Critique my stroke - video analysis

NYCnoob99

Registered
I posted recently about not hitting it straight consistently enough and was told that video analysis is the best bet. Here is my video from two angles.

Just from looking at this I see a few minor things - not sure if they are problems:
  • Dropping the elbow a bit.
  • Follow-through could be longer.
  • Forearm not perfectly vertical at address, but close.
But I'm no expert so I might be missing something else bigger than the above.

P.S. Please ignore the crazy stupid bridge I am using. I have thumb synovitis at the moment and while it is recovering I cannot use my standard open bridge. This will have to do for now. I know it is not super stable, but I do not think this is the cause of my issues as I used to have the same issues beforehand with a standard open bridge. No need to tell me. =)
 

NYCnoob99

Registered
I don't see a lot wrong, but I'm curious why you elevate the stick so much.
Thank you.

I am not aware that I am doing it. Do you think that keeping my upper arm more parallel to ground (less of an incline) would be helpful with accuracy. That would make the stick more level, right?
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
I try to keep stick as parallel to table as possible. You grip at end of stick. I am not sure if that is good or bad -- anyone? How tall are you?
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
This is simply my take, based on what I have learned/developed (someone please jump in if I am giving bad advice). The elevation is causing a slight "see-saw" or "sawing" motion but it is not anywhere near as bad as a lot of folks I've seen. Dropping everything/keeping cue as parallel as possible should eliminate all sawing motion.

I would say your stroke is somewhat mechanical. You need to be looser and develop more of a rhythmic movement -- this will encourage you to develop a consistent stroke -- like the cat on the video said -- replication of the same stroke is key. You cannot "think" your way through it.

Anyone?
 
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NYCnoob99

Registered
I try to keep stick as parallel to table as possible. You grip at end of stick. I am not sure if that is good or bad -- anyone? How tall are you?
6'0". I might grip too far back. It's been sneaking further and further back over the last few months I've noticed.

This is simply my take, based on what I have learned/developped (someone please jump in if I am giving bad advice.

I would say your stroke is somewhat mechanical. You need to be looser and develop more of a rhythmic movement -- this will encourage you to develop a consistent stroke -- like the cat on the video said -- replication of the same stroke is key. You cannot "think" your way through it.

Anyone?
Accurate. I just watched some Mark Wilson videos on fixing the pool stroke so I am "thinking" much more than usual during these videos. That said, I am afraid if I just let loose I'll go back into bad habits. My bad habits are typically being too fast and dropping the elbow, so I am working on those and am thinking about it when I stroke.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
I am 6' also and, as a rule, do not grip that far back -- it is usually the tall guys, around 6'5", that are that far back on the cue. That being said, I think it is ultimately about you feeling comfortable with how you hold your cue. It is difficult to shoot well if your cue feels awkward in your hands, but I also think how/where one holds a cue relative the cue's natural balance is important.

Its difficult to solve all problems at the same time.
 

xXGEARXx

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I posted recently about not hitting it straight consistently enough and was told that video analysis is the best bet. Here is my video from two angles.

Just from looking at this I see a few minor things - not sure if they are problems:
  • Dropping the elbow a bit.
  • Follow-through could be longer.
  • Forearm not perfectly vertical at address, but close.
But I'm no expert so I might be missing something else bigger than the above.

P.S. Please ignore the crazy stupid bridge I am using. I have thumb synovitis at the moment and while it is recovering I cannot use my standard open bridge. This will have to do for now. I know it is not super stable, but I do not think this is the cause of my issues as I used to have the same issues beforehand with a standard open bridge. No need to tell me. =)
This is just my opinion. Take it for what it is worth, but I don't like how stretched out both of your arms are. Your bridge arm looks really stiff - sometimes that happens, but not everytime. Get lower on your cue and try to rub your chin on it. I think you are too high - but some play like that. I do not like your left bridge hand at all. Between your knuckles? Really? Oh...I see the BOLD now, lol.. You are also really far back on your cue (right hand) and it doesn't look right to me. Choke up a little and give it a shot.

Again, I am critiquing because you asked for it. Do not take it personal - it's meant to engage your thinking and approach to the game, not your emotions. As with anything in life, take what you want and throw away the rest.
 
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ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I posted recently about not hitting it straight consistently enough and was told that video analysis is the best bet. Here is my video from two angles.

Just from looking at this I see a few minor things - not sure if they are problems:
  • Dropping the elbow a bit.
  • Follow-through could be longer.
  • Forearm not perfectly vertical at address, but close.
But I'm no expert so I might be missing something else bigger than the above.

