The Greatest Myth in Billiards' History - The Bad Stroke!

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
I've been watching, hearing and reading players blame stroke on a multitude of errors for years. The assumption seems to be that they were aligned perfectly, but their stroke causes the miss.

I've been calling BS on this for a while, though I am aware of how certain stroking methods or tendencies can effect shot execution.

My point here is to ask what it is they think, or know, by playing and testing, that a bad stroke actually does to the shot line and induced throw on the OB.

Most who parrot stroking errors seem oblivious to the relevance of the bridge length v effective pivot point relationship and they also never seem to comment on stroke as it relates to Spin or Contact induced throw.

It's like the Bermuda Triangle of pool. What the heck do people think a stroke can do, and under what circumstances and how does this effect pocketing a ball.

It's been assumed to be obvious, but it is certainly not!

IMHO, stroke is the bogey man excuse for bad alignment on 90+% of occasions.

Opinions? Evidence? Would be happy to hear considered opinions!

Colin
 

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
Can we say a bad stroke is garbage in garbage out?
That's a specious platitude we've been flooded with for many years imho.

I can line up a shot, close my eyes and stroke it in any direction within miscue range and make the shot.

It's many more times harder to do the same with my bridge positioned incorrectly. So the garbage in metaphor, should relate to the bridge positioning, not the stroke, in most circumstances.
 

12squared

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree that poor alignment maybe the cause of a miss, but there are several instances where a bad stroke would cause a miss, most of which is when using side spin. Here are a couple of examples I would consider reasons for a miss that was stroke related:

1) on your final stroke, you twist your wrist or do something to change the direction.
2) If you decelerate during your final stroke using sidespin causing the swerve to increase over the plan. (I call this finishing my stroke before I hit the ball).
3) you stroke slower or faster then planned (still accelerating through the stroke unlike #2) while using sidespin that changes how much swerve was planned. This could be because of pressure or whatever.

In my opinion, all of the above examples of when you can have perfect alignment, but because you deliver a poor stroke it can result in a miss.

Dave
 

GoldCrown

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
That's a specious platitude we've been flooded with for many years imho.

I can line up a shot, close my eyes and stroke it in any direction within miscue range and make the shot.

It's many more times harder to do the same with my bridge positioned incorrectly. So the garbage in metaphor, should relate to the bridge positioning, not the stroke, in most circumstances.

I'm referring to the Stroke as...how the cue is held and how the stroke is delivered. Yes to the Bridge position.
 

Albatross Cues

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There is a multitude of things that have to come together to create "The Stroke"

I find most people underestimate the fundamentals of said stroke, and although everyone may be different, it really all starts at the same spot....And that is the base/feet.

You can tell how someone plays by there feet. Do they move there feet to realign? Or do they just move the cue over and "stroke" it anyway?

This is the most underestimated part of the fundamentals of the stroke. Imo

Also the one least likely to cause an excuse.

Aloha
 

Neil

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been watching, hearing and reading players blame stroke on a multitude of errors for years. The assumption seems to be that they were aligned perfectly, but their stroke causes the miss.

I've been calling BS on this for a while, though I am aware of how certain stroking methods or tendencies can effect shot execution.

My point here is to ask what it is they think, or know, by playing and testing, that a bad stroke actually does to the shot line and induced throw on the OB.

Most who parrot stroking errors seem oblivious to the relevance of the bridge length v effective pivot point relationship and they also never seem to comment on stroke as it relates to Spin or Contact induced throw.

It's like the Bermuda Triangle of pool. What the heck do people think a stroke can do, and under what circumstances and how does this effect pocketing a ball.

It's been assumed to be obvious, but it is certainly not!

IMHO, stroke is the bogey man excuse for bad alignment on 90+% of occasions.

Opinions? Evidence? Would be happy to hear considered opinions!

Colin

Colin, if you really don't know by now, you should stop talking and start reading.
 

