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View Full Version : Applying english with a Predator shaft.



Chopstick
08-24-2004, 02:30 PM
Years ago when I first learned to play I was taught to move the whole stick over parallel to the shot line and shoot through that line. Recently I heard about this method. You set the shot up center ball, adjust for the throw, and move the bridge hand only to the side. This method seems to work better with a Predator shaft. The ball goes straighter and the throw is more consistent. It seems to compliment the approach of having the tip step aside instead of the cue ball.

One of the problems I've had playing with Predator shafts is they throw the object ball like crazy sometimes and they do deflect at 9:00 and 3:00 o'clock using a parallel line system. I quit playing for a while and I'm not up on all this new technology. Pool sticks are getting to be like golf clubs anymore.

Rod
08-24-2004, 03:32 PM
[ QUOTE ]
One of the problems I've had playing with Predator shafts is they throw the object ball like crazy<hr /></blockquote>

I'm curious as to why you think they throw the ball more than any other shaft? Is it a magical shaft? LOL Now if there claim holds true and there is less squirt (which I've never noticed) then you would be hitting the o/b closer to the intended aim line. That being said it would appear to throw the o/b more.

I aim the same with a pred or my cue and don't get to caught up with throw unless it's contact induced rather than spin. Of course speed is an all important part on any shot. You can also leave things in place and just move your backhand. I ain't getting into that part though.

Rod

woody_968
08-24-2004, 03:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> You set the shot up center ball, adjust for the throw, and move the bridge hand only to the side. <hr /></blockquote>

A more common practice, know as backhand english IIRC, is to set up the shot as normal then move the back hand to place the tip for the desired english. I have never played that way, but some people say its the best way to go.

Bob_Jewett
08-24-2004, 03:46 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
One of the problems I've had playing with Predator shafts is they throw the object ball like crazy<hr /></blockquote>

I'm curious as to why you think they throw the ball more than any other shaft? Is it a magical shaft?... <hr /></blockquote>
I remember when I had been playing for about a year, including using a lot of side spin. I had a borrowed cue from a friend. Then I had to play with a house cue. It seemed like the cue ball swerved over the line of aim every time I used spin. What was really happening, of course, is that I was used to my friend's stick that squirted half way to Richmond, and the house stick, which actually hit the ball pretty well, seemed funny.

I think the same thing is happening to the OP.

bill190
08-24-2004, 09:59 PM
Different shafts are different!

May want to read up on pivot points. Note the different pivot points for different shafts on the first link below. Then how to measure the pivot point on your cue on the second link below.

Pivot Points of different shafts...
http://www.platinumbilliards.com/rating_deflect.php

See "Squirt Measurements" Pg. 10 and 11
http://www.sfbilliards.com/Shepard_squirt.pdf

SpiderMan
08-25-2004, 09:13 AM
Hey Chop,

These guys are pretty picky on terminology - I think you are talking about "squirt", which refers to the cue ball's path not being parallel to the line on which the cue is stroked. In general, I believe that the predator shafts are designed to squirt the cueball less, so they should actually be closer to "on" for a parallel-shift aiming method than your Southwest. Probably you are so accustomed to the other cue that you compensate automatically, but now the predator doesn't need as much compensation.

"Aim-and-Pivot", or "Back-hand english", the techniques Rod alluded to in his post, probably work fine for most cues once you find the pivot point. But, on a predator, the pivot point is so far back that it's hard to do BHE without over-compensating. In that case, keeping the grip still and moving the bridge might actually be pretty close to correct, as it would interject compensation but only a little.

SpiderMan

BCgirl
08-26-2004, 11:35 AM
I've always wondered how people that use the back-hand pivot technique keep their strokes consistent.

A lot of english is going to mean several inches of pivot at the back of the cue, depending on the pivot point (less with the predator, more with something like a Schon, according to the chart). Surely that means that, for a nice clean stroke with follow-through, the cue action is several degrees off axis with respect to the line of aim? Doesn't this make it far more difficult to achieve a consistent stroke? Is someone who uses backhand english more likely to miscue with extreme english than someone who uses a parallel aiming technique? Also, is someone who uses BH english more or less vulnerable to a differences in cue deflection than someone who uses parallel aiming?

