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View Full Version : Grip : Space or no space between palm and cue



christopheradams
01-28-2005, 03:38 PM
I have been experimenting with my grip and its been driving me crazy going between a grip where my palm is touching the cue (lightly, not a death grip) and a grip where I have some space between the fatty tissue between the thumb and the index finger. Both work pretty good. Most books are not very clean cut on this subject. Some say "some air/space" and some say, "no space". Any suggestions or comments?

Popcorn
01-28-2005, 03:50 PM
Find what works and stick with it. All that stuff can get you nuts and there is no real right or wrong anyway.

Bob_Jewett
01-28-2005, 04:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Find what works and stick with it. All that stuff can get you nuts and there is no real right or wrong anyway. <hr /></blockquote>
Well, yes, but... Some player might shoot great with his left foot up on top of the rail for every shot, and he might be comfortable that way, but it's not what you would recommend to a beginner. I think it's better to give them a recommended way to do things, and point out the reason for the recommendation, and also point out that they may want to try some other ways. For a real-world example, Bustamante plays pretty well even though he addresses some imaginary cue ball in the Bahamas, but you would have to be pretty sadistic to recommend this technique as a starting point for a beginner.

In the particular case of how closed to keep the grip, you can make a "keep it simple" argument that there should be no daylight between the stick and the webbing between the thumb and the index finger, and that's what I recommend.
Many players start out with daylight but by the end of the stroke, the hand is tight. I think that's a needless complication.

DickLeonard
01-29-2005, 01:07 PM
Here is my way I would form a right angle with my stroking arm, the first backward movement is my wrist [so I have moved the cue back with out my forearm], hold the cue with the web and the Letter J formed by your thumb and forefinger send the cue forward. It is pretty simple and straight forward.

If you so desire you can throw the cue at the cueball and catch the cue.####

Stretch
01-29-2005, 03:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote christopheradams:</font><hr> I have been experimenting with my grip and its been driving me crazy going between a grip where my palm is touching the cue (lightly, not a death grip) and a grip where I have some space between the fatty tissue between the thumb and the index finger. Both work pretty good. Most books are not very clean cut on this subject. Some say "some air/space" and some say, "no space". Any suggestions or comments? <hr /></blockquote>

This is how i check my grip from time to time in order to make sure i havn't let anything creep in. At the address position you want your elbow to be above the cue with the forarm hanging straight down. Your middle and ring fingers should cradle the cue. Next use your pointer finger to point straight down and touch the table. This aligns the wrist with the forarm. That is the desired position of the wrist as it goes through the ob on the stroke. Now gently wrap the thumb and pointer finger around the cue, "no pressure" they are just along for the ride as the middle finger and ring finger support the weight of the cue through the stroke. The baby finger is also snugged up to the ring finger in a natural way to add the slightest of support to the integrity of the hold. Some people have the pinky finger right off the cue all together, or tuck it under! I guess it's just not much of a factor at all.

What is most important is that your grip is light and loose as possible without letting go. If you grip the cue you tense muscles that are needed for speed and touch. Keep it loose, keep it smooth. St

christopheradams
02-01-2005, 06:22 AM
During my last practice session, I switched yet again to a grip with more space and was hitting the balls pretty smooth and loose. While experimenting I came up with a pretty good discovery. I was using just my finger tips and tip of the thumb to shoot balls. I know this is very unorthodox and I am not recomending anyone shoot this way and I am not going to either but I discovered that it automatically demonstrates to yourself a light grip on the cue. Try it out. I was really getting some juice on draw shots with this grip. Does anyone know of anyone who actually plays like this(pro players).
Let me know what you think if you happen to shoot some balls like this.

DickLeonard
02-01-2005, 07:20 AM
The only player that I knew who played with a grip like YoYoMa was Al Gassner. He played in the Worlds Tourneys of the 60s. He was an elegant looking man in a Tux and White Hair. I think under extreme pressure of tournament play he missed some shots that if he used a firmer grip he would have made.####

RUNaRAK
02-01-2005, 10:56 AM
Dick makes a great point. You want to do something that works in all conditions. If it can work for you when the pressure is on, than it is probably the thing to do for "You".
Fundamentals become very apparent when one is in a pressure situation, lack of good fundamentals have been the downfall of many good players.
My 2 cents...

Bob_Jewett
02-01-2005, 01:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote christopheradams:</font><hr> ... (finger-tip grip) I was really getting some juice on draw shots with this grip. ... <hr /></blockquote>
You were probably getting more draw than you were used to because you were hitting the cue ball lower than usual for your draw shots. You were probably hitting lower than usual because your change to a finger-tip grip changed the dynamics of your stroke, like preventing you from pushing the butt down as much, which kills draw.

