Critique my stroke - video analysis

The_JV

Local_Pro
The best part of this thread is all the varying opinions on the right way to play....lol

You'd probably be better off just going to your local room, and watching the best shot in the place play a few sets and attempt to emulate him/her.
 

S.Vaskovskyi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It's a good thing you made up your mind to look for help. Like it was already mentioned the next good thing would be looking for a good instructor/coach's help. Filming yourself and some other tricks used could be a great help to work on the flaws but you should be able to see the key problems and know how to fix them. You can get really good advices here that could help but again you should be able to sort them and choose so on.
Nowadays there are so many great and useful information available on the internet for free either from some successfull players or coaches but again you'll need to invest ... either the time or the money ... more likely the both but it will cost you anyway.
At least that is my experience as a coach and a player who used to play a lot on a certain level till I faced some problems from my back and neck.
I'm a tall 6'6" cross-dominant player so it is not a big surprise to experience those.
So once I started to suffer from the problems and having much more "bad" days at the table I realized that I don't feel comfortable in my stance as I used to and started to feel tired losing confidence in my stroke...so on and I can tell there were times when I loved some long power draws and felt pretty confident performing them...
So I realized if I want to continue enjoying the game I need to stop suffering from worser results ...first of all focusing not on them. For me it was obvious first of all I have to look honestly at yourself from the side. It is a good thing I had some videos from my participation in artistic pool EC back in 2004 when I felt pretty good.
I was 27 at the time and started to feel first signs of the bigger problems three years later when I reached 30. Still I was able to win some national tournaments having some good memories and emotions. I guess the key was ....just sometimes it happened so I did not care much about the results at the end being able focusing more on the game at hand.
So once the problems with my back and neck started to grow and influence my game I realized something needs to be done if I want to still enjoy the game.
I skip some steps done not so pool related so my back and neck felt better.
So as I already had quite an experience as a coach working with some talents in our pool school I've just started to film myself when there was an opportunity and then watching the video looking carefully for the key problems when it comes to me. That's how I discovered that something that was working while I was younger started not do so good later due to some changes in my body. So it was obvious there is a need to come back to the basics. I realized I need first of all work on my stance, and some other changes here and there. My experience tells me ...attention to the details and even slight changes can have a huge effect and so in billiards the feeling plays tremendous role ... in order to make the changes I wanted I've just started to work on my stance, grip, backswing and finish position with the mirrors at home without hitting any balls more focusing on important details and HOW DOES IT FEEL so while playing at the table and actually hitting some balls to not thinking much about that just keeping filming myself at the table time from the time especially once some problems appear again.
So you may save some of your time finding a good help... There should be good instructors around... who seeks will always find. Good luck in your journey.
 
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Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As I see it you have one glaring error. The butt is way too elevated. Get it down lower so that you might even bump your knuckles on the rail. You might have to lower your head some, too. IMO, keep doing whatever you are doing in regards to everything else. You'll never get where you want to be with such an elevated butt. Maybe your temporary bridge is causing some of that. I'm the same height as you and have resigned myself to crouching at the knees while shooting. It just isn't possible for me to keep the legs locked and still get down on the shot low enough. Get comfortable with the lower cue and post another video.
 

NYCnoob99

Registered
Thanks everyone for the constructive feedback.

I'm going to take it slow and add one thing at a time. Or maybe two. For now I'm just focusing on getting lower on the ball and reducing the cue elevation to make it flatter. So far that has already paid dividends with my straight-in shot drills. But I'm not gonna count my chickens just yet. As with golf, every time you think you cracked the code you end up being humbled soon thereafter.
 

TATE

AzB Gold Mensch
Gold 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. =)

What I see is too stiff and mechanical. Good players have smooth, relaxed strokes. Your mechanics look good. I would look for a more level stroke, a more relaxed stroke, more fluid, little less metronome. There is a dynamic motion to the pro players. You want that.
 

Gunn_Slinger

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Really can't tell much about your 'stroke' from those 2 shots.
You are 'rolling' whitey, not 'stroking' it.
Need to see you 'follow thru' to see if you are 'accelerating thru' whitey
and not pushing the CB. There is a thing called 'the kink' to take the stiff arm
out of your bridge arm. Just 'kink' at your elbow a little and you will feel
your arm relax as you can move into the shot easily.
Good luck
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks everyone for the constructive feedback.

