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mworkman
02-13-2005, 06:33 AM
I know the pause is generaly considered to be a plus in your stroke. I've been working on this, and thought I had it down, but I saw a video of myself and there was no apparent pause in my stroke. I just go back to what's familiar when I'm under pressure. I work on it in my pre-shot rutine when practicing, but it never sticks.
Do I need to make a longer pause while trying to get it down? How do I get it to stick? Or, should I just forget it as I'm shooting ok without it? Those of you who have it down, how long do you hold it? Do you count to yourself while holding it? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

A_LOTA_NOTA
02-13-2005, 07:51 AM
mworkman,

Bad habits will always creep back in if you let them! When practicing I hold the pause for a 4 second count. But in competition I don't think about it at all. When I first started incorporating the pause into my game I would practice it for 15 min. before & 15 min. after work for about 3 to 4 weeks. I still work on it so I don't forget to do it, but I don't spend that much time on it!

I'm sure that if it just happening when you are under pressure then you are doing just fine. That will be the last place in you game that a bad habit will leave. When we are under pressure we revert back to what we are comfortable with. keep working on it & before long it will be gone. Just be sure to revisit your drills on occasion so it doesn't creep back in!

Good luck!

Gayle in MD
02-13-2005, 08:37 AM
I have had this same problem. Here's how I solved it. First of all, I have found that I need five pre shot strokes, a pause, then striking the cueball on the sixth stroke. In order to make myself do this without thinking about it, when I practice at home, I start every practice session speaking my routine outloud. One, two three four five, pause, stroke. After doing this for several months, I found that it was etched in my brain, the sound of my own voice, in a way that has helped me to stay with it always.

Hope this helps you as much as it helped me...
Gayle in Md.

mworkman
02-13-2005, 09:05 AM
Gayle, Not sure if this will work for me because I don't take any specific amount of strokes. I just let it go when it feels right. Maybe I will work on this also.

Gayle in MD
02-13-2005, 09:27 AM
I'm sure no expert on pool, but speaking as one who got hooked on the game, who had absolutely NO natural apptitude for the game, for me, using the five fluid strokes, then a pause, and final follow through stroke, has improved my game tremendously. I don't know why the heck it took me so long to become determined about improving my preshot routine, but it was the best thing I ever did.

Just going from using three strokes to five, has had amazing results.

Let me know if you decide to give it a try. I would be interested in hearing your results. The guys on my team, also, started using five strokes, shooting on the sixth, and everyones game went up like crazy! Now it is a little team saying when one of us approaches the table "Take five!" I think most instructors teach three strokes, then pause, for myself, and I think for many, that is not enough.

Good luck!
Gayle in Md.

poolturtle
02-13-2005, 07:11 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Gayle, Not sure if this will work for me because I don't take any specific amount of strokes. I just let it go when it feels right. Maybe I will work on this also. <hr /></blockquote>
I don't know about specifically taking 5 strokes, but I have read that a consistant pre-shot routine is best. I'm still trying to etch it into my brain to constistantly do the same thing.

Toddo26
02-13-2005, 08:01 PM
Is 5 strokes a minimum, or do you take exactly 5 every time, even on really diffiult shots?

dandydan
02-13-2005, 09:32 PM

mksmith713
02-13-2005, 09:58 PM
Hey Gayle.......:)

I too use a 5 stroke approach but my differs slightly.
After I set up over the shot and get sighted, I take 2 strokes, slight pause, 2 more strokes, another slight pause, one more stroke, then a pronounced pause before taking the shot.
It just feels natural to approach my shots this way.

Rod
02-13-2005, 10:50 PM
Everyone has a pause, some are noticable and some are not. A trained eye detects this as what's known as the transition area. It matters not how long the pause. It serves the purpose of locking focus on the o/b and start gradual forward acceleration. However long that is, is how long it takes. If you think of it in those terms when practicing it will help eliminate mistakes.

One of the most, or the most common problem is rushing your swing. It should go back slow and start forward slow in an unhurried motion. This alone smoothes out your swing and increases time in the transition area. ie, a slight pause. No jerky motion helps you stay focused on the o/b and improves your accuracy on the c/b.

When these are sub-par, the swing looks like a jerk back and forward. Smooth it out, "go back slow","finish your backswing" then "go forward slow" and you'll see when the cue stops and starts forward, the pause. It's not at all necessary to look like Buddy or Allison, you'll settle into your own routine. Don't do it to imitate someone, understand it so you know why it can help. You may never have a real noticable pause; but if your move is smooth and accurate, who cares?

