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woody_968
08-01-2004, 04:59 PM
Well now that I have had it for a few weeks I thought I would give a review on The Storketrainer. (http://billiardsgamestroketrainer.com/)

First some background. Over that last several months I had been working hard on my game. I put a table in my garage to drill daily. Took a lesson from Scott Lee. And had seen great improvement. I won a tournament the weekend before my stroketrainer came in, so I feel I was playing well. I have always felt like I had a pretty straight stroke and didnt know if it would help but do to so many people saying it was good I thought I would give it a try.

I spoke with Doug a couple times through email, then finally called him to order. Very nice and quick to respond. Shipped it out without delay.

Opening the package I thought "there isnt much here for $135" /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif (I ordered the extra set of guides). I put it together and started trying it out. My first thought was this doesnt feel any different than my normal stroke. After doing about 150 reps I thought I would hit some balls. After hitting the first ball I could tell a difference. I had been pulling my hand in during follow through and never noticed it. I swallowed my pride, realised Im not perfect, and decided to move on to my left hand.

When I first started using it on my left hand it sounded like the church bells at noon /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Ting, Ting, Ting was my tip hitting the guides /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif After a couple of weeks I can tell you the improvement on my left hand stroke is amazing!

This will not turn you into a road player over night. You still must learn how to pocket balls and play shape. But it can give you a straight stroke, which will make your time working on the other parts of the game much more productive.

If you play pool regularly and want to improve at this game, you wont go wrong with the Stroketainer. IMO it was worth the cost just in the improvement of my left hand.

I have no ties with Doug or his company. Im just another satisfied customer.

Rod
08-01-2004, 05:23 PM
Ha HA just a quick laugh, not at the product but you spelled the link Storketrainer. No spelling police here, just in fun.

Glad you like it and see improvement. I needed one of those last week for a guy who's arm went flying out during the stroke. I fixed him up without but there are plenty of people with those habbits. Some in, some out and there wrist very well can point that direction at address. I'm going to see this fellow next week. I've been told he really works hard on this since our lesson. I made him very aware of what to feel and look for so we'll see what happens. I doubt he would buy one but it very well could be a good tool.

Rod

woody_968
08-01-2004, 05:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> you spelled the link Storketrainer. No spelling police here, just in fun.

<hr /></blockquote>

ROFLMAO I guess I could edit it, but I kinda like it /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SnakebyteXX
08-02-2004, 08:32 AM
Based on all the positive things that I'd read about it I ordered the stroke trainer a couple of weeks ago - complete with all four target posts.

I decided to kick down for the extra ten bucks for the two extra posts that will allow you to train with either hand and got the whole package bringing the total cost to $135 including shipping. I wanted the left hand guide posts because I figured if the thing would work to train my right handed stroke (I'm a righty) then maybe I could use it to help train my left hand as well. As far as wanting a little left handed training goes my theory is that anything would be better than the non-existent stroke I have on that side now. It sure would be nice to step up to that occasional easy straight in but impossible to reach without a bridge shot - then smoothly switch to my left hand and drill it.

My review: Initially I was concerned about the over one hundred dollar cost because of the risk involved in buying something that might not work as promised. There are a lot of scam gadgets out there afterall and by most people's standards this particular gadget doesn't come cheap. I was afraid of not getting value for my dollars. I can honestly say that my fears were unfounded.

The stroketrainer is a well built piece of equipment that delivers on its promise. Once you've set it up properly the guide plate WILL make certain that your back hand is stroking properly. The guide posts simply tell you whether or not you're keeping your back hand snugly up against the guide plate while stroking. Any error in the back-hand to guide plate connection translates immediately into cue contact with either of the two forward guide posts. In other words you instantly know if you're stroking properly.

On that note, I want to speak to the 'muscle memory' aspect of this training. Can't say one way or another if there is such a thing but I DO know that in spite of my confidence in the stroke I've had for years after using the stroketrainer for several minutes I began to notice certain muscles in my arm growing fatigued in a way that signaled that they weren't accustomed to being used. In other words the trainer puts the stress where it belongs on the muscles that you need to develop for a perfect stroke and denies your reliance on those muscles that you've built up over time from shooting 'imperfectly'. I'm convinced that the improvement that can be gotten by practicing with this device is all about muscle retraining and mental motion imprinting. By 'motion imprinting' I'm talking about the stroke motion itself and your mental perception of it. If you stop to consider that most of us have developed imperfect strokes through hundreds of thousands if not millions of repetitions until those imperfect motions become set - then it would seem reasonable to assume that you can develop the proper mental 'motion imprint' in the same way - through regular repetition.

Through regular daily practice on the stroke trainer the feeling that comes with a proper stroke is becoming more and more familiar - ultimately I'm hoping that it can become so familiar and effective that I can eliminate the bad stroke habits that have held me back from shooting my best game.

The good, the bad and the ugly:

If you buy the whole package it comes with two very heavy gauge aluminum plates with pre-drilled pilot holes and set screws - and four easy to install aluminum guide posts. The current set of assembly directions suck. I found them to be confusing to the point of requiring a phone call to Doug. My biggest confusion came because there are so many pilot holes in the base plate to choose from when it comes to mounting the guide plate. The funny thing was that with a little tweaking of the instruction sheet the confusion would be eliminated. It's my understanding that problem is not unknown to Doug and the instructions are being modified at this time to help avoid any confusion in the future.

