View Full Version : Why, StrokeTrainer / Part 1 eval

Chris Cass
09-28-2004, 06:51 AM
Hi Everyone,

Let me start from the beginning. After reading all the hub-bub about Doug Carter coming on the board and others copying his Stroke Trainer down the the T. I was too interested as to what he as a person was all about.

While playing in VF, I specifically made a stop at his booth and talked to Doug about his product and the concept of this contraption. I spoke with Doug pretty close to 1 hr discussing the product and getting insight as to what he was all about.

After that hr I was convinced in Doug' determination to not only help others players like himself but as to his belief in his product. I was extremely impressed with his product as well. I myself have rebuilt my mechanics from the ground up after yrs of playing.

I had made it to the "A" level and some places "4A" but needed that lil push to get me off this plataeu I was stuck at and still am, for now. I use a drill myself that I use for a few things. It's the basic straight-in shot. I set this up with basically the cb on the head spot and the ob two diamonds up table and about 1 diamond towards the ctr of the table. Looks like this.


I do this drill to work on my stroke. I'll draw the ball back usually back to me and back down table about half way. I draw the ball back to make doing this drill easier to set up for the next. I'll then roll a ball down and set it back in place with my cue. helps to have a friend to set up the shot again.

I go into this with different mindsets for what, I need to work on. Be it average stroke pattern, eye patterns, grip pressure and focusing on one ball at a time.

I shoot this shot average of 100 at a time. At 2 hundred I'm basically starting to draw the cb straight back and on line. That's important to me as to know when everything is straight.

If this gets straight? I know that's one variable knocked out. If, I do miss a ball it isn't because I didn't hit straight but hit the wrong spot on the ob. I'll shoot this shot a total of 1000 before I shoot any other shots. This burns everything into muscle memory. It will also mess your shots up for awhile till you settle down and not think about stroking mechanics and just concentrate on shooting.

Back to my point with the Stroke Trainer. This concept was perfect for me. As I would video tape my play and see my back arm was not straight when at 90. I'd have this lil twist at the end of my stroke and that would cause the miss every now and then. Sure, I'd have to constantly return to this shot to get the straightness there.

The Stroke Trainer gets the stroke straight. I'll still have to burn this into muscle memory but I won't have to worry about returning so often as my body will fall into place. The stance also is very important and whether you believe in the dominant eye theory or not this is also addressed in the Stroke Trainer. With adjusting holes built into the plate. You can adjust it so your eye is over the cue or the chin lock is above the cue' ctr. It does it all.

While, attending the Open. I had the pleasure of speaking with Doug once more. We discussed the Stroke Trainer and it's bennifits again. Doug wanted to play the Open but needed a back surgery that he'd put off for a few yrs. I decided I needed this tool to eliminate the constant returning to the video and cuts out so many hrs off the learning curve getting my stroke pefectly straight and not having to tape and retape so often. I believe in taping twice a yr instead of every 3 mths.

I have one now. I've since have started my exercises to burn my stroke in memory and straight. The part 2 of this eval will come after I do burn this straightness into muscle memory and see what it does for my game.

I would suggest this tool for the pool schools out there. They can use this to help trememdously with their students. This will never replace the video taping because that is a must. It does help the learning curve big time. It also helps the players that don't have that table at home and will eliminate the costs of renting tables to practice on. That in itself will pay for the Stroke Trainer soon.

I do suggest to Doug that he put the Stroke Trainer name and website on the side of his product as others will want to ask questions, if you do bring this to the local hall. That'll save many interuptions. LOL


C.C.~~not sponsored by the stroke trainer. just want to help a fellow player out some. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-28-2004, 07:36 AM
Nice article Chris. I have a StrokeTrainer myself, wouldn't do without one. With some new modified glasses, Doug's StrokeTrainer & Bert's Mighty X Tape, I went from a 5 speed to a 7 speed very quickly. If I were a younger man, I might have a been a really good 8 Speed.

Every Pool Player I know would buy a perfect Stroke for $150.00. The problem is that no one can sell you a perfect Stroke, but thay can sell you a tool that will help develop one. The keyword that sours players is DEVELOP, that must mean work.

I play in a Pool Room that chock full of competition. Not one of those players, except for myself, has moved forward in their game in the last 3 years. But, Do they own a few dozen Videos to learn & teach from, do they have a 50 book library to learn & teach from, do they have a StrokeTrainer & a BreakRAK ... the answer is to all them questions is NO. They never do drills either.

Tennis players world wide have a back stop to practice with. Baseball players have a pitching machine to practice with. Golf players have a driving range to practice their skills. It's all about repetition to gain precision motor skills.