I'm going to take it slow and add one thing at a time. Or maybe two. For now I'm just focusing on getting lower on the ball and reducing the cue elevation to make it flatter. So far that has already paid dividends with my straight-in shot drills. But I'm not gonna count my chickens just yet. As with golf, every time you think you cracked the code you end up being humbled soon thereafter.
Wise choice. Post some clips with the actual hit and what the balls do.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
Here come the monkey wrenches into the works. There are two additional elements you want to begin researching and studying: grip tightness and wrist action. You can probably search and and read AZB forums on these subjects for the next two weeks and not find consensus. As your stroke becomes more fluid and rhythmic, I am sure you will encounter both of these elements. What follows are my brief takes on these subjects.

You will want to develop a loose grip. Tight grip inhibits stroke and, accordingly, cue ball action. A tight grip can be used intentionally to retard cue ball action. A loose grip seems to fire things up. (One old school approach advocated using a two, or three, fingers/thumb on the sides of the cue.)

Just prior to and during contact with the cue ball, I employ wrist action -- a "pop", if you will. This pop is coordinated with, or part, or extension, of the rhythmic movement of my arm. Some folks discuss, figuratively, "throwing the cue stick" at the cue ball. My wrist action seems to be part of, or closely akin to, this throwing concept.

The above is not all that can be said about these two subjects, and I write about them more in the way of introduction so that you can have them in mind as you work on fundamentals. If in your position, I would begin to read and watch videos in order to familiarize myself with these elements. (You are fortunate to have videos, internet, etc., as sources; we old guys had to find a good library and check out books if we wanted more than pool hall advice.)
 
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couldnthinkof01

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Lots of issues but... Start with this.
Lay the cue on the rail and cloth bed straight
behind the ball. Then step into the shot line,
Bend all the way down to the cue, slide your
bridge hand under the shaft and lift the butt
with your stroke hand just enough to not
hit the rail with your back stroke.
This is the position your looking for on most shots.
Tempo, grip, feather strokes, pauses in the right
places... All come once you can get into position
correctly. Take one of these pieces, perfect it, then move to the next piece.
 

kollegedave

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You are getting a lot of advice here. Not all of it is the same or consistent with one another. Some suggest getting instruction. That is not necessarily bad. However, some instructors are better than others. It looks like you are in NYC. If you are, I would suggest Tony Robles. Other than him, I am not sure. I would hold out for him.

I would agree with those that say your cue is too elevated. Some suggest this is a function of your high bridge, which will be lowered when you heal. One thing I think you should take from this, is that, in my view, most people do not appreciate how certain aspects of their pre-shot routine influence or cause other things. For example, when you address the cue ball, your distance from the cue ball influences head position and grip just to name a few.

I would recommend getting Mark Wilson's Play Great Pool Book. It is expensive, but in my view, it is the best instructional book and easily worth the price.

kollegedave
 

sparkle84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You are getting a lot of advice here. Not all of it is the same or consistent with one another. Some suggest getting instruction. That is not necessarily bad. However, some instructors are better than others. It looks like you are in NYC. If you are, I would suggest Tony Robles. Other than him, I am not sure. I would hold out for him.

I would agree with those that say your cue is too elevated. Some suggest this is a function of your high bridge, which will be lowered when you heal. One thing I think you should take from this, is that, in my view, most people do not appreciate how certain aspects of their pre-shot routine influence or cause other things. For example, when you address the cue ball, your distance from the cue ball influences head position and grip just to name a few.

I would recommend getting Mark Wilson's Play Great Pool Book. It is expensive, but in my view, it is the best instructional book and easily worth the price.

kollegedave
Unfortunately, Marks book is not available at the present time. That sucks because I agree that it is the the best and worth way more than the price.
I'm with others in that I think hands on instruction is needed and while Tony is great I'd lean toward Hunter Lombardo for this particular player. Not sure if he's still in the NY area.
 

ghost ball

justnum survivor
Silver Member
Love the decor of your house, especially the underwater ass grab picture and the motorcycle! Everyone needs an indoor bike.
 

