How Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Snooker Cue Action Works

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This video shows that like most sports with a swing there is no real pause. If the swing doesn’t constrain the player to a fixed pendulum elbow it then becomes a suspended swing motion. Without a stop to change direction there will be a loop at the back of the stroke. However, the loop retains the vertical plane. There is no side to side looping.

The analyst discovered what CJ Wiley discovered years ago. A small off center hit adjusted for before the shot works better than trying and failing to hit a perfect center ball hit. In golf they call it a shaped shot. The difference relates to where the bridge is placed compared to a centre ball ghost ball line. While a centre ball ghost ball line cueing area to the outside of the shot is less likely to miss because of throw dynamics, the inside miss is not forgiving. However, if either the inside or outside off centre hit is accompanied by a shift of the bridge off the ghost ball line and adjusted for before hand it’s possible to expand the ability to hit the pocket.

Snooker is a demanding pocketing game and if the best of the best there, found a trick or two to give him a leg up, maybe we should think about how to bring it into the game of tomorrow, on a pool table.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Much of what that presenter says is either false or irrelevant.
I tend to agree. First the stiff back leg stance doesn’t translate well when trying to get down on the lower pool tables. Secondly, Ronnie still maintains at least fingertip contact with each finger despite a long backswing. The looseness I see in the presenter grip is not there in Ronnie’s. The passive down thumb is part of a squeeze motion which he tightens naturally during his forward drive. Notice how his forefinger is also straight down Thirdly, the drop he sees in the backswing is more a holding of the initial backswing plane. Just look at the video picture.
0AC2F808-7028-4B8F-8875-A9B51892AE29.jpeg

He has his cue quite highly elevated. Rather than try to maintain the angle on a rising backswing arc, he lets the cue stay on plane, dropping the elbow slightly to let it arc comfortably. That said, he lifts and arcs the cue back into place at his chest before he starts the whole arm down into the space created by the initial downward cue slope and the subsequent arc. He holds the elbow angle long enough for the backswing muscles to quit while the other muscles start the drive forward. The smooth transition was something he noticed as a result.
 
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Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Much of what that presenter says is either false or irrelevant.
Despite differing from the presenter, his observances are valid. His interpretations are where the gap in understanding exists. The section on the reality of on center hits being near impossible is a fact, neither false nor irrelevant. The presenter is a good player who tested his observations with modifications to his aim line and delivery, based on his analysis. Despite his adjustments to his methods being flawed, the slight english application, adjusted in advance, was valid. The alterations to grip and delivery produced improvement despite being based on flawed analysis. Imperfect changes still producing results deserve respect. Dismissing what works, because of existing bias or favored rules of thumb, makes little sense.
 

Poolmanis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ronnie have really good stroke but so does top 100 of snooker. Difference is his ability to be little more precise with speed and direction of cueball. Which often is IMHO result from understanding angles and relations of speed of that little better. He also plays more position to multiple balls than many other top tier pros. That gives him little more margin of error often and then he does not get so tense. Also attacking mindset from years of success and because he want also entertain fans.
He also try get little edge from everything. Food, practice long shots even frame i slost etc.. Thats my analysis of Ronnie´s game.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ronnie have really good stroke but so does top 100 of snooker. Difference is his ability to be little more precise with speed and direction of cueball. Which often is IMHO result from understanding angles and relations of speed of that little better. He also plays more position to multiple balls than many other top tier pros. That gives him little more margin of error often and then he does not get so tense. Also attacking mindset from years of success and because he want also entertain fans.
He also try get little edge from everything. Food, practice long shots even frame i slost etc.. Thats my analysis of Ronnie´s game.
You are so right. There are definitely more differences that make a difference in Ronnie’s game. The point about his vision seeing a transition from multiple option position to other multi option locations is truly remarkable. Much like a chess master anticipating small variations in situational dynamics, a step beyond mastery into genius.

These are simply singular perspectives on physical parts of his game. I currently use the squeeze position grip, the slightly higher down slope with a delicately cam shafted transition from back stroke to forward drive. Lately I’ve transitioned to a tucked back elbow during the forward slide of the bridge. The final flattening of the bridge side shoulder into an anchored position also pushes the chest side into cue touch position bringing the inner part of the upper arm back into alignment with the cue.