Thanks go to Doug Carter for making us Pool Players a nice tool to develop a Stroke that will last us a lifetime. And it only costs $150. Way to go Doug... thanks.

Glad you are doing well Chris...

Chris Cass
09-28-2004, 11:46 AM
Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the reply. I'm just giving my 2 cents for what I see as a great tool. I've yet to finish my evaluation as I'm in progress with it. Be it a good or bad eval. It's strickly my opinion. I just wanted to state the why, I decided to adopt this gizmo. lol Doug doesn't even know of this post and have to live with it whether good or bad. Not that I'm a controlling force in the pool world. lol

You know I'm an homest person and wouldn't recommend anything that I myself wouldn't invest in. I have been playing a longtime and have my own stroke and every now and then I'll develope a glitch. Call it a slump or a reason for missing.

I know for a fact what most of the pros will tell you. You must return to the basics. The mechanics are most the time at fault. That's why Jerry Briesath is so famous. Alot of the pros went to him and they know what's going on more than we do.

I can play with what I've burnt in so far and have done quite well but I see this benifiting the players that want to move from the "D" range and up. It's a fantastic tool for many reasons. Now, I believe in this product and am curious to see how it will benifit me seeing how the theory seems so clear to me.

I could care less about what others who will just sit there and do nothing to improve their games. yet, they'll say this is no good and that. They can stay at their current level and that's ok with me. I'm not going to sit back and wait for the majic pill. lol

Funny you mention it though. They're guys at the ph that all comment on my doing certain things to improve. They've all seen me do countless drills and differnt things to move my game up. They'll often comment to others like, why waist your time. Well, the same players are still at the same level and most are quick to say they don't play better because they don't have the time to put into the game. It's really funny they have so much time just sitting watching me. lol railbirds. hahahaha


C.C.~~I'd rather buy a product from an accomplished player than a "D' player that's just out to make money and has no clue about how to play. By accomplished I mean atleast a "C" level. not dogging the "D"'s out there. just trying to help them too. especially like the players that believe in their product enough to take public scheptisizm. (sp) can't spell a lick. lol I have the utmost respect for you and Doug. you totally believe in your putting out there. it's important to believe in the person behind the product too.

09-28-2004, 12:54 PM
I've owned a StrokeTrainer for a few months now and I firmly believe that it's a fantastic tool for what it's designed to do.

In the time since I ordered it I have been able to markedly increase the consistency and accuracy of my (normal) right hand stroke. With its help I have also been able to develop something I never thought possible - an off-side stroke! Learning to shoot off-side was where I came to fully appreciate what this device could do. Because I had NEVER before shot with my left hand and therefore had no idea how to master the motion of a proper stroke on that side. With the StrokeTrainer guiding my hand it wasn't long before I was able to get a sense for the proper motion and how to repeat it.

I also have the luxury of owning my own table so I am able to use the trainer whenever I feel the need for a little tune up. For example, if during play I notice that my accuracy seems to be below par and that I'm missing shots that I almost always make - I will take a time-out, grab the StrokeTrainer and spend a couple of minutes practicing the proper form.

Almost invariably it has helped me to eliminate whatever errant motion was causing the immediate problem and get me back on track. I have repeated this little exercise often enough now to know that in my case the StrokeTrainer is worth it's weight when it comes to doing what it's advertised to do.

One time not long ago, I was shooting some nine ball with my 22 year old son and his normally good stroke was failing him. We stopped and brought out the StrokeTrainer for a little practice. In seconds I was able to see that he was almost imperceptibly throwing his elbow out to the side during the exercise. When I pointed this out to him he made the necessary correction followed by about fifty more practice strokes on the trainer. When he finished with the little practice he returned to the game without any more problems with his elbow.

These are just a couple of examples of why I consider the StrokeTrainer to be a tool worth having. As far as I'm concerned - it works and it works well.


09-28-2004, 01:06 PM
Great review Chris,

I also spent some time with Doug at the US Open. One of the insights he brought to my attention is the value of this great tool for 'opposite' handed stroke training.

I've practiced left handed shots in the past, but always had trouble with speed control. When I was tried the stroke trainer at the US Open, it showed me that my back hand was all over the place. Wobbling in and out.

Great Product, and is on my wish list if anyone is interested. My birthday is in Dec., but early presents are appreciated. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-28-2004, 01:39 PM
I have built my own stroketraner as best I could using the pictures from the website. It is made of wood and although not nearly as well shaped it did improve my stroke in an instant.

