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Revelation about my stroke!
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Gregg
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Revelation about my stroke! - 06-30-2006, 06:23 PM

I was practicing, and trying to work on a drill Robert Bryne advocates, where you shoot through the cue ball, and touch the tip of the cue on a fixed spot (gummy sticker, or a table rack spot). I was not able to really do this, and I was trying to figure out why. Two things occurred to me; One is that I was getting down too low into my shooting stance, and two that I really would benefit from an instructor to show my the proper stance, grip, stroke, etc.

Once I stood more upright, the line of aim, and line between the object ball became clearer. I was able to stroke effortlessly through the cue ball, and touch my tip to the cloth, with a relaxed dip of the cue. It's taking some adjustment, but I think working on this will really improve my consistency.

An I going about this wrong? I know some like to almost or even rub their chin against their cue they are so low into their stance during their stroke, but if so, how could they ever get that dipping of the cue?


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06-30-2006, 07:36 PM

Gregg...As long as you swing your forearm with a natural pendulum motion (no significant elbow drop), and come to a natural finish, which means your grip hand will be near your armpit, the tip will naturally finish close to, or on the cloth...and a consistent distance past the CB, depending on how far you bridge from the CB, and how long your natural swingpath is. I also stand higher, like you describe, because I believe I can see the shot more clearly. However, this kind of swing is eminently possible, even with your chin touching the cuestick. The grip hand must be relaxed, and you must finish the completed swing every time, for this to become a habit. Start out with slow, soft strokes, and work your way up to a break speed stroke. There is no difference in the swing. Hope this helps...

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06-30-2006, 07:37 PM

I don't think standing more upright is the answer. You may notice that over the last 20 years, the pros have tended towards a lower stance. Every snooker player does this, and they are the most accurate potters around.

I would advocate lessons but not necessarily a more upright stance. But then again its what ever works for you. Wille Mosconi and Ralf Greenleaf had upright stances, and they shot pretty sporty .


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06-30-2006, 08:17 PM

I agree with both Scott and Cameron.

You're at the begining stages of understanding your stroke. The drill you refer to is a very good starting point.

At first, you'll want to stand a little higher to see those lines. Later, on distance shots, you'll find it more comfortable to get a little lower to keep you back hand from any minor deviations that will show up on long shots.

Keep doing what your doing, since it's helping you figure out where you've been going wrong in the past. Progress at your own pace and not rush the fundamentals.


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07-01-2006, 12:43 AM

Strokes, strokes, strokes...... there is a lot of talk about strokes, and alot of instructors who tell you what stroke is right and what stroke is wrong. It doesnt matter how you stroke the cue, as long as you are comfortable, the cue is moving in a straight line and you are repeating the motion the same way every time. The last part is key.... consistancy. If you are trying to steer the cueball with a sideways motion, there is virtually no way to do this consistanty. Keith McCready, Allen Hopkins, Jimmy Moore..... and the list goes on, have "fundamentally" terrible strokes. But they do it the same way every time, and that is how they consistantly pocket balls and move the cueball how they want. Work on the drill you are doing until you have your stroke in a groove, then move on. The more you focus on this aspect (in a "im not doing it right" way), you will hurt your game long term.
I for one have a very awkward stroke, I am a big guy with a long wingspan, so my grip hand is forward of the pendulum, always has been. I use a lot of wrist in my stroke to compensate for lack of arm movement on the backswing. But when I was younger, I use to practice stroking over the line between the wood on the rail and the cloth, until I could do it straight and consistant. Stroking through the mouth of a coke bottle is also a good exercise.
Just work on getting the cue moving in a straight line, practice, practice practice, then forget about it. Bruce Lee once said something to the effect of "before you study the martial arts, a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick. As you study further, they take on a deeper meaning. But when you master them, you realize a punch is just a punch, and a kick is just a kick."
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07-01-2006, 12:43 AM

To get down low and maintain a free stroke requires some flexibility and some work on body positioning.

The hips are twisted away from the cue to give freer movement for cueing which also moves the chest out of the way of the cue, allowing for the player to maintain a higher elbow through the shot.

This picture shows how the hips are twisted slightly and the chest is not in a position to obstruct the shot.


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07-01-2006, 03:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Colenso
To get down low and maintain a free stroke requires some flexibility and some work on body positioning.

The hips are twisted away from the cue to give freer movement for cueing which also moves the chest out of the way of the cue, allowing for the player to maintain a higher elbow through the shot.

This picture shows how the hips are twisted slightly and the chest is not in a position to obstruct the shot.
Thanks for some of the input, and as I figured, it's very hard to describe in words my stance. This pic, for me, would be too low, and difficult to see the aim lines. Dipping the cue would also be impossible for me, from this position, but maybe that's not all that important. I guess now I am a bit confused about what I should be doing.


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07-01-2006, 04:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg
Thanks for some of the input, and as I figured, it's very hard to describe in words my stance. This pic, for me, would be too low, and difficult to see the aim lines. Dipping the cue would also be impossible for me, from this position, but maybe that's not all that important. I guess now I am a bit confused about what I should be doing.
Basically I think you should do what works for you and look for comfort over mechanical correctness. Personally I believe finding the alignment is a much tougher task than having the ability to perform the stroke.

