Cue Acceleration - Thoughts?

blehnhard

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As a professional golfer for many years (played Sr PGA Tour for 6 years back in the 90's), I am aware that the best putting strokes are not in "acceleration mode at impact.

Studies have shown that best putting strokes reach peak speed prior to impact and are "coasting" at desired impact speed at point of impact. Ball absorbs impact force and putter head slows as a result of impact. Follow through is less than backstroke.

I know there is a lot of emphasis on cue acceleration through impact. Is it really true (or just a good intent), or would the same theory as in the putting example above be a valid concept?

As background, I am 73 yrs old - just got back to playing pool in Feb and am playing once or twice a week for about 2 hours each. Will probably play more during winter when golf season ends. Played a lot as a teenager but that hardly at all for 50+ yrs.

Probably a "low intermediate" - can run an occasional 8 or 9 ball rack - at this time. Took a 3 hour lesson from Mark Powell back in mid June. Just coming off right hip replacement surgery 10 weeks ago.

Appreciate any comments.

Thanks,

Bruce
 

Bob Jewett

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... I know there is a lot of emphasis on cue acceleration through impact. Is it really true (or just a good intent), or would the same theory as in the putting example above be a valid concept?
...
I think the actual mechanics work close to the same was as in golf. Theory and ultra-high-speed measurements both show that acceleration has little effect at impact and that the speed of the cue stick is the important factor in how fast the cue ball will move.

I think the main advantage of telling a student to "accelerate through impact" is to keep them from slowing down their stroke before the tip hits the ball. Many beginners start stopping before contact. I don't like to do that because it has no physical validity.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
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That's very interesting Bruce. What about a golf swing? Where is acceleration relative to impact with the golf ball?
 

blehnhard

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Bob - thanks for your insights. As I spent many years as a "Club Pro" before going out on tour and giving many lessons, I would agree that many times you have to provide thoughts to students (that may not really occur) in order for them to improve. Sometimes "feel ain't real".

Fran - while putting (i.e. controlled speed / distance) would seem to be more applicable to compare to pool, I would posit that even when searching for maximum distance (driver), one would want to achieve max speed just prior to impact and then "hold on". Expending effort to try to reach max post impact could seriously affect directional control.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Bruce
 

One Pocket John

AzB Silver Member
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Interesting thread. I'll be following.

As soon as the club face touches the golf ball its gone as in pool.

I thing the whole idea is to shoot thru the QB or golf ball like its not there at all. Relying primarily on feel thru the grip.

True, your grip hand will feel the impact. Its like having a QB or golf ball glued to the end of your stick or to the face of the club. You just have to play thru it.

Be the ball, feel the ball.

Thanks for the post.

John
 
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FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think a good stroke or swing is about timing. Timing is the position of the body parts during the motion to insure that the the club head strikes the ball the exact way that the player intends.

Although it all happens instantaneously, it takes great effort and practice to get all the body parts lined up just perfectly at the point of impact to assure the perfect result.

We don't just line them all up at impact, we position them at various points during the movement to assure that a correct impact occurs. Acceleration may not impact the end result, which in the case of pool and golf is the point of impact, but I'm not ready to write it off as insignificant to the position of the body parts during the motion that eventually leads to a perfect impact position.
 

One Pocket John

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think a good stroke or swing is about timing. Timing is the position of the body parts during the motion to insure that the the club head strikes the ball the exact way that the player intends.

Although it all happens instantaneously, it takes great effort and practice to get all the body parts lined up just perfectly at the point of impact to assure the perfect result.

We don't just line them all up at impact, we position them at various points during the movement to assure that a correct impact occurs. Acceleration may not impact the end result, which in the case of pool and golf is the point of impact, but I'm not ready to write it off as insignificant to the position of the body parts during the motion that eventually leads to a perfect impact position.

What Fran has posted has been my experience. Its not easy but when it all comes together it really feels good and the game becomes fun and effortless.

I'm sure the OP has experienced the same in golf.

Thanks Fran

John
 

Gorramjayne

AzB Silver Member
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Key difference?

In golf, your putter hits the golf ball, the ball goes into the hole. You're only controlling one ball.

In pool, you have to hit a cue ball AND an object ball, and control both. Stick hits white ball, white ball has to have a certain spin and speed to hit another ball to make THAT ball go in the hole AND end up where you need it to be for the next shot. In golf once the single ball goes in the hole, you just bend down, grab it, then get 'ball in hand' to tee it up for the next shot. Pool is all about creating your next shot through controlling the cue ball.