I did not make it myself because i consider it expensive, I did it to avoid all the hassle getting it shipped to Slovakia and working it through the customs, the paperwork is unbearable.

I am looking forward to get an original as soon as I go to the US myself and can take it home with me, for now I have to settle with what I have done myself.

I have one question for the StrokeTrainer users out there though. I have noticed a considerable improvement in my game for about 3 days after I started to use my stroketrainer and then the game came back down. Since then I have seen a steady increase in my pocketing ability and in the quality of my stroke.

I wonder if you have experienced something similar, I seem to get through something like this quite often. I try to change something in my stance for example and boom, it works wonders for 1 or 2 days and then all is back to normal. Why is that?

Chris Cass
09-28-2004, 02:57 PM
Hi Yegon,

I can tell you but you might not like the answer. I for one who's devoted many hrs into my stroke with the video cam and mirror before I got the Stroke Trainer not long ago.

It takes about 3000 shots to burn in your stroke and to keep it there it takes another 3000 every 6 mths. Now, I'm talking with me and I have a 4 stroke average pattern. This in numbers equates to 12000 strokes. If your doing the recommended 150 strokes a day then, you'll need way much more time stroking with the trainer.

I know that sounds tough but remember you'll be shooting great once it's done for about 6 mths. I say 6 mths but till you start to falter is about right. I haven't reached it yet and won't that soon but can tell you that when I did do my drills I'd do 200 a day that's 8oo strokes worth on the trainer.

If you have pleanty of time then, you'll be ok and do it at your leisure but I am one that wants it all right now. I'll finish my part 2 and final eval on the Stroke Trainer once the 12000 strokes are complete.

Some might find these numbers alarming but I'd of done it without the stroke trainer and can tell you this. I think this tool will free my mind to do the other things while knowing my stroke is not a variable and lessens the load.


C.C.~~think about your average stroke pattern. Mine is 4 on average. that also includes my final stroke and that's the one that really counts. Doug, would rather you work on your final stroke only which means a slow and deliberate follow-through stroke. I believe in the warm up strokes to be a very important part of the process as they're the strokes that make up a major part of my pre-shot routine. I am a very systematic player but I want to keep everything as if I was shooting to what I would normally do on each shot, every time. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Wait for part 2 and we'll see what happens.

Chris Cass
09-28-2004, 03:04 PM
Hi Tom,

Thank you but I haven't given my eval on the Stroke Trainer as of yet. I only gave the reasons why it seemed like the right tool for me. Also, how it might give the advantage to others in different walks of life being the instructor or the player without a home table advantage. You can just pop that puppy on a dining table when the wifes not home and have at it. lol

The left handed thing is also a very big asset to me and my game but I plan on doing my right hand for now. My eval will come out once I complete what I call my burn in memory muscle. I feel the left hand would do me well worth the cost of it alone as my action would go up twofold. lol

I feel you'd look good in a Stroke Trainer my friend. Xmas is right around the corner but so is DCC. It'll be a great gift but DCC can't wait for you any longer. LOL


C.C.~~Toms fan for life and new younger brother who takes care of me like no other. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif BTW, can't thank you enough my friend, not enough.

09-29-2004, 05:40 AM
I have found the stroketrainer to be effective in improving my stroke in conjunction with steady practice. Very soon due to a job move, I'll being spending 5 nights a week away from home and my precious pool table (oh yeah, away from my wife too /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif). I'll still be playing 1 or 2 nights a week, but can't afford to practice every night like I do at home now. It will be very interesting to see if the stroke trainer by itself will help me maintain a good stroke.

09-29-2004, 05:52 AM
OK!! Stop the teasing and tell me where to get one!! I can't stand not having a usefull toy/gadget/googan thingee. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

09-29-2004, 05:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JimS:</font><hr> OK!! Stop the teasing and tell me where to get one!! I can't stand not having a usefull toy/gadget/googan thingee. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif <hr /></blockquote>


09-29-2004, 06:02 AM
7 minutes to get what I asked for. 7 minutes!! Ya gotta love this forum. Thanks Wally.

