The PAUSE in pool stroke

8cree

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
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A lot of amateur golfers ( and some pros ) Fight this all the time. Very similar to the pool stroke. If they don't have a slight transition pause at the top of the backswing , they will 'swing from the top' . This causes loss of power and the swing gets out of the grove and miss hits the ball. Very ugly in golf.
In pool , you must start the forward swing at the same speed you took it back and then accelerate THRU the OB.
Its hard to see live , but recorded in slow motion makes it really easy to see the flaw.
Good luck all ( me too ) lol
Do you have links to the slow mo vids by chance?
 

spin_right_round

New member
I proactively think about the backswing, pause and follow-through during the “moment of stillness” in the last forward motion of the pre-stroke. I believe I saw Neils Feijen describe it in one of his youtube videos on stroke building. I would say just pick any drill that you like and practice the pause till you’ve internalized it.
 

RacerX750

Registered
I struggled for a long time trying to incorporate a pause into my stroke.

It wasn’t until someone posted the following lesson from Mark Wilson at DCC that it finally clicked for me (do yourself a favor and watch all 3 parts):

I recently drove to St Louis and had 2 days of personal lessons with Mark. I spent a year working on what he teaches in his book before I went. The best thing you can do to burn in what he teaches - and the main thing he worked on with me - is put the ball on the spot and shoot it the length of the table so it returns to the cue tip that should be resting right over the spot. Do that at the start of every practice session for 15 minutes before you do anything else. When you get a high percentage of success over time, try shooting hard so the cue ball travels the length of the table at least 3 times. If that starts hitting the tip or getting very close, you'll have absorbed Mark's instruction. Don't expect it to happen overnight. Even after a year with his book, it took me almost a month of daily practice after the lessons to get a consistent, repeatable stroke. On every shot if you deliver your best stroke, even if you don't pocket the ball or control the cue ball, you accomplished what is necessary to improve your game. It takes dedication and a very long time. Progress comes slowly, but it's worth it. Nothing is as important as a straight, controlled, repeatable stroke.
 

dquarasr

Registered
In pool , you must start the forward swing at the same speed you took it back
I hadn’t heard this. Can you please explain rationale? I’m having a hard time picturing what a fast backstroke looks and feels like on a shot I need to shoot with some speed.
 

Tennessee-Mike

New member
Long post: With about 50 years of bad pool shooting technique, I know how tough is is to break those bad habits, especially regarding stroke delivery. Having a lesson with Mark Wilson a few years ago tamed that problem, but coming off the Covid layoff has awakened my jumpy transition. What's worked for me recently is having this specific stroke delivery thought (memory) in mind: how long my Thru stroke will be. I am thinking about that during the backstroke pause - it gives my mind something to do and forces the pause to occur. (It's similar to a top player's recent tip that, on a draw shot, his only thought is to 'finish the stroke'). My thought is all about how I will deliver the cue stick to and thru that span of 5 or 6 inches past the cue ball; thinking about that targeted piece of real estate also helps me start the stroke slowly. (This concept of thinking pre-shot, about how long a back stroke I'll use, and how far my Thru stroke will go past the cue ball, helps me try out different 'gears' / speed for a shot.) Many pro players have a collection of different distances on their back and forward strokes, and trying to mimic those various gears gives me a way to gauge the power. During the pause, I'm not trying to tell myself how to deliver that exact stroke, just want to help my stick-brain recall how I do it.
 

Tennessee-Mike

New member
I hadn’t heard this. Can you please explain rationale? I’m having a hard time picturing what a fast backstroke looks and feels like on a shot I need to shoot with some speed.
I've heard the exact opposite from Jerry Briesath, namely that the backstroke is always at the same, slow pace, only the forward stroke will have different speeds. Consider a small movement safety play that requires a soft touch - very short backstroke (an inch or less) and then a forward stroke that just travels a few inches.
 
