Basic Stroke Question

bbb

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You nailed it for me. working on some shots this morning I gained some ground on all this. This is what I discovered.

1. For tiny soft shots like touch safeties where you barely roll the ball, maybe a few inches and nick or bump a ball. No forearm movement. Hands only, works best for me. The minute I felt my forearm tighten I hit too hard.
2. All other speeds up to very hard, no hand or wrist was more consistent. I hit a 2 diamond force follow off the rail back to a 3" circle. If I involved my hands or wrist I was all over the place. Mostly I came up way short. By taking a loose grip and using only my forearm I got very consistent. When force was involved the hands were more of a problem. This is more the shots everyone teaches and focus on. They represent a majority of all shots so the "just practice" advice is good here.
3. For hard shots, like the break, it takes co-ordination of all of it for the power.
4. What surprised me was the very narrow range where hands only worked best. It only helped when it was a tap type shot. I had one at league last night. I tried to roll my opponent's ball one inch into a 2 ball cluster of mine and let him have Ball in Hand. I had insurance balls and no way he could do anything with his ball. I hit it a TINY bit too hard. One of my balls moved out of the way and cleared a path for him and I lost the game. This is the only type shot where the feather soft hands (or even fingers) would have been a better choice. I only had to roll the cue ball 1 foot then barely touch his ball and I just could not hit it that soft. There is just too much power in any type of actual stroking motion for these delicate shots to work for me.
skip
glad i could help.....:)
larry
 

skipbales

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Thanks

Skip...In your heart you already know the answer...you simply cannot defeat physics (no matter what some pro player says). The dwell time is so short, between CB and cuetip, that the CB is already gone before you could physically 'flick' your wrist. The wrist is already a universal joint (like the shoulder), meaning it can move in any direction, so it's highly susceptible to changes in grip pressure, which can affect the outcome significantly. So timing becomes everything. It's already difficult enough to coordinate everything that makes up a perfect pendulum stroke, without adding crazy thoughts like "snapping your wrist"...sorry, but the CB is gone in a quarter of an eye blink...long before you could initiate a wrist movement, forward or backwards. That's physics. Stick with what I showed you. Take measure of your shooting template; revisit your entire routine...including the PEP. PRACTICE your Mother Drills (20 minutes, twice a day)! Like randyg says, "there's only a good stroke and a bad stroke". Use what I taught you to make your 'good' stroke, your very best! Trust your stroke! :thumbup:

Scott Lee

Director, SPF National Pool School Tour
Hey Scott, thanks for the input. Of course I never mentioned or considered a flick of the wrist nor the time on the cue ball. All that goes without saying. It is all about what you do to generate stick speed prior to impact.

What I discovered was the motion you teach is controlled almost exclusively by the forearm. It is also the most accurate method for a very wide range of shots. It works best for me if the muscles in the hand and fingers do not try to "help". I feel the muscles in my forearm constrict and lift (towards the chest as you demonstrate). The hands and wrist just need to be relaxed and allow the stick to force them to hinge and unhinge as needed to accommodate. That is the stroke and is by far the most useful stroke.

That said when you just need a tiny tap, the forearm is too powerful and does not seem to have a good range in the under 24" area. For that there is not enough take back or follow through to need it. Those shots are really finesse and (for me anyway) need the precision of "touch" controlled by the hands, wrist and fingers.

Finally, on real power shots combining the biceps, forearm and wrist in a coordinated motion seems to develop the most power. I see many (even pros) who employ the entire body. I don't think the body adds much, if anything, to the power. It is slow and ponderous, also difficult to manage. But precocking wrist and realeasing it through the down arc of the swing increases the stick speed for that portion of the arc. This is true in all stick and ball games. It doesn't affect the time at impact but increases the speed before and through impact. Speed = power (or distance). This is the most powerful and least accurate stroke. It is the least accurate because of all the variables, even without huge body movements.