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I don't think stroke really causes a miss. Stroke to me is evident as to what whitey does AFTER you stroke. Like stroking softly on a draw shot and the CB comes back on a quick string or using right or left and the CB takes off on that beautiful sharp angle. I have seen an opponent stop stroking mid stroke and miss hit because his mind got in the way of what he was supposed to be doing. Is that a bad stroke?
 

jsp

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Often players do not bridge at the exact pivot point of the cue. Because of squirt stroke flaws get magnified for these cases. But not bridging at the cue's pivot point doesn't necessarily mean it's 'wrong', but rather that's just the way they're accustomed to shooting with that particular cue.

And even if one bridges right at the cue's pivot point, unintentional throw, due to the result of a bad stroke, is usually the primary culprit for missed shots. When I miss long straight-in shots, it's usually the result of unintentional side spin that I put on the CB, due to an imperfect stroke.
 

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
I agree that poor alignment maybe the cause of a miss, but there are several instances where a bad stroke would cause a miss, most of which is when using side spin. Here are a couple of examples I would consider reasons for a miss that was stroke related:

1) on your final stroke, you twist your wrist or do something to change the direction.
2) If you decelerate during your final stroke using sidespin causing the swerve to increase over the plan. (I call this finishing my stroke before I hit the ball).
3) you stroke slower or faster then planned (still accelerating through the stroke unlike #2) while using sidespin that changes how much swerve was planned. This could be because of pressure or whatever.

In my opinion, all of the above examples of when you can have perfect alignment, but because you deliver a poor stroke it can result in a miss.

Dave

I'm not with you on no.1 Dave, but the other two relate to stroke speed v swerve and they are significant stroke error effects.

That said, I see many players looking back at their arm, as if to blame it, on firm strokes, where swerve is insignificant.

So, softish shots with sidespin require stroke speed control. That's a pretty well known determinant.


Colin
 

Neil

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's a specious platitude we've been flooded with for many years imho.

I can line up a shot, close my eyes and stroke it in any direction within miscue range and make the shot.

It's many more times harder to do the same with my bridge positioned incorrectly. So the garbage in metaphor, should relate to the bridge positioning, not the stroke, in most circumstances.

Then you should have no problem placing an ob in the middle of the table, the cb on the head string, both center in the middle line of the table. Mark where both balls are placed, and also mark where your bridge hand should be placed.

Now, shoot the ob with a stun shot, have the ob go to the end rail, come back to hit the cb again, and then the cb come back to your tip. You should have no problem at all doing that consistently with your bridge hand in the same place every time.

Good luck with that.;)
 

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
There is a multitude of things that have to come together to create "The Stroke"

I find most people underestimate the fundamentals of said stroke, and although everyone may be different, it really all starts at the same spot....And that is the base/feet.

You can tell how someone plays by there feet. Do they move there feet to realign? Or do they just move the cue over and "stroke" it anyway?

This is the most underestimated part of the fundamentals of the stroke. Imo

Also the one least likely to cause an excuse.

Aloha
Thanks Aloha, but can't see where that is relevant to my query. Stroke is important to some aspects, but I'm focusing on its importance to pocketing a ball. Just the stroke, not the stance, which is part of alignment.
 

Rjmoncrief

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I for one think it's way over emphasized. Here's why....there are a ton of different strokes used by numerous great players, those from the past and today, but it works for them. Example: if I took a lesson from a renowned instructor and my stroke was just like Allen Hopkins then I'm pretty sure he would want to change it to the so called PERFECT stroke. I know a player that took a lesson from a fairly popular and recommended instructor. My buddy plays an A speed and the instructor didn't watch him play, hit balls or anything. He watched his stroke and determined it was bad and proceeded from there. The entire 4 hour lesson was on creating the perfect stroke. How can u teach an accomplished player when you have no clue of how he plays? If SVB disguised himself and ask for a lesson from someone and they had this same procedure, they would have told him the same thing. Your stroke needs working on! Now I do think a horrible stroke from a beginner or anyone that simply plays bad definently needs to be improved to better their game. But to teach, preach, and emphasize that you can't be a great player because of your "BAD" stroke is ludicrous. Does Jim Furyk have the perfect Golf Swing (in relation to pool, it's his stroke)
Nice thread OP
Just my humble opinion.......:thumbup:
 

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
Then you should have no problem placing an ob in the middle of the table, the cb on the head string, both center in the middle line of the table. Mark where both balls are placed, and also mark where your bridge hand should be placed.