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VVP

Registered
Based on memory, I believe Mark Wilson measures the pause fron the beginning of the final backstroke to the instant the cue ball is struck. I find that the length of the pause depends on the length of the bridge. A longer bridge (because of where the cue ball is) results in a longer pause. I don't think a pause can be practiced, it just has to be a result of good stroke delivery which is achieved through good practice. If it sounds confusing, I am trying to say a pause will automatically results from good stroke delivery. If your stroke is bad, pause will not help.
 
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336Robin

Multiverse Operative
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Silver Member
The exaggerated pause is not for everyone but its become all the rage.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
In pool , you must start the forward swing at the same speed you took it back
I’m having a hard time picturing what a fast backstroke looks and feels like
I've heard the exact opposite from Jerry Briesath, namely that the backstroke is always at the same, slow pace, only the forward stroke will have different speeds.
I think you guys might be misreading Gunn_Slinger - notice he says the forward swing should start at the same speed as the backstroke. Sounds to me like he's advising a slow backstroke and a gradual acceleration of the shot stroke - all common advice.

pj
chgo
 

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm probably not one to take advice from, but I don't focus on a pause at the back, I instead focus on a smooth, unrushed transition into the forward swing. I tried practicing the pause a lot, but all it did was make me dog the shots. Perhaps it's worth exploring not that my stance and alignment is better than it used to be.
Exactly my thoughts! For the life of me, and I’m approaching 60, I have never had any success in trying to insert a pause in the back. It’s more of a slow smooth transition. Maybe it will come to me in my 80’s? Lol
 

vinay

Registered
This might seem counter-intuitive, but a drill my teammate had me do really improved the rhythm of my shot. We shot balls around for a couple of hours with no practice strokes. Aim, get down, pull back, shoot. He'd stop me and make me reset if I even had the tiniest back-and forth or adjustment while down. This really helped improve my stroke because it helped focus on the final aim and delivery.
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This might seem counter-intuitive, but a drill my teammate had me do really improved the rhythm of my shot. We shot balls around for a couple of hours with no practice strokes. Aim, get down, pull back, shoot. He'd stop me and make me reset if I even had the tiniest back-and forth or adjustment while down. This really helped improve my stroke because it helped focus on the final aim and delivery.
There is an older gentleman on my team that gets donw on the shot, then adjusts left or right. I can tell he will miss the shot. I tried to get him to approach the shot from a distance, and walk to it on the shot line. When he did that, he would make the shot. But he's 84 years old and has a hard time with change.
 

FeelDaShot

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the past, I've tried implementing a pause in my backstroke but it never became comfortable or helped much so I gave up on it. Last night after reading this thread I decided to revisit it focusing on having a very slow start to my forward swing and accelerating through the shot. By doing so, a pause naturally develops and my stroke feels way more in control and less jerky.

I've been stuck at the same level for a few years now without much motivation to improve but today I finally feel excited to get home and hit some more balls to test the limits of my new stroke. Thanks again everyone! Hopefully I can make this change a permanent one.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
It's the bottom of the bell curve of going subconscious.


Jeff Livingston
Absolutely this...

Anybody ever wonder why you can simply slap at shots and make them...? It's because you not trying and your subconscious is making dynamic changes to your stroke to correct for a complete lack of aim.

I've really been struggling with potting lately. Which is somewhat out of character for me. I blame all the induced noise in my head from reading comments in the aiming forum...lol. Anyway... nothing was working until I revisited a lengthy pause ~1sec. My potting has come right back to speed, and confidence is slowly rebuilding. So the question is why...

My take on it is simple enough. When I'm verifying aim while down on the ball. I do so by insuring my cue is on path with my 'aim line'. If it's not quite on path or my stroke is a tad off from true, then I adjust. The lengthy pause disconnects my aiming noise from my actual shot. The pause allows my subconscious to take over the mechanics of the final stroke. Without the pause, I never leave the corrective aiming process and I believe that noise has been the cause of my relative easy misses.

