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What to do with the back hand? - 09-26-2010, 03:26 PM

It seems that everyone who knows much about playing pool tells us the same thing: A light grip is to be used. Allison Fisher was on TV today and said the same thing; let the stick do the shooting.

However, try shooting the cue ball off the rail and you must have a firmer grip to send that old cue ball down a straight line. But maybe that is a special case?

It has taken me a long time, kinda stupid I guess, and now that I hear what they are all saying I have an addendum. OK OK I agree that a light grip is better but there is more to it as I finally realized today.

Realizing that a light grip is needed does not mean that one ignores the back hand. I inserted a new piece in my pre-shot routine and found that, like anything new, it made a big difference in my shot making.

With a light grip, yeah, yeah, I still have to check and make sure the back hand is on line and in fact it is best to check where my back hand is just before I pull the trigger. I now suspect that is why the pause before shooting is so effective. Whether you know it or not, the pause allows your brain time to check that the right hand is on line, as it should be.

So it is not just about holding the cue like an egg or a bird, it is also about holding that light hand steady and straight on that line. So how do you throw that stick accurately and gently? You gotta let your brain get it on line softly.

How did Roberta Flack say it, Killing me softly with his cue stick, telling my whole match with his song -- or something like that

And my point is -- unlike golf, pool playing is about the dominant hand and how you use it.

Last edited by JoeW; 09-26-2010 at 03:40 PM.
  
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09-26-2010, 05:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeW View Post
It seems that everyone who knows much about playing pool tells us the same thing: A light grip is to be used. Allison Fisher was on TV today and said the same thing; let the stick do the shooting.

However, try shooting the cue ball off the rail and you must have a firmer grip to send that old cue ball down a straight line. But maybe that is a special case?

It has taken me a long time, kinda stupid I guess, and now that I hear what they are all saying I have an addendum. OK OK I agree that a light grip is better but there is more to it as I finally realized today.

Realizing that a light grip is needed does not mean that one ignores the back hand. I inserted a new piece in my pre-shot routine and found that, like anything new, it made a big difference in my shot making.

With a light grip, yeah, yeah, I still have to check and make sure the back hand is on line and in fact it is best to check where my back hand is just before I pull the trigger. I now suspect that is why the pause before shooting is so effective. Whether you know it or not, the pause allows your brain time to check that the right hand is on line, as it should be.

So it is not just about holding the cue like an egg or a bird, it is also about holding that light hand steady and straight on that line. So how do you throw that stick accurately and gently? You gotta let your brain get it on line softly.

How did Roberta Flack say it, Killing me softly with his cue stick, telling my whole match with his song -- or something like that

And my point is -- unlike golf, pool playing is about the dominant hand and how you use it.
Joe,

Honestly, the worst advice I ever had was to cradle the cue in the fingers and use a light grip. That was fine for straight pool, but the limitation soon became apparent when rotation games became the competition of choice.

The fingers can manipulate the cue too easily, which throws the tip off.

For me, the most accurate grip is 90% in just the thumb and forefinger. The job assigned to my other fingers is to not do anything, not get in the way or manipulate the cue in any direction.

The cue is circled and I can hold onto it with almost no effort whatsoever, with most of the pressure coming from the thumb knuckle and large knuckle of the forefinger pressing against each other.. From there, I place my other fingers on the grip but want my wrist and fingers to do nothing else but react to the stroke with no concious manipulation.

Chris


Visit my historic cues site:
www.palmercollector.com

Last edited by TATE; 09-26-2010 at 05:08 PM.
  
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09-26-2010, 05:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TATE View Post
Joe,

Honestly, the worst advice I ever had was to cradle the cue in the fingers and use a light grip. That was fine for straight pool, but the limitation soon became apparent when rotation games became the competition of choice.

The fingers can manipulate the cue too easily, which throws the tip off.

For me, the most accurate grip is 90% in just the thumb and forefinger. The job assigned to my other fingers is to not do anything, not get in the way or manipulate the cue in any direction.

The cue is circled and I can hold onto it with almost no effort whatsoever, with most of the pressure coming from the thumb knuckle and large knuckle of the forefinger pressing against each other.. From there, I place my other fingers on the grip but want my wrist and fingers to do nothing else but react to the stroke with no concious manipulation.

