Dropping your elbow

Tony_in_MD

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Work on a Pre Shot Routine, until it is a habit, that you don't have to think about it.


CJ, could this be what happens, when you are playing just so so in a tournament, then about half way through the tournament you hit a gear, and seem to be hitting the ball really well. Is there a way to find that spot with your stroke earlier, other than hitting many balls?
 
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Tony_in_MD

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Silver Member
Maybe the next time you meet up with Randy, you should talk about the merits of video analysis.

You have heard the saying that the the senses can deceive?

Your point is logical, although we'll have to "agree to disagree" - sometimes things aren't quite how they appear, pool, in many ways, is an optical illusion.

I'll assure you video taping is a total waste of time and money - this is from experience, not from my anything else. The only way you can learn this technique is through feel and touch, not through any visual technology on this (or any other) planet.

I teach this process many times a week and the results speak for themselves. The student can only learn it through trial, error and precise feedback on exactly what they're doing and trying to achieve.

'The Game is the Teacher'

 

ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
Maybe a split personality?
You asked.....

;)

Perhaps yes, as in a well balanced individual of the id, ego, & super ego, instead of an unbalanced individual with an out of balance 98% ego .:wink:

Please note the smiling winking face. I noticed yours. It's blue. Mine's yellow so as to make it easier to see. I nearly missed yours which might have gotten me all out of balance.

Mine is sincere. What about yours? I'd appreciate an honest answer.

Best 2 You & All,
Rick
 

Poolmanis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
CJ, could this be what happens, when you are playing just so so in a tournament, then about half way through the tournament you hit a gear, and seem to be hitting the ball really well. Is there a way to find that spot with your stroke earlier, other than hitting many balls?

What I noticed one can hit balls TOO GOOD. Many times it can bring new problems.
You get too much draw.. etc...

I noticed afterwards best results come when you are close to get on ZONE. Then you don´t trust your stroke 100% and make everything to get on zone.
Afterwards you notice you drop from zone by easy mistake. That kind mistake you would not make if you try get into zone.

Dropping elbow naturally is one thing you notice also afterwards. When you try get results you want.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
This is something not many players can explain and demonstrate effectively.

Maybe the next time you meet up with Randy, you should talk about the merits of video analysis.

You have heard the saying that the the senses can deceive?

Video analysis is okay for beginners, I mainly teach intermediate and advanced players. At this level it's more about the subtleties that video simply can't capture - at the end of the day, pool is about feel, touch and a pre-shot routine that rehearses every aspect of the shot BEFORE it's executed.

This is something not many can explain and demonstrate effectively. As far as teaching this using video......it would definitely not help at all.

'the Game is the teacher'
 

Siz

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
snooker players don't drop the elbow is just a myth. Most of them drop the elbow during the backstroke ( this keeps the cue level ) and after contacting the cueball.

I think most call that a scissor stroke.

If one pushes the cue back & keeps the hand low, so as to also keep the butt end low & the cue more level than if the hand were to swing up, the elbow will lower. As the hand is pulled forward the elbow will rise.

FYI, most people (in the instructional pool world, anyway) call this a piston stroke.

Snooker players typically guide and keep the cue on the chest during the stroke to help create the piston action.

Regards,
Dave

Most expert snooker players keep the cue more or less level while addressing the cue ball - hence more of a piston than a pendulum. But where the backswing is elongated (and this is usually only on the final backswing immediately before the cue is delivered), the butt will tend to lift.

The reason is that for a short cue travel the motion can be kept more or less level by opening up the fingers of the back hand. There is no need to involve the elbow. But if the cue is taken further back, it can only be kept level by dropping the elbow. This results in the scissor stroke Rick referred to.

Few expert snooker players use the scissor stroke (John Higgins, 3-time world champion, being a notable exception). Most prefer to keep the elbow pinned on the backstroke and not worry about the butt of the cue lifting somewhat. This makes sense: Although the resulting cue movement is more complex than a pure piston stroke, the motor action employed by the player is significantly simpler - there is no need to recruit another muscle group (the shoulder) - and is probably therefore less prone to timing errors.