Rod

GeraldG
02-14-2005, 12:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Everyone has a pause, some are noticable and some are not. A trained eye detects this as what's known as the transition area. It matters not how long the pause. It serves the purpose of locking focus on the o/b and start gradual forward acceleration. However long that is, is how long it takes. If you think of it in those terms when practicing it will help eliminate mistakes.

One of the most, or the most common problem is rushing your swing. It should go back slow and start forward slow in an unhurried motion. This alone smoothes out your swing and increases time in the transition area. ie, a slight pause. No jerky motion helps you stay focused on the o/b and improves your accuracy on the c/b.

When these are sub-par, the swing looks like a jerk back and forward. Smooth it out, "go back slow","finish your backswing" then "go forward slow" and you'll see when the cue stops and starts forward, the pause. It's not at all necessary to look like Buddy or Allison, you'll settle into your own routine. Don't do it to imitate someone, understand it so you know why it can help. You may never have a real noticable pause; but if your move is smooth and accurate, who cares?

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

I agree. I've found that, for myself, it's easier to concentrate on slowing the backswing as opposed to elongating the pause. With a slower backswing, you'll automatically get a longer pause. With a quick backswing (hence a quick reversal of direction and stroke) I tend to tense up....that's death on my stroke.

pooltchr
02-14-2005, 04:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dandydan:</font><hr> fads come and they go. One does a pause on TV and then everyone copies it. All the great players and all the great runs had no pause, what does that tell you. Pause, it does not matter. <hr /></blockquote>

The real purpose of the pause is to allow a transition from the triceps, which function to drive your backstroke, to the biceps which deliver the forward stroke. As was pointed out, it helps prevent a jerking motion at the beginning of the stroke.

When you back your car out of the driveway, you probably let the car come to a full stop before putting it in drive. If you don't, there is a sudden jerk when you start going forward. Same principle applys to your stroke. You gotta stop one motion before you can reverse direction.
Steve

Chris Cass
02-14-2005, 05:05 AM
Hi Gerald,

I just wanted to mention that you msde a good observation of yourself.

Regards,

C.C.

Chris Cass
02-14-2005, 05:08 AM
Hi mworkman,

I think Rod put it into the correct terms. Everyone has a pause. There has to be between the backwards motion and then to the front. Some more pronounced than others but don't let the time fool you. Your brain functions this way normally.

Regards,

C.C.

Chris Cass
02-14-2005, 05:16 AM
Hi Todd,

I think Gayle means a min of 5 warm-up strokes. If something goes wrong during the warm-up peroid she'll either stand up and reevailuate the shot or double up the beginning phase. Not sure? I think the warm-up strokes is her average stroke pattern?

Regards,

C.C.

DickLeonard
02-14-2005, 12:14 PM
Gayle that is how I quit smoking 36 years ago. I saw this saying in a newspaper Smoke,Choke,Croak. I said that over and over for maybe 30 days and quit smoking and never ever wanted another one.

When I wanted to change a part of my game I would use the same technique. I would tell myself over and over what I wanted to change till it became part of my game. I wouldn't play anyone while I was changing any part of my game because until it is ingrained into body/mind the first thing one does when playing is slip back into the old style. ####

Cane
02-14-2005, 06:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mworkman:</font><hr> Gayle, Not sure if this will work for me because I don't take any specific amount of strokes. I just let it go when it feels right. Maybe I will work on this also. <hr /></blockquote>

I think someone else mentioned this but, taking the same number of strokes during your shooting routine is important. If your preshot routine and your shooting routine aren't consistent, how can your game be consistent.

As far as a pause being a fad, Rod was absolutely right. EVERYONE has a pause. It's physically impossible for you to stroke the cue back, then forward without a pause. Now, some people have a long pause and some have an almost imperceptably short pause, but there IS a pause in everyone's stroke. Wanna see a long pause from a great champion, look at Buddy Hall. His pause is exceptionally long, and for a reason, which has to do with his eye pattern, no need to go into that on this thread, but his long pause does have a purpose... and you can't argue with how well it works for him.

I watch tapes of great players every chance I get, and, being an instructor, I pay special attention to every players mechanics... Efren has a pause, Jose P. has a pause, Earl has a pause, Johnny Archer, George Breedlove, Grady Mathews, Jeremy, Alex, Corey, Gabe... ALL of these champions have a pause, and so does every player... how long it is, who cares. The plain simple fact is that nothing, including your cue, can change directions without a pause. If it's going back it has to stop to go forward. I use a longer pause because of WHEN I transistion my eyes, some use an almost undetectable pause because of when they transition their eyes.

Pizza delivery is here... gotta go.