I know I'll have tons of comments directed at me regarding when aiming actually and/or should happen, blah blah blah. The above is just an example of why a heathy pause may help some players such as myself. My other piece of advice is to never visit the aiming section of AZB....lol
 
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FeelDaShot

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Absolutely this...

Anybody ever wonder why you can simply slap at shots and make them...? It's because you not trying and my subconscious is making dynamic changes to your stroke to correct for a complete lack of aim.

I've really been struggling with potting lately. Which is somewhat out of character for me. I blame all the induced noise in my head from reading comments in the aiming forum...lol. Anyway... nothing was working until I revisited a lengthy pause ~1sec. My potting has come right back to speed, and confidence is slowly rebuilding. So the question is why...

My take on it is simple enough. When I'm verifying aim while down on the ball. I do so by insuring my cue is on path with my 'aim line'. If it's not quite on path or my stroke is a tad off from true, then I adjust. The lengthy pause disconnects my aiming noise from my actual shot. The pause allows my subconscious to take over the mechanics of the final stroke. Without the pause, I never leave the corrective aiming process and I believe that noise has been the cause of my relative easy misses.

I know I'll have tons of comments directed at me regarding when aiming actually and/or should happen, blah blah blah. The above is just why an example of why a heathy pause may help some players such as myself. My other piece of advice is to never visit the aiming section of AZB....lol
All of the experts recommend letting your subconscious do the shooting. However, I find it best if I can slow down everything to the point that my conscious mind is awake through the entire shot. I play with much more control this way.

On high speed shots such as the break or a powerful draw it's nearly impossible to do but it works wonders on the slow or medium speed shots for me. To each their own I guess...
 

Hoogaar

Registered
Been playing pool for over 30 years. Had never heard of this before I stumbled on this thread last week. This is super interesting to me. I say that because I am one of the most inconsistent players I know.

I've been adding a bit of a pause for a few days now, and it was horrible at first, but I'm starting to get the hang of it now. It seems to "quiet" the transition. With this I think consistency will be a lot easier to come by. Not sure my "A" will be better because of it, but I believe my "D" game won't show up quite as often.
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
All of the experts recommend letting your subconscious do the shooting. However, I find it best if I can slow down everything to the point that my conscious mind is awake through the entire shot. I play with much more control this way.

On high speed shots such as the break or a powerful draw it's nearly impossible to do but it works wonders on the slow or medium speed shots for me. To each their own I guess...
Here's some motivation for you....

 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Absolutely this...

Anybody ever wonder why you can simply slap at shots and make them...? It's because you not trying and your subconscious is making dynamic changes to your stroke to correct for a complete lack of aim.

I've really been struggling with potting lately. Which is somewhat out of character for me. I blame all the induced noise in my head from reading comments in the aiming forum...lol. Anyway... nothing was working until I revisited a lengthy pause ~1sec. My potting has come right back to speed, and confidence is slowly rebuilding. So the question is why...

My take on it is simple enough. When I'm verifying aim while down on the ball. I do so by insuring my cue is on path with my 'aim line'. If it's not quite on path or my stroke is a tad off from true, then I adjust. The lengthy pause disconnects my aiming noise from my actual shot. The pause allows my subconscious to take over the mechanics of the final stroke. Without the pause, I never leave the corrective aiming process and I believe that noise has been the cause of my relative easy misses.

I know I'll have tons of comments directed at me regarding when aiming actually and/or should happen, blah blah blah. The above is just an example of why a heathy pause may help some players such as myself. My other piece of advice is to never visit the aiming section of AZB....lol
Since reading this thread I've also started incorporating a pause in the back stroke. Balls are falling and cueball is getting much better shape. For some reason I had in my head that I couldn't get good shape with follow (I know, I know) as I kept overrunning stuff. Well, with the pause I just hit the ball with follow and it naturally goes where I want it. The pause is the ultimate STFU to your head. My stroke feels super smooth with the pause too. I'm loving it and it's working well in combination with improved stance and fundamentals. I also feel this has helped with some funkyness I had with my grip.
 
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