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Chopstick
01-09-2005, 12:30 PM
Everyone loves a quick fix. Well if you've let this habit creep into your game, then here's one that works. Power players are especially susceptible. When you go for a power shot does your consistency go down?

<font color="blue">Check your back swing.</font color>

On your final swing you reach back a little farther for that little extra. When you do your elbow moves. Many times it moves off the shot line. If it moves you have to make a compensating move to get it back to it's original position.

This can also manifest itself as unintentional english on a shot. Your elbow only has to move a tiny bit to the right or left in relation to your shoulder to alter the shot. Shoot a stun through shot center ball on a straight in shot. Is the cue ball spinning? It's your elbow.

If you have had this habit for a while you could even be doing it on soft shots. Restrict your back swing to no farther back than the point that would cause your elbow to move. Put a chair behind your stick and check it. You could be doing it and not even realize it. I was.

wolfdancer
01-09-2005, 03:01 PM
Good tip..thanks

PQQLK9
01-09-2005, 08:49 PM
good advice

sack316
01-10-2005, 12:02 AM
thanks for the advice, it's a problem I never really thought about until now.

Sid_Vicious
01-10-2005, 03:21 AM
Let me guess...Buddy Hall gave this advice. If you watch him stroke he always brings the ferrule all the way back to his bridge hand, no more, no less. Thanks for the insight Chop, I've put it to use in my draw and long follows and it does make a big difference...sid

JimS
01-10-2005, 05:10 AM
"Show me a man with a quick back swing and a wad of cash and I'll get my clubs" Lee Trevino.

recoveryjones
01-10-2005, 08:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Let me guess...Buddy Hall gave this advice. If you watch him stroke he always brings the ferrule all the way back to his bridge hand, no more, no less. Thanks for the insight Chop, I've put it to use in my draw and long follows and it does make a big difference...sid <hr /></blockquote>

I noticed that about Buddy as well. He does it amazingly smooth. I also noticed that his bridge hand is much closer to the ball than most nine ball players. I think the average bridge hand distance on the pro tour is somewhere around 11-12" because this longer bridge helps with the power shot aspect of nine ball.

Buddy's bridge is only about 7-8"(I'm guessing) inches,however, with his maximum back swing(and ultra smooth delivery) he has no problem with power or control.Could you imagine pulling the cue all the way back to the ferulle with a 12 inch bridge? I think even Buddy would have problems with that one.RJ

Bob_Jewett
01-10-2005, 08:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> ...
If you have had this habit for a while you could even be doing it on soft shots. Restrict your back swing to no farther back than the point that would cause your elbow to move. Put a chair behind your stick and check it. You could be doing it and not even realize it. I was. <hr /></blockquote>
Restricting the back swing is certainly one way to avoid pulling the stick off line, since the farther you pull it back, the more chance you have to get off line, but it's not clear that your elbow has to move at all even if you pull way, way back. Since you need a longer stroke sometimes for power, shouldn't you also spend some time and effort on making your stroke straight over a longer distance?

Also, I think it is possible to pull the stick off line without actually moving your elbow. You might rotate your upper arm or move your wrist in or out. This is a minor point, since such problems will probably also be reduced with a shorter backswing, but if you have to diagnose the problem for someone else (such as a student) you should be aware that the elbow can be still and the stroke may still be crooked.

A good player I knew in New York had an amazingly short back-stroke. Like an inch or two, or so it seemed, with a fairly long follow-through. I think he was keeping his stick on-line.

recoveryjones
01-10-2005, 09:17 PM
Pei Wei Chang the finalist who played Alex Pagulayan for the world championships had one of the shortest backswings I've ever seen, perhaps 2 inches(most of the time 1") at best.He was still able to run racks helped largley because of such an excellent break. The important factor in such a short stroke is what Bob mentioned was a good follow through.

When the pressure got tight I saw Pei Wei jab at the ball(more than once) which proved fatal.Some times I think one can overdo it in shortening up a stroke and there probably needs to be (in most cases) a happy medium.I didn't like his stroke at all, however, I sure wish I could run tables as frequently as he does. RJ

nhp
01-11-2005, 03:52 AM
Chopstick- I think that is a great tip, thank you. I've been aware of this for a long time, but often I forget about it.

Here are some other tidbits of information that I think one should remember if they are having problems with consistency/ in a slump:

Muscle tension- If you ever talk to Corey Deuel, he will tell you that there must be no muscle tension. By this, he means everywhere in your body. Not only should the grip be relaxed, but so should your entire stroking arm. The way to generate power in your stroke, such as to draw the cueball the length of the table, is done by simply using the weight of your stroking arm combined with the weight of the cue, driving thru the cueball. When you tense your muscles, this inhibits the effort. Try this- Place the cueball in the middle of the table, near the side pocket, and place an object ball straight in about a foot from the corner pocket. Get down into your stance, but rest your cue on the rail, as in you are still holding the cue with both hands, but the weight of the cue is being placed on the rail of the table where your waist is. Lift the cue up slightly so it is in your normal stroking position. You will feel the muscles in your shoulder and triceps of your stroking arm begin to tense. You must relax these muscles as much as possible. You must train yourself to isolate all tension only to your triceps. Many people don't realize that it's very hard not to tense up your biceps when your pectoral, triceps, and shoulder muscles are tensed. If you can learn to isolate this tension to your triceps when you are stroking, and learn to minimize this tension in your triceps, you will be able to stroke the ball like Rodney or Efren.

