Sensitivity of Power Draw Shots - Physics or Mechanics?

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If I put the cue ball on the head spot and shoot straight down table with speed the majority of shots will come back and hit my tip close to dead on. I figure good mechanics. If I hit the same shot with a good amount of draw and with speed I'm not sure what will happen. I might get three in a row that come right back to my tip and then one with so much english that it barely makes it back across the side pocket and then another one that is off by a half diamond.

It got me wondering. One possible explanation for the above is that the hard draw is inherently more difficult than follow due to the more complicated physics of the draw shot compared to follow. The other explanation is that both shots are equally "easy" as far as physics goes and something is going haywire with my mechanics during draw strokes.

Anybody have thoughts on the subject?
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... Anybody have thoughts on the subject?
Draw multiplies any unintended side spin. That's one of the reasons to play shots with follow -- let the ball roll -- unless you have a good reason to do otherwise.

Draw shots in general have to be struck with maybe twice the speed as the roughly equivalent follow shot due to the loss of draw on the way to the object ball. That tests your mechanics.

In some sense it is all the same physics.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Draw multiplies any unintended side spin. That's one of the reasons to play shots with follow -- let the ball roll -- unless you have a good reason to do otherwise.
Has Dr. Dave or anyone else shown why that is?

Draw shots in general have to be struck with maybe twice the speed as the roughly equivalent follow shot due to the loss of draw on the way to the object ball. That tests your mechanics.

In some sense it is all the same physics.
Yes, things break down with more power for sure.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dan, do you use an open or closed bridge for the shots you described? Also, what kind of grip do you have on those shots? Loose? Medium? Tight? Are you starting loose and ending tight? I think it's possible that your mechanics change when you switch to power draw. You can't always rely on topspin when facing certain shots, so you need to troubleshoot your power draw mechanics to find the culprit. I have found that two of the main things players change when executing a power draw shot are their bridges and their grips. I'll explain more about those changes after you answer my questions.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dan, do you use an open or closed bridge for the shots you described? Also, what kind of grip do you have on those shots? Loose? Medium? Tight? Are you starting loose and ending tight? I think it's possible that your mechanics change when you switch to power draw. You can't always rely on topspin when facing certain shots, so you need to troubleshoot your power draw mechanics to find the culprit. I have found that two of the main things players change when executing a power draw shot are their bridges and their grips. I'll explain more about those changes after you answer my questions.
I use a closed bridge for all shots. I would say there is no daylight in my grip but it is very relaxed, if not loose, anyway. I work very hard to keep my hand/forearm as relaxed as possible and my elbow still. I find that when I keep that elbow still for power shots they go in. If I let the elbow drop even a little I find that I miss more on the power shots. It's like night and day. I never tried to figure out why. I keep my wrist turned out so if you can visualize the cue is directly under my forearm rather than the cue being cradled in my fingers closer to my body.
 

Oikawa

Active member
Has Dr. Dave or anyone else shown why that is?

For the shot you described, if you accidentally use some sidespin, at the moment of impact with the rail, the ratio between sideways rotation and speed is different depending on the amount of top/draw used, which results in a larger angle change off the rail with draw compared to follow.

To understand this intuitively, think about the shot where you use running side with draw to get even more angle off the rail than you would with running side + follow. It's the same idea behind it.

Now, to answer your original question, another thing that comes to mind that hasn't been mentioned yet:

The lower you hit on the CB, the more elevation you will typically have. This extra swerve whenever you add accidental side might cause your results to be more chaotic. Whether and by how much this issue matters depends on your bridge hand shape + distance and where you are shooting on the table (e.g. if rails or other balls get in the way), which is most apparent when you are close to the rail, and is why people typically use maximum high for those shots when playing position doesn't demand otherwise.
 
Last edited:

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For the shot you described, if you accidentally use some sidespin, at the moment of impact with the rail, the ratio between sideways rotation and speed is different depending on the amount of top/draw used, which results in a larger angle change off the rail with draw compared to follow.

To understand this intuitively, think about the shot where you use running side with draw to get even more angle off the rail than you would with running side + follow. It's the same idea behind it.

Now, to answer your original question, another thing that comes to mind that hasn't been mentioned yet:

The lower you hit on the CB, the more elevation you will typically have. This extra swerve whenever you add accidental side might cause your results to be more chaotic. Whether and by how much this issue matters depends on your bridge hand shape + distance and where you are shooting on the table (e.g. if rails or other balls get in the way), which is most apparent when you are close to the rail, and is why people typically use maximum high for those shots when playing position doesn't demand otherwise.
Those are two good points. You're saying the spin/speed ratio will be higher for draw due to friction slowing the cb down more by the time it gets to the rail. Also, angling the cue down for draw probably puts more masse on the ball than the same error on a follow shot, causing general mayhem. Although, on the follow shot any tip error may result in a little squirt without the swerve, so which is worse? I guess it's safe to say draw shots are inherently more difficult even if only for your first reason.

