Couple Of Changes To My Game

Pidge

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been undergoing some changes, what I would consider major but others might consider minor.

The first is a shorter pull back. Its been about 3 or 4 weeks since I have started trying to change it and it was on the advice of a friend. He is a shocking player but because I know him so well I know he wouldn't offer advice of he didn't believe it would make me a better player. I was apprehensive at first but after a couple of days I was hitting power shots so much sweeter. Goes to show I didn't need that 14" pull back after all. I've almost got it ingrained into my subconscious but it still needs time. The biggest hurdle I found was how it altered my timing and rhythm of a shot. That's now becoming easier and easier to get used to. My long potting on snooker has improved massively with the shorter pull back. I played last night and didn't miss a single long pot and I probably took on about 40 long shots. Insane! The friend who offered me the advice had clearly been watching me carefully. He noticed I had a slight curve in my pull back at the very end of it which caused me to hit shots bad from time to time. I eliminated this by simply not pulling the cue back as far. Same, bridge length, just a shorter pull back. I've cut the length by maybe a quarter on power shots. I would offer anyone advice on how to go about reducing the pull back of they feel the longer pull back causes them issues. It feels a lot more compact and like it would hold up better under pressure.

The second change is in my eye pattern. This was on the advice of an ex professional who noticed my eye pattern wasn't consistent. Firstly is how I look at the table when I'm figuring everything out. I was always a pocket - object ball - cue ball - object ball kind of guy. Now before I get down its more pocket - object ball. No looking at the cue ball until I'm down and set. This isn't for everyone. I guess it comes down to a person's peripheral vision and spacial awareness. Since both seem to be quite decent on my part I get down with my tip at centre cue ball of that's what I want to hit. I was told it brings extra attention to the object ball, which after all is what I want to pot. Its quicker and less complicated... Again, easier to do under pressure. Secondly is a change when I'm down. He noticed my eyes were wandering with no consistency. Some shots I would flick from object ball to cue ball back and forth. Other shots I would just look at the cue ball then flick to the object ball last minute. Now it is a set routine for every shot. At address, flick the eyes to the cue ball to make sure I'm aiming the tip at the part I want to hit before I move the cue, then I start my warm up strokes whilst looking at the object ball where my tip is pointing. Then a front pause where my eyes then shift the the cue ball and they stay on the cue ball as I pull back, then at the rear pause my eyes switch to the object ball and I shoot. The rear pause varies in length depending on the distance as I wait until the eyes are focused on before pulling the trigger. So a close shot isn't much pause, but a long shot has a longer pause. Only a small difference. I think this also has helped with my timing. Its the same each shot now which has helped with the shorter pull back. My consistency has risen quite a lot. Before I would be able to run 200 balls and it would seem like I couldnt miss or mess up position then the next day I wouldn't be able to run 50 no matter how hard I tried. Since the changes that struggle to 50 has gone. Now the struggle is at 100 balls. I still make the occasional high run but my off days aren't as off as they were. I would advise everyone to work on their eye patterns to find out what works for them, then work on using it every shot. I promise your consistency will improve.

My technique has been the same for years. Never be happy with your level of play and don't be afraid to tinker with your technique. I feel I am a better player for the changes and without them, I wouldn't have been able to improve. I can't stress this enough though... Look into professional instruction before undergoing a major change. Let the instructor know what you are wanting to change and have them instruct you on how to do it.
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
Short Stroke

I've often heard the short stroke is the money stroke. I have a long stroke and have noticed that when I short stroke a shot it seems much more on track with where I envision that the ball should travel. Nice post and good points.
 

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've often heard the short stroke is the money stroke. I have a long stroke and have noticed that when I short stroke a shot it seems much more on track with where I envision that the ball should travel. Nice post and good points.

I've noticed a lot of world class players who use very long bridges but only pull back part of the way for most shots. This would seem to offer some of the advantages of using a long bridge without having to alter stroke force from shot to shot to control speed. Same force directed at the cue, less distance (time) for the cue to accelerate. It would also make it easier to hit the CB where you intend to.

Tor Lowry has a neat video where he calls this stroke a "jab stroke".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VODQn8GtrMA

I'm sure it's not what Pidge here is alluding to, put it is a nice demonstration of what can be done with a compact stroke. I shoot like this most of the time, probably because I grew up playing on small tables in dive bars.
 
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SmoothStroke

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have been writing about short stroke technique for a long time; I may have 12 or 50 posts about it, nice to see someone coming over to the dark side.

Never understood the theory of constant long stroke technique, trying to control the mass and sending the cue ball 6 inches, a recipe for deceleration, tightening, the 50 yard line, and where she stops nobody knows.

Pull for what you need, extended follow through for smoothness and transition, even if it's 2 inches.

I believe every shot has its own all around application.

Long bridge and shorter pull is a favorite for many past and present champions, and some long strokers.
Learn them all, long or short, tomorrow you may need one of them.
The art is endless,
I could ramble on, everyone to their own thing.

Sincerely:SS
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
I've been working on shortening my stroke for many years now. It pays off. I now have an average length pull back which is enough. I won't go to the extreme of shortening the stroke, but nobody really needs the extremely long backswing I used to have. I still have it available to me, I just never use it.

I think the most important thing I ever did was to work on my back to forward transition. I took an extended back pause for a long time, which I forced, and was very unnatural for me. It caused my arm to "seize up" from tension, instead of staying loose. Now I have hardly any pause at all. It's there, but not a half to a full second like it used to be. It helps with avoiding shoulder movement on the forward stroke/elbow movement etc. It doesn't look quite as pretty as the long pause, but with hard work I believe I succeeded in keeping the good timing I had with the pause. The pause makes timing the ball easier, but there are issues which I found difficult to completely overcome. Sometimes I slip into extended pausing on the backswing when I am in dead stroke, but I don't think it gives me any advantages anymore.

Since I play mostly snooker nowadays, I have gotten refocused on my fundamentals, which are so much more important in this game than in pool. I guess maybe if you play on a 10 footer, you might face some of the same issues. If your fundamentals are not perfect on the big tables, you will be worn down in a matter of an hour or two from concentrating so hard and the positioning takes a lot of mental energy as well, so you better be able to pot on auto pilot.
 
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