself into alignment until that feels automatic. Thoughts?

Driving me bonkers . . . . .


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03-31-2020, 05:56 PM

I know it is far too early to declare victory, but I practiced about 1/2 hour and played against myself about a 1/2 hour.

I went with the "forced" alignment. I also moved my back hand forward, just to about where the cue is perfectly balanced. I am short (5'5"), so it was right about where the front portion of the wrap ends. I normally had my back hand back about 2-3" from where I tried it today.

Anyways, I made my first straight-in practice shot, then missed six in a row. Then really focused, and eventually made about 20 in a row.

Then I started playing slight angles. Made over 90%. Then added more angles. Missed a bunch of them then analyzed, focused, and started making shot after shot after shot.

Then racked and broke for 8-ball, taking turns. In the 1/2 hour I played, while I did not run out once, of all the racks I played I don't think I went more than two full innings to pocket the eight ball, and had only three or four true misses (those where I simply missed a shot). All other misses were because of CB position.

So I'll declare today's practice session a success. I don't recall ever having this kind of accuracy even on my best days. I'll stick with the "forced" alignment. During the session (remember, it was only an hour of playing), it almost started to feel "right".

Again, one hour's worth of practice does not a trend make; we'll see tomorrow when I pick up the cue again. Wish me luck.

Thanks for viewing and responses.
  
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03-31-2020, 08:38 PM

I come from a time without laboratory instruction. We learned to stroke by picking up a cue and paying attention to the tip. The drill is pretty simple, you're trying to get from whatever it does to perfectly linear. Instruction by observation and adjustment can for sure help you achieve that. It can also turn you into a GI Joe for easy to sell standardized stance design.

Obviously there is no 'one or the other'. Just don't neglect awareness of your physique and how YOU need to adjust.
  
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04-07-2020, 12:55 PM

I can "observe" a student and tell him exactly what he/she is doing well and not so well. BUT, if I can SHOW them their issues with normal, slow motion, and stop action video, it makes a much more dominant impression on the student. This gives them a much greater impetus to correct the issues. Continued video analysis, over time, allows the student to observe their own progress. Yes, you can do it your way, but our way works better in a shorter time frame, for the serious student.

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Director, SPF National Pool School Tour

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Originally Posted by straightline View Post
I come from a time without laboratory instruction. We learned to stroke by picking up a cue and paying attention to the tip. The drill is pretty simple, you're trying to get from whatever it does to perfectly linear. Instruction by observation and adjustment can for sure help you achieve that. It can also turn you into a GI Joe for easy to sell standardized stance design.

Obviously there is no 'one or the other'. Just don't neglect awareness of your physique and how YOU need to adjust.


PBIA Master Instructor
  
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04-07-2020, 01:04 PM

I use to own one of these Gadgets, it work on improving my stroke.

https://www.ozonebilliards.com/produ...caAjWyEALw_wcB

I am wondering if any of the Instructors care to comment on this Gadget?

The thing I personally liked about this Gadget, it had if I recall THREE SETTING easy, not so easy, and expert setting) to make it harder to get the LIGHT INDICATOR LIGHT, you were on Target, to light up.

Funny thing was people thought it was a joke, until they could not hit the right spot, to LIGHT UP THE ON-TARGET LIGHT.


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04-07-2020, 04:32 PM

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Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
I can "observe" a student and tell him exactly what he/she is doing well and not so well. BUT, if I can SHOW them their issues with normal, slow motion, and stop action video, it makes a much more dominant impression on the student. This gives them a much greater impetus to correct the issues. Continued video analysis, over time, allows the student to observe their own progress. Yes, you can do it your way, but our way works better in a shorter time frame, for the serious student.

Scott Lee
2019 PBIA Instructor of the Year
Director, SPF National Pool School Tour
I'm sure your lab program produces fine results. I can think of a couple weaknesses though. "Serious" students come in many shapes and sizes AND they will be fully and comfortably clothed. Unless your observation skills include telepathy, how can you tell? Correcting visible posture issues might require full motion x-ray. And even this only allows observation and doesn't guarantee results. IOW adjustments more often than not happen inside the player.

All performers in the athletic disciplines need to be keenly self aware and develop the abilities to calibrate themselves.

Last edited by straightline; 04-07-2020 at 04:34 PM.
  
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04-07-2020, 08:56 PM

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I'm sure your lab program produces fine results. I can think of a couple weaknesses though. "Serious" students come in many shapes and sizes AND they will be fully and comfortably clothed. Unless your observation skills include telepathy, how can you tell? Correcting visible posture issues might require full motion x-ray. And even this only allows observation and doesn't guarantee results. IOW adjustments more often than not happen inside the player.