The reason you're told to accelerate your cue is that unlike a metal putter face which only has to top-roll a ball, your cue tip is leather, and has a much more complex interaction with the ball it's hitting and trying to spin, oftentimes spinning it against its direction of travel and the friction of the cloth. The tip has to (albeit for a millisecond) firmly 'stick' to the ball in order to create the control you need.

If you have less than firm contact, you can probably send the cue ball off in the direction you want at the intended speed, but you're not going to have very good control over its spin, because you need predictable compression of the leather tip to grip the cue ball in order to move it where you want it after every shot.

Weak tip contact caused by a decelerating stroke = loss of spin control. An accelerating tip just reacts much more predictably when it compresses.

As an avid golfer and pool player, I can tell you sinking a 15 foot putt on a transverse sloping green may be a study in concentration, but it has nothing on having to maintain the discipline, control, and planning to string together multiple racks in a game like 9-ball or 10-ball, which you will never do unless you can take all the guess work out of how your tip contact will spin the cue ball.


Edit: The other way to think of it is in golf when you're hitting an iron from the fairway you need an accelerating stroke to get under the ball and put backspin on it so it stays aloft longer, you're using spin to fight the friction of the air the same way you use spin to fight the friction of the cloth on a pool table. When you swing your irons,gravity helps you do that, and with a pool cue, you can achieve easier acceleration by stroking with your cue kind of 'dropping' through the cue ball. But, then when you're putting and need to maximize control of the speed of a ball rolling along the grass, you tend to try to limit acceleration of your putter and keep an even pace, which is why so many people (myself included) use a reverse grip when they putt because putting your non-dominant hand lower helps fight the tendency of your body to act as a pendulum so the putter doesn't fall through the ball like gravity wants it to, but moves through it with an even steady pace.

2nd Edit: Ever notice how professional pool players almost always stop or draw the cue ball on their last shot sinking the 8/9/10 ball (as the case may be), even when there's no risk of the cue ball scratching? It's a habit a lot of pool players develop because if they let themselves focus only on rolling the object ball, they might unintentionally change their stroke and forget to accelerate through contact, which can throw off their stroke mechanics and result in a miss. Pool just requires a different method of control than golf, though both are certainly a lot of fun.
 
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FranCrimi

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I think you're on to something there that a good reason to accelerate to impact is to assure that you're not decelerating.

I would imagine that keeping a constant speed is harder than it looks.
 

blehnhard

Registered
Thanks to all so far for your comments. The thought or intent to accelerate can certainly have beneficial effects.

Bruce
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
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As a professional golfer for many years (played Sr PGA Tour for 6 years back in the 90's), I am aware that the best putting strokes are not in "acceleration mode at impact.

Studies have shown that best putting strokes reach peak speed prior to impact and are "coasting" at desired impact speed at point of impact. Ball absorbs impact force and putter head slows as a result of impact. Follow through is less than backstroke.

I know there is a lot of emphasis on cue acceleration through impact. Is it really true (or just a good intent), or would the same theory as in the putting example above be a valid concept?

As background, I am 73 yrs old - just got back to playing pool in Feb and am playing once or twice a week for about 2 hours each. Will probably play more during winter when golf season ends. Played a lot as a teenager but that hardly at all for 50+ yrs.

Probably a "low intermediate" - can run an occasional 8 or 9 ball rack - at this time. Took a 3 hour lesson from Mark Powell back in mid June. Just coming off right hip replacement surgery 10 weeks ago.

Appreciate any comments.

Thanks,

Bruce

At the risk of a golf pun, it's a "mixed bag" for golf and for pool. I've had a number of pool students lately who had trouble drawing the ball since they were so intent on an accelerating cue stick that the cue ball's forward momentum was overcoming the rotational momentum. Sometimes in different pool strokes (and golf strokes) the emphasis should be "smooth" and not "accelerating".
 

whammo57

Kim Walker
Silver Member
At the risk of a golf pun, it's a "mixed bag" for golf and for pool. I've had a number of pool students lately who had trouble drawing the ball since they were so intent on an accelerating cue stick that the cue ball's forward momentum was overcoming the rotational momentum. Sometimes in different pool strokes (and golf strokes) the emphasis should be "smooth" and not "accelerating".
My 9 iron makes divots in the cloth
 

Get_A_Grip

Truth Will Set You Free
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Alex P appears to me to the best example of accelerating through the stroke, and he is one of the straightest shooters around. Dennis O appears to have a similar stroke. A short back swing with numerous short strokes while aiming, and then accelerating/pushing the tip through the cue ball.