If someone actually tries to hit a CB at an aim point from any position it is quite repeatable. But people mess this up in real play due to second guessing their alignment. Coaches like teaching mechanics because it's an endless cycle of adjusting this and that.

I come from a snooker background but my stance has changed for pool with my head a bit higher. That seems to help with perceiving the angles and aim line.

Different strokes for different folks...literally

Colin


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"The first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind." - Lord Kelvin
  
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07-01-2006, 06:48 AM

The best answer you got was from Scott Lee. Next time he is in your area have him spend 3-4 hours with you.....SPF-randyg
  
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07-01-2006, 09:00 AM

gregg i used to try and get low too, but it was holding back my stroke just like it is yours. I too thought that was the way to do it, id seen some very good players who rub the cue on their chin almost, like you said....but that doesnt work for me, im a tall guy with long arms. You are spot on on getting a good instructor to teach you, my game jumped way up after i went to cue-tech pool school with randyg as the instructor. Basically the key to a good stroke is what is comfortable to you, what allows you to see the object and cue ball, and what allows you to deliver the cue straight thru the cueball repeatedly. Getting too low is uncomfortable to me, which makes me want to get up out of this contorted position just as soon as possible (jumping up).....can i shoot and make a few shots crouched way low? Sure I can, but i cant do it for hours at a time, it throws my whole game off. Now when i shoot my chin is probably 5 or 6 inches and it works great for me.
  
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Gregg
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07-02-2006, 03:53 AM

Again, thanks for the information.

I realize in order to work on this properly, again, I really have to have an instructor.


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07-02-2006, 06:26 AM

I've experimented with the stance quite a bit. Efren Reyes and Jim Rempe have by far the best stances out of all the players, IMO. Efren Reyes demonstrates a perfect stance for someone who is right around average height and build. Jim Rempe has a rock solid and perfect stance for a tall person. Both of them get really low on the cue. Efren's chin is about 2 inches above the cue. The reason for that is he has a loose stroke that involves some elbow movement. Jim Rempe's chin nearly touches the cue, because he has a more classical pendulum stroke, although his stroke does involve SOME elbow movement.

For those of you who feel like standing too low inhibits your stroke, the reason why is because you are all tensed up. Your body is not used to bending that low, and the tension travels from your body to your stroking arm.

Try this- get as low on the cue as you possibly can, but as you are lowering down on the cue, RELAX your bridge arm's shoulder completely. Some people who stand real low but don't shoot very good like that, completely forget to do this. Their result is that their stroking arm's shoulder sometimes ends up lower than their bridge arm's shoulder. You may still feel some tension in your stroking arm, mainly in the shoulder/triceps area. The way to get rid of this is to try to CONCIOUSLY relax your stroking arm as much as possible. If that requires you to dip your elbow on the backswing, so be it.

One more problem you might encounter when you get really low in your stance is double vision on the cueball and object ball, and also the part of your shaft that is closer to the joint of your cue. This depends on what you are looking at. When you look at the cueball, you will get double vision of the object ball in your peripheral vision. When you look at the object ball, you will get double vision of the cueball in your peripheral vision. When you look at the tip of your cue, you will get double vision of your shaft in your peripheral. Your dominant eye knows which one of the 'doubles' is the correct one. If your dominant eye is not lined up with the cue correctly, it is very difficult to judge this. This is info that I have learned just from my own experiments. It may be different for others, so make sure you try it yourself and see what works for you.


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07-02-2006, 07:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Lee
Gregg...As long as you swing your forearm with a natural pendulum motion (no significant elbow drop), and come to a natural finish, which means your grip hand will be near your armpit, the tip will naturally finish close to, or on the cloth...and a consistent distance past the CB, depending on how far you bridge from the CB, and how long your natural swingpath is. I also stand higher, like you describe, because I believe I can see the shot more clearly. However, this kind of swing is eminently possible, even with your chin touching the cuestick. The grip hand must be relaxed, and you must finish the completed swing every time, for this to become a habit. Start out with slow, soft strokes, and work your way up to a break speed stroke. There is no difference in the swing. Hope this helps...

Scott Lee
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The above is your answer. The dip will be natural when your stroke is fundamentally sound. The dip is not something you need to force, it just happens and it happens AFTER you strike the ball and DURING the follow through. When you have a shot figured out, forget about the balls. ONLY
concentrate on DELIVERY of the STROKE. If your stroke doesn't finish the way it's supposed to, the shot failed, even if the OB dropped in.

It's very difficult to be aware of your stroke if you're concentrating on the balls. Have trust in yourself that you know how to make the shot but have some doubt that you'll deliver the stroke unless that is your focus. You'll never be aware of your finish unless you concentrate on this as a "Post shot routine".

This is a little mental shift I was coached on by a very good instructor.

As far as stance I think for the most part it's personal but I agree with others that a low stance should not hinder your stroke finish if you have a stance that gives you enough clearence. Personally I tend to stand a little taller for most shots. I also feel I see the angles better. But I know other great players argue the other way. Alignment over the cue and the shot is the main thing.

Last edited by 3kushn; 07-02-2006 at 07:23 AM.
  
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