Now on to Fran's focus, which concerns why I am introducing more error for draw shots than for follow. I don't think the physics above describes all of the error I am seeing. My standard deviation for follow shots is like 1/4 inch while for draw it's closer to 1/4 mile.
 

Oikawa

Active member
Although, on the follow shot any tip error may result in a little squirt without the swerve, so which is worse?
The squirt is practically the same no matter if you draw or follow, whereas the swerve starts increasing the more you elevate. So I'd say, from a practical viewpoint, more elevation is inherently worse since you're introducing more variables that can change things. One somewhat controllable factor (squirt) or that + another less controllable one that changes depending speed and elevation amount (swerve).

Focusing on that particular shot example, while it is true that a specific combination of squirt and swerve will cancel eachother out, if you were able to deliberately pick that combination, it wouldn't be accidental side anymore. Whether you use top or bottom, accidental side will fuck things up in matches. So it's not easy to call one worse than the other if they both result in a miss.


Now on to Fran's focus, which concerns why I am introducing more error for draw shots than for follow. I don't think the physics above describes all of the error I am seeing. My standard deviation for follow shots is like 1/4 inch while for draw it's closer to 1/4 mile.

This is most certainly something to do with your technique/stroke/execution. Something changes when you execute a power draw stroke. Have you tried recording it, and comparing the technique?
 
Last edited:

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I use a closed bridge for all shots. I would say there is no daylight in my grip but it is very relaxed, if not loose, anyway. I work very hard to keep my hand/forearm as relaxed as possible and my elbow still. I find that when I keep that elbow still for power shots they go in. If I let the elbow drop even a little I find that I miss more on the power shots. It's like night and day. I never tried to figure out why. I keep my wrist turned out so if you can visualize the cue is directly under my forearm rather than the cue being cradled in my fingers closer to my body.
OK, thanks for the info. First, your bridge: Try to flatten your bridge hand as much as possible so that you're not shooting down more than necessary at the cb. Next, check the angle of your third finger in your bridge, and how the shaft of your cue sits on that third finger. Is your cue possibly floating along the downward/sideways angle of that third finger in your bridge as it moves through during your power stroke?

Tightening the loop isn't always the answer, particularly if it's rubbing too much against the shaft. But you can change the angle of that third finger by rolling your bridge hand a little away from you which flattens out that third finger -- leveling it off more -- where you're looking at more of the underside of that finger from your shooting stance. Your top loop will also lean more forward as you roll your hand slightly away from you.

Keep in mind that it will all depend on the anatomy of your hand. My suggestion may or may not work for you. Whatever adjustment you make, try to get the portion of that finger the cue rests on to be as level as possible.

Your grip sounds fine. Just check the position of your knuckles before and after to see if you did any twisting.
 
Last edited:

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is most certainly something to do with your technique/stroke/execution. Something changes when you execute a power draw stroke. Have you tried recording it, and comparing the technique?
I've done a lot of tinkering over the years. The most interesting thing was using a laser to shine a line down on the ball and length of the cue to my hand a couple of years ago (posted some youtubes on that). It helped me find a true alignment. I haven't played much since then and am trying to get back to it. I have always had trouble with shallow 14.1 break shots while using draw and stretching over the table. I found that a little elbow drop was causing a miss for some reason. Once I knew what fixing the elbow felt like while stretched out over the table my percentages went way up. That's why I started doing the up and back drills.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
OK, thanks for the info. First, your bridge: Try to flatten your bridge hand as much as possible so that you're not shooting down more than necessary at the cb. Next, check the angle of your third finger in your bridge, and how the shaft of your cue sits on that third finger. Is your cue possibly floating along the downward/sideways angle of that third finger in your bridge as it moves through during your power stroke?

Tightening the loop isn't always the answer, particularly if it's rubbing too much against the shaft. But you can change the angle of that third finger by rolling your bridge hand a little away from you which flattens out that third finger -- leveling it off more -- where you're looking at more of the underside of that finger from your shooting stance. Your top loop will also lean more forward as you roll your hand slightly away from you.

Keep in mind that it will all depend on the anatomy of your hand. My suggestion may or may not work for you. Whatever adjustment you make, try to get the portion of that finger the cue rests on to be as level as possible.