Chris


How true it is. Nice post Chris......SPF=randyg
  
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09-26-2010, 05:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TATE View Post
Joe,

Honestly, the worst advice I ever had was to cradle the cue in the fingers and use a light grip. That was fine for straight pool, but the limitation soon became apparent when rotation games became the competition of choice.

The fingers can manipulate the cue too easily, which throws the tip off.

For me, the most accurate grip is 90% in just the thumb and forefinger. The job assigned to my other fingers is to not do anything, not get in the way or manipulate the cue in any direction.

The cue is circled and I can hold onto it with almost no effort whatsoever, with most of the pressure coming from the thumb knuckle and large knuckle of the forefinger pressing against each other.. From there, I place my other fingers on the grip but want my wrist and fingers to do nothing else but react to the stroke with no concious manipulation.

Chris
Yeah and then you are shooting with the adductor pollicis muscle -- but no one seems to want to hear that one either.

http://www.sunburstselect.com/PBRevi...otLikePros.htm
  
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09-26-2010, 08:34 PM

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Originally Posted by JoeW View Post
Yeah and then you are shooting with the adductor pollicis muscle -- but no one seems to want to hear that one either.http://www.sunburstselect.com/PBRevi...otLikePros.htm

JoeW-

Some do.
  
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09-27-2010, 06:21 AM

For me, my back hand keeps my ho's in line.


Eric >keeping my pimp hand strong
  
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09-27-2010, 06:29 AM

I prefer a medium grip, not literally throwing the cue at the ball like a dart and not gripping the cue like a baseball bat, somewhere in between.
  
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09-27-2010, 06:41 AM

i started playing in japan and a lot of the players encouraged more of a throwing motion than a strokign motion. it's more like i'm throwing the cue and the balls. with very few exceptions thats how i shoot
  
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Throwing motion........
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Throwing motion........ - 10-23-2010, 03:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by poolplayer2093 View Post
i started playing in japan and a lot of the players encouraged more of a throwing motion than a strokign motion. it's more like i'm throwing the cue and the balls. with very few exceptions thats how i shoot
As with ALL players, everyone shoots differently. I've shot several different ways growing up playing this game and what I've come to realize is that I incorporate several stroke styles DEPENDING on the shot at hand. The throwing motion suggested and often mentioned is esentially a follow through method. Upon contact with the CB the grip is loosened enough so that the momentum of the cue carries itself several inches through your hand thus resulting in NO real need for an elbow drop for a follow through and also resulting in less deviation from the stroke line, which is usually affected by gripping onto the cue during an elbow drop follow through. Again I reiterate that this in my opinion, is for SOME shots and not all. Some strokes require a tight/er grip all the way to follow through. You just have to determine through practice which shots require it and which don't. If you spend several hours watching certain pro players, you will witness this so called throwing motion. I've witnessed first hand Oscar Dominguez use this so called throwing motion on quite a few shots, and you can even witness it on one of his practice vids on youtube. Even the legend himself Efren Reyes uses this follow through method quite often. With such a loose grip, I dont see how the cue just doesnt fly all the way outta his hands and into the pocket itself...lol

Added note : I find that using this technique with an open bridge to be less accurate. Combined with a snug looped bridge, the loose grip follow through works wonders...For me that is : )

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10-23-2010, 03:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TATE View Post
Joe,

Honestly, the worst advice I ever had was to cradle the cue in the fingers and use a light grip. That was fine for straight pool, but the limitation soon became apparent when rotation games became the competition of choice.

The fingers can manipulate the cue too easily, which throws the tip off.

For me, the most accurate grip is 90% in just the thumb and forefinger. The job assigned to my other fingers is to not do anything, not get in the way or manipulate the cue in any direction.

The cue is circled and I can hold onto it with almost no effort whatsoever, with most of the pressure coming from the thumb knuckle and large knuckle of the forefinger pressing against each other.. From there, I place my other fingers on the grip but want my wrist and fingers to do nothing else but react to the stroke with no concious manipulation.

Chris
Whups duplicate post

Last edited by poolplayer2093; 10-23-2010 at 04:03 AM.
  