But of course, without seeing your shot, it's impossible to be sure. Have you considered having someone check out your fundamentals?

DickLeonard
02-01-2005, 01:17 PM
RunaRack No Worlds Champion had a worse stroke than James Cisero Murphy, he brought the cue back in the path of a Large Letter L and then returned to hit the cueball.

I have always maintained if he had played with a somewhat reasonable stroke, he would have won many more tourneys. He missed a short shot in the side pocket that cost him one Title.####

Bob_Jewett
02-01-2005, 01:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> RunaRack No Worlds Champion had a worse stroke than James Cisero Murphy, he brought the cue back in the path of a Large Letter L and then returned to hit the cueball.... <hr /></blockquote>
The path of his hand looked like a cork-screw to me. What really surprised me was when he had to shoot a spot shot from the left side of the table, he changed over to play it left-handed, and the stroke motion was identical! I too wonder whether more orthodox fundamentals would have improved/prolonged his career, as with Hoppe, etc., but we can never know about those "funny strokers."

DickLeonard
02-01-2005, 02:52 PM
Bob what amazed me was when he got to the end of his stroke he didn't pause he stopped before he started back.####

Rod
02-01-2005, 04:54 PM
Dick,

I always said, I could have lunch waiting for him to go forward!

Rod

wolfdancer
02-01-2005, 04:56 PM
"You were probably hitting lower than usual because your change to a finger-tip grip changed the dynamics of your stroke, like preventing you from pushing the butt down as much, which kills draw."

Bob, can you restate this?...I'm not quite sure what you mean, by pushing the butt down...to level??...which kills draw ??
Not having a good draw stroke myself....I'm open to try anything. My present limits are from a distance of 4 diamonds away, I can draw back 6 diamonds to the rail, occasionally rebounding one more diamond. I used to watch Hahn...from a table length distance, draw the ball back the length of the table....seemingly with less effort then i put into it.

"Have you considered having someone check out your fundamentals?"
Most just gave up and walked away muttering to themselves, some got violently ill....Scott Lee left town shortly afterwards

Chris Cass
02-01-2005, 04:57 PM
Just hold it with enough pressure to not drop the cue. forget about airspace and let your wrist and fingers go limp. If you can do this you'll be where you want to be.

C.C.

Bob_Jewett
02-01-2005, 05:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> ...
Bob, can you restate this?...I'm not quite sure what you mean, by pushing the butt down...to level??...which kills draw ??
...<hr /></blockquote>
If you fiddle with your fundamentals your shots will change. If you don't have sound fundamentals to begin with -- for example, if your draw is lousy for some unknown reason -- changes in fundamentals may give initial improvements. Lots of beginners trying to draw the ball drop their elbows early in the stroke. I hope it's obvious why dropping the elbow early is an absolute and total disaster for draw.

Going to a finger-tip grip will change the cueing action, maybe for the better if it is bad to start with. Using a wider stance may do the same thing, or maybe it's a foot-together stance. Some players pile one bad habit on top of another hoping to get an improvement, when I think they would be much better off starting with orthodox (standard) fundamentals. But people are looking for quick fixes and the three magic words that will make them champions.

christopheradams
02-01-2005, 08:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote christopheradams:</font><hr> ... (finger-tip grip) I was really getting some juice on draw shots with this grip. ... <hr /></blockquote>
You were probably getting more draw than you were used to because you were hitting the cue ball lower than usual for your draw shots. You were probably hitting lower than usual because your change to a finger-tip grip changed the dynamics of your stroke, like preventing you from pushing the butt down as much, which kills draw.

But of course, without seeing your shot, it's impossible to be sure. Have you considered having someone check out your fundamentals? <hr /></blockquote>


No I was not getting more draw than I am use too. I was just getting more draw than I would suspect with just the fingertips. And I check my fundamentals on a daily basis on a quest to perfect them, keeping an open mind to anything that may help or improve.

tateuts
02-01-2005, 09:05 PM
Most of the pros have tightened up the gap between the web and the handle. That doesn't mean their palm is on the handle in a fist - it's not. Their thumb and forefinger are tight around the handle through the stroke.

I spent some time during the last few tournaments here looking for the pro "gap". Corey Deuel is one of the few who have the gap now - almost all the rest do not. The Filipinos all have a tight grip and they are the classic example.

