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grip? - 01-16-2008, 04:35 PM

I've been messing with my grip a bit lately. I've been playing the game for at least 20 years and something I always felt was written in stone I'm starting to question. When my addiction to this game first began I bought Robert Byrnes Standard book on pocket billiards to try to get some solid fundamentals. When dealing with grip I have always read that you choke up a bit for acuracy...you grip farther back for power and in the middle is where your grip should be for most shots. Recently I've noticed that most players seem to be griping back at the end of there wrap for most shots. Now there not moving there bridge hand back..there keeping that in what I would say is the normal position. Tonight I was shooting a shot I consider a good practice shot. placing a ball in the middle of the table with the cueball in the mouth of the corner pocket. It's a good test for where your stroke is. I've been having problems making this lately. Maybe only making it half the time. Tonight I decided to shoot it with the longer grip. At first it of course felt odd but honestly I was drilling it center pocket time after time quite effortlesly.

So I guess what I'm asking is where do some of you grip and why? Has the mind set changed on grip some where in the last 20 years and I just didn't get it? Most of my playing comes on bar box tables with fast cloth so is this going to make it tougher to controll the ball on fast felt in tight confines?

Thanks
  
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01-16-2008, 04:56 PM

Are these players taller and 5 foot 8 inches?

If so, gripping at the back end of the cue would serve them better.....unless they get a custom cue that is longer than 58 inches.

The main principle is to have your forearm vertical <90 degrees> with the floor at the moment of impact with the cue ball. Some players need to move their grip farther back in order to acheive this.
  
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01-16-2008, 05:33 PM

Where I grip the cue with my stroking hand depends on the shot. I move it forward when I am close to the cushion/jacking up and move it back when wanting to get more power into the shot. Normal for me with a 58" cue is near the end of the wrap. I'm off the wrap on break shots and force follow shots. For power draw, I like to keep my grip in the normal position and think quality of stroke rather than power as I tend to miss more often if I really whack it.


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01-16-2008, 05:38 PM

i always grip at the back but then im tall with long arms. Like previous poster said, the 90 degree elbow is what im going for. I like to put my stick in my bridge on the table, with my elbow at 90 degrees, and then slide it all up to the cueball. If im on the rail ill use a slip stroke motion to get my hand back to where its 90 degrees.


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01-16-2008, 05:42 PM

Quote:
...where do some of you grip and why?
The distance between your bridge hand and your grip hand is predetermined - because you always extend your bridge arm the same distance (don't you?) and you have the forearm of your back arm vertical (don't you?). So the only choice is how long to make your bridge (how much of your shaft to stick out in front of it) - isn't it?

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01-16-2008, 05:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson
The distance between your bridge hand and your grip hand is predetermined - because you always extend your bridge arm the same distance (don't you?) and you have the forearm of your back arm vertical (don't you?). So the only choice is how long to make your bridge (how much of your shaft to stick out in front of it) - isn't it?

pj
chgo
I have read alot of your post, Patrick, and the things you say normally make some sense. However, the way you make your points are not always friendly or tactfull. Are you angry about something or have other az's caused you a problem to become this way? Lightrn up this is suppose to be enjoyable.
  
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01-16-2008, 06:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginsu
I have read alot of your post, Patrick, and the things you say normally make some sense. However, the way you make your points are not always friendly or tactfull. Are you angry about something or have other az's caused you a problem to become this way? Lightrn up this is suppose to be enjoyable.
I'm not unfriendly by nature, but I also don't have much patience for conversation with training wheels. If you need smilies and "IMHO"s to be sure we're playing nice, you probably won't like talking with me.

If you try reading my post without the assumption that I'm trying to be unfriendly, you might see how I meant it.

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01-16-2008, 06:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson
If you need smilies and "IMHO"s to be sure we're playing nice, you probably won't like talking with me.

pj
chgo

I like this guy.



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01-16-2008, 10:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by okinawa77
The main principle is to have your forearm vertical <90 degrees> with the floor at the moment of impact with the cue ball.
The forearm should be perpendicular with the cue at the moment of contact, not the floor. This is a subtle but important difference since the cue may be elevated.


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01-16-2008, 10:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginsu
I have read alot of your post, Patrick, and the things you say normally make some sense. However, the way you make your points are not always friendly or tactfull. Are you angry about something or have other az's caused you a problem to become this way? Lightrn up this is suppose to be enjoyable.
Unfortunate isn't it. The man, with a total of 10 posts here asks a question for the purpose of learning more about the game and he gets an impudent response...including the "training wheels" swipe.