Chris Cass
09-29-2004, 06:22 AM
Hi Jim,

I hope you can get one soon. Unfortuanatly Doug is going in for back surgery for some long over due proceedure and don't know if he'll be able to get one out to you as of yet. He goes in the 5th so, he might just be able to swing it. Hopefully, Doug will come out feeling great and get into next yrs Open event. Oh, I should mention that the back thing didn't come from the Stroke Trainer. lol Don't mention my name. He might charge you double. hahahah



Chris Cass
09-29-2004, 06:24 AM
Hi Cat,

I think you'll come out a bit better actually. Only for the simple fact you'll devote that time clearing your mind and just concentrating on your stroke. Besides, the wife might just like you to keep busy. lol


C.C.~~ /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-29-2004, 09:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote yegon:</font><hr> I wonder if you have experienced something similar, I seem to get through something like this quite often. I try to change something in my stance for example and boom, it works wonders for 1 or 2 days and then all is back to normal. Why is that? <hr /></blockquote>

Your left brain cannot interfere since it hasn't gotten use to what your body is doing. When you do something new, instinct takes over (your right side of your brain) in order for you to succeed.

For those of you who play golf, you will understand this concept. The fisrt time you play in the new season you shoot great for the 1st nine holes. This is because you are playing by instinct (i.e. depending upon your right side of your brain to play by 'fee'). Then on the 10th hole, you start to think to much and then you know what happens from there.

I don't know if psychological analysis is a big hit overseas, but it is catching on here in the US. Just my opinion and hope that this will provide you with a possible explanation.


09-29-2004, 09:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> Great review Chris,

Great Product, and is on my wish list if anyone is interested. My birthday is in Dec., but early presents are appreciated. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

I am sure that WW would have finally been satisfied to have learned that he posted one of the most worthwhile posts ever to the CCBers on the stroketrainer. And to think of the ridicule that that poor fellow received.

Tom, I think you should send an email to Bluewolf thanking her husband, and an email to the CCB administrator to get these stupid IP addresses off the forum. They can be used as an invasion of privacy in the hands of a demented Yapping Wolf or Gremlin, who has been know to threaten to publish information on posters he does not care for. And as a matter of fact, Gremlin did just this. Maybe WW would come back to the CCB if his privacy could be protected LOL.

Cheers Tom

09-29-2004, 12:25 PM
Chris, I think you'll be happy with your ST. My biggest problem is staying motivated to use it. I don't have an ideal place to use it. I currently put it on a wooden coffee table that is too short, and hurts my back after a short while. My kitchen table is usually covered with misc. things. In another 6 months I hope to have a Valley Cougar in my livingroom and I can put it there. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Chris Cass
09-29-2004, 12:38 PM
Just get you two work horses and set it up there. JAT



09-29-2004, 08:08 PM
I took the plunge. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

09-29-2004, 09:59 PM
It just occured to me that I have two of them in my garage. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Chris Cass
09-30-2004, 09:58 AM
Garage? I hope you don't mean barn and the horses are real and . hahahaha

C.C.~~seems to be the right height to me. Yesterday I used a garbage can and a tree limp cutter across the gabage can and a lawn mower to lay the backroom blinds on while I sprayed them down cleaning them. lol It worked and I now have clean blinds. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-02-2004, 05:50 AM
whould the stroke trainer work for smaller children; is it adjustable?

10-02-2004, 05:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fasteddy7:</font><hr> whould the stroke trainer work for smaller children; is it adjustable? <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, it has adjustments.

10-02-2004, 06:26 AM
Geez, 100 shots to get warmed up, then a thousand do get dialed in. That pretty much covers the night and the next day. Then another 12 thousand with the gizmo. Man, I admire your dedication, I don't have anything close to that.

-CM~~~guess I'll never be more than a "C" /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Chris Cass
10-02-2004, 08:38 AM
Hi Fast,

I wouldn't recommend it in it's present state for small children. It could be dangerously harmfull concidering it's made of steal and it's size. However, I'd have to concider the age of the child. I'd like to know that from you and give my recommendation on what avenue to go whith him or her. That's my specialty, teaching children to play.

Now, Doug could make something up for you I'm sure and don't think the thought crossed my mind. Because it had. It's the age that matters in my humble opinion. There's something you should wait for time to have taken place. Like driving automobiles kinda thing. lol

I even went as far as the thought of the sidearm stroker. lol


C.C.~~not through with my eval but so far it's looking quite positive for Doug. As I told him and he agrees with me. No matter what the eval is all I can do is be honest.

Chris Cass
10-02-2004, 08:48 AM
Hi rah,

Well, yes he did but in the same instance he recommended FL too. So, in the casino business when playing Blk Jack we call this a push. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


C.C.~~I never heard of a Flame war till it was mentioned by Laura and soon it was off to the races with Fran. Seems trouble follows the two of them but in Laura defense I'll say. She's calmed down a bit and that's a good thing.

Chris Cass
10-02-2004, 08:51 AM
I heard Jim and you should look for my eval in about 2 mths. so around Nov 13th or so. I should be done by then or just finishing up.