At the other end of the stroke, the elbow is often allowed to drop after impact with the cb, but this seems to be a matter of personal preference even among the top rank of pros.
 

tonythetiger583

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Video analysis is okay for beginners, I mainly teach intermediate and advanced players. At this level it's more about the subtleties that video simply can't capture - at the end of the day, pool is about feel, touch and a pre-shot routine that rehearses every aspect of the shot BEFORE it's executed.

This is something not many can explain and demonstrate effectively. As far as teaching this using video......it would definitely not help at all.

'the Game is the teacher'

After working on my stroke based on your description, I found my elbow wasn't actually dropping much, if at all. I don't know if I'm doing it right, but it definitely feels much more consistent. I think "trying to hit with my elbow" isolates bicep movement in a more ideal way. Before without anything to focus on, I'd miss shots because I couldn't separate my bicep, from parts of my forearm, as well as my tricep. I think hitting with your elbow, and dropping your elbow are separate things.
 

tonythetiger583

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Video analysis is okay for beginners, I mainly teach intermediate and advanced players. At this level it's more about the subtleties that video simply can't capture - at the end of the day, pool is about feel, touch and a pre-shot routine that rehearses every aspect of the shot BEFORE it's executed.

This is something not many can explain and demonstrate effectively. As far as teaching this using video......it would definitely not help at all.

'the Game is the teacher'

After working on my stroke based on your description, I found my elbow wasn't actually dropping much, if at all. I don't know if I'm doing it right, but it definitely feels much more consistent. I think "trying to hit with my elbow" isolates bicep movement in a more ideal way. Before, without anything to focus on, I'd miss shots because I couldn't separate my bicep, from parts of my forearm, as well as my tricep. I think hitting with your elbow, and dropping your elbow are separate things.
 

ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
Most expert snooker players keep the cue more or less level while addressing the cue ball - hence more of a piston than a pendulum. But where the backswing is elongated (and this is usually only on the final backswing immediately before the cue is delivered), the butt will tend to lift.

The reason is that for a short cue travel the motion can be kept more or less level by opening up the fingers of the back hand. There is no need to involve the elbow. But if the cue is taken further back, it can only be kept level by dropping the elbow. This results in the scissor stroke Rick referred to.

Few expert snooker players use the scissor stroke (John Higgins, 3-time world champion, being a notable exception). Most prefer to keep the elbow pinned on the backstroke and not worry about the butt of the cue lifting somewhat. This makes sense: Although the resulting cue movement is more complex than a pure piston stroke, the motor action employed by the player is significantly simpler - there is no need to recruit another muscle group (the shoulder) - and is probably therefore less prone to timing errors.

At the other end of the stroke, the elbow is often allowed to drop after impact with the cb, but this seems to be a matter of personal preference even among the top rank of pros.

Good Post & Thank You for posting it.

I agree with almost all of what you said, but I'd like to say a few things.

I never 'recruit' any muscle group. I know we are talking from a different perspective of outside of the actual execution & the English language can be limiting at times, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say. It's sort of like when others say 'dropping the elbow' & that it needs to be 'timed', etc. NO. I never 'drop' my elbow. It drops when ever it does as a result of another cause or more precisely due to an intention of moving the cue in a particular motion, which is straight. It's different looking at it from the outside & talking about it & trying to describe it, but what we say can, to me, often be misleading.

If I want to & focus on the cue moving straight & level for a power stroke & the elbow lowers on the back swing & other muscles come into play, they do so naturally & with no thought or focus on my or our part. IMO we need to & should trust the amazing biomechanics that have been provide to us.

Also, the cue is moving rather fast, especially for the more powerful stroke where the elbow is ALLOWED to drop as a result of 'a cause'. The video that we normally watch is not sufficient to determine whether the elbow starts to drop before, during, or after contact. We can't even really see it in real life. I would say that only the shooter knows when & perhaps some of us do not even know.

As to when the elbow comes into play on the back & forward stroke depends on a number of things. It may not be that one that has a lifting butt does not care about it but there is something that is causing it. I'm sure that if they could keep the butt from lifting they would choose to have it not lift. But our bodies are all different. Sometimes one sacrifices one aspect of 'perfection' in order to maintain what is perceived as a more important aspect. The focus of keeping the cue in contact with their chin given their physical stance & set up may actually dictate that the butt end lifts for a power shot rather than allow the cue to leave the chin.