Another tip is on alignment. Most players who struggle with consistency don't realize that they are lining their cue up on the shot off by a few centimeters, or even inches. Set up a long straight in shot, and get down in your stance. Have a friend stand directly in front of your shot, and peer down your cuestick and tell you if your stick is not pointing dead straight on the shot. Do this ten times in a row. Most of the time, you are going to be off in a certain direction, i.e. the back end of your cuestick is off to the right a little bit. When your alignment is off, and you strike the cueball, subconciously your brain makes you automatically adjust to the shot at the last second, which causes you to twist or veer your arm off the stroking line to compensate.

One more thing- Check your stroke. Alot of people say to check if your stroke is straight by putting your cue over the line between the cloth and the wood on top of the rail. This is very hard to fix, because with both eyes open you are going to see double of your cue because of how your eyes focus. Instead of doing that, just get into your normal stance low on the cue, and take some practice strokes. Close your dominant eye, and place your weak eye over the shaft, and look at your shaft as you take practice strokes. You will see every imperfection, and it will make it easier for you to get a feel of how to adjust and fix your stroke. If that doesn't work, buy the stroketrainer.

Good luck!

Rich R.
01-11-2005, 04:17 AM
Allen Hopkins has almost no back swing at all. It doesn't seem to hurt him.

Sid_Vicious
01-11-2005, 06:43 AM
Bob...There are as many idividual ways for people to swing a cue effectively it makes any advice simply food for thought, nothing much more. I too know several short, punchy strokers and they play well, even superbly in their own game. Pool is fun, huh...sid ;-)

PQQLK9
01-11-2005, 08:58 AM
good post ...I needed that /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

LARRY_BOY
01-11-2005, 10:06 AM
I noticed Jenifer Barretta's back stroke is VERY short and slow........everything else look FANTASTIC! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


bank the 8

Chopstick
01-12-2005, 07:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Let me guess...Buddy Hall gave this advice. If you watch him stroke he always brings the ferrule all the way back to his bridge hand, no more, no less. Thanks for the insight Chop, I've put it to use in my draw and long follows and it does make a big difference...sid <hr /></blockquote>

Hi Sid. Actually I found this one on my own. The main thing Buddy told me to do was slow down. Practice stroke one, look at the object ball. Practice two, look at the cue ball. On the last backswing really zero in on the object ball and then fire. This tends to make you pause on the backswing wthout intending to. I wasn't even aware I was doing it because all my attention was on the object ball.

Chopstick
01-12-2005, 07:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> ...
If you have had this habit for a while you could even be doing it on soft shots. Restrict your back swing to no farther back than the point that would cause your elbow to move. Put a chair behind your stick and check it. You could be doing it and not even realize it. I was. <hr /></blockquote>
Restricting the back swing is certainly one way to avoid pulling the stick off line, since the farther you pull it back, the more chance you have to get off line, but it's not clear that your elbow has to move at all even if you pull way, way back. Since you need a longer stroke sometimes for power, shouldn't you also spend some time and effort on making your stroke straight over a longer distance?

Also, I think it is possible to pull the stick off line without actually moving your elbow. You might rotate your upper arm or move your wrist in or out. This is a minor point, since such problems will probably also be reduced with a shorter backswing, but if you have to diagnose the problem for someone else (such as a student) you should be aware that the elbow can be still and the stroke may still be crooked.

A good player I knew in New York had an amazingly short back-stroke. Like an inch or two, or so it seemed, with a fairly long follow-through. I think he was keeping his stick on-line. <hr /></blockquote>


Hi Bob. What I caught myself doing on power shots was taking normal practice strokes and on the last swing reaching back farther for that little extra and raising my elbow when it actually was not neccessary. The extra movements were decreasing my accuracy. As it became incorporated into my game I found the elbow bob was appearing in soft shots as well. I didn't realize how bad it was until I took steps to stop doing it. One of the principals of the golf swing is to make it as simple as possible. Eliminate any movements that aren't neccessary. When I took out the extra elbow movement my consistancy shot up. It was amazing.

Chopstick
01-12-2005, 07:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Allen Hopkins has almost no back swing at all. It doesn't seem to hurt him. <hr /></blockquote>

Grady Matthews does that too. No practice strokes. He lays the cue down like a rifle. Moves it around an inch or so and fires and he does it in about two seconds. Sometimes I think his name should be the Road Runner instead of the Professor.