Your grip sounds fine. Just check the position of your knuckles before and after to see if you did any twisting.
Great suggestions! I'll give all that a try and will report back.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... If I hit the same shot with a good amount of draw and with speed I'm not sure what will happen. I might get three in a row that come right back to my tip and then one with so much english that it barely makes it back across the side pocket and then another one that is off by a half diamond.
...
If you mean that an over-the-spots shot hits the side rail before it gets back to the end rail, there is something seriously wrong with your mechanics. Record yourself.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If you mean that an over-the-spots shot hits the side rail before it gets back to the end rail, there is something seriously wrong with your mechanics. Record yourself.
Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. That has happened but only when I was clearly trying to put too much juice on the ball. Realistically we're probably talking a half diamond error max.
 

tomatoshooter

Well-known member
When you hit a draw shot with a little bit of unintended sidespin, the axis rotates and the ball flips over. If you are working on a power draw, the ball is not flipping before it gets to the rail but it will start to tilt so the spin will throw the ball when it hits the rail. With follow shots, the axis levels off. You can see this movement of the axis much more clearly with slowly hit balls.
 

DeadStick

i like turtles
Gold Member
Silver Member
Do you practice power draws? I like to include them in my Mighty-X practice, after stops and follows.

I feel your pain tho on things going sideways when stepping on the draw pedal. It tests the straightness of your stroke more than anything. For me it's usually grip-related: unintentional grabbing and/or wrist flexion/extension can all send the tip sideways. Try using a longer backstroke and pause at the back, so you can gradually add speed on the forestroke.

Start the long straight draw drill at a distance and speed you can reliably bring back on line, then gradually add speed and distance until you start going offline. That's now the max speed and distance you should drill, until you level up.

And I don't want this to turn into a CBL or OBL debate, but try keeping focus on the CB at impact for your power draws, so you can be precise with your tip contact and watch your shaft move through the ball straight. Helps me.
 
Last edited:

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Draw multiplies any unintended side spin.
Has Dr. Dave or anyone else shown why that is?
Yes, Dave has (but I'm not sure where to find it) - it's because the draw slows the ball's forward speed down more than it slows the side spin, resulting in greater spin-to-speed ratio (and therefore greater spin effect).

It might also matter that, because using draw requires hitting more downward on the CB, swerve becomes more of a factor.

pj
chgo
 

irspow

Member
This may or may not be applicable, but mere mortals tend to try to hit too hard when trying to get a lot of draw. Obviously the more offset the more backspin you get for a given stroke speed. Let’s ignore for this discussion the power draw which you want your tip to be slightly higher than for normal max spin. (ie .4R versus .5R of the cueball contact point)

For me, I found that I hit the ball way too hard for draw shots. Which becomes quite clear when you see how relatively softly pros hit a draw shot. This extra ‘hard’ stroke causes all sorts problems with our stroke and accuracy of tip contact point. Anyway, what finally made my draws much more accurate, effective, and consistent was an observation between stop shots and draw shots.

If you practice stop shots using a draw contact point you will see that you can hit stop shots a lot slower than you can with the tip just below center. Now for tha ‘Aha’ moment, for me at least.

I found that a stop shot with low english of say four diamonds between cue ball and object ball would create 2 diamonds of draw when cue and object were two diamonds apart. And a stop shot of say 7 diamonds would create 3.5 diamonds of draw when cue and object were 3.5 diamonds apart.

So when I want to hit a draw shot I add the diamonds between the two balls plus the number of diamonds that I want the cue to draw. Then I can simply hit a ‘stop shot’ for that total number of diamonds. It’s easy to practice this. Start with cue ball in the jaws of a side pocket and put an object ball in the jaws of the other side pocket. Hit a stop shot with draw english. That is a 4 diamond stop. Now repeat with cue ball in center of table and the object in the jaws of the side. If you hit the same stroke you will draw the ball 2 diamonds back to the center of table. (Still 4 diamonds total travel). Now using same stroke put cueball 1 diamond from side pocket and object in jaws of side. Cue will draw back 3 diamonds for the same total number of diamonds travel.

Then move to the harder stop shot from opposing corners of a long rail. That’s 8 diamonds total. So using the same stroke when cueball is at center of long rail and object is in jaws of corner you will draw back to center. Still 8 diamonds of total travel. You will find that you can hit a lot easier than you thought you needed to.

This may be strange, but it has totally changed how hard I stroke when hitting draw shots. And it is a lot less daunting when hitting relatively easy.