A European conical taper is rather different than a long pro taper of many of today's pool shafts. Perhaps if they would rehearse that more full, longer piston action, they might put themselves in a slightly different set up to accommodate it while still being in their 'comfort' zone. Or as you say they are just not concerned about it.

The shoulder IMO is part of the stroke whether it is nearly completely out of play or it gets more involved. I'll say this, When I have either not subconsciously chosen the proper place to connect to the cue or perhaps could not for a given table situation & the butt end of my cue rises or rises too much my stroke gets a bit 'out of whack'.

Perhaps there is a point where it becomes a bit of a catch 22 situation or we have just not yet found a conscious solution or we have simply not yet hit enough of those type of shots with out much time in between them for our subconscious to garner enough of a file base from which to choose properly.

Maybe if one spent some time hitting such shots back to back to back while focusing on keeping the butt from lifting the subconscious would find a natural solution.

Anyway, Thanks Again for Your Post & Sorry for saying way more than I had initially intended.

Best 2 You & Yours...& All,
Rick
 
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ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
After working on my stroke based on your description, I found my elbow wasn't actually dropping much, if at all. I don't know if I'm doing it right, but it definitely feels much more consistent. I think "trying to hit with my elbow" isolates bicep movement in a more ideal way. Before without anything to focus on, I'd miss shots because I couldn't separate my bicep, from parts of my forearm, as well as my tricep. I think hitting with your elbow, and dropping your elbow are separate things.

Hi Tony,

I was going to post something but instead I will just say that how you connect to the cue must fit how you intend to move the cue.

When I first went to try TOI & to try CJ's grip, I had trouble. What needed to happen for me was that my hand & forearm had to rotate slightly clockwise from my normal 'feeling' to get into that channel that CJ talks about. It was new & different orientation for me. My hand does not appear, to me, to be as much as on top as CJs is.

While we are all human beings our bodies are also all individually specific.

My intention is not to relate CJ's grip to whatever you're doing. My intention is to merely show that the connection to the cue, what ever it is, needs to be conducive to the intended movement of the cue.

Good Luck & Best Wishes,
Rick
 

Siz

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
.... I know we are talking from a different perspective of outside of the actual execution & the English language can be limiting at times, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say. It's sort of like when others say 'dropping the elbow' & that it needs to be 'timed', etc. NO. I never 'drop' my elbow. It drops when ever it does as a result of another cause or more precisely due to an intention of moving the cue in a particular motion, which is straight. It's different looking at it from the outside & talking about it & trying to describe it, but what we say can, to me, often be misleading.

If I want to & focus on the cue moving straight & level for a power stroke & the elbow lowers on the back swing & other muscles come into play, they do so naturally & with no thought or focus on my or our part. IMO we need to & should trust the amazing biomechanics that have been provide to us..

Rick - excellent point IMO, and one that is not made frequently or forcefully enough. Looking from the outside, all you see are the outward manifestations of what a player is doing. And describing the pool stroke in these terms has two major problems:

First, looked at from this perspective all the little nuances are impossible to describe - or even understand. (CJ's remarks about the limitations of video analysis as a teaching tool speak to this). As a result when explaining the different parts of the billiard stroke, important points are continually mis-described and misunderstood.

Secondly, and often more damagingly, this 'outward-in' description tends to get students of the game focusing on what their bodies are doing. Instead they should be focusing on what they want the cue (or better, the balls) to do. This is terrible way to try learn a complex motor skill. No wonder people find the game difficult.

...As to when the elbow comes into play on the back & forward stroke depends on a number of things. It may not be that one that has a lifting butt does not care about it but there is something that is causing it. I'm sure that if they could keep the butt from lifting they would choose to have it not lift.....

I think that the butt will naturally lift at the end of a long backswing, unless you have trained yourself not to do it. I don't believe that anything is 'causing' the lift other than the fact that there is no reason for the elbow to move at this end of the stroke when the cue is coming to a gradual stop. If the elbow does not move, the but will naturally lift

The opposite happens at the other end of the stroke, ie when you are letting the cue go. Here the momentum of the cue and arm will tend naturally to result in the elbow dropping (unless you have trained it not to).