Too bad.

In addition, mixed in with what Patrick posts that is correct...which is often...he blends in clearly incorrect statements with some frequency.

In his latest post, he insinuates "The distance between your bridge hand and your grip hand is predetermined - because you always extend your bridge arm the same distance (don't you?) "

That inference is WAY incorrect. There are NUMEROUS instances when the bridge arm is not extended the same length. For example, on shots jacked up over an OB...or often, when a rail bridge is used...or when a very soft shot is used. In the latter instance, many top pros and instructors recommend shortening the bridge to cb distance which allows taking a full backstroke and accelerating through the CB but still shoot a soft shot due to the short bridge distance.

There are other examples as well....but the point is that the "constant" bridge arm extension is clearly bogus advice...as is his "always vertical" forearm suggestion which is clearly incorrect as Mark Avalon pointed out.

Regards,
Jim
  
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01-16-2008, 10:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by trob
I've been messing with my grip a bit lately. I've been playing the game for at least 20 years and something I always felt was written in stone I'm starting to question. When my addiction to this game first began I bought Robert Byrnes Standard book on pocket billiards to try to get some solid fundamentals. When dealing with grip I have always read that you choke up a bit for acuracy...you grip farther back for power and in the middle is where your grip should be for most shots. Recently I've noticed that most players seem to be griping back at the end of there wrap for most shots. Now there not moving there bridge hand back..there keeping that in what I would say is the normal position. Tonight I was shooting a shot I consider a good practice shot. placing a ball in the middle of the table with the cueball in the mouth of the corner pocket. It's a good test for where your stroke is. I've been having problems making this lately. Maybe only making it half the time. Tonight I decided to shoot it with the longer grip. At first it of course felt odd but honestly I was drilling it center pocket time after time quite effortlesly.

So I guess what I'm asking is where do some of you grip and why? Has the mind set changed on grip some where in the last 20 years and I just didn't get it? Most of my playing comes on bar box tables with fast cloth so is this going to make it tougher to controll the ball on fast felt in tight confines?

Thanks
Hi Trob,

You are correct that in Byrne's Standard Book at page 11, he recommends adjusting the grip position forward and backward depending on the desired force of the shot. But in his later book...Advanced Techniques, (1990) he basically abandons that advice and suggests that you grip it any way that feels right to you and to disregard all advice on that subject....INCLUDING HIS! (-:

However, in more recent years, many instructors have evolved to the advice that the forearm and upper arm should adopt a 90 degree angle when the tip is very close to the CB...which suggests a vertical forearm when the cue is nearly level but an inclined angle (to the floor) when the cue is jacked up.

Personally, I think that the above advice is excellent and should be the "standard" but as we all know, some of the greatest players in every sport have departed significantly from "standard" teaching.

But one part of Byrne's advice I would avoid at all costs, would be moving the grip back for powerful shots. Shots of quite awesome power can be executed using the "standard" arm angles and I see little to be gained and a lot to be lost by moving the grip well back on the butt.

Regards,
Jim
  
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01-16-2008, 11:20 PM

I almost always grip near the back part of where the wrap ends (or would end on a wrapless). There is a reason the wrap is there! The only real exception to this rule is when I need to reach very far for a shot; in that case I grip the very end of the cue to make sure I make a 90 angle at the point of contact
  
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01-16-2008, 11:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by av84fun
Hi Trob,

You are correct that in Byrne's Standard Book at page 11, he recommends adjusting the grip position forward and backward depending on the desired force of the shot. But in his later book...Advanced Techniques, (1990) he basically abandons that advice and suggests that you grip it any way that feels right to you and to disregard all advice on that subject....INCLUDING HIS! (-:

However, in more recent years, many instructors have evolved to the advice that the forearm and upper arm should adopt a 90 degree angle when the tip is very close to the CB...which suggests a vertical forearm when the cue is nearly level but an inclined angle (to the floor) when the cue is jacked up.

Personally, I think that the above advice is excellent and should be the "standard" but as we all know, some of the greatest players in every sport have departed significantly from "standard" teaching.

But one part of Byrne's advice I would avoid at all costs, would be moving the grip back for powerful shots. Shots of quite awesome power can be executed using the "standard" arm angles and I see little to be gained and a lot to be lost by moving the grip well back on the butt.

Regards,
Jim
I have been experimenting with this aspect lately. I have found that gripping forward on the cue gives me a more accurate "follow through" on some shots, even though I am not perfectly vertical and at a 90 degree angle with my elbow. But, my forearm is always vertical to the cue when level. This is true on thin cuts.