The main take away from this discussion for me is how important keeping the hand and wrist neutral on most strokes is. It is so easy to unconsciously tighten the grip and squeeze or twist or force the cue forward and change the speed from what the shooter's subconscious intended. Just like it is important to reverse this process on a very soft tap type shot. No forearm there or you will have trouble hitting soft enough.

As always, thank you for your training and your support. Happy thanksgiving.
Skip
 
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skipbales

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Very good observations. There are two distinct reasons for flicking the wrist during the stroke. One is for added power and the other is to keep the cue level during the stroke. (There are other reasons, like to stroke without moving the cue much due to a close shot, but the other two reasons are the main ones.)

One is a slower, more gradual movement as the cue is moving. That one is to keep the cue level. This isn't done during a pendulum stroke but can be done during a piston stroke. (I'm not happy with either term, but for the sake of everyone understanding the same thing, I'll go with them.) If the player uses a full piston stroke with a total drop, then it isn't really necessary to intentionally flick the wrist to level off the cue, as the drop will do that naturally. However, some players who partially drop, may execute that slow wrist adjustment to level off the cue.

As for doing it for power, it's a fast flick and the timing has to be perfect -- nanoseconds before impact.

Hey Fran, thanks, as always, for your insight on this thread. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Skip
 

skipbales

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Here's a simple way you can test this. Set up a shot where your wrist moves almost not at all and acts just as a hinge between your forearm and your cue. Maybe use one of those wrist braces that pretty much immobilizes things. See how far you can hit the cue ball up and down the table.

Next, keep your forearm perfectly still, and see how much distance you can get with just your wrist. You may want to build a small fixture or tie your lower forearm to the neighboring table, because most people move their forearms on the shot.

Tell us which one is more effective.

Hey Bob, thanks (as always) for the input. Your testing process is what I used to test my theories. You were exactly correct. The forearm is the Boss almost all the time.
Only on the shortest taps does the hand or wrist action take precedent. I also appreciate your advice not to worry so much about all that, just do it. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Skip
 

skipbales

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Since when does one feel time or timing or rhythm in a particular muscle?

You have a range of motion with a beginning and end. The time it takes to complete the range of motion is the motions speed/velocity.

If you need physical representation of time to assist your speed control I suggest a metronome.

But there’s no feeling in muscles as per speed......

How does a runner know he’s running 60 second laps?

A reference and practicing so ones internal clock affixes the tempo of the muscles movements to attain the desired speed/time.

Set range + stroke tempo practice = timing /speed development.

Use scales wit numbers not words like soft med hard. The more set numbers the more accurate the scale .



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

You are correct in your analysis of numbers vs hard soft, etc. It gets really hard to convey speed once you get down to the really soft shots. As you say, at some point it is all about intuition. A lot of my focus was on really soft tap type shots under 2 diamonds total. Tiny little bump shots and nip safeties where there is almost no stroke at all.

Thanks for the input. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Skip
 
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skipbales

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I can't believe you've worked with Scott Lee and are arguing the answer. Go to the workbook under mother drill 3. Grab your 25 pennies and dial it down to whatever you feel you need. Half speed? Quarter speed? Whatever. The finish is the same. Why add variables to a known solution?

Yeah Buzz, it is a character flaw. I over analyze things. Thanks for the advice. Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Skip
 

DTL

SP 219
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It's starting to sound to me like you're not even sure what you are trying to ask. You mentioned CJ getting power from his wrist. How does a player get power from his wrist without flicking it?

Immediately thought the same thing. CJ pre-cocks his wrist in near full radial deviation, essentially making a wrist flick nearly impossible. He probably gets some extra speed using his fingers, by squeezing the cue (a certain way) just before contact.
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
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You are correct in your analysis of numbers vs hard soft, etc. It gets really hard to convey speed once you get down to the really soft shots. As you say, at some point it is all about intuition. A lot of my focus was on really soft tap type shots under 2 diamonds total. Tiny little bump shots and nip safeties where there is almost no stroke at all.

Thanks for the input. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Skip



No no i never said anything about intuition.