But ultimately, I doubt that it matters in the way that people often think. Top players differ in the way they do a lot of things, I don't think that this means that any method will work if you 'hit a million balls' and have enough talent. Nor do I think it means that top players are fundamentally different from each other, and therefore they are suited to different approaches. Instead I that it think that the variation in what we see in players' styles shows that a lot of what we see is not actually important. And this covers a number of what some consider to be fundamental aspects of the pool stroke. It is what is going on at a deeper level that is important. Whether we can see it or not.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
Pausing, is what we call "The Gathering of the Shot," which helps control issues.

After working on my stroke based on your description, I found my elbow wasn't actually dropping much, if at all. I don't know if I'm doing it right, but it definitely feels much more consistent. I think "trying to hit with my elbow" isolates bicep movement in a more ideal way. Before without anything to focus on, I'd miss shots because I couldn't separate my bicep, from parts of my forearm, as well as my tricep. I think hitting with your elbow, and dropping your elbow are separate things.

When you think of "hitting with your elbow" it does two postive things.

First, it keeps your arm, wrist and fingers together as more of a unit, so they stay in sync.

Second, it help the player from "jumping" on the forward stroke after they pause. Pausing, is what we call "The Gathering of the Shot," which helps control the cue's speed, thus the cue ball's reaction (essential to control the cue ball for more effective position play)

Whether the elbow drops or not not relevant to the outcome of the shot and is best allowed to naturally happen. The player's body type, especially the shape of their hand, wrist, and forearm determine what their elbow does before and after contact.

We were not put on this earth to perform the pool stroke, so it's important to understand the kineseology of the motion, and how it fits the players individual style and preference.
 

Tony_in_MD

You want some of this?
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Makes sense. I work with mostly beginning players, and find video analysis of their stroke to be useful, in developing consistent fundamentals. Most players never see themselves play, and are surprised to see what they really do, as opposed to what they think they do.

Your also right that feel, touch and a preshot routine cannot be captured by video.

I have found that that videoing the entire lesson is an excellent add on to give the student, It is a nice reference that they have, and they can watch later at their leisure.

Also as a professional educator I have found that videoing the lesson and my personal viewing and reflection of it helps me become a better instructor.


Video analysis is okay for beginners, I mainly teach intermediate and advanced players. At this level it's more about the subtleties that video simply can't capture - at the end of the day, pool is about feel, touch and a pre-shot routine that rehearses every aspect of the shot BEFORE it's executed.

This is something not many can explain and demonstrate effectively. As far as teaching this using video......it would definitely not help at all.

'the Game is the teacher'
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
Some people just want to see Mary. LoL

Makes sense. I work with mostly beginning players, and find video analysis of their stroke to be useful, in developing consistent fundamentals. Most players never see themselves play, and are surprised to see what they really do, as opposed to what they think they do.

Your also right that feel, touch and a preshot routine cannot be captured by video.

I have found that that videoing the entire lesson is an excellent add on to give the student, It is a nice reference that they have, and they can watch later at their leisure.

Also as a professional educator I have found that videoing the lesson and my personal viewing and reflection of it helps me become a better instructor.

Sure, I'm in no way knocking what other instructors like yourself are doing. My way of teaching is not "normal," it's a blend of martial arts, golf, and pool type instruction.....with a sprinkle of hypnosis, and neuro-linguestic programming....topped off with some techniques that I'm pretty sure are exclusive to myself (for the time being).

I am getting players from all over the country coming in for training sessions. Two of my regular, weekly players drive a 6 hour round trip to get 3 hours apiece. Their game's have jumped up quite a bit, although it's because one is another martial arts teacher and the other one is willing to practice 2-3 hours a day and is talented as well.

We do offer video sessions with Mary Avina on the camera for an additional charge, howver, the videos are post edited and very high quality (she directed my last three DVDs and the Early Strickland Documentary). Some people just want to see Mary. LoL
 
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Tony_in_MD

You want some of this?
Silver Member
Kinda like my room.

Except my wife is prettier.

Sorry Mary.

;)
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