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10-23-2010, 04:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistol Pat View Post
As with ALL players, everyone shoots differently. I've shot several different ways growing up playing this game and what i've come to realize is that I incorporate several stroke styles DEPENDING on the shot at hand.
The throwing motion suggested and often mentioned is essentially a follow through method. Upon contact with the CB the grip is loosed enough so that the momentum of the cue carries itself several inches through your hand thus resulting in NO real need for an elbow drop for follow through and resulting in less deviation from the stroke line by griping onto the cue during follow through. Again I reiterate that this is for SOME shots, not all. Some strokes require a tight/er grip all the way to follow through. You just have to determine through practice which shots require it and which don't.
If you spend several hours watching certain players and this so called throwing motion, you can see for yourself some really top players use this method SOMETIMES or often. I've witnessed first hand Oscar Dominguez use this so called throwing motion on quite a few shots, and you can even witness it on one of his practice videos on youtube. Even the legend himself Efren Reyes uses this stroke method on occasion, with such a loose grip sometimes I dont see how the cue just doesn't fly all the way through his hands and into the pocket itself...lol
The type of grip being used by you is the type of grip I employ on as many shots as possible. I want to let the cue slide through my fingers like a well oiled piston sliding through the cylinder walls.

Rather than using the back hand to check final aim, etc, I use the elbow. I use the elbow to determine the line when I'm standing and then again as I'm aiming while down. With the elbow on the proper shot line the lower arm, hand and consequently the cue will also be on line to follow straight through the desired shot line... assuming the wrist is allowed to hang straight down and not be canted.

Using the elbow thusly really helps me feel confident about the shot. It sets my body in the correct shooting position where I'm comfortable and only very small final aim adjustments might be necessary before stroking. Credits to Bob Henning for this tip.


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10-23-2010, 07:29 AM

Mechanics are different for everybody. It is more about consistently producing the same results. It all looks the same on the scoreboard. Grip, stance, aiming, etc. dosen't work the same for everyone. You have to do what works for you. Just look at Jim Furyk for golf and Mike Davis for pool. Ugly to watch but when your that good it doesn't matter. If you cold run 14 racks backwards and between your legs better than shooting with "textbook" wouldn't you keep playing like that? Find what works for you as an individual and perfect it. There is no magic universal answer to fundamentals.


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"The best measure of a pool player's skill is how a player shoots when they are NOT in stroke."
  
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10-23-2010, 07:31 AM

I had not heard about that before. Thanks Jim, I will have to give it a try.

I have not read any of Bob Hennings work, seemed too expensive. Are there many other "new" ideas in his books?
  
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10-23-2010, 07:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeW View Post
It seems that everyone who knows much about playing pool tells us the same thing: A light grip is to be used. Allison Fisher was on TV today and said the same thing; let the stick do the shooting.

However, try shooting the cue ball off the rail and you must have a firmer grip to send that old cue ball down a straight line. But maybe that is a special case?

It has taken me a long time, kinda stupid I guess, and now that I hear what they are all saying I have an addendum. OK OK I agree that a light grip is better but there is more to it as I finally realized today.

Realizing that a light grip is needed does not mean that one ignores the back hand. I inserted a new piece in my pre-shot routine and found that, like anything new, it made a big difference in my shot making.

With a light grip, yeah, yeah, I still have to check and make sure the back hand is on line and in fact it is best to check where my back hand is just before I pull the trigger. I now suspect that is why the pause before shooting is so effective. Whether you know it or not, the pause allows your brain time to check that the right hand is on line, as it should be.

So it is not just about holding the cue like an egg or a bird, it is also about holding that light hand steady and straight on that line. So how do you throw that stick accurately and gently? You gotta let your brain get it on line softly.

How did Roberta Flack say it, Killing me softly with his cue stick, telling my whole match with his song -- or something like that

And my point is -- unlike golf, pool playing is about the dominant hand and how you use it.

I think it is easy to mistranslate a "loose" or "light" grip into a "finger tip" grip. You can have it tucked into the soft fleshy part of your hand and still keep it light.

Lou Figueroa
  
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10-23-2010, 07:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lfigueroa View Post
I think it is easy to mistranslate a "loose" or "light" grip into a "finger tip" grip. You can have it tucked into the soft fleshy part of your hand and still keep it light.

Lou Figueroa
I very much agree with that. I think the fingers are too sensitive for this type of manipulation. I guess it works for some people but I find the brain is a little too prone to try and make a side ways motion to adjust the aim as needed. This often results in my attempting to compensate for being off line. If I start on line and know my finger tips can't alter the stroke then I have to concntrate on a stright stroke.

I have the stick tucked up in that fleshy part of the hand and this helps me to lock out side to side movement from fingers or wrist.
  
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