You start by mounting the guide plate down the center of the base plate with the longest part of the guide plate extending well off the back end of the trainer. The other holes are there if you need to modify the position of the guide plate because your hand or body size is too large/small for the 'down the middle' method to line things up properly.

Minor criticisms: The unit is very heavy and kind of longish (it's big). It WILL take up space in whatever room you keep it in so be prepared to find it a home that works for you. I keep mine close to my home table so that it's easy to get at but that's because I have the room to do so.

The exposed metal surfaces of the aluminum guide posts present a possible abrasion threat to your cue shaft. Any contact between cue shaft and post is wood rubbing against metal - NOT something you'd ordinarily want to see happening with your best stick. Nobody wants to scratch up their cue shaft if they can help it. My solution was simple - I took one of the short guide posts down to my hardware store and found some plastic tubing to sleeve it with. The space between the guide posts is only slightly narrower now (no big deal) but any potential abrasion problem real or imagined is gone.

Final comments: It was clear from my conversation with the inventor that he has had a lot of problems marketing his product - the majority of which have NOTHING to do with how good it is (it's good) or whether it works or not (it works). His product has gotten a lot of negative criticism in these forums the vast majority of which has come from people who have NEVER tried the StrokeTrainer.

On the issue of the 'high cost': Doug's material costs are high - it's a labor intensive operation with each unit requiring considerable time to produce - he's currently absorbing the cost of shipping (not cheap for something this heavy) and his actual profit per unit is really quite low. Bottom line here is that if things continue as they are he may not be producing this unit a year from now because in spite of what some of its critics think about the high price of the unit there is not enough gain to be had for the considerable effort it takes to build and sell the StrokeTrainer.

Me? I'm glad I bought one. In this day and age where you can spend several hundred dollars for a cue stick - several thousand dollars for a pool table and hundreds more for the best balls, cloth, case, rack, etc. it would be a good deal at twice the price.

Enough said for now - I'll talk about my efforts at developing a 'left-handed stroke' later on if anyone wants to hear it. Suffice it to say that my earliest attempts felt like trying to cut my own hair while looking in the mirror - totally alien.

Hope this helps.

Snake

Frank_Glenn
08-02-2004, 09:09 AM
[ QUOTE ]
The exposed metal surfaces of the aluminum guide posts present a possible abrasion threat to your cue shaft. Any contact between cue shaft and post is wood rubbing against metal - NOT something you'd ordinarily want to see happening with your best stick. Nobody wants to scratch up their cue shaft if they can help it. My solution was simple - I took one of the short guide posts down to my hardware store and found some plastic tubing to sleeve it with. The space between the guide posts is only slightly narrower now (no big deal) but any potential abrasion problem real or imagined is gone.
<hr /></blockquote>

I have had a stroketrainer for two years, have many times told others to get one, and have never had it cause any problem with my shaft. I use custom cues, most of which are worth several $$s and have ivory ferrules, so you do not need to worry about it "harming" your equipment, IMO. The sleeves will however, make the space smaller you are stroking into, and will further help your stroke, IMO. You are also correct that Doug listens to feedback and makes changes that are appropriate. My StrokeTrainer is one of the first styles and actually folds in the middle. It is still being used, and works very well. BTW, I keep mine on a sawhorse that is 30" high. That way I do not need to put it on the table to use it. So, you do not need a pool table to benefit from this device.

SnakebyteXX
08-02-2004, 10:38 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I have had a stroketrainer for two years, have many times told others to get one, and have never had it cause any problem with my shaft. I use custom cues, most of which are worth several $$s and have ivory ferrules, so you do not need to worry about it "harming" your equipment, <hr /></blockquote>

That's good to know. However when it comes to such things I tend to fall into the better safe than sorry group. Even though because of how effective the guide plate is the actual contact between cue shaft and guide posts is minimized I wanted to err on the side of caution.

One more thought for anyone considering buying this product. It comes with a '100% Satisfaction Guarantee'. That means that if you buy it and it doesn't live up to your expectations - you can return it for a full refund. That means that other than the potential cost of return shipping (ten bucks?) there is no risk. Try it - like it - keep it. Try it - don't like it - return it for a full refund. Doesn't get much easier than that.

Snake

Ps. I am not connected to the StrokeTrainer in any way other than that of a satisfied customer. I am NOT being paid to make these comments. At the same time - they are worth every penny of what you've paid to read them. Use your own good judgement before deciding that you need this piece of gear in your arsenal.

Barbara
08-02-2004, 10:40 AM
Does anyone know if Stroketrainer is going to have a booth at the open?

