Tip....or front of grip hand?

BRKNRUN

Showin some A$$
Silver Member
In my return to pool...I am putting in more "developmental" time for my game....working on a lot of things that (in the past) I just glossed over and never gave the due diligence it deserved and most likely kept me from being the player I probably could have been......It is that old saying...."You get as good as you truly (to yourself) want to be"........Here is one concept I have pondered in the past and I just recently remembered...I don't seem to see reference to this in any books or formal instruction.....so what better place bring this up.

I have seen reference to "throwing a ball underhand" in some instruction but basically just to simulate the arm movement.......I thought...what if I applied that to my "actual" stroke......We go through all the PSR and are set at the pause moment at the CB ready to take our final stroke.....What exactly are you propelling at the CB/OB (whichever you chose to look at)....Is it the tip of the cue?.....Or is it the front of the back hand?

Instead of sending the tip at the OB...(I view OB last)....Even though you cant see it....I have been using the feeling of using the front of my back hand to hit the contact point....basically just like I am throwing that ball "underhand" at the contact point....basically just forgetting about the tip....

In this concept the "Tip" is just an extension of the front of my back hand....

Now (of course) where did I derive this from......In Golf....if your really think about it.....the club blade is really just and extension of the back of your hand.....Quite a lot of beginning amateur golfers will attempt to swing the club head at the ball....the result is usually a "cast" where the club head gets way outside the proper swing plane and they now have to manipulate it back into the ball resulting in a slice....plus with the casting all the leverage angle is lost and resulting club head speed is lost....

By swinging the back of the hand at the ball...or more specifically the butt end of the grip....The hand returns to the ball (on a more proper plane) and the "L" is not lost until just before impact where the hands release and the resulting "whip" generates massive club head speed....Frame by frame slow motion video of any professional just before impact will show the club head "lag" and the "L" position....Sergio Garcia is probably the best example.

I have never had any "formal" pool instruction....just tips here and there from old timers...(if I could get them to divulge anything that is)...I have had to build my game on my own from books, internet, experimentation etc...

So...all that being said....I am just kind of curious what others teach and/or do on that final stroke.
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
You might be interested in checking out some motor-control studies on internal vs external focus. Spoiler alert: in every study, subjects instructed to be externally focused (on target/outcome) way out-performed those instructed to be internally focused (on what the body or a particular body part is doing). The most comprehensive work was done by a professor at Duke and her team on a subject right up your alley....golf.
 

David in FL

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You might be interested in checking out some motor-control studies on internal vs external focus. Spoiler alert: in every study, subjects instructed to be externally focused (on target/outcome) way out-performed those instructed to be internally focused (on what the body or a particular body part is doing). The most comprehensive work was done by a professor at Duke and her team on a subject right up your alley....golf.

That makes a lot of sense.

There's a term that a lot of golf instructors like to use…

"Feel ain't real".

A challenge that they have is trying to give the student some thing that they "feel" that leads to the actual outcome that the instructor is seeking.

An example might be to "feel as if you're pulling your left elbow straight down" as you transition to the downswing. You're not actually doing that, but to you it might feel as if you are...

The challenge being that everybody "feels" something differently and what works for one won't necessarily work for anybody else…
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
In my return to pool...I am putting in more "developmental" time for my game....working on a lot of things that (in the past) I just glossed over and never gave the due diligence it deserved and most likely kept me from being the player I probably could have been......It is that old saying...."You get as good as you truly (to yourself) want to be"........Here is one concept I have pondered in the past and I just recently remembered...I don't seem to see reference to this in any books or formal instruction.....so what better place bring this up.

I have seen reference to "throwing a ball underhand" in some instruction but basically just to simulate the arm movement.......I thought...what if I applied that to my "actual" stroke......We go through all the PSR and are set at the pause moment at the CB ready to take our final stroke.....What exactly are you propelling at the CB/OB (whichever you chose to look at)....Is it the tip of the cue?.....Or is it the front of the back hand?

Instead of sending the tip at the OB...(I view OB last)....Even though you cant see it....I have been using the feeling of using the front of my back hand to hit the contact point....basically just like I am throwing that ball "underhand" at the contact point....basically just forgetting about the tip....

In this concept the "Tip" is just an extension of the front of my back hand....

Now (of course) where did I derive this from......In Golf....if your really think about it.....the club blade is really just and extension of the back of your hand.....Quite a lot of beginning amateur golfers will attempt to swing the club head at the ball....the result is usually a "cast" where the club head gets way outside the proper swing plane and they now have to manipulate it back into the ball resulting in a slice....plus with the casting all the leverage angle is lost and resulting club head speed is lost....

