Is Elbow Drop after Tip Contact a Bad Thing?

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
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I am playing really well right now and I like a very level stroke which means my tip doesn't always make the cloth on some shots so Ive been getting some elbow drop towards the end of my stroke. From what Ive read it doesn't seem to be the worst thing. I have short arms and am unsure if shortening my follow through or going to the cloth is the best thing to do...... but whats your opinion?
 

RiverCity

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Nothing after contact matters, as long as it doesn't affect what happens before contact. :thumbup:
 

Masayoshi

Fusenshou no Masa
Silver Member
How many A players and above do you know that don't drop their elbow on shots that require more than a bunt? I would wager the number isn't so high if you know any at all.
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
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Silver Member
I am playing really well right now and I like a very level stroke which means my tip doesn't always make the cloth on some shots so Ive been getting some elbow drop towards the end of my stroke. From what Ive read it doesn't seem to be the worst thing. I have short arms and am unsure if shortening my follow through or going to the cloth is the best thing to do...... but whats your opinion?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to dropping the elbow.

Check out the elbow drop resource page for more info.

Regards,
Dave
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
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Thats what I thought

How many A players and above do you know that don't drop their elbow on shots that require more than a bunt? I would wager the number isn't so high if you know any at all.

I started watching some You tubes and youre right a whole bunch of elbow dropping going on....I don't feel so bad now. What really had me worried was I don't like sending my cue tip towards the cloth if I have the availability for a near level stroke. Seems to me the more elevated you are the more chance for masse effects that I really don't like because I spin my ball and this messes with the allowances. Thanks I think you're right.
 

Masayoshi

Fusenshou no Masa
Silver Member
I started watching some You tubes and youre right a whole bunch of elbow dropping going on....I don't feel so bad now. What really had me worried was I don't like sending my cue tip towards the cloth if I have the availability for a near level stroke. Seems to me the more elevated you are the more chance for masse effects that I really don't like because I spin my ball and this messes with the allowances. Thanks I think you're right.

Somewhere along the line, among the internet pool community, a pinned elbow and sending your cue to the cloth become the "standard" stroke even though, in reality, literally no one who plays pool at pro speed does that. It would be fallacious to say that that kind of stroke is disadvantageous because of that fact, but if it was in any way advantageous, you would think there would be at least a few examples of pro players who use it.
 

336Robin

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You are the Info Guy!

Thanks Dave,
I did go there and the information was very helpful. You are the information guy and the quality is outstanding. Thank you for what you have done for limitless resources that you have given us and a great DVD series as well.



There are both advantages and disadvantages to dropping the elbow.

Check out the elbow drop resource page for more info.

Regards,
Dave
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
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Silver Member
It is a conundrum

Yes I think there is no basic disadvantage to addressing the ball towards the cloth with the follow through but at this point to depart from my style I think would be counterproductive. Yesterday I tried doing that on every shot and it really threw my whole shot making perspective off enough that I can tell it would have to invoke major change in my setup. All of this did make me very aware that I need to be careful to grip the cue in a way to allow more stroke room for my shot as this will limit the drop to after cue tip contact. I think that is the most important thing I've taken away from this. Also that other players seem to do it as well when they apply a full long stroke as many good players do.

Somewhere along the line, among the internet pool community, a pinned elbow and sending your cue to the cloth become the "standard" stroke even though, in reality, literally no one who plays pool at pro speed does that. It would be fallacious to say that that kind of stroke is disadvantageous because of that fact, but if it was in any way advantageous, you would think there would be at least a few examples of pro players who use it.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Somewhere along the line, among the internet pool community, a pinned elbow and sending your cue to the cloth become the "standard" stroke
I think most everybody says a pendulum stroke is best up to contact with the CB, but not necessary afterward.

pj
chgo
 

ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
The elbow dropping BEFORE contact is NOT a bad thing IF the cue & the plan for the cue's movement is a straight line.

IMHO one should NEVER give a single thought to their elbow, not even a beginner.

There are other aspect that should be the objectives of one's focus. When those objectives are obtained the elbow will simply do as it should & when it should & with no thought to it what so ever...

not even any recognition.

A full pendulum stroke is easy to teach (& perhaps learn the concept) but that does NOT mean that it is the best method nor that it is easy to execute properly.

It's also not natural, nor is hitting a ball with the end of a straight stick using an arcing swinging motion.

For those interested compare the words swing with the word thrust.

To use the point on the end of a straight stick in a swinging manner is contrived & not bio-mechanically or even mentally natural.

But... to each their own. Everyone must make their own decision as to what direction they wish to take there game.

To me, what is natural, is almost if not always, the beat method.

Best 2 All.
 
Last edited:

NitPicker

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The tip touching the cloth is from a natural follow through when using the pendulum stroke and not from an elevated cue while stroking. As the pendulum swings up during follow through, the natural path is toward the cloth after CB contact. In theory, anyway. Other than when learning fundamentals and forming muscle memory, when everything is exaggerated, such as the pause from backstroke to forward stroke, I'm not sure the tip touching the cloth every time is a standard. But some instructors do teach and advocate having the same finishing position in your stroke for consistency. I agree, although admittedly, I don't always complete my finish.