Other shots, I move my grip hand back to a "normal' position for me.

Another thing I discovered tonight, and maybe someone has an idea on what causes this, (besides you are "steering it") is that I purposely left my index finger off of the "grip" when shooting and it actually improved my accuracy in aiming.

I had read a post where certain people acknowledged shooting without allowing their index finger to grip the butt of the cue. I tried it because of some troubles lately and found it improved my game.

Any thoughts and all criticism accepted.


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01-17-2008, 12:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by klockdoc
I have been experimenting with this aspect lately. I have found that gripping forward on the cue gives me a more accurate "follow through" on some shots, even though I am not perfectly vertical and at a 90 degree angle with my elbow. But, my forearm is always vertical to the cue when level. This is true on thin cuts.

Other shots, I move my grip hand back to a "normal' position for me.

Another thing I discovered tonight, and maybe someone has an idea on what causes this, (besides you are "steering it") is that I purposely left my index finger off of the "grip" when shooting and it actually improved my accuracy in aiming.

I had read a post where certain people acknowledged shooting without allowing their index finger to grip the butt of the cue. I tried it because of some troubles lately and found it improved my game.
Any thoughts and all criticism accepted.
I think I read a post like that recently too.
Here is my GUESS as to what is happening.

First, you have to be VERY careful in testing out new mechanics or a new cue or tip for that matter, because you might just be having an "instroke" or "out of stroke" day having nothing to do with the new variable.

So you really have to give new things quite a bit of time to "prove out" one way or the other.

Next, what COULD be happening is that you are "snatching" or "grabbing" the cue somewhere in the stroke. Doing so tends to give a sense of security but it is false security since grabbing can cause all sorts of cueing errors.

Besides, it's not at all necessary as Django has been proving for years with his thumb and index finger grip.

I just shot a full table draw shot gripping only with my thumb and middle finger.

I guess my point is that given proper stroke mechanics, it should make no difference whether your index finger is or is not part of the grip mechanism.

In fact, the word "grip" in my view is misleading. Just as is true in the golf swing...and for exactly the same reasons, the fingers should "support" the cue...as if you were holding a baby bird as the old golf instruction goes.

Cradling the cue involves PLENTY enough friction to shoot VERY powerful shots without gripping down or snatching.

I would suggest that you shoot at least 3 racks of 15 balls, adjusting by hand if necessary, to make all shots VERY easy and adopt that feather light "cradling" of the cue ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO A FULL FOLLOW THROUGH

Then play some racks normally but focus almost exclusively on maintaining the feather light "grip"...disregard whether you make or miss the shots.

Once you have ingrained maintaining a CONSTANT and LIGHT grip, my bet is that you will prefer that vastly over leaving your index finger off the butt.

I also bet that you end up getting even more action on the cb than you are used to.

All the above merely IMHO.

Regards,
Jim
  
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01-17-2008, 07:36 AM

I see we're still "reviewing" each other...

Quote:
Originally Posted by av84fun
... mixed in with what Patrick posts that is correct...which is often...he blends in clearly incorrect statements with some frequency.
Well, let's see...

Quote:
In his latest post, he insinuates "The distance between your bridge hand and your grip hand is predetermined - because you always extend your bridge arm the same distance (don't you?) "
Sorry Jim, that's wrong right off the bat. I didn't insinuate; I made a statement.

Quote:
That inference is WAY incorrect.
Wrong again, Jim (you're good at being wrong). That wasn't an insinuation or an inference. It was a statement. Look it up.

You haven't started off too well, but maybe you're just not adept at the language. Let's see how you do at pool principles.

Quote:
There are NUMEROUS instances when the bridge arm is not extended the same length. For example, on shots jacked up over an OB...or often, when a rail bridge is used...or when a very soft shot is used.
If you change your bridge arm extension so often, I'm looking forward to playing you.

Quote:
In the latter instance, many top pros and instructors recommend shortening the bridge to cb distance which allows taking a full backstroke
Wrong on both points. A shorter bridge length imposes a shorter stroke (of course) and should not change bridge arm extension. Got some examples of "top pros and instructors" recommending different bridge arm extensions (you know, the "insinuation" of mine you're supposedly challenging)?

Quote:
There are other examples as well...
Can we assume they're all as carefully considered as these gems?

Quote:
but the point is that the "constant" bridge arm extension is clearly bogus advice...
And clearly you know what you're talking about...

pj
chgo

Last edited by Patrick Johnson; 01-17-2008 at 07:42 AM.
  
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