Barbara~~~free to shop /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

catscradle
08-02-2004, 10:56 AM
Let me throw in my 2 cents worth.
I had my wife get me one of these for Christmas which means I've had it about 9 months. It works at least to the extent it helped my stroke. I was very deligent the first 4 months and it was very helpful. I am less deligent now, but it still helps keep my stroke on track. My stroke has deteriorated somewhat since I've let my deligence wane. As one of the other reviewers said it was worth it just for the left hand stroke I now have.
In a couple of months my work will be forcing me to spend weekdays away from my home and my table. I will be taking the stroke trainer with me in the hope that it will help me maintain my stroke when I can't get to a table. We'll see how effective it is without a lot of table time backing it up.

SPetty
08-02-2004, 01:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr>Stroketrainer ... at the open?<hr /></blockquote>I do know that Doug is on our players list (mr8ballme) for the CCB tourney at the open. I also know he's donated a Stroke Trainer as a CCB tourney prize. (Sorry, I plan to win that one!)

I hope this is still true info - I haven't seen him post in months!

Barbara
08-02-2004, 01:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> I also know he's donated a Stroke Trainer as a CCB tourney prize. (Sorry, I plan to win that one!)
<hr /></blockquote>

You think you're going to win that baby but I'll tell ya what, there's going to be more jostling for that Stroketrainer than a room full of unattached females at a wedding positioning themselves for the bouquet toss. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara

mr8ballme
08-02-2004, 03:05 PM
Hi this is Doug/mr8ballme with the stroketrainer. I am planning to have a booth at the US open and i am singed up to play in the thing from here also. Could someone give me a call or send me an email at mr8ballme@yahoo.com and give some information on what i need to do. I am new at all this and just want to make sure i get everything done. I am down with my back and cant play much now but i am hopeing it will be better by then. My number is 540-292-8995. Thanks for your help

Barbara
08-02-2004, 03:15 PM
Doug,

Sorry to hear your back is out. Hopefully it'll right itself before the Open.

Info on the CCBIII tourny will be posted from time to time on this site as the date gets closer. Basically, all you have to do is register with Wendy to play. There's no entry fee and the format is going to be a lot of fun!

Barbara

stickman
08-02-2004, 07:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>

My review: Initially I was concerned about the over one hundred dollar cost because of the risk involved in buying something that might not work as promised. There are a lot of scam gadgets out there afterall and by most people's standards this particular gadget doesn't come cheap. I was afraid of not getting value for my dollars. I can honestly say that my fears were unfounded. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">Initially it was offered for much more than the current price. I'm not cheap, but I AM financially depressed currently. The price was the main determinating factor. I decided to build a home-made version for myself. It worked for the time being. Along the way, I got to know Doug a little. He's a great guy. When the price came down, Doug helped me find a way to afford it. The quality is good, and the materials will easily withstand a lifetime of constant use. (Much better than my home-made version.) It's a great product, and worth the price in my book. It comes with everything but the motivation to use it. You have to supply that for yourself. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font color>


Jim

woody_968
08-02-2004, 09:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stickman:</font><hr>
<font color="blue">It comes with everything but the motivation to use it. You have to supply that for yourself. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font color>
Jim <hr /></blockquote>

Tap Tap Tap

Rich R.
08-03-2004, 06:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mr8ballme:</font><hr> Could someone give me a call or send me an email at mr8ballme@yahoo.com and give some information on what i need to do. <hr /></blockquote>
Since you are already registered to play, all you have to do is PM me with the information you want on your name tag.

CCB handle.
Real name or any part there of.
Home location -- as specific or non-specific as you like.

Other than this, you only have to show up at Q-Masters on Saturday, ready to have some fun.
Oh, and play some pool too. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Rod
08-03-2004, 05:56 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Glad you like it and see improvement. I needed one of those last week for a guy who's arm went flying out during the stroke. I fixed him up without but there are plenty of people with those habbits. Some in, some out and there wrist very well can point that direction at address. I'm going to see this fellow next week. I've been told he really works hard on this since our lesson. I made him very aware of what to feel and look for so we'll see what happens. I doubt he would buy one but it very well could be a good tool.
<hr /></blockquote>

Just to follow up on my post. This fellow has been working hard on his game. After one lesson his stroke is close to dead straight. It is a big change. Of course I had to test it a bit with a couple of testy shots. Well lets say flaws started showing up. Other wise if he plays within his limitations, he's made a huge improvment.

~~rod, likes those kind of improvments

1a2b3c
08-03-2004, 06:12 PM
All the stroketrainer is is a guide plate with a couple rods sticking up at the ends that you need to shoot through? Im not seeing anything that helps control your stroking arm.

stickman
08-03-2004, 09:20 PM
By doing many repetitions, the stroke becomes patterned. It helps to train you to develop a straight stroke. The primary areas of concern I see are the chicken wing, where the arm may swing in or out from the body during the stroke. The other area of concern is where the shooter may tend to twist the wrist. Either way, you quickly recognize when you don't complete a straight stroke. If you can't stroke without hitting the posts, something is wrong. If you have a very straight stroke, it probably won't help you. I thought I had a straight stroke, but found out it wasn't as straight as I thought. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif It has helped me. Like any other piece of exercise equipment, if you don't continue to use it, it stops helping. I'm no spokeperson. This is just my opinion. That is how I think it works anyway.

I saw improvement quickly. I've let others try it and it was immediately beneficial to them also.

Jim