Terrible stroke

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Finding a straight line and noting I am not cueing straight (which I already gave ascertained) does nothing to help me straighten out my stroke. I already know I have a problem. Correcting it is my challenge.
This is true. I had a variety of music lessons as a kid and besides growing a tude, I took away a couple stone fundamentals. That tude needs to evolve into a professional attitude - redundant for this bunch but the other thing is that technical development can't be rushed. More, it can easily be impeded by even the most conscientious of diligence. IOW if you force muscle memory, that's what it learns. Faquen irony man.
Anyway the drill:
Lay the stick on the cushion line and just push it back and forth; tracking the line as closely as you can. Don't concern yourself with your arm positions, just watch the stick and track the line. The only wrong is tension. Stop if you feel it. IMO what this will do is ball park your default swing. It'll be easier to develop that than to manufacture a new one.
 
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Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I already thought of this and tried it. I stepped my right foot a few inches left of the shot line. Felt really weird. I went back to aligning my right foot with the shot line, but pointed straight down the shot line, rather than at 45-degree angle. Maybe worked.

I think I'm lost. I need a very competent coach. Now, need to convince the spousal unit that a significant investment in my game with a very strong coach is worth her not hearing me complain about my sorry pool game. (@Scott Lee! - I'm working on it!)
Doug...I'm ready whenever you are!

Scott Lee
 

dquarasr

Registered
It's been a while since I've provided an update.

Since I last posted, I have had lessons with an APA SL7, which provided a modicum of insight and at least a few exercises to try, and an SL9, whose input was eye-opening.

In the interim and with these relatively inexpensive lessons, I've been able to learn how to align my body to the shot much more consistently and appropriately. Between the drills the SL7 gave me, and the insight into my particular issues the SL9 gave me, I have dramatically improved my game.

Last Wednesday in league, in my first match of 9-ball, first rack, I lost the lag. My opponent made a ball on the break, then missed and gave me the table. I ran out the remaining 8 balls. I NEVER DO THAT!!!! I won that match (SL4 v SL4).

In my 8-ball match, I won 3 racks to 1 (SL4 v SL4).

The keys to my recent success and confidence:

1) My stroke is so much straighter now. Using one of the drills the SL7 coach gave me, combined with the stance and tweak of my elbow position (moving it a hair away from my body) have enabled me to stroke SO MUCH straighter than I ever have.

2) My stroke is straighter because of alignment mentioned in 1) above, but also, the SL9's mantra with nearly every shot he watched me take in our 2-hour lesson: relax and stroke it.

So I now have two keys to MUCH better potting percentage: 1) keeping my elbow up (I quit dropping it) and 2) keeping my right arm and grip TOTALLY RELAXED. I cannot believe the difference these changes have made. I can make looooonnnnnnggg shots with confidence now, at various speeds. The difference to me is stunning. Now, when I miss, it is nearly always because I squeezed the cue, or I dropped my elbow. I can shoot what used to be difficult shots with follow or draw, and be pretty confident the OB will be pocketed, which has allowed me to better focus on speed and angle the CB will take, which then has made subsequent shots easier, which instills even more confidence and relaxation.

I can't say I'm "fixed" but I'm playing better than I ever had. I simply need to remember three things: 1) Are you aligned correctly and have you truly selected the correct shot line? 2) Keep the elbow 'quiet'. 3) (Arguably my most impactful revelation) RELAX YOUR GRIP AND FOREARM AND TRUST YOU ARE ALIGNED, STROKE STRAIGHT THROUGH YOUR AIMING POINT.

It's so gratifying to finally approach a table without the dread of how I'm going to screw up, and hit balls with confidence. No, I don't run out often, but at least now it's actually feasible, while three months ago I was lucky to make a three-ball run.
 
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FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It's been a while since I've provided an update.

Since I last posted, I have had lessons with an APA SL7, which provided a modicum of insight and at least a few exercises to try, and an SL9, whose input was eye-opening.

In the interim and with these relatively inexpensive lessons, I've been able to learn how to align my body to the shot much more consistently and appropriately. Between the drills the SL7 gave me, and the insight into my particular issues the SL9 gave me, I have dramatically improved my game.

