Slight difficulty keeping my tip position perfectly still at the cue ball

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
I don't want to sound like a pedant, but for pool as opposed to snooker, the hand does not need to butterfly open then closed again, as many others have remarked.

And--please take this in the kind spirit in which it's given--there are at least two reasons for focusing on, say, the index finger, one is mechanics and consistency as clearly explained above by many, but the other is to create a checkoff point or feel point to ease nerves. I don't teach a finger point because I teach a relaxed body and mind, if you follow (or draw upon, haha, I said "draw" and "follow") what I'm writing here.

Put differently, the culprit for players who are having a tough time is usually tip gap or stroke motion or aim system and I've not ever told a player, "love it but get more action with the index and less with the pinky". I'm OPEN to what a great snooker coach has to share, but just sayin'. And that includes all levels I've coached from rank beginner on up.
The key is that if you feel that ring finger in the lead, you're holding the cue consistently. It's an easy non-thinking feel checklist. It applies to all shots. For some reason the ring finger feels right (maybe because it's dumb and not trying to take control like the more dexterous fingers). There's not magic in it, but if you build it into your psr it's another thing you can offload. It only feels correct if you're holding the cue well and your mechanics are good. Do I feel it? Yes... ok ready to perform.
 

evergruven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Another fix that has a somewhat similar effect, but not nearly as drastic is to relax the thumb and index finger, letting the hand rest mainly on the last three. This is my favorite grip, actually, and how I play, and pro player Guy Young Kim does this to perfection.

small point, but ga>guy- ?
interesting grip idea tho, curious to try it
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
small point, but ga>guy- ?
interesting grip idea tho, curious to try it
Actually it's Kim Ga-Young. (Ga, pronounced 'guy')I wrote her name phonetically as we used to call her. I will fix that in my original post. In Asian countries, the last name is presented first, so the order of her names are sometimes switched, depending on whether it has been Westernized or not. She's a top woman pro of Korean descent and one of my favorite female players. She's not afraid to go after the big shots, and is a rhythm player.
 

evergruven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Actually it's Kim Ga-Young. (Ga, pronounced 'guy')I wrote her name phonetically as we used to call her. I will fix that in my original post. In Asian countries, the last name is presented first, so the order of her names are sometimes switched, depending on whether it has been Westernized or not. She's a top woman pro of Korean descent and one of my favorite female players. She's not afraid to go after the big shots, and is a rhythm player.

check. I remember her challenging the top ranks years back, tho I wasn't near as big a pool fan then
so when you'd see her, you'd call her "ga" and not "ga-young"? "guy" seems like a combo of those names
I don't know for sure, but I'd think the hyphen would indicate those names were connected
otherwise, I'm confident that many, but not all folks in asian countries present their family names first
don't mean to be a pedant, but as you mention, names and things often get westernized
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
The key is that if you feel that ring finger in the lead, you're holding the cue consistently. It's an easy non-thinking feel checklist. It applies to all shots. For some reason the ring finger feels right (maybe because it's dumb and not trying to take control like the more dexterous fingers). There's not magic in it, but if you build it into your psr it's another thing you can offload. It only feels correct if you're holding the cue well and your mechanics are good. Do I feel it? Yes... ok ready to perform.
I understand. But what does it mean if others focus on the index finger, or on a loose pinky finger or etc.?

That the ring finger PSR might be mechanics and/or a way to distract the mind from sabotaging the shot at hand, for example, a player who keeps thinking "don't scratch in the side" has their visual brain seeing the cue ball going right into the side with the stroke.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I understand. But what does it mean if others focus on the index finger, or on a loose pinky finger or etc.?

That the ring finger PSR might be mechanics and/or a way to distract the mind from sabotaging the shot at hand, for example, a player who keeps thinking "don't scratch in the side" has their visual brain seeing the cue ball going right into the side with the stroke.
Two different animals here. Telling yourself not to scratch and then scratching is completely different from placing and feeling a body part into position in your pre shot routine. It's an insult to a player to even imply that the reason could be simply psychological.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
It's an insult to a player to even imply that the reason could be simply psychological.
But couldn't the reason be psychological? And wouldn't it be helpful to recognize that possibility if so? Not saying to insist it is psychological - just not to dismiss the possibility out of hand.

pj
chgo
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
But couldn't the reason be psychological? And wouldn't it be helpful to recognize that possibility if so? Not saying to insist it is psychological - just not to dismiss the possibility out of hand.

pj
chgo
Not in the context that it was being discussed here. Feeling the cue a certain way in your hand is a legitimate aspect of a player's PSR and certainly not used as means of distraction from something negative.