EDIT: I am definitely not an instructor 🤣
 
Last edited:

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
This may or may not be applicable, but mere mortals tend to try to hit too hard when trying to get a lot of draw. Obviously the more offset the more backspin you get for a given stroke speed. Let’s ignore for this discussion the power draw which you want your tip to be slightly higher than for normal max spin. (ie .4R versus .5R of the cueball contact point)

For me, I found that I hit the ball way too hard for draw shots. Which becomes quite clear when you see how relatively softly pros hit a draw shot. This extra ‘hard’ stroke causes all sorts problems with our stroke and accuracy of tip contact point. Anyway, what finally made my draws much more accurate, effective, and consistent was an observation between stop shots and draw shots.

If you practice stop shots using a draw contact point you will see that you can hit stop shots a lot slower than you can with the tip just below center. Now for tha ‘Aha’ moment, for me at least.

I found that a stop shot with low english of say four diamonds between cue ball and object ball would create 2 diamonds of draw when cue and object were two diamonds apart. And a stop shot of say 7 diamonds would create 3.5 diamonds of draw when cue and object were 3.5 diamonds apart.

So when I want to hit a draw shot I add the diamonds between the two balls plus the number of diamonds that I want the cue to draw. Then I can simply hit a ‘stop shot’ for that total number of diamonds. It’s easy to practice this. Start with cue ball in the jaws of a side pocket and put an object ball in the jaws of the other side pocket. Hit a stop shot with draw english. That is a 4 diamond stop. Now repeat with cue ball in center of table and the object in the jaws of the side. If you hit the same stroke you will draw the ball 2 diamonds back to the center of table. (Still 4 diamonds total travel). Now using same stroke put cueball 1 diamond from side pocket and object in jaws of side. Cue will draw back 3 diamonds for the same total number of diamonds travel.

Then move to the harder stop shot from opposing corners of a long rail. That’s 8 diamonds total. So using the same stroke when cueball is at center of long rail and object is in jaws of corner you will draw back to center. Still 8 diamonds of total travel. You will find that you can hit a lot easier than you thought you needed to.

This may be strange, but it has totally changed how hard I stroke when hitting draw shots. And it is a lot less daunting when hitting relatively easy.

EDIT: I am definitely not an instructor 🤣
Interesting idea - sounds like it could make sense. If you actually visualize the twice-as-far "stop shot" ball while shooting the draw shot, it might also help control aim and stroke.

pj
chgo
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
This may or may not be applicable, but mere mortals tend to try to hit too hard when trying to get a lot of draw. Obviously the more offset the more backspin you get for a given stroke speed. Let’s ignore for this discussion the power draw which you want your tip to be slightly higher than for normal max spin. (ie .4R versus .5R of the cueball contact point)

For me, I found that I hit the ball way too hard for draw shots. Which becomes quite clear when you see how relatively softly pros hit a draw shot. This extra ‘hard’ stroke causes all sorts problems with our stroke and accuracy of tip contact point. Anyway, what finally made my draws much more accurate, effective, and consistent was an observation between stop shots and draw shots.

If you practice stop shots using a draw contact point you will see that you can hit stop shots a lot slower than you can with the tip just below center. Now for tha ‘Aha’ moment, for me at least.

I found that a stop shot with low english of say four diamonds between cue ball and object ball would create 2 diamonds of draw when cue and object were two diamonds apart. And a stop shot of say 7 diamonds would create 3.5 diamonds of draw when cue and object were 3.5 diamonds apart.

So when I want to hit a draw shot I add the diamonds between the two balls plus the number of diamonds that I want the cue to draw. Then I can simply hit a ‘stop shot’ for that total number of diamonds. It’s easy to practice this. Start with cue ball in the jaws of a side pocket and put an object ball in the jaws of the other side pocket. Hit a stop shot with draw english. That is a 4 diamond stop. Now repeat with cue ball in center of table and the object in the jaws of the side. If you hit the same stroke you will draw the ball 2 diamonds back to the center of table. (Still 4 diamonds total travel). Now using same stroke put cueball 1 diamond from side pocket and object in jaws of side. Cue will draw back 3 diamonds for the same total number of diamonds travel.

Then move to the harder stop shot from opposing corners of a long rail. That’s 8 diamonds total. So using the same stroke when cueball is at center of long rail and object is in jaws of corner you will draw back to center. Still 8 diamonds of total travel. You will find that you can hit a lot easier than you thought you needed to.

This may be strange, but it has totally changed how hard I stroke when hitting draw shots. And it is a lot less daunting when hitting relatively easy.

EDIT: I am definitely not an instructor 🤣
Interesting idea - sounds like it could make sense. If you actually visualize the twice-as-far "stop shot" ball while shooting the draw shot, it might also help control aim and stroke.

pj
chgo
mark finklestein showed me that over 10 years ago as a way to do a controlled draw
imagine a stop shot however many diamonds you want to draw past the object ball
not as a power draw
when he showed it to me
 
Top