Last Wednesday in league, in my first match of 9-ball, first rack, I lost the lag. My opponent made a ball on the break, then missed and gave me the table. I ran out the remaining 8 balls. I NEVER DO THAT!!!! I won that match (SL4 v SL4).

In my 8-ball match, I won 3 racks to 1 (SL4 v SL4).

The keys to my recent success and confidence:

1) My stroke is so much straighter now. Using one of the drills the SL7 coach gave me, combined with the stance and tweak of my elbow position (moving it a hair away from my body) have enabled me to stroke SO MUCH straighter than I ever have.

2) My stroke is straighter because of alignment mentioned in 1) above, but also, the SL9's mantra with nearly every shot he watched me take in our 2-hour lesson: relax and stroke it.

So I now have two keys to MUCH better potting percentage: 1) keeping my elbow up (I quit dropping it) and 2) keeping my right arm and grip TOTALLY RELAXED. I cannot believe the difference these changes have made. I can make looooonnnnnnggg shots with confidence now, at various speeds. The difference to me is stunning. Now, when I miss, it is nearly always because I squeezed the cue, or I dropped my elbow. I can shoot what used to be difficult shots with follow or draw, and be pretty confident the OB will be pocketed, which has allowed me to better focus on speed and angle the CB will take, which then has made subsequent shots easier, which instills even more confidence and relaxation.

I can't say I'm "fixed" but I'm playing better than I ever had. I simply need to remember three things: 1) Are you aligned correctly and have you truly selected the correct shot line? 2) Keep the elbow 'quiet'. 3) (Arguably my most impactful revelation) RELAX YOUR GRIP AND FOREARM AND TRUST YOU ARE ALIGNED, STROKE STRAIGHT THROUGH YOUR AIMING POINT.

It's so gratifying to finally approach a table without the dread of how I'm going to screw up, and hit balls with confidence. No, I don't run out often, but at least now it's actually feasible, while three months ago I was lucky to make a three-ball run.
That's great to hear of your progress. I just want to mention that there are some things that all good players have in common, and then there are other things that work well for some players and not other players. It's an important distinction to keep in mind. I'm not referring specifically to elements of style. I'm referring to actual differences in fundamentals.

Like, for example, when you drop your elbow, something negative happens to your stroke. While an elbow drop stroke is not for everyone, it does work in a positive way for some players. For example, I've written many times here that I've used one for certain types of shots and I know players who do as well. I also know players who don't drop their elbows. I'm referring to an elbow drop prior to impact.

Also, I'm just curious as to your choice of word for ball pocketing. You say 'potting,' which is a snooker term. Is your background in snooker?
 

dquarasr

Registered
Also, I'm just curious as to your choice of word for ball pocketing. You say 'potting,' which is a snooker term. Is your background in snooker?
No, I just heard it and like the term. I've watched many instructional videos from both pool and snooker, so I guess I picked it up there.

Last night I won APA 9-ball in a heads-up SL4/4 match 31-7 to go along with last week's 31-5 heads-up win. LO said I'd probably be moved up to SL5 next week. I'm good with that!

Thanks for the comments on how techniques work for some and not for others, understood. With lots of experimentation, I've found lengthening my backstroke a bit (coming all the way back to my bridge; I didn't used to do that) along with quieting my elbow really helped me cue straight. (Of course, there's the caveat of shot speed and how long a bridge I use; don't know if it's recommended practice, but my bridge length is a little shorter on slower shots, longer on shots requiring a firm hit.)
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
No, I just heard it and like the term. I've watched many instructional videos from both pool and snooker, so I guess I picked it up there.

Last night I won APA 9-ball in a heads-up SL4/4 match 31-7 to go along with last week's 31-5 heads-up win. LO said I'd probably be moved up to SL5 next week. I'm good with that!

Thanks for the comments on how techniques work for some and not for others, understood. With lots of experimentation, I've found lengthening my backstroke a bit (coming all the way back to my bridge; I didn't used to do that) along with quieting my elbow really helped me cue straight. (Of course, there's the caveat of shot speed and how long a bridge I use; don't know if it's recommended practice, but my bridge length is a little shorter on slower shots, longer on shots requiring a firm hit.)
congrats on your improvements..... (y)
good luck with your game
 
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