And then to compare it to saying, "Don't scratch and then scratching because he told himself not to?" If you're going to equate it to something like that, then you should be saying that the player is thinking, "Let the weight lean on your ring finger and not the second finger, but then the player actually lets the weight lean on his second finger because he told himself not to. It's the wrong analogy.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Not in the context that it was being discussed here. Feeling the cue a certain way in your hand is a legitimate aspect of a player's PSR and certainly not used as means of distraction from something negative.

And then to compare it to saying, "Don't scratch and then scratching because he told himself not to?" If you're going to equate it to something like that, then you should be saying that the player is thinking, "Let the weight lean on your ring finger and not the second finger, but then the player actually lets the weight lean on his second finger because he told himself not to. It's the wrong analogy.
OK, I get your thinking now. Thanks for clarifying, Fran.

pj
chgo
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
Two different animals here. Telling yourself not to scratch and then scratching is completely different from placing and feeling a body part into position in your pre shot routine. It's an insult to a player to even imply that the reason could be simply psychological.
It would depend on the shot at hand, I would think. For a shot with a high probability of scratching, I've seen players miss and say aloud, "I KNEW I'd scratch and was trying to put X spin instead but I failed."

The same thing happens in golf all the time. The player who uses a water hazard as a cue where to visualize and aim the shot ("so the water helps me figure how the grass will run "like cloth nap" on the green and guides me for the left part of the green") usually does better than the player who worries over the water--thus picturing the ball headed into the water in their right/imaging brain!

The second point I'm making is that feeling a body part in PSR could be a way of calming the anxious mind and may or may not affect shot mechanics in a positive way. Do you ask all of your students to focus on one finger above the rest in the stroke? Do you ask some of your students to do so? If so, why? If not, why?

Thanks.

PS. If you think it's the wrong analogy, would you tell a player facing a possible scratch shot to take care with their cue ball shape or to "focus more on the ring finger to avoid the scratch"? :)
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
It would depend on the shot at hand, I would think. For a shot with a high probability of scratching, I've seen players miss and say aloud, "I KNEW I'd scratch and was trying to put X spin instead but I failed."

The same thing happens in golf all the time. The player who uses a water hazard as a cue where to visualize and aim the shot ("so the water helps me figure how the grass will run "like cloth nap" on the green and guides me for the left part of the green") usually does better than the player who worries over the water--thus picturing the ball headed into the water in their right/imaging brain!

The second point I'm making is that feeling a body part in PSR could be a way of calming the anxious mind and may or may not affect shot mechanics in a positive way. Do you ask all of your students to focus on one finger above the rest in the stroke? Do you ask some of your students to do so? If so, why? If not, why?

Thanks.

PS. If you think it's the wrong analogy, would you tell a player facing a possible scratch shot to take care with their cue ball shape or to "focus more on the ring finger to avoid the scratch"? :)
I don't scratch very often. I learned long ago that being scared of scratching magically guides the CB into a pocket. Thanks subconscious, not quite what I meant but you see in visualizations and I visualized it into being! o_O 🤣

For me, it's not an anxiety reducing thing. For a good stroke, I know how the cue feels for me personally. The other fingers are duds, the ring is the sweet spot.

I understand what you mean about the mental aspect of it, but the same could be said for almost every aspect of a PSR. For me, my stance/my stroke/etc, I find that the ring finger is dead nuts feeling when I stroke it good. To the point I make sure the cue feels right based on that finger. It's not a mental thing for me, it's part of a checklist that tells me everything is in order. I like feel more than thinking. Thinking can get you if you're not careful to shut it off at the right time.

Try this. While standing hold your arm at your side. Curl your first finger tightly. Quickly raise your hand as if you're trying to poke your shoulder with your thumb. Try pivoting your wrist while doing so. It's just a little experiment so try different motions. It's similar to an underhand throw. Pay particular attention to the stresses on the muscles and tendons in your wrist/forearm/bicep/etc. Which one allows the smoothest motion? One feels way less stressful on the wrist/forearm for me. It's the ring finger, the pinky feels second least stress on the wrist/forearm. The middle finger feels very stressful (on the ligaments) as does the index. Different digits cause more or less tension in your arm and stroke. The ring finger also lets me freely pivot the wrist in a straight motion without additional stresses to overcome. It feels the smoothest for me.