Whenever my accuracy diminishes, I try to consciously push the tip through the cue ball more, and my accuracy always seems to improve.

I agree it's a timing thing, so just a small amount error in timing when striking the cue ball, can throw the shot off. Pushing through the cue ball more appears to allow for contact with the cue ball that is more consistent (timing wise) -- as least to me it works that way.
 

SmoothStroke

Swim for the win.
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Alex P appears to me to the best example of accelerating through the stroke, and he is one of the straightest shooters around. Dennis O appears to have a similar stroke. A short back swing with numerous short strokes while aiming, and then accelerating/pushing the tip through the cue ball.

Whenever my accuracy diminishes, I try to consciously push the tip through the cue ball more, and my accuracy always seems to improve.

I agree it's a timing thing, so just a small amount error in timing when striking the cue ball, can throw the shot off. Pushing through the cue ball more appears to allow for contact with the cue ball that is more consistent (timing wise) -- as least to me it works that way.

Short Stroke Technique.
I have many posts about it. Although a handful of forum members have sent messages and have come for short stroke instruction, it mostly falls on deaf ears.

A rolling cue ball, upstroking, are you pushing or pulling the cue?

So many techniques are kicked to the curb, yet all the greatest players of past and present have mastered them and posess them all.

It's painful to watch a player slow rolling the cue ball with a long back swing and trying to control the mass.

It's a recipe for deceleration and or rolling too long.

It has cost Shane big time in the World Championships more then once when trying to slow hit the cue ball with a long stroke , only to over roll it and land on the 50 yard line.

Bridge length and stroke technique are an acquired taste
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
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A baseball pitcher accelerates like a pool swing. Only way one is able to improve muscle memory is hitting ''thru'' the shot when accelerating, like tennis. I am not a golfer, but the pause at the top of the golf swing does accelerate as it comes downward to the ball. Putting tho appears to be pretty much the same back as the forward movement, and I watch ALLOT of golf, but very little pool. Now an 80 foot putt I would think acceleration would come into play, since there is allot of follow thru.
 

slach

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How do you know if you're accelerating through the ball or not? Can the shooter somehow know? Does it take someone carefully watching to tell? Does the reaction of the cue ball tell you?
 

SFC9ball

JimBaker PBIA Instructor
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How do you know if you're accelerating through the ball or not? Can the shooter somehow know? Does it take someone carefully watching to tell? Does the reaction of the cue ball tell you?

There is a few way to tell if you are not accelerating through the cue ball.

1. If you are one of the people that tries stopping there cue as soon as you hit the cue ball. 1 inch follow through.
2. If you snap your cue stick back as soon as the tips hits the ball
3. if you do not complete your stroke to the finish position. I.E for me at the end of my stroke my cue hand is in my chest and the tip is on the table I use pendulum stroke. If the tip is not on the table it indicates 1 of 2 things I decelerated through the shot or I dropped my elbow.

The stroke should be a fluid motion back and forth with a slight (.5-1 second) pause in the transition from the back to the forward motion. With a smooth and fluid transition from the back to forward motion the more accurate you will strike the cue ball because you are not trying to recover from a jerky transition, the transition was fluid and smooth because of the deliberate pause in your stroke.
 

Pidge

AzB Silver Member
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A simple (rather) way to give yourself the best chance at celebrating through the white and having all the benefits that brings is to start the first cm-inch slow... Very slow, and controlled. I made a thread I believe a while back on it. The acceleration plus the added control and accuracy on the white it seems to give people makes it worthwhile if you are having a hard time with consistently cueing the white where you intend. At first if feels very deliberate and unnatural, and you can feel like all of your cue power has been zapped from you, but try hitting a draw shot using this method... You get just as much if not more draw whilst hitting the shot a little slower.... Because you hit it more accurately.

A pause at the end of the back transition helps, but it isn't necessary. I personally feel I control the first inch of the forward motion far more with a 1-2 or even 3 second pause but that is my natural cue tempo.

Body movement at the back transition because it is rushed is a problem for many players who struggle with accelerating through and accuracy on the white. If you start it very slow and focus on a still head at the same time your entire body will be a lot calmer and still throughout.
 

slach

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Have you ever seen the QMD (www.cue-md.com )? Its software shows you the acceleration of your stroke. And a lot of other information as well.

Shot_Accel.gif

Shot_Decel.gif
 
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