All performers in the athletic disciplines need to be keenly self aware and develop the abilities to calibrate themselves.
What a remarkable post.

The very obvious solution is to record the students without clothes. Of course the room will have to be a little warmer so the instructor will have to be naked as well. I believe there is already one instructor who has tried this very modern approach.

Bob <-- prefers old-school instruction
  
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04-08-2020, 12:34 AM

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What a remarkable post.

The very obvious solution is to record the students without clothes. Of course the room will have to be a little warmer so the instructor will have to be naked as well. I believe there is already one instructor who has tried this very modern approach.

Bob <-- prefers old-school instruction
It might be that silly but the point of course is many aspects of technique cannot be directly observed except by the player his/her self. Sometimes a simple thing as a joint in need of cracking can skew stroke alignment. conditions like that can go unnoticed period. Not pooing modern advances so much as stating they can only enhance development; not replace it.
  
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04-08-2020, 03:41 PM

straightline...You would have to see how we use video analysis, because obviously you do have any direct knowledge of how well it works. That said, of course the aim of instruction is to HELP the player learn how to correct their own errors, which in turn helps to "enhance" their development as a player. The student has the instructor there to directly observe stance, etc, and help make adjustments. Video helps with this too, regardless of your comments.

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Director, SPF National Pool School Tour

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Originally Posted by straightline View Post
It might be that silly but the point of course is many aspects of technique cannot be directly observed except by the player his/her self. Sometimes a simple thing as a joint in need of cracking can skew stroke alignment. conditions like that can go unnoticed period. Not pooing modern advances so much as stating they can only enhance development; not replace it.


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04-08-2020, 04:49 PM

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straightline...You would have to see how we use video analysis, because obviously you do have any direct knowledge of how well it works. That said, of course the aim of instruction is to HELP the player learn how to correct their own errors, which in turn helps to "enhance" their development as a player. The student has the instructor there to directly observe stance, etc, and help make adjustments. Video helps with this too, regardless of your comments.

Scott Lee
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I understand it's your PRODUCT and probably a fine one. I'm just talking about actual learning.
  
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04-08-2020, 05:02 PM

I can say nothing helped my golf swing more than buying a video camera and doing my own video analysis. Funny thing, I did it before my local golf pro was doing it, he asked me about it, bought a camera and started offering it to his clientele (this was about 20 years ago).

Nowdays, peoples phones take pretty damn good video and a high-quality video cameras are fairly inexpensive, I mean we are talking picking up something that shoot at 4k and 60fps for under 300.00 GoPro Hero6 Black comes to mind.

There are also plenty of apps and programs that let you draw lines on the video you take of yourself, do slow motion analysis, impose yourself over other pros, some cost and some are free.

I am sure getting a lesson from one of these guys is great too, Dr. Dave covers how to properly videotape yourself for analysis as well!!!

Who knows, if you upload a video and post it in this section you might even get an instructor who would look at it and give you some advice.

Last edited by Snooker Theory; 04-08-2020 at 05:04 PM.
  
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04-09-2020, 10:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CocoboloCowboy View Post
I use to own one of these Gadgets, it work on improving my stroke.

https://www.ozonebilliards.com/produ...caAjWyEALw_wcB

I am wondering if any of the Instructors care to comment on this Gadget?

The thing I personally liked about this Gadget, it had if I recall THREE SETTING easy, not so easy, and expert setting) to make it harder to get the LIGHT INDICATOR LIGHT, you were on Target, to light up.

Funny thing was people thought it was a joke, until they could not hit the right spot, to LIGHT UP THE ON-TARGET LIGHT.
This drill is the equivalent, so I think this device, while helpful to some, might not be necessary (although I do appreciated the suggestion!): put an OB on a rail exactly in front of a diamond. Go to the other end of the table and use your cue to draw a line from the diamond standing in front of to the diamond with the OB. Place the CB exactly on this line.

Aim for an exact straight hit on the OB. If it's dead-nuts-on, the CB will bounce EXACTLY back. If left, if will bounce to the left, if right will bounce to the right.

Also a good drill is to use a striped ball and hit it dead center. If it was indeed struck dead center the stripe will roll perfectly, otherwise some side spin was induced, and the stripe will wobble.

Sorry if these drills are very well known and I'm not telling anyone anything new.
  
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04-09-2020, 08:12 PM

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Sorry if these drills are very well known and I'm not telling anyone anything new.
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