The tempo inherent In his delivery of the cue combined with his slightly off center hit rational would help more players than the smooth action of a vertical loop transition from back to completion. The average player should use a slight parallel outside shift cue line to implement better cueing results. Slight inside cueing requires a whole different understanding of side and cue line adjustment. Since PJ can’t wrap his head around it yet, the average player likely won’t get it either. That said, the less than advanced player might not over analyze and simply follow a process, just to get the results.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Imac007 said:
The analyst discovered what CJ Wiley discovered years ago. A small off center hit adjusted for before the shot works better than trying and failing to hit a perfect center ball hit.
Still nonsense after all these years.
Imac007 said:
In golf they call it a shaped shot.
Maybe that's where CJ went wrong - this isn't golf.

pj
chgo

PJ constantly objects when either CJ or myself talk about the shaped shot concept and how we can enjoy its benefit on a pool table. The trouble is that there is an element of truth in his argument that is valid from the perspective he is looking. We both look at pocketing the object ball center pocket starting with the center ball line. I’m assuming we are starting from the same reference at this point. For initial analysis I will talk about comparing two different cue lines used to stroke the shot. The first line is the center ball shot. The second uses outside gearing english. PJ keeps his bridge hand on the center ball line where we don’t. That perspective doesn’t allow for an adjusted cue line and all cueing errors radiating from the center ball line bridge.

Using center ball, there is no aim adjustment for an off center hit. CJ, Ronnie and others admit that there is an inherent difficulty in achieving that consistently. Their solution is to aim just off center and adjust the cue to pocket the ball center pocket on a new cue line. Dr. Dave, using gearing english, shows that a 40% parallel cue shift offset from the ghost ball line, generates gearing english, the kind of new cue line that applies.
This is spin induced side, there is no cut induced side. That sets a new cue line parallel to the center ball path. Next we need to consider what happens, in both scenarios, on a slight miss to either side of the respective cue lines.

Center Ball Cue Line Setup Scenario

On the center ball cue line, a miss to the outside side of the object ball angle, sets a new cue line, wide of the target. The effect is the ball path travels to an overcut position. On small off center hits tests have shown an insignificant amount of deflection. The new cue line at contact sets the ball path to the new line. Dr. Dave also determined that, with very small amounts of side, throw is very small, regardless of speed. The result is the cue ball ends up in an overcut position at impact. There is a margin of error of about half a ball or just over an inch into the overcut side of the pocket.

Placing the bridge on the center ball line and inadvertently contacting the cue ball on the inside side in relation to the object ball, sets the new cue line on a more direct line towards the object ball, an undercut. There will be no gearing effect and roughly about a single degree of throw, plus insignificant deflection on the small mishit. With the object ball close to the pocket, there is no problem. A ball the length of a shaft, 29” away, will experience about a half inch difference in path deviation, or roughly a half ball, an undercut. If that was the only issue the ball, at that distance would go in the undercut side of the pocket. But, the new cue line set by the inside contact puts the cue and cue ball on an undercut path to the object ball. The result is a miss.

The lesson, using a center ball path bridge, is to constrain the cue from ever wandering to the inside side of the target line.

Gearing English Cue Line Setup Comparison

The first point is that the cue line differs depending on the cut angle. This cue line is adjusted for the fact that the cue ball will have outside english applied. The cue is parallel shifted from the center ball line towards the outside side of the impact area. The physics says the position at impact mirrors the ghost ball and that the object ball path is in alignment with a line drawn through the two balls centres at impact. The bridge is no longer on the center ball line but shifted to the outside but parallel. The straight stroke delivers the object ball to middle of the pocket.

Imagine the player mishits to the outside, the cue line now points in an overcut position. The result will be a pocketed ball in the overcut side of the pocket. Both throw and deflection were built into the cue line adjustment initially and a small deviation will have minimal effect leaving only the outside cue line creating the overcut.

Now imagine that the player mishits the shot to the inside side of the gearing line. The cue line is now to the undercut side. The side, including deflection and the gearing effect have been overcompensated for compared to the new line. The result will be less deflection than adjusted for and less english than needed to create a pure gearing scenario. Between the new cue line and near cancelling english and deflection errors, the ball has a half ball of error margin to catch the slight undercut.

The adjusted cue line means that errors to the inside or outside of that line are proactively considered and still enter the pocket. The center ball cue line has no proactive solution to off center cueing errors, only passive half ball tolerances, handling two different spin scenarios, inside and outside, with no adjustment. All three of the spin scenarios using gearing english are adjusted for outside english only.