BCgirl

SpiderMan
08-26-2004, 11:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BCgirl:</font><hr> I've always wondered how people that use the back-hand pivot technique keep their strokes consistent.

A lot of english is going to mean several inches of pivot at the back of the cue, depending on the pivot point (less with the predator, more with something like a Schon, according to the chart). <hr /></blockquote>

Actually, I think that BHE would be more difficult with a predator or similar shaft, because the pivot point for nominal correction is nowhere near your natural bridge point. It would almost be easier to move your grip had forward to the pivot and then move your bridge hand over to apply english, then move your grip hand back again. Sort of like what Chopstick was describing.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BCgirl:</font><hr>Surely that means that, for a nice clean stroke with follow-through, the cue action is several degrees off axis with respect to the line of aim? Doesn't this make it far more difficult to achieve a consistent stroke? Is someone who uses backhand english more likely to miscue with extreme english than someone who uses a parallel aiming technique? <hr /></blockquote>

I've played around with BHE a little, and sometimes use it for a reference when playing a lot of inside, but I haven't noticed any increased likelihood of miscue. That's probably more a function of the actual contact point and mechanics of delivery.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BCgirl:</font><hr>Also, is someone who uses BH english more or less vulnerable to a differences in cue deflection than someone who uses parallel aiming?
BCgirl <hr /></blockquote>

I'd say that anyone who uses parallel aiming is more vulnerable to differences in cues. Parallel aiming assumes that the cueball doesn't squirt at all. BHE assumes that it squirts in a predictable fashion. If you use BHE and also understand that the pivot point varies from cue to cue (and also from CUEBALL TO CUEBALL, ie mudballs squirt a lot less than red dots with the same cue so you actually move your pivot point back), you'll generally be closer to the truth than anyone who tries to use parallel aiming.

When I use BHE, it's generally just to get a visual reference for the amount of compensation needed. I then sort of mentally compare that with what I thought was correct, and set up to stroke normally but with the correct adjustment from my mental picture. I seldom actually "swerve and shoot", as is done by players who use BHE in the classical sense.

SpiderMan

BCgirl
08-26-2004, 01:16 PM
I don't think it's correct to say that parallel aiming assumes no squirt. But, you make all the compensation prior to taking the stance. You calculate how much to shift your aiming point based on english, speed of the hit, distance, OB throw. When you do take your stance, your aim and stroke are along the line of the cue.

With parallel aiming, the aiming point and contact point may differ, whereas the BHE method, properly executed, would have the initial aiming point and contact point the same. I say initial aiming point because there sem to me to be to ways to rotate the cue. One is to move your arm off-axis somewhat after taking your stance, which seems contrary to good execution. The other is to take your stance and aim, then shift your stance to rotate the cue.
You now have consistent cueing, but your aiming point at execution has just shifted, and your accuracy would be very much dependent on how accurate you were in rotating your stance. I don't like either option, but that probably means that I'm missing the golden key to make BHE aiming simple.

BCgirl

Sid_Vicious
08-26-2004, 01:29 PM
My brain starts to stall when I read all of these kinds of posts about compensation for this shaft and for that shaft, especially the Predator. I hit several ball in warmup and no matter the shaft, I adjust, the body and senses align. All this disecting of whys and what for-z seem to me to be just a tad bit of over thinking and frankly, IMO, more negative than positive. As someone's tag line reads "Just hit the damn ball!".

Honestly, my custon shaft and my Predator shaft respond almost identical and I never even think about these kinds of worries posted here. My factory McDermotts and Vikings work into the familiar zone quickly as well, all they need is hitting some fundamental strokes for a few minutes. Now if I were shooting with a Meucci, well that's another situation altogether...sid~~~thinks we stick our brains on the slate a little too much sometimes instead of just playing and "letting it happen"

RedHell
08-26-2004, 01:38 PM
Sid, I kinda agree with you, if you start thinking about all this while playing, you'll never make a ball.

Even tho, the exercise of understanding the physic and mechanics behind a certain technic should help someone acquiring enough knowledge to adapt or adjust during training.

I think this is the point here...