Personally, I think smallish hands are better off with the tight grip, and larger hands, specifically long fingers, with the cradle grip. I use the cradle but I keep it firm - and it keeps my fingertips where I like them, which is directly under the handle.

Chris

christopheradams
02-02-2005, 05:56 AM
I noticed Neils Fejin(not sure if is spelled his name right) has quite a gap in his grip space in his grip. Also has the classic fundamentals of a snooker player turned pool pro. He reminds me of a male Allison Fisher.

tateuts
02-02-2005, 08:27 AM
Niels - He has a fine game, disciplined mechanics and a powerful stroke. I like watching him pay. He has great follow through. His tip literally freezes in the follow through position after each stroke.

jpeters
02-02-2005, 10:17 AM
Great point made Mr. Jewett. The grip is another area where I found a lot of changes taking place. One thing that was quite profound was the space between the front of my grip. I have not read or seen anyone else talk about this area before nor had it ever occured to me. After watching the assistant Instructor Hunter (can't remember his last name) teach the 4 points of the grip and the close up from the back in motion did I realize this very important area. This is where the pressure changes when you stroke back and forth. I now have instant feedback on this area as to exactly where the cue is in the stroke and I can feel the cue hit the cue ball. I have control over it much better.

wolfdancer
02-02-2005, 11:48 AM
Thanks Bob....I used to miscue a lot, when trying to hit a hard draw shot....I accidently found out that I could get decent results, with a shorter bridge length....I was probably dropping too early??
Still don't have a good draw stroke, but at least have a serviceable one.

Stretch
02-02-2005, 12:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote christopheradams:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote christopheradams:</font><hr> ... (finger-tip grip) I was really getting some juice on draw shots with this grip. ... <hr /></blockquote>
You were probably getting more draw than you were used to because you were hitting the cue ball lower than usual for your draw shots. You were probably hitting lower than usual because your change to a finger-tip grip changed the dynamics of your stroke, like preventing you from pushing the butt down as much, which kills draw.

But of course, without seeing your shot, it's impossible to be sure. Have you considered having someone check out your fundamentals? <hr /></blockquote>


No I was not getting more draw than I am use too. I was just getting more draw than I would suspect with just the fingertips. And I check my fundamentals on a daily basis on a quest to perfect them, keeping an open mind to anything that may help or improve. <hr /></blockquote>

Well as long as your keeping an open mind......Drawing is all about follow through. Try this, set up an easy dead on hit. the ob about a foot from the pocket, the cue ball a foot or so from the ob. Instead of focusing on the ob when you stroke the shot, imagine the ob "beyond" the point where it actually is. You'll end up drawing a ton. The differance is you fooled your stroke to a farther shot and you gave it more draw. You can harness and fine tune the draw shot by getting the same results with as little energy as possible. St.

christopheradams
02-03-2005, 06:10 AM
I think I had a good break through in my grip mechanics last night at work. I was gripping the cue with my thumb more pointed towards the floor and in line with my middle finger and it felt very smooth. I usually have my thumb lying more along the side of the cue and my index finger/pointer finger. I am not sure if this is possibly just better for me though because my middle finger is a little weirder than normal, as a kid I got the tip grinded off with a riding lawn mower chain/gear and they had to sew it back together. It grew back but its a little deformed. I think that might has something to with all my fiddling around with my grip.

JohnnyP
02-03-2005, 06:55 AM
Wow, a flash from 1966. Haven't heard that one in years.

http://www.links2love.com/love_lyrics_80.htm

DickLeonard
02-03-2005, 07:37 AM
Jp My Ralph Greenleaf tape is out from my Library when it is returned. It is long overdue, the late charge will be astronomical, I will check his grip along with Wille Hoppes.####

christopheradams
02-04-2005, 09:38 AM
Now I'm more back to no space and just keeping the pressure light. Hitting them pretty good and think I am ironing out the bugs. Thanks for all the advice everyone. Its been helpful.

Rod
02-04-2005, 06:17 PM
I was going to write, but didn't-- In the end if you settle with a light grip the gap will barely close. It should be cradled with you thumb/fingers no noticable pressure. If the fingers grip, your way to tight. That causes arm/wrist tension and a lot of problems.

Rod

christopheradams
02-04-2005, 06:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> I was going to write, but didn't-- In the end if you settle with a light grip the gap will barely close. It should be cradled with you thumb/fingers no noticable pressure. If the fingers grip, your way to tight. That causes arm/wrist tension and a lot of problems.

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

I feel like I still control the cue but don't get the "sawing" effect with this full and light approach. Thanks for the comments.