The scenario for inside english is similar. The primary difference has to do with setting up the adjusted aim line to get the same mishit benefits using inside english. Just like gearing english there is a different alignment for each shot. This adjustment is based on distance instead of the cut angle. But that is a topic for a different post.
 
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Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Dr. Dave ... shows that a 40% parallel cue shift offset from the ghost ball line, generates gearing english
I didn't bother wading through your whole post (do you think anybody will?), but I noticed this one clear example of how you can get things wrong. Simply put, you didn't specify 40% of what (hint: it differs depending on the cut angle).

pj
chgo
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Wow! Ronnie O'Sullivan and CJ Wiley mentioned together in a thread about cueing action. My guess is that beyond having developed a good stroke when he was young, Ronnie is less aware of his own cueing action than most good amateurs and making-ends-meet pros are of theirs.

He is probably more focussed on developing his game by looking at what the other top players do better than him. He is still learning - all great players do this.

Let's not get sidetracked (pun intended) by a load of hobbeldy gobbeldy claptrap. If CJ is right he can make a lot more money selling his system to struggling golfers than he can to struggling pool players. But I guess those golf players wouldn't buy the pool analogy......
 

Geosnookery

Active member
I’ve watched Ronnie develop since he was a teen. What separates him from multiple excellent snooker players Is his cueball position. I’d put money on Hendry, Judd Trump and definitely Mark Williams against Ronnie in long potting. However, nobody touches him positioning the white.

I attribute this to him never as in ‘never’ hitting centre ball. I might put spin on 90% of snooker shots. Ronnie uses it 100%. He has some extra feel how to make the white move.

His cue action is top notch but so is that if just about every ranking pro. It’s fun to break down his cue action but every variable is dependent on each other. The top snooker coach is Barry Stark. If he was awarding Points the only ones earning a 10/10 for his idea of best technique would be Selby, Murphy, Ding...not Judd Trump or O‘Sullivan.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Been reading your stuff quite a while and i'm just curious: do you have a Far.rating?? You probably know as much or more than anyone i've ever come across in 40yrs of playing. Does it transfer to the green baize? 700+?? I'd gladly post mine mine if i had one. Never played in a single FR event. Probably a mid-hi 500, maybe 600.
I didn't bother wading through your whole post (do you think anybody will?), but I noticed this one clear example of how you can get things wrong. Simply put, you didn't specify 40% of what (hint: it differs depending on the cut angle).

pj
chgo
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I didn't bother wading through your whole post (do you think anybody will?), but I noticed this one clear example of how you can get things wrong. Simply put, you didn't specify 40% of what (hint: it differs depending on the cut angle).

pj
chgo
Deflecting as usual. I’ve added a link to allow people to discover the gearing english adjustment. Since this post was in response to your decision to take issue with the 3 part pocket that CJ referred to in his system I wrote a detailed explanation, just for you. You decided to make it about gearing english - deflection.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Been reading your stuff quite a while and i'm just curious: do you have a Far.rating?? You probably know as much or more than anyone i've ever come across in 40yrs of playing. Does it transfer to the green baize? 700+?? I'd gladly post mine mine if i had one. Never played in a single FR event. Probably a mid-hi 500, maybe 600.
Nope, no FARGO rating - only compete against some homies (and pretty much only 1P). I'm guessing I'm in the same ballpark as you (somewhere in left field).

pj
chgo
 

Poolmanis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I came to shoot some pool and trying to get back shape on pool after so little play last months. Anyways got bored to practice so i tried to make video about what i think is main difference Ronnie(stroke) with other pros. I am not fan of Jayson Shaw but he got in pool better than anyone else. Mika had it earlier but he lost it somewhere years ago.
 

Poolmanis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
hmm. Video really not showing how absofuckinglutely hard i shoot those shots. But I think over 20 miles per hour. I think it is 90-95% of my full power. While i keep my form and accuracy decent.
 

markjames

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
well, today it was mostly about ding’s choice to go for the brown in the right corner in the decider
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
hmm. Video really not showing how absofuckinglutely hard i shoot those shots. But I think over 20 miles per hour. I think it is 90-95% of my full power. While i keep my form and accuracy decent.
I don't think Ronnie hits the ball as hard as some. He doesn't do the Trump/Robertson shots for the most part. Also, a very important part of his technique on a lot of power shots is that he significantly bends his cue with his chin.
 
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