34YearsOfPlayin

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well your fundamentals are pretty good. Most really good players have there chin touching or right above the cue. You are tall so it is not easy for you. Could help to bend the knees or something. You do look uncomfortable. But I think most players are when just starting. Not to bad. Not commonly taught to beginners but plenty of good players do it. I suggest shortening your practice strokes and final strokes. The less distance the tip of the cue travels or is away from the cueball the less margin for error. So super short strokes. Again this is not commonly taught to beginners but work great. Also loosen up your hand the holds the cue and keep it consistent the same way on every shot. Try holding it with the first finger and thumb. To combat the uncomfortableness you could try putting your elbow on the table to stablize the body and add more balance. You could also try spreading the legs more to get lower over the shot so your chin is right above the cue. If you notice all players have a completely different style. Some players hold the cuestick with there hand behind the elbow and some have there hand in front of the elbow (Not necessarily perpendicular). Some players use long strokes others use super short etc. What matters is how well you play. I suggest watching some good players play.
 
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Protractor

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. =)

LoL, I used that bridge when I was first learning. Had to chalk up the top of my knuckles; the billiard glove had not yet been invented. I did well with it - I got much lower over the shot than you - but went to both the closed and open bridge.

Looking at the video, a few comments in addition to what has been said:

You are using a full closed grip where you are keeping all fingers wrapped around the butt during the stroke. While it can work, extra care must be taken to ensure that it does not muck up your swing. I know because I used to use that grip but am now using the loose grip because it improved the straightness of my stroke. It took a little while to get used to it but now feels natural, even for power shots.

The full grip tends to make the cue elevation change throughout the stroke, as seen in your video, possibly causing tip contact above or below where you wanted to hit it, and can cause the cue to contact the top of the table/rail cushion if you were down low enough.

Here is a good explanation.

Secondly, I notice that you shifted the position of the right side of your bridge hand after you got down on the shot. Were you just spreading your hand or did you change your aim? If you changed your aim this indicates that you were not in line with the shot line at first, recognized it and shifted. A better way to adjust is to stand back up and get down on it again. If you find that you keep having to adjust after getting down it means something is wrong with your aim, your eyes, your address of the shot or your stance.

Thirdly, when you are doing your warm up strokes, your cue is going side to side a slight amount. This may be due to using the full grip or other factors. I can't see the pocket you were shooting into in the vid but when the CB struck the OB slightly on the left side of center. Since you aren't using a measles ball and the camera is not close to the CB I can't tell if you had put some side spin on it or not. If you do not have a measles ball you should get one for practice as it makes it much easier to see english that is wanted, or not.
 

Good Sam

Registered
You are getting a lot of advice here. Not all of it is the same or consistent with one another. Some suggest getting instruction. That is not necessarily bad. However, some instructors are better than others. It looks like you are in NYC. If you are, I would suggest Tony Robles. Other than him, I am not sure. I would hold out for him.

I would agree with those that say your cue is too elevated. Some suggest this is a function of your high bridge, which will be lowered when you heal. One thing I think you should take from this, is that, in my view, most people do not appreciate how certain aspects of their pre-shot routine influence or cause other things. For example, when you address the cue ball, your distance from the cue ball influences head position and grip just to name a few.

I would recommend getting Mark Wilson's Play Great Pool Book. It is expensive, but in my view, it is the best instructional book and easily worth the price.

kollegedave
"The book" is back in stock.
 

NYCnoob99

Registered
So on hard shots I definitely run into issues with the standard "hit a cue ball down the table and have it come back to your tip" drill. I miss at least 2/3 of hard shots with side spin (not always consistent direction). This tells me I am not hitting it dead center every time, but I haven't actually seen any advice on what to change so I DO hit it dead center every time.
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
So on hard shots I definitely run into issues with the standard "hit a cue ball down the table and have it come back to your tip" drill. I miss at least 2/3 of hard shots with side spin (not always consistent direction). This tells me I am not hitting it dead center every time, but I haven't actually seen any advice on what to change so I DO hit it dead center every time.
If you can repeatedly successfully complete this drill at slower speeds, then try slowly incrementing the force of your stroke until you start to spray your shots. Note the point in which the errors creep in and stay at that pace until you manage to correct the error. The fact that your "misses" are random and only start to occur when you're ramping up the power, I would look at your grip, and whether or not your body is shifting during the shot.

Keep in mind that when shooting down on the CB it will amplify the effects of off center hits. If you're hoping to really dial in your game. You may need to wait till your bridge hand heals up and allows a better bridge.
 
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