Look whole numbers are all exactly 1 value larger or smaller than the next higher or lower digit.

In math we have to know what ZERO is this is Neutral.....

In pool your neutral is going to be your generally used standard speed shot.....which is 1.5 table lengths of travel.....i know youve taken the class so you understand that i'm NOT giving that speed a value of ZERO.....you know its a 3.

You need to focus on completing your motion to its finish/dead end of the hand at the "chest/nipple" whatever and however your bodys made will determin that exact point.

you pull back the same.....you finish the same......remember penetration of the tip throught the cb past its, lets call it the event horizon....is MUTE and completely of no value or gain in speed or power or rotation etc.

When you have super soft shots.....start with the hand at the finish spot, place the tip a frogs hair away from the CB and pull back small and finish as per normal. Called "short finish" often. it is a complete stroke, despite its at times, extreme compactness.

The stroke is made of 3 movements

1: the gate
2: the stride
3: the glide

what too many do is

1:smoke the tires out the gate
1a: fishtail and wobble the cue because of this
2: recover the errant side to side motion and over accelerate
2a: stroke tightens said side to side fishtailing tho never totally straightens
3: Holy shit i'm coming in hot
3a: Emergency brake/Jake Brake/maybe throw out a parachute


the stroke isnt a top fuel dragster
its more like a 600-1000hp car.....with a 10speed transmission and low gearing

it doesn't need to get any hole shot, it gently rolls out the gate, and CONSISTENT ACCELERATION IS APPLIED and it glides into its top end effortlessly.

you can not have an effortless stroke jerking it out the gate.

put your cue away

stand up straight

arms to your side

now just bend the arm at the elbow and close it till its done closing.

now do it slow as snail shit, now general shot speed, now break speed.....back to snail shit, now tortise......

sit on the toilet.....and while your taking a dump.....work that arm

watch tv.....work that arm

this is not something one remotely needs a cue stick in their hand to master

as a matter of fact....if you put that cue away.....itll help you more not using it and just working that arm.

and notice how nicely you can do all that without the cue in your hand....then suddenly its like its got bad magic and influences the hand in odd ways.....which is nothing but bs.....bad and errant focus on NOTHING.

go search and find anything you can that i've put on this board about all this.

the problem isn't you its your way you are trying to communicate with your brain and body.....put the cue down.....work that arm.

if you cant get it without a cue in your hand.....no reason to pick it back up if mastery is the goal.

wurk wurk wurk wurk dat arm

-Grey Workaholic Ghost
 

EddieBme

AzB Silver Member
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Immediately thought the same thing. CJ pre-cocks his wrist in near full radial deviation, essentially making a wrist flick nearly impossible. He probably gets some extra speed using his fingers, by squeezing the cue (a certain way) just before contact.

I thought the same also. I was taught to let the cue hang loose in your hand, just enough grip to keep from dropping it, and the wrist action will be normal/natural.

What professional players use a Punch Stroke? I'd like to learn the punch stroke, but i find myself Slapping at the cue ball, instead of a good follow through.
 

One Pocket John

AzB Silver Member
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Posted by Gray Ghost above:

When you have super soft shots.....start with the hand at the finish spot, place the tip a frogs hair away from the CB and pull back small and finish as per normal. Called "short finish" often. it is a complete stroke, despite its at times, extreme compactness.

I hope that folks that read this took it to the table............it's the nutz.

Thanks for the tip Keebie.

John :)
 

skipbales

AzB Gold Member
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I thought the same also. I was taught to let the cue hang loose in your hand, just enough grip to keep from dropping it, and the wrist action will be normal/natural.

What professional players use a Punch Stroke? I'd like to learn the punch stroke, but i find myself Slapping at the cue ball, instead of a good follow through.

Tor Lowry teaches it. He teaches a pendulum, a punch and a slip. The punch he recommends for bar tables and times when your "big table" full stroke isn't working. Most of his stuff is scattered on youtube or you can buy his cd's.
 
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