Dropping the shoulder will vary person to person in terms of preference as well as effectiveness. It without question introduces more muscle mechanics into the stroke and therefore is a more complex stroke. I try not to do it, but if it works, it works.
 

dardusm

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dr. Dave's resource is very informative. After reading Mark Wilson's book and my own experience, I believe that teaching a beginner a pendulum swing is very beneficial. The less moving parts the better. I drop my own elbow but here is a simple experiment that shows me a pendulum swing might be a better option.

One of the most useful drills is shooting the cue ball straight down the middle of the table and having it come back to hit your tip. The drill is about striking the cue ball in the center. If I don't drop my elbow, I tend hit the center more consistently than when I do. But, with that said, I don't think I could get used to not dropping my elbow after playing 30 years dropping it.

John Morra is a good example of a pro that has a pendulum swing.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
I would think that dropping the elbow is not a big deal until you start dropping it too soon. One way to find out if you drop your elbow early would be on draw shots. If you start dropping your elbow early on firm draw shots you will start turning draw shots into stop shots. :(
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
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Silver Member
John Morra is a good example of a pro that has a pendulum swing.
It seems to me that more and more players (especially the newer Asian players) keep the elbow more still than in older days. Also, many players (SVB, Thorston, Ko Pin Yi, many others) keep there elbow perfectly still on some shots, especially those requiring very precise tip-contact-point accuracy. Don't ask me to post videos of this, but I have certainly observed it because I often pay attention to these sorts of things. Have said this, many players do drop their elbow during the follow through (after the CB is already gone), especially on power shots.

Regards,
Dave
 

BRussell

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I doubt it's possible to have a stroke with elbow drop only after contact that is the same as a stroke with no elbow drop at all.
 

ctyhntr

RIP Kelly
Silver Member
When I first learned how to ski, I was taught the Snow Plow turn. Every ski instructor knows how to teach it, and it helps convey the basics. Same with the Pendulum stroke. It can be learned quickly, so the player can move on and focus on other aspects of the game.

The elbow is pinned in a Pendulum stroke, so when it drops it means you're engaging the shoulder (a socket joint). As others pointed out, if dropping the elbow before contact it can throw the cue off the point of contact. It's just an indicator, and has to be evaluated in context. Best is face to face with an instructor.

Some people may find a different stroke more suitable to them, and no longer use the Pendulum. Those other strokes often times takes longer to master, but some people feel the payoff is worth it. It doesn't mean the Pendulum is any less inferior. Just different strokes for different folks. :)

The elbow dropping BEFORE contact is NOT a bad thing IF the cue & the plan for the cue's movement is a straight line.

IMHO one should NEVER give a single thought to their elbow, not even a beginner.

There are other aspect that should be the objectives of one's focus. When those objectives are obtained the elbow will simply do as it should & when it should & with no thought to it what so ever...

not even any recognition.

A full pendulum stroke is easy to teach (& perhaps learn the concept) but that does NOT mean that it is the best method nor that it is easy to execute properly.

It's also not natural, nor is hitting a ball with the end of a straight stick using an arcing swinging motion.

For those interested compare the words swing with the word thrust.

To use the point on the end of a straight stick in a swinging manner is contrived & not bio-mechanically or even mentally natural.

But... to each their own. Everyone must make their own decision as to what direction they wish to take there game.

To me, what is natural, is almost if not always, the beat method.

Best 2 All.
 

ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
Obviously...

If one's intentions are to employ & implement a full pendulum stroke & the elbow moves, drops or raises then there is a hiccup in the implementation & execution.

But if one's focus & intention is to move the cue straight in all planes then the elbow will move as required for that operation.

Hitting where one intends on the vertical axis is as important as on the horizontal axis at anything above the very beginning level.

To have the cue tip moving on a series of arcs is not most conducive for hitting precisely on the vertical axis, IMO. Please note that I said 'conducive'.

To do that, basically requires a 'perfect' set up of the pendulum apparatus.

If the apparatus can not be perfectly set up, as is very often the case when actually playing the game vs practicing drills & especially on bigger tables, then an 'adjustment', like dropping the elbow, must come into play or a mishit on the vertical axis is almost certain.

There is a thread in the instructors' forum right now where the OP has basically opted to use a pendulum stroke for low & a piston stroke for high.

I am NOT looking for any argument or even any deep discussion.

I'm merely putting out some food for thought for those that are interested & may be considering what direction they might want to take their stroke & their game.

Best Wishes to All.
 

7forlife

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
And then there's this guy. Ok, seriously.

Let's not get off topic and talk about that the pictures mean or look like, let's not talk about the before part or the music "unless you into that, the music". This guy like to focus on the pendulum and seen to execute it well. I've added a video of him demonstrating this but you can see on his page where he performs other tasks and the pendulum remains.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkHDq7caVFs
(I wonder home many people's first time it is seem this guy?)
 
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