P.S. Please ignore the crazy stupid bridge I am using. I have thumb synovitis at the moment and while it is recovering I cannot use my standard open bridge. This will have to do for now. I know it is not super stable, but I do not think this is the cause of my issues as I used to have the same issues beforehand with a standard open bridge. No need to tell me. =)
First impressions - your cue is too elevated in the back and your between the knuckles open bridge needs to go. Never mind – I just read your reason for the knuckle bridge, but I would’ve thought you waited till you got over that before posting a video for all to critique. Also, one could find more potential stroking issues on a harder stroke as opposed to a very easy stroke.

I agree with the previous poster that your left arm is stretched out way too straight, which is putting your head and entire torso further away from the cue ball, which is why you are having to grip the very end of the cue. I would suggest experimenting some with standing a little closer, bending your elbow 30°, which will get you much closer to the cue ball which will allow you to level out your cue, lower your head closer to the table and lengthen your follow through.
 
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book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Same as others, your too high with the butt of the cue , which makes the cue ball hop sometimes, and any miniscule amount off center is magnified greatly , causing the cueball to squirt or deflect. Use a striped ball, and it will become more noticeable. It won't happen all the time , but I would guess it happens a lot, on more difficult shots.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I don’t have any advice, but want to say your approach immediately reminded me of professional player Danny H. So it can’t be that bad:)
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
To me, it looks like you're not standing in a comfortable and stable position. It looks like if I were to push on your chest a little, you might stumble a some. It looks like you might be almost too stiff, like you're trying to hold your body at ridgid angles. As others have said, I'd start with a little more bend in my bridge side elbow.

This isn't exactly about your stroke, but before you shoot, take a few practice strokes while standing. Get a bit silly, do some windmill/pump handle motions and maybe swing the but back and forth a bit. Get your body comfortable with the stick, then go down and shoot. The reason I say this, and it might be video jitters, is that it looks like you're just not comfortable holding the cue, or comfortable in your stance. Ever saw videos of people who are scared of guns shooting them at the range? They get locked joints and hold it way out from their body. It's kind of like that, get comfortable with your stick. Chalk as a PSR, get a feel for the stick, the tip, the balance point, get the cue to be an extension of your body in your PSR.

I don't know if this would make a difference, but maybe take a practice stroke while you're watching the OB at the end. It seems like you take them, then look back and forth a few times, hold perfectly still, look at OB then stroke. To me, it's all about feeling the shot and unless you're aimed at your target, the practice strokes might not be doing as much good. I feel that they are kind of a final calibration before stroking the ball.

I'm no pool instructor so take this as things to think about and not gospel truth. Remember to have fun! :)
 

Scratch85

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree with what has already been said about “too high” and “stiff bridge arm”. I watched John Morra give a guy, he had just torched, advice about anchoring his bridge arm. It helped me a lot. Don’t be afraid to put your forearm and/or elbow down on the table or rail to stabilize your whole body. That will also help you get level on the shot. My .02.


Sent from my iPhone using AzBilliards Forums
 

jlrowe

Billiards,Boxing & Babes
Silver Member
There is two things that you should try to correct. First, you are approaching the shot wrong. What i'm talking about is the approach you take before you are down and in position. This is why you are to high and the butt is elevated to much and you look uncomfortable. Like book collector said the more you are elevated the more off center you hit its going to be magnified like a masse. How far back you hold the cue doesnt have much to do with it. On long straight in shots i hold all the way back to where i only have my thumb and 3 fingers on the cue. My little finger is off the back of the cue. If you dont grip that far back just make sure that on the follow through you are not gripping the cue with your ring and pinky fingers. This will cause your cue to change course before impact. So, Second is try to lighten your ring and pinky up on the cue. I have seen players especially if they are trying to hit the cueball hard they will grip the cue so hard their wrist will twist and miss the shot. Keep it light, kind of throw the cue into the shot. I can tell you are doing great on keeping focus on the object ball on the last stroke that is key also. I reviewed your approach quite a few times and you are to close to the shot when going down that is why you are not down far enough and you are elevated because if you were to stretch out farther to get level you would have to step back. Also, you are stepping into the shot to the side to adjust your alignment with your cue to cueball. Stand back far enough that when you bend over with your torso level and arm extended your bridge hand on the table is at the right distance to where it needs to be. When you get used to that distance you should be able to perceive that distance and only have to make a inch or two step. Then the next thing you need to do once you have your distance is make sure your shooting hand and arm is aligned with the cueball and shot. The way i perceive this is i use the circle my thumb and first finger makes when holding the cue and line it up at my hip inline with the cueball. This eliminates stepping off to the side, you are stepping straight in and going down. So in other words, your arm and cue should be aligned before you take your step in and go down. You should only have to take one large step go down level, head straight and when your bridge hand hits the table you shouldnt have to even make a adjustment to your body. Good advice from scratch85 also, this also applies to shooting off the rail. Dont lock your elbow keep your forearm level even off the the rail when possible. Hope this helps!;)
 