Now, shoot the ob with a stun shot, have the ob go to the end rail, come back to hit the cb again, and then the cb come back to your tip. You should have no problem at all doing that consistently with your bridge hand in the same place every time.

Good luck with that.;)

Great, and can you diagram that so I can save it straight into my moron file? :D
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
I do not believe a bad stroke causes misses. But I suppose part of that depends on what you consider a bad stroke. I see many people who do not stroke their cues very straight yet they have no problem making balls. I think the important thing is constancy, even if you have a bad stroke you will pocket balls without a problem because you will learn to compensate as long as you are consistently bad.
 

Neil

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great, and can you diagram that so I can save it straight into my moron file? :D

Seems your moron file is full already. Why do you need it diagrammed, do you have trouble reading? And, why do you say it is moronic? You stated that as long as your bridge is in the proper place, the stroke doesn't matter. I simply gave you a test to prove that your claim is false.

Try the test. If you are aligned the same each time, the only thing left is your stroke. You say it doesn't matter. Prove it. Or, you can just choose to ignore any proof and call anyone that says you are wrong a moron.;) You made the statement, back it up.
 

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
I for one think it's way over emphasized. Here's why....there are a ton of different strokes used by numerous great players, those from the past and today, but it works for them. Example: if I took a lesson from a renowned instructor and my stroke was just like Allen Hopkins then I'm pretty sure he would want to change it to the so called PERFECT stroke. I know a player that took a lesson from a fairly popular and recommended instructor. My buddy plays an A speed and the instructor didn't watch him play, hit balls or anything. He watched his stroke and determined it was bad and proceeded from there. The entire 4 hour lesson was on creating the perfect stroke. How can u teach an accomplished player when you have no clue of how he plays? If SVB disguised himself and ask for a lesson from someone and they had this same procedure, they would have told him the same thing. Your stroke needs working on! Now I do think a horrible stroke from a beginner or anyone that simply plays bad definently needs to be improved to better their game. But to teach, preach, and emphasize that you can't be a great player because of your "BAD" stroke is ludicrous. Does Jim Furyk have the perfect Golf Swing (in relation to pool, it's his stroke)
Nice thread OP
Just my humble opinion.......:thumbup:

Appreciate your considered thoughts Rjmoncrief.

imho, most wannabe instructors have either robot like minds or are fixated on miracles. I'm blessed, because I have both, and that's why Fats Minnesota and Howard Hughes granted me the hugest award ever given to a human.

Oh, wait, I thought I was Rudulph Walderone for a second.

But other than being an award deserving forum comedian, I still wonder if anyone actually can describe what bad stroking supposedly does.:embarrassed2:
 

Neil

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I do not believe a bad stroke causes misses. But I suppose part of that depends on what you consider a bad stroke. I see many people who do not stroke their cues very straight yet they have no problem making balls. I think the important thing is constancy, even if you have a bad stroke you will pocket balls without a problem because you will learn to compensate as long as you are consistently bad.

The first thing you have to do is define what a bad stroke is. It's really rather simple. It means that you did not do as intended. Just because someone doesn't have textbook fundamentals doesn't mean that they have a bad stroke for them.

A good stroke delivers the tip to the proper place on the cb on the proper line at the proper speed consistently. So,yes, a bad stroke does cause misses.

That said, even great players can improve on consistency. That usually happens at their level by changing their fundamentals a little bit.
 

Neil

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Appreciate your considered thoughts Rjmoncrief.

imho, most wannabe instructors have either robot like minds or are fixated on miracles. I'm blessed, because I have both, and that's why Fats Minnesota and Howard Hughes granted me the hugest award ever given to a human.

Oh, wait, I thought I was Rudulph Walderone for a second.

But other than being an award deserving forum comedian, I still wonder if anyone actually can describe what bad stroking supposedly does.:embarrassed2:

Uh, yes. It has been stated hundreds of times on here. Guess you missed all of those.
 
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