By swinging the back of the hand at the ball...or more specifically the butt end of the grip....The hand returns to the ball (on a more proper plane) and the "L" is not lost until just before impact where the hands release and the resulting "whip" generates massive club head speed....Frame by frame slow motion video of any professional just before impact will show the club head "lag" and the "L" position....Sergio Garcia is probably the best example.

I have never had any "formal" pool instruction....just tips here and there from old timers...(if I could get them to divulge anything that is)...I have had to build my game on my own from books, internet, experimentation etc...

So...all that being said....I am just kind of curious what others teach and/or do on that final stroke.
Hand at the aim point/ball starts the downswing. It's not true to accelerate through the shot, it is true that some acceleration as needed to begin the forward swing smoothly IMO.
 

BRKNRUN

Showin some A$$
Silver Member
You might be interested in checking out some motor-control studies on internal vs external focus. Spoiler alert: in every study, subjects instructed to be externally focused (on target/outcome) way out-performed those instructed to be internally focused (on what the body or a particular body part is doing). The most comprehensive work was done by a professor at Duke and her team on a subject right up your alley....golf.
Interesting....Perhaps this is the reason it works so well (at least for me).....There is always "some" method of contact point being aimed at on the OB.......That is always the "target"........(Once aligned and at the pause ready for final stroke).....I feel like forgetting about the tip and/or CB is removing a element of breakdown.....

Instead of having to control my hand that controls this cue/(tip) that controls this cb to send it on its way to a contact point......I can forget about all that and.........simply look at my target and hit it with my hand.......(no in between elements to be distracted by).......Obviously my hand is not going all the way to the target and hitting it but it "feels" that way when the CB is struck and your hand then stops because your feel like your hit your target.....(If that makes sense)

To me it is the most "natural" thing you can do....If someone says to you hit that spot right there with your hand.....You don't have to think about where your hand is...or how it is getting there...you just look at the spot and hit it.

Seems like it brings out the feeling of being one with the cue.....I am going to incorporate this (hit it with your hand) thought process at the set in my PSR and see what this does for me long term......short term....I really like it a lot....nothing really to think about except "hit the target"
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
Interesting....Perhaps this is the reason it works so well (at least for me).....There is always "some" method of contact point being aimed at on the OB.......That is always the "target"........(Once aligned and at the pause ready for final stroke).....I feel like forgetting about the tip and/or CB is removing a element of breakdown.....

Instead of having to control my hand that controls this cue/(tip) that controls this cb to send it on its way to a contact point......I can forget about all that and.........simply look at my target and hit it with my hand.......(no in between elements to be distracted by).......Obviously my hand is not going all the way to the target and hitting it but it "feels" that way when the CB is struck and your hand then stops because your feel like your hit your target.....(If that makes sense)

To me it is the most "natural" thing you can do....If someone says to you hit that spot right there with your hand.....You don't have to think about where your hand is...or how it is getting there...you just look at the spot and hit it.

Seems like it brings out the feeling of being one with the cue.....I am going to incorporate this (hit it with your hand) thought process at the set in my PSR and see what this does for me long term......short term....I really like it a lot....nothing really to think about except "hit the target"
Ye, I think the target focus and 'hit the target' thought is what's really doing the heavy lifting here rather than if you focus on the tip or the hand doing that. Either can work just fine imo and I guess would depend on preference. I'm on the other end and feel only tip momentum and send that at target. But really, it is the target focus that is key.

The real point of those studies is that people focused on target with little regard for how they achieve that, perform much better than people instructed to say, 'arm curl' or 'flex elbow joint' or 'wrist snap' or really anything to do with instructing the body how to move. There are a bunch of reasons for this and if you check out those papers you might just gain some insights into both your pool and golf games.

Most instructors teach that stroking should be subconsciously controlled. Obv a certain level of self talk and conscious control is necessary in the earlier stages of learning, but past that stage, intention for the shot and target focus reign supreme and act as the guidance for the subconscious execution of the required stroke for the shot imagined.

Tor Lowry has a nice vid on YT about what should/could be in the realm of the conscious mind vs the subconscious mind. He doesn't get into the nerding like the studies I mentioned but just as an overview of what is possible to hand over to the much more powerful subconscious mind, his vid is a good start.
 