BCgirl
08-26-2004, 02:32 PM
Absolutely. If you actually try to calculate everything when you're making the shot, it's no good. There are so many variables. However, this is what we do unconsciously.

What you've learnt intuitively may not be the best, whether it's the way you aim, stand, stroke, or compensate for squirt.

Several people have tried to sell me on the advantages of BHE, but never explained it. "Trust me, it's magic" doesn't work.

Switching from parallel to BHE seems like a radical change, because you need to train your sub-conscious for a different aiming point as you take your stance. At the same time, if an off-axis stroke is required because you've rotated the butt of the cue somewhat, you've introduced two error contributors that you need to tune out when compared to the parallel technique.

So my question was really an attempt to understand exactly what aspects of my game are likely to weaken, and what aspects of technique need special focus, in order to make an effective switch from parallel aiming to BHE. That way, I'm less likely to lose faith while I make the leap to making BHE second-nature. I'm still not sure that BHE has any real advantage over parallel aim, but that's another thing entirely.

BCgirl

SpiderMan
08-26-2004, 02:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BCgirl:</font><hr>
I don't think it's correct to say that parallel aiming assumes no squirt. But, you make all the compensation prior to taking the stance. You calculate how much to shift your aiming point based on english, speed of the hit, distance, OB throw. When you do take your stance, your aim and stroke are along the line of the cue.
<hr /></blockquote>

What you're referring to as parallel aiming sounds more like what non-BHE-users (including myself) do when compensating. I don't actually visualize a new aimpoint, but rather a divergence angle from the desired aimpoint. But the bottom line is that you don't wind up with the centerline of the stick parallel to the actual desired line of cueball travel, ie you have compensated by whatever means works for your own visualization.

To most, "parallel aiming" means lining up with a centerball stroke and then offsetting the cue such that it's new line is parallel to the original (desired) line of cueball travel, which obviously is inaccurate in the presence of squirt. The cueball would only move along the path indicated by the original lineup (parallel to the final stroke), if there was zero squirt.

I guess what I'm saying is that BHE is one form of compensation for squirt. "Aiming off", based on experience and knowledge of variables, is another form of compensation for squirt. I think that's what you are saying you (and probably most players including myself) presently do. What threw me off was the term "parallel aiming", which generally refers to an incorrect technique that ignores the need to compensate.

As far as switching to BHE from other methods of compensation, I suppose it depends on the individual. I personally use it only as a secondary reference, ie to check and see if it gives me the same aiming line as my normal visualization. Generally it is close. Some people are unable to consistently use BHE because they won't maintain a consistent bridge length or can't keep the pivot point fixed during the adjustment. Try shooting some straight-in shots with sidespin, if you stop the ball dead and spinning equally well with left and right then it might work well for you.

SpiderMan

Troy
08-26-2004, 02:52 PM
I don't think there is any golden key to BHE. I do think it is just another bullet in the arsenal. When I use BHE it'a a matter of slightly moving my grip hand left/right just prior to pulling the trigger. The "flow" of my stroke arm is not disturbed by the slight adjustment. I guess it's due to having done it for so long... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Troy

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BCgirl:</font><hr>.....I don't like either option, but that probably means that I'm missing the golden key to make BHE aiming simple.

BCgirl

<hr /></blockquote>

Rod
08-26-2004, 03:07 PM
[ QUOTE ]
A lot of english is going to mean several inches of pivot at the back of the cue, depending on the pivot point <font color="blue">(you mean bridge length)</font color>(less with the predator, more with something like a Schon, according to the chart). <hr /></blockquote>

I think your assuming people play at the piviot point, when most don't even know one exists. I never even heard of it until maybe three years ago. I still have no idea where it is on any of my cues. LOL, don't care either

I hope no one ever tells my Schön that, I'll be in trouble. LOL


[ QUOTE ]
Doesn't this make it far more difficult to achieve a consistent stroke? Is someone who uses backhand english more likely to miscue with extreme english than someone who uses a parallel aiming technique? <hr /></blockquote>

I don't think it's more difficult, quite the opposite. You count on the cue going a particular direction. The Phrase BHE is relatively new, where ever it come from. Years before this terminology, I just called it a side stroke. On a horizontal line the cue either goes straight (not very often even with many pro's) or it goes in to out or out to in. There can be some vertical (up or down) motion incorporated in that stroke as well. This last motion is very obvious when you watch a number of pro's.

