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Do you hit the ball too hard?
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X Breaker
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Do you hit the ball too hard? - 02-10-2006, 06:10 PM

I played some friendly set with a friend of mine in the DCC and he told me I was hitting the ball too hard. Another friend of mine also told me the same thing before and she was also a pretty decent player. So, I started to pay attention to how hard the pros hit the balls.

I cannot believe how soft they are stroking the ball sometimes. They are not rolling the ball but they are stroking it so smoothly that the cue ball just moves! I was sitting in my chair watching Efren making balls after balls for more than an hour and it seems like the guy has never even used a single muscle during the whole time.

Once I started to pay attention to this, I have begun to see perhaps one of the biggest difference between the stroke of a pro and an amateur.

I have since tried to stroke the ball softer with a looser grip, I think this new way of hitting the balls is definitely working for me.

Does anyone here feel the same way?

Richard

Last edited by X Breaker; 02-10-2006 at 06:29 PM.
  
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02-10-2006, 06:41 PM

beginners in ever endeaver overworks their approach. one way i've found to control and see just how little i need to do to get the job done is to play snooker. after playing on a 12' table, i find myself using less muscle to move the cb on a 9'er.
  
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02-10-2006, 06:42 PM

More often, too hard than too soft.


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02-10-2006, 06:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruin70
i find myself using less muscle to move the cb on a 9'er.
I don't think it has much to do with moving around the CB. I gan get position if I shoot hard or soft most of the time, one way or another...

The benifet from hitting the balls softer is pocket speed. The softer you hit a ball, the bigger the pocket. That is why it is very important to not hit the ball any harder than you have to.
  
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02-10-2006, 07:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptiveBred
I don't think it has much to do with moving around the CB. I gan get position if I shoot hard or soft most of the time, one way or another...

The benifet from hitting the balls softer is pocket speed. The softer you hit a ball, the bigger the pocket. That is why it is very important to not hit the ball any harder than you have to.
Yes, that is what I was told as well. The pocket is bigger when I shot the ball at pocket speed.

What I meant by not able to move the ball around is that sometime I would hit the ball real hard but the cue ball seems dead. It looks like all those energy has been wasted because the cue ball barely moves. Does this make any sense?

Richard
  
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02-10-2006, 07:09 PM

A stroke is a series of to and fro movements.

A hit is a directed collsion between two objects.

A hit is what a baseball player does to baseball with a baseball bat.

A stroke is what the bow of a violin does to the strings.

You would not try to hit a homerun with the bow of a violin.

You would not try to play the violin with a basebal bat.

Remember that you should never sacrifice accuracy for power. In pool, with power, there comes a loss of control. I have always believed that if you STROKE the cue ball, then the cue ball will STROKE the object ball - which will in turn stroke the cloth and eventually STROKE the back of the pocket. If you HIT the cue ball, the cue ball will HIT the object ball, and after that its anybody's guess whether or not something good will happen.

Here are a few of my stroke tester shots:

CueTable Help



With a medium hard stroke make the 8 in the corner, following 2-3 rails for shape on the 9 ball.

CueTable Help



In this shot, we stroke the 8 ball into the pocket and draaw the cue ball into the rail as shown for position on the 9 ball.

Remember that cue ball should be spinning faster, it should not be slammed or hit into the object ball "harder". These are finesse shots that are designed to strengthen the fluidity of your stroke.


"Turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement!" ~ Les Nessman

“Dead balls are harder to find than they are to make." ~ Cisero Murphy

"When all else fails, try not missing ... INTENTIONALLY." ~ Steve Mizerak

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02-10-2006, 07:19 PM

I will make a couple of observations based upon my personal observation of watching Professional, Great, Good & Bad Players.

Bad Players Bang Balls with no Rhyme or Reason.

Professional, Great, Good Players hit the Cue Ball only HARD ENOUGH to Sink the Object Ball they are Shooting at, and to Position their Cue Ball for the next PLANNED SHOT.

The BETTER the Players Skill level is the more Ball Control they have....
  
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02-10-2006, 07:31 PM

Usually having to pound a ball is because you did not or were not left enough angle.
The positional play will come with an easier stroke if you have a good angle.

If you find you need to pound the ball to get more draw or top spin it usually means you are not hitting the ball low or high enough, or you are short stroking and hitting instead of stroking the ball.
Long easy strokes will surprise you with power, accuracy and control.
  
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02-10-2006, 07:33 PM

I forget which one it is, but Bert Kinister opens one of his training tapes by saying "I don't care who you are, you're hitting the balls too hard".


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02-10-2006, 07:33 PM

Yea, I've noticed the same thing in different levels of players. It seems bad players hit the balls really hard to accomplish the same thing a pro type player does with a simple smooth stroke.

It honestly amazes me how "soft" they hit the ball sometimes, yet they get plenty of cueball action.

I'm definantly guilty of hitting too hard sometimes
  
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02-10-2006, 07:52 PM

Quote:
Do you hit the ball too hard?
Well, I haven't broken the back of the pocket off yet, so no.

More seriously, slightly... I am starting to play a bit lately after about a decade-and-a-half hiatus, and with everything being played on Simonis now I do feel as if I overstroke a lot of shots. I wouldn't say I pound the balls just to pound them though, just when I'm trying to get whitey to move. I'm a fluid-stroke, loose grip (slip-stroke when really moving the ball), player. On the tables now it seems I either skid out, or overplay my position a lot of the time. (We'll see if I'm able to adapt as my back gets into condition and I can put in some actual long-hour practice sessions)
  
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02-10-2006, 08:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by nipponbilliards

What I meant by not able to move the ball around is that sometime I would hit the ball real hard but the cue ball seems dead. It looks like all those energy has been wasted because the cue ball barely moves. Does this make any sense?

Richard
Sure it does. Your stroke is not as accurate at faster speeds. By stroking it softer your accuracy (on the c/b is much better) not to mention accuracy at the o/b. For instance you may use say two tips of english. But when you (HIT) it may be a miscue or hardly any english at all because you lost that accuracy. Learn how to get good c/b action (exactly where you address the ball) at slow speeds then only increase speed as needed.

Once you build confidence you can stroke the c/b slow or firm and make contact exactly where you intended. Not only that but the c/b reacts faster to a slower smooth stroke. That's not always wanted however, if so you use more force.

The draw shot that Blackjack shows is hardly more than a little dink shot. As he explains don't hit the ball. I'll add go through it like its a marshmellow. Take away the hit and you have a good stroke.

Here is a tag line I used on CCB for years.

be smooth; better control, more power, with less effort.

Rod
  
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02-10-2006, 08:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack
will happen.

Here are a few of my stroke tester shots:

Dave, here's one of mine:

START(
%Hg7Z9%IC8V1%PN8O4%We9Z8%XO6O6%Yr8[2%Zh7[0%eA4b4%_E0O3%`W0C6
%af7Z6
)END


Paul Mon
  
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02-10-2006, 08:48 PM

I hit hard making loud sound when I want pretty girls in pool hall take notice of me and also when I want all the rail birds to think that I am an idiot.
i do really hit them hard.
  
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02-10-2006, 10:15 PM

This doesn't come up too often in discussions, but strength of stroke is something to keep in mind when you're making choices in playing patterns.

When choosing angle on my patterns, I pretty much choose the smallest angle that allows me to get position to the next ball if i use a soft to medium stroke. Sometimes this might mean more angle. But I almost never play position that leaves me a shot that I have to fire in. Too much can go wrong when you fire the ball.


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