Paul_#_

Member
Regarding forgetting about the tip and instead concentrating on the target to improve pool play, I think a similar result can occur by forgetting about the tip and instead concentrating on cue-stick follow through. There may be the psychological benefit that was mentioned and there may be a benefit because of a practical effect. By concentrating on follow through, it is harder to wobble the cue stick prior to hitting the ball and, at the same time, have good follow through. By concentrating on the follow through, one ends up decreasing pre-hit wobble.
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
Regarding forgetting about the tip and instead concentrating on the target to improve pool play, I think a similar result can occur by forgetting about the tip and instead concentrating on cue-stick follow through. There may be the psychological benefit that was mentioned and there may be a benefit because of a practical effect. By concentrating on follow through, it is harder to wobble the cue stick prior to hitting the ball and, at the same time, have good follow through. By concentrating on the follow through, one ends up decreasing pre-hit wobble.
Def a common approach. Even guys that know the follow through does nothing to affect the shot, they swear by how it allows them to create the conditions they want at contact.

I'm def a fan of finishing strokes but any idea of a particular follow through length or amount of elbow drop or whatever would fall under the category of telling your body what to do and therefore inferior to telling it what to accomplish.

I will plug Tor again as he teaches students to develop a follow through with 1000s of strokes focusing on final tip position. However, at the table, in play, that can't be any of your concern. Drill it and ingrain it, sure. But when it comes to performance during a game, it shouldn't cross your mind at all imo. I watched some of his 14day experiments with students where they go through 1000+ follow-through building strokes and get it perfect. Then you see their runouts where they are just playing and focusing on the game and their old follow-through length is back. I guess 1000 isn't enough to make it the automatic default. Not that they don't gain other benefits from those 1000 strokes, even if the follow through isn't as long as in the drill.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm more of a Caddyshack kind of person. Just be the ball. ⛳

But back to your original post, Ken --- I think what you wrote is fine, only it's not really an underhand throw, although I know what you mean --- but taking it literally, your hand would be under the cue --- palm up. I would just add to make sure the focus is on your arm doing the throwing motion and not your hand. Let your hand be still.

When you focus on your hand doing the throwing, there is a tendency to move it or apply pressure while the arm is in motion, which unless it's a specialty shot, it's not usually a good thing. Grabbing and releasing, opening and closing --- that kind of thing that the hand can do --- which can do more harm than good.
 

BRKNRUN

Showin some A$$
Silver Member
I'm more of a Caddyshack kind of person. Just be the ball. ⛳

But back to your original post, Ken --- I think what you wrote is fine, only it's not really an underhand throw, although I know what you mean --- but taking it literally, your hand would be under the cue --- palm up. I would just add to make sure the focus is on your arm doing the throwing motion and not your hand. Let your hand be still.

When you focus on your hand doing the throwing, there is a tendency to move it or apply pressure while the arm is in motion, which unless it's a specialty shot, it's not usually a good thing. Grabbing and releasing, opening and closing --- that kind of thing that the hand can do --- which can do more harm than good.

Thanks Fran....great point!

I just played around and revised the method a bit....Instead of (the feeling) of hitting the contact point with the front of my hand....I took the hand out of it and moved it up a bit to where I am using the feeling of hitting the contact point with the thumb side of my wrist.....works the same and pretty much seems to naturally force a straight arm swing.

I am really liking this....Not that it was bad before....but it feels like even my stroke rhythm/timing and strike on the CB is better also.....and it feels effortless and natural.........I feel like there is a lot of potential here........I am going to stick with this a while and "hope" it is not just a placebo effect.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks Fran....great point!

I just played around and revised the method a bit....Instead of (the feeling) of hitting the contact point with the front of my hand....I took the hand out of it and moved it up a bit to where I am using the feeling of hitting the contact point with the thumb side of my wrist.....works the same and pretty much seems to naturally force a straight arm swing.

I am really liking this....Not that it was bad before....but it feels like even my stroke rhythm/timing and strike on the CB is better also.....and it feels effortless and natural.........I feel like there is a lot of potential here........I am going to stick with this a while and "hope" it is not just a placebo effect.
Great! I don't think it will be a placebo effect. Although your hand is your point of feel for the shot, it's your arm that does the moving. I would guess that in at least 90% of a player's repertoire of shots, it is most efficient for the hand to remain passive.

So many people, both players and instructors alike, encourage intentional hand movement while the arm is moving. Ridiculous. Don't fall into that trap. For that 90% of shots, let the arm lead, and the hand will go where the arm takes it.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
I have never had any "formal" pool instruction....just tips here and there from old timers...(if I could get them to divulge anything that is)...I have had to build my game on my own from books, internet, experimentation etc...
I'm not an instructor. If you've not checked it out, check out Mark Wilson's book Play Great Pool. It's a really good instruction manual that explains stuff quite well. It won't replace the benefits of a good instructor but I've found it very helpful in my "pool journey."

With some lessons and practicing what's in the book I think a player can go a long way.
 
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