That's part of the reason people miscue. They want the cue to go straight but that last minute twitch (or move) near impact sends it another direction.

[ QUOTE ]
Also, is someone who uses BH english more or less vulnerable to a differences in cue deflection than someone who uses parallel aiming?
<hr /></blockquote>

I'll vote less since I play that way, your mileage may vary. If I play with a pred or most any cue it's always the same. (Exception) I have played with some, usually small but not always, limp shafts that I'd never adapt to.
Remember a pred is not some magical shaft that eliminates squirt, as advertised 25% less. 25% of what? It still exists and most likely always will. Using a different stroke helps counteract squirt.

It's made to believe it's some sort of violent motion, when in fact in most cases it's very subtle. There isn't any violent motions playing pool, if there is, your in trouble.

In the end no matter how we play there is always compensation, be it aim, type of stroke, speed, cue angle, etc. Before you get to the table, you make choices from past experience. Not something I dwell on though, more than anything it just happens. I sure don't want to dwell on -- Ok, where is my pivot point, how am I going to move my arm etc. My check list really doesn't exist per-say, if I have one most likely I'm in trouble. I'd rather just have a vision and execute.

OK, that's my two bits worth. Back to the mines. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Rod

Rod
08-26-2004, 03:11 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I hit several ball in warmup and no matter the shaft, I adjust, the body and senses align. All this disecting of whys and what for-z seem to me to be just a tad bit of over thinking and frankly, IMO, more negative than positive. As someone's tag line reads "Just hit the damn ball!".
<hr /></blockquote>

You got it Sid. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

kenz54
08-26-2004, 07:46 PM
I can't believe I did not know all this and still get the ball to somehow drop into a pocket once in a while. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

SpiderMan
08-27-2004, 08:40 AM
It's not necessary to understand or appreciate the physics of pool in order to play at any level. Probably most players learn by cause/effect observation. But, if you're an engineer/nerd type, it's fun and comforting to follow an analysis and demonstrate that certain behaviors are predictable.

SpiderMan

Chopstick
08-27-2004, 10:08 AM
Thanks for all the input. I found Mr. Jewett's web page explaining back hand english. Very informative. I have worked some more with the shot and I have isolated the problem. The shot itself is a simple cut into the corner using extreme outside english. Outside meaning english applied away from the projected path of the object ball. The miss occurs when the object ball appears(emphasize appears) to be thrown to the thin side striking the long rail. If deflection alone was the cause the cue ball would be deflected to the thick side of the shot.

What is actually happening is a deflection induced curve. I can see it happen now that I know what to look for. The cue ball initially deflects toward the thick side and picks up a curve back to the thin side. Since the cue ball starts in the middle of the table I am shooting with as level a cue as possible through the horizontal center line of the ball.

I am not referring to the controversy over whether side spin causes the ball to curve. That's not what this is. What I'm thinking is that when the cue ball deflects it is pushed to the side as the cue tip moves around the circumference of the ball and somehow the friction with the cloth at the base of the ball causes it to pick up some kind of weird spin and curve. I can't figure out how that would work though. Back hand english eliminates the effect. The Southwest doesn't do it at all.

I'll try to capture it on camera.

Bob_Jewett
08-27-2004, 11:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> What is actually happening is a deflection induced curve. I can see it happen now that I know what to look for. The cue ball initially deflects toward the thick side and picks up a curve back to the thin side. Since the cue ball starts in the middle of the table I am shooting with as level a cue as possible through the horizontal center line of the ball.<hr /></blockquote>
But your stick is still elevated. It is the combination of that elevation and side that causes the swerve you see.

For your stick not to be elevated, the center of the butt (there is sometimes a screw that holds the bumper on at that point) must be at the same height as the center of the tip at the instant the tip contacts the cue ball. If you measure the height of the center of the butt above the center of the tip -- you can measure both relative to the table and subtract to find the relative elevation -- the degrees of elevation is simply the number of inches of the butt above the tip.

How much are you elevated?