Experiment when cuing sometime during practice. One finger will feel best and result in the smoothest stroke. Some people may use more fingers, different strokes, etc. For a pop stroke player this will probably not help in the slightest. For a smooth stroker it may.

It may be different for everyone on earth, I don't know. I do know that the ring finger works for me. It allows me to smoothly stroke and keeps unwanted tension out of my stroke. It allows me to stroke a ball and get action without killing the ball or stroking harder than needed. It's not magic but I about shit when I tried it. I've been doing it for several months now and I'll not change it. It shows me through feel that my backhand is properly addressing the cue.

Some people hold the balance point of their cue when up and walking around. Why do they do that? They are gathering information about how to hold the cue, even if it's subconscious. People are strange and most of this stuff is best not to over analyze but it's part of the game.
 

phreaticus

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
I don't scratch very often. I learned long ago that being scared of scratching magically guides the CB into a pocket. Thanks subconscious, not quite what I meant but you see in visualizations and I visualized it into being! o_O 🤣

For me, it's not an anxiety reducing thing. For a good stroke, I know how the cue feels for me personally. The other fingers are duds, the ring is the sweet spot.

I understand what you mean about the mental aspect of it, but the same could be said for almost every aspect of a PSR. For me, my stance/my stroke/etc, I find that the ring finger is dead nuts feeling when I stroke it good. To the point I make sure the cue feels right based on that finger. It's not a mental thing for me, it's part of a checklist that tells me everything is in order. I like feel more than thinking. Thinking can get you if you're not careful to shut it off at the right time.

Try this. While standing hold your arm at your side. Curl your first finger tightly. Quickly raise your hand as if you're trying to poke your shoulder with your thumb. Try pivoting your wrist while doing so. It's just a little experiment so try different motions. It's similar to an underhand throw. Pay particular attention to the stresses on the muscles and tendons in your wrist/forearm/bicep/etc. Which one allows the smoothest motion? One feels way less stressful on the wrist/forearm for me. It's the ring finger, the pinky feels second least stress on the wrist/forearm. The middle finger feels very stressful (on the ligaments) as does the index. Different digits cause more or less tension in your arm and stroke. The ring finger also lets me freely pivot the wrist in a straight motion without additional stresses to overcome. It feels the smoothest for me.

Experiment when cuing sometime during practice. One finger will feel best and result in the smoothest stroke. Some people may use more fingers, different strokes, etc. For a pop stroke player this will probably not help in the slightest. For a smooth stroker it may.

It may be different for everyone on earth, I don't know. I do know that the ring finger works for me. It allows me to smoothly stroke and keeps unwanted tension out of my stroke. It allows me to stroke a ball and get action without killing the ball or stroking harder than needed. It's not magic but I about shit when I tried it. I've been doing it for several months now and I'll not change it. It shows me through feel that my backhand is properly addressing the cue.

Some people hold the balance point of their cue when up and walking around. Why do they do that? They are gathering information about how to hold the cue, even if it's subconscious. People are strange and most of this stuff is best not to over analyze but it's part of the game.
Interesting post. I'm not personally hung up specifically on the ring finger thing, I just grip the cue exactly like a tennis forehand grip and don't think about this finger pressure or that finger unfurling, etc. Also, different types of strokes during a match, result in slightly different grips... But definitely the sensations of the grip hand and the balance of the cue - are where much of the overall feel of the game lives for me. Also incorporating known physical feelings at the subconscious awareness level vs mental checklist - is a pretty spot on narrative IMO. The grip/feel thing is also why I've always preferred wrapless cues, to me wraps have a dampening effect that mutes some of the above. But, it's all extremely subjective and like many other things in this game - we have myriads of pro+am examples of playing very successfully at a high level using completely different techniques. ✌️
 
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Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The grip/feel thing is also why I've always preferred wrapless cues, to me wraps have a dampening effect that mutes some of the above.
I also don’t like a wrapped cue, but this can vary in a tacky hand situation.
If my hand feels tacky I wash it until it feels dry again, even if it requires several washings.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I also don’t like a wrapped cue, but this can vary in a tacky hand situation.
If my hand feels tacky I wash it until it feels dry again, even if it requires several washings.
If the unwrapped cue has a coat of varnish on it, wouldn't it feel a little tacky anyway?
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes. But minimal if you wash good.
I found a happy medium with a leather wrap. I've experimented with pretty much everything --- no wrap, rubber overlay, Irish linen. There's no stickiness with a leather wrap but there's just enough grab in the material to where you can stay pretty loose on the cue without losing it.
 
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