Critique my stroke - video analysis

couldnthinkof01

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
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.
Practice those shots 1000x minimum.
That is not an exaggeration.
Practice to groove it at medium speeds.
Slowly ramp the speed up.
Smooth=speed.
Smooth requires time and effort.
Keep in mind not to force a quick backswing,
Easy to say/ hard to do
 

Protractor

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
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.

There is a tendency for players to move their shoulder when they ramp up the power. There is also a tendency to tighten or change the grip or chicken wing as well, so start by filming your self from the side making the shot with low power, ramp it up and once you start missing stop the camera and compare. Rewind and replay until you see what is changing. If it is chicken winging you will probably have to zoom in from the front or film from behind.
 

Dan White

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.
You have a good perspective on this, which is why I liked the post. I saw you post that you have trouble with "hard" hit shots. That is kind of vague, but might I suggest that you not worry too much about advanced shots. You probably also can't draw the ball 5 rails, either, but you don't have the need or ability to do that at your stage. It takes time for things to sink in and you might not ever be able to hit the shot hard perfectly until you are ready for it. For instance, a year from now you might be able to hit that shot after 500 tries, but maybe not now. Spend your time on the thousand other things you can improve on and leave advanced shots for later, IMO.
 

34YearsOfPlayin

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
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.
Use short mini strokes. Could also play around with bridge lengths. For a visual example see Dennis Orcollo or Alex Pagulayan on Youtube.com. The less distance the tip is away from the cueball the less chance you add unwanted english. Generally the shorter the bridge the more accurate although some like a long bridge but still use short mini strokes.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold 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.
It is helping with straight in shots because you're no longer using a slight massé elevation. With the elevation you had in the video, if you happen to strike the cb a little off center you create a slight massé, and this sends the cb off your intended line of aim.

Keep doing whatever it takes to lower your stance, either bend your knees or drop that elbow. In the video your cue is brushing your chest during the practice strokes, but that's typically where it should end up on your final stroke. Lowering that elbow at ball address will keep you from dropping it too much on that last stroke. Just some thoughts.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here's a good drill/test:
Freeze the cueball to another ball. Shoot that combination as aligned as you can. This will be a push shot but the idea is alignment. Shoot only hard enough to get both balls to the first cushion.
 

Protractor

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I use 4 different strokes, depending on the situation. One that works really well in most every situation is the first one I learned, which Tor Lowry calls the jab stroke. Because it is a short stroke with a short bridge it tends to eliminate errors that can be induced by a long stroke. It also works well as a fallback in a match if you are tired or having issues getting a good long stroke. Some top players use it exclusively, some use it on short finesse shots.

Click here to see a vid by Tor Lowry that covers the jab stroke starting at 3:08. He shows the pendulum stroke, which is what you are using in your video in the first 30 seconds of the video, but doesn't really instruct on it. While he says this vid is for advanced players only, he is mainly talking about the slip stroke, from :30-3:08.

Here are some ideas for drilling the long straight in shot...

A vid by Max Eberle - click here - shows 2 variations of a drill. Note his suggestion of using the seam between the cushion and the table as a reference line for warming up your stroke.

I use a different variation of his second drill in which I put a donut on the foot string and one on the head string such that they line up into a corner pocket at a diagonal. The CB sits on the head string donut and the OB on the foot string donut. I start out by pocketing the ball in the corner using a firm hit stop shot with the objective of CB going neither left or right after impact. Nobody is perfect though, so I will declare success if it only slightly moves.

After making that several times I start gradually ratcheting up the force, staying with the objective of minimal post impact CB movement. My goal is to get up to the same force that I use when I break, and because I am using it for that end, I am using my breaking stick as well. For break practice, it is a lot faster than racking every time and once I am dialed in, then I will try a few racks.

Another good drill that will help straighten out your stroke is to line up all 15 balls in a line between the side pockets. Place the CB on the head string such that you shoot half of the 15 into one corner and the rest into the other corner, all as stop shots. Once you can shoot all 15 without missing, increase the force a notch. Rinse and repeat.
 

Protractor

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One more thing.... when you are drilling long straight in shots make sure to follow through with your stick until it touches the felt and stay down. Look at where your stick is with respect to the line from the CB to the OB. If it is off to one side or another, you need to work on straightening that out.
 

alstl

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. =)
I'm not sure how severe your synovitis is but I use an open bridge with the middle and ring fingers bent under with little and index finger extended. Place the thumb against the index finger. Keep the bridge hand relaxed. No pressure on the thumb other than the weight of the shaft. I also use corn starch powder so the cue will glide smoothly.

You might give that a try if you haven't already.
 

NYCnoob99

Registered
I'm not sure how severe your synovitis is but I use an open bridge with the middle and ring fingers bent under with little and index finger extended. Place the thumb against the index finger. Keep the bridge hand relaxed. No pressure on the thumb other than the weight of the shaft. I also use corn starch powder so the cue will glide smoothly.

You might give that a try if you haven't already.

Thanks. Is there an image online you could share that demonstrates this bridge? Have had the synovitis for 3 months but it is finally starting to go away.
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks. Is there an image online you could share that demonstrates this bridge? Have had the synovitis for 3 months but it is finally starting to go away.
1606523112002.png
 
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