Switching Hands
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Switching Hands - 06-20-2009, 11:44 PM

I have been trying the opposite hand lately

I am thinking about doing my daily workout opposite handed 1 day a week... I tried it today...it's humbling to say the least..

I don't have a problem Stroking with my other arm...

I have a BIG problem bridging with my "dumb" hand..

Any tips?
  
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06-21-2009, 12:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by softshot View Post
I have been trying the opposite hand lately

I am thinking about doing my daily workout opposite handed 1 day a week... I tried it today...it's humbling to say the least..

I don't have a problem Stroking with my other arm...

I have a BIG problem bridging with my "dumb" hand..

Any tips?
You should pay attention to all the fundamental things that go into forming a good solid bridge. Your dominant hand has already developed the requisite muscle memory for the task, but your opposite has never, up till now, been confronted with the task. With practice, the task becomes easier and easier until it becomes just another part of your repertoire of skills. A good thing that worked for me and which I still do fairly often is to throw 7 balls out on the table and then run them all (in no particular order) with my left hand (I'm a righty), if I miss one everything comes back up and I start again until I run them all.
  
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06-21-2009, 04:21 PM

I'm at the point where I don't even notice I'm doing it anymore, and I can run a rack offhanded. This is the secret that got me there:

Just force yourself to do it when the situation calls for it. Do it instead of using the bridge as much as possible.

If you do this, you won't even need a special opposite handed practice session... you'll find that it comes up in your daily playing all the time. You'll do it like 5-10 times a night every single night you shoot pool. I know it can be tough to find the will. Many times I've suggested it to 'trainees' and they balk and get out the bridge anyway.

....But don't be like that, MAKE yourself do it. Don't worry about missing the ball, even an 'easy' one. Be prepared to miss a bunch. Eventually you'll get better at it and realize why it's so much better than using a bridge.

As for bridging with your dumb hand... I just use a standard closed bridge always (even tho I'm mostly open with my usual hand). I think it helps keep the awkwardness of your stroke in check and prevents the tip from wandering a lot. Work hard at not steering or muscling the ball, strive for a simple back and forth motion when you're lining it up.

One more thing that's worth mentioning: The offhanded shot is a very specific shot where the cue ball falls in a certain limited area and the object ball does too. You're not going to need to shoot offhanded into the side pocket, for example.

For this reason, I recommend you don't waste time learning to run racks offhanded. It's fun to show off for the girls but you're training yourself to make shots you'll never ever need to make in a real game. Better to devote that training to the common situation where you WILL need to use it - when you fell a bit too thin on a shot that runs parallel the short rail, and the CB is like 1 to 1.5 diamonds away from it and near the centerline. If you want to do a custom practice session for this, set up shots you really can't reach and would use the opposite hand for anyway. Don't bother with shots you can reach or shots that only work with a bridge.

Last edited by CreeDo; 06-21-2009 at 04:27 PM.
  
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06-21-2009, 04:26 PM

Lassiter had a 'unique' off hand bridge... underhand.


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06-22-2009, 05:56 AM

Its one of those things I neder learned- to play adequately w/ off hand. I think devoting a practice hour or day a week would be time well spent in the long run.

Then again, over the course of a decade (assuming no hustling with the opposite hand ruse), what would be the real difference? A small % of shots, IMO.
  
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06-22-2009, 07:03 AM

I shoot off-handed when the need arises, and can do OK with it.

I agree with the other posts that you just have to concentrate, make a solid bridge, and stroke it smooth and straight- the stuff that is automatic with your 'strong' hand after years of play. I think it helps to some degree with re-focusing your mind on the fundamentals of your strong handed stroke. Since I started doing it, I feel that my strong hand is working a bit better too. So, even if you don't intend to use it, I think it is a good idea to play around with.

Most people watching me shoot don't even notice when I switch hands now. Not that I'm trying to fool anyone- and I still use the bridge on the shots I feel I need it- but it is nice to know that I don't look totally awkward when I shoot off-handed.


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06-22-2009, 07:14 AM

A key point to shooting off handed is to be sure your eyes are in the same location in relation to the cue as regular. This may mean your body position is a little different but your eyes need to see the same picture to process the aiming the same.
  
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06-22-2009, 07:18 AM

It's hard to make a perfect bridge with the opposite hand. I just look at the results of the shot and how poorly I shoot with the bridge. I'll take a weak bridge hand any day. I shoot well with my opposite hand. I'm not affraid of shooting key shots with it.

It's the same game. Only your using your other hand.
  
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Dont think about it - 06-22-2009, 09:02 AM

I have practiced shooting offhanded, not a whole lot, maybe 2 hours a month. I never use the bridge if I can use my offhand (im a righty.) I would not say that I am good at it, but im ok. What I have noticed is that if I am in the middle of a game and really concentrating, ill shoot offhanded without even thinking about it and notice that the stroke felt right. Has anyone else ever noticed that? It seems that when I am not thinking of shooting with my non dominant hand, I dont realize that I am doing it and my stroke and speed are about what they would be with my dominant hand. I dont know if thats just me, and it hasnt happened alot, but when it does I notice it right after the shot.


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06-22-2009, 12:59 PM

I would really like to learn to shoot opposite handed for a few shots. My biggest problem is that I play lefty but I do EVERYTHING righty except pool. So I can stroke with my right arm but short of going back and forth my left hand pretty much useless.
  
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06-22-2009, 08:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Lewis View Post
I would really like to learn to shoot opposite handed for a few shots. My biggest problem is that I play lefty but I do EVERYTHING righty except pool. So I can stroke with my right arm but short of going back and forth my left hand pretty much useless.
I switch hands and gain three strokes.


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06-23-2009, 02:26 AM

Thanks to everyone for the input...


I agree the bridging problems will probably go away with some repetition....

I don't think one day a week .. is worth the effort vs results...

I think 10 MOFUDAT's Opposite handed everyday... should make me more comfortable without eating up time that could be better spent elsewhere...

Thanks all...

Last edited by softshot; 06-23-2009 at 02:29 AM.
  
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