noMoreSchon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Balance. It looks like you are fighting with your stance. When you are not comfortable there it is very hard to be comfortable down on your shot. All shots are aimed standing up. The second view looks to be better, but there is a notable 'hitch' that is apparent in both. One drill I am fond of is the addressing of the shot standing up, get down on it, no adjustments, one stroke and shoot. You are not suppose to make these. The least amount you have to move from standing to addressing the ball the better you will be. As for your bridge arm being straight, look at some players, most have a slight bend, some play with their arm on the table, some have similar style to yours. When the elbow moves out, it brings with it the shoulders, and when experimenting, you want to feel solid and balanced down on the shot. With you up as high over the ball you are, your arm being straight takes you out of balance, try to A) get lower, or B) a slight bend in your bridge arm.
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
I personally think you just need to decide how intense you want to be about the game before fretting about your stroke. With what you have right now you can play the game at a decent level, it will just take table time. Some on this forum will argue that you downward angle and the pendulum stroke that develops that tiny CB hop is the right way to play. (There's a thread on the main page claiming it now)

Here are my thoughts..: Nearly everyone thinks that the starting point of a shot is the stance. It really isn't. The one variable that all other decisions are driven from is the bridge hand. Depending on where you can plant that hand, is how you determine your grip on the cue and how closely you are going to stand to the table. Ever see the pros reset after getting down on a shot..?.., that's the reason. That practice doesn't happen enough at the amateur level, and I'm willing to wager it's one of the biggest reason lower level players miss "easy shots". They fixate on the PSR and force themselves into believing that reseting equates to indecision and lack of confidence.

I immediately noticed you didn't adjust your grip hand once you got down on the shot. Until you have that bridge hand down, and know the distance from cue tip to CB, you don't know where your grip hand should be. The forearm of the grip hand should be perpendicular to the cue (not table surface) at point of contact. I encourage players to spin the cue in their grip hand while down on the shot. This will aid in the triggering of the grip hand adjustment. Note I said perpendicluar to the cue, not the table. For a flat cueist, the cue and table are parallel, or at least very close to it. For the typical pool player there is an angle to which they strike down on the CB. Your stroke mechnics have nothing to do with the table, but everything to do with you body position.

Your bridge arm is very straight. This is personal preference really. My bridge arm is as straight as the table traffic and bridge hand will allow. That said, my bridge hand to CB distance is too great currently. I'm playing wih my stroke length, but my mechanics can support the unnecessary distance. Ideally you would want that forearm resting on the table to support your weight. Otherwise your stance will be weak, and your shoulder will tire from the necessary work out.

As far as how getting down further on the shot... Again, personal perference. I know many players that are lights out and stand much taller over a shot than you.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
Please ignore the crazy stupid bridge I am using. I have thumb synovitis at the moment and while it is recovering I cannot use my standard open bridge. This will have to do for now. I know it is not super stable, but I do not think this is the cause of my issues as I used to have the same issues beforehand with a standard open bridge. No need to tell me. =)
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The best advice I have seen to you so far is for you to decide how serious you want to be about the game in terms of competition or playing at a certain level much higher than you are now. if you really want to become a much better player and not just play for enjoyment socially; then you will need to get some very good in person lessons from someone vetted as an excellent billiard instructor.

Quite honestly, you have so many things technically wrong with your stroke that trying to achieve a makeover via self help video and this forum's feedback will not result in success for you. You need to have someone strip down your whole stroke and rebuild it- IMO.

Some Reasons for my opinon:
cue stick too far elevated from the level plane, bridge arm too extended, bridge hand configurations puzzling ( knuckles?) , your forward stroke begins with your forearm far too extended and not at 90 degrees to the floor- so your grip hand is not coming up to your chest and you are not getting your cue tip THROUGH the cue ball sufficiently.

All can be fixed- no worries there- just your choice as to how much you want it and if your really desire constructive change in your approach to the game- this is a good start for you- I applaud you - now just be smart and get some in person help to do it right or else I feel you will end up frustrated and no where near where you desire to end up as a player.

I am speaking from years of self trial and change that began in an era when video replay did not even exist for most, books were minimal helpful at best, etc. etc. - all of this has evolved now- many people offer to sell all kinds of books, videos, etc. But I believe there is no substitute today for learning any sport "properly" within a reasonable time frame, than to go out and invest some time and money with a trusted, proven instructor.
 
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Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
  • Forearm not perfectly vertical at address, but close.
The objective is to be perpendicular to your stick at address, not vertical - you do that fine. (Perpendicular to the stick prevents "dipping the tip" before contact with the cue ball.)
P.S. Please ignore the crazy stupid bridge I am using.
With that tall "knuckle" bridge you're forced to raise the butt in order to strike the cue ball where you want to. You'll have to flatten the bridge out some (or go back to your regular bridge) in order to level your cue.

I don't see any issues with your bridge arm or your grip.

pj
chgo
 
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