Later,
Bob

SpiderMan
02-15-2005, 07:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> I think someone else mentioned this but, taking the same number of strokes during your shooting routine is important. If your preshot routine and your shooting routine aren't consistent, how can your game be consistent.

As far as a pause being a fad, Rod was absolutely right. EVERYONE has a pause. It's physically impossible for you to stroke the cue back, then forward without a pause. Now, some people have a long pause and some have an almost imperceptably short pause, but there IS a pause in everyone's stroke. Wanna see a long pause from a great champion, look at Buddy Hall. His pause is exceptionally long, and for a reason, which has to do with his eye pattern, no need to go into that on this thread, but his long pause does have a purpose... and you can't argue with how well it works for him.

I watch tapes of great players every chance I get, and, being an instructor, I pay special attention to every players mechanics... Efren has a pause, Jose P. has a pause, Earl has a pause, Johnny Archer, George Breedlove, Grady Mathews, Jeremy, Alex, Corey, Gabe... ALL of these champions have a pause, and so does every player... how long it is, who cares. The plain simple fact is that nothing, including your cue, can change directions without a pause. If it's going back it has to stop to go forward. I use a longer pause because of WHEN I transistion my eyes, some use an almost undetectable pause because of when they transition their eyes.
<hr /></blockquote>

Bob,

In watching all these high-level players' mechanics, have you atually been able to verify that they always take the same number of practice strokes on every shot?

SpiderMan

christopheradams
02-15-2005, 11:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dandydan:</font><hr> fads come and they go. One does a pause on TV and then everyone copies it. All the great players and all the great runs had no pause, what does that tell you. Pause, it does not matter. <hr /></blockquote>

I agree, If you try out the pause and you like it, then go for it but if its un natural I would say keep the back and forth pendulum swing. I think not pausing helps you to regulate your speed control better. And I also agree that a lot of the great players don't pause. I like to pause at the cue ball just before I pull straight back and straight forward. But, not pausing at the cue ball can work for some people as well and can in some cases create and even better pendulum action.

christopheradams
02-15-2005, 11:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> As far as a pause being a fad, Rod was absolutely right. EVERYONE has a pause. It's physically impossible for you to stroke the cue back, then forward without a pause. Now, some people have a long pause and some have an almost imperceptably short pause, but there IS a pause in everyone's stroke. Wanna see a long pause from a great champion, look at Buddy Hall. His pause is exceptionally long, and for a reason, which has to do with his eye pattern, no need to go into that on this thread, but his long pause does have a purpose... and you can't argue with how well it works for him.

I watch tapes of great players every chance I get, and, being an instructor, I pay special attention to every players mechanics... Efren has a pause, Jose P. has a pause, Earl has a pause, Johnny Archer, George Breedlove, Grady Mathews, Jeremy, Alex, Corey, Gabe... ALL of these champions have a pause, and so does every player... how long it is, who cares. <hr /></blockquote>

Its not so much as if they actually pause or not, its about the thought of it. Of course you have to stop when bringing the cue back. But if some people think about this then it can cause a stroke that is not fluid. It is just like if you were to pull someone back that was sitting on a swing. If you pull them all the way back and stopped and held them there for a while and then suddenly let go of them or pushed them forward, it would not be very flowing. If you pulled them back and then pushed them forward or just let go without the thought of stopping, it would be more flowing and less jerky.

Sawing wood is also similar. If you were to saw wood stop at each pass, sometimes the saw can get stuck. If you keep it "in one non stop motion" the saw go smoothly through the item better.
You can tell when you watch what players are thinking "pause" and what players are thinking "back and forth".

Cane
02-15-2005, 11:34 AM
Spider,
No Actually, I haven't seen that consistently among high ALL high level players. Buddy Hall does, definitely. Mike Davis, now in his 3rd year on tour, has a funky stroke (works well for him, so what can you say?), but does take the same number of warmup strokes every time. Earl, well, it depends on how aggitated he is! Sometimes he takes X number of strokes, sometimes he takes Y number of strokes. Gabe is like a blueprint... same thing every time. Jon S. (a pretty damn salty 14.1 player) is consistent in warmup strokes when he's winning... when he isn't hitting well, the number of strokes changes from shot to shot. On the women's side, Jeanette is like a clock, as is Allison, Karen and Vivian (old tapes of Vivian show she used to be very irratic on warm up strokes, but very consistent now).

Looking at road players that I know and whose matches I've watched intently from a chair... Curtis Payne is like a machine (Curtis's health is not great, but his game still has some very high point). Same thing every time, whether it's an 80 table length cut or a straight in 9-Ball. Fat Ralph... never can tell what he's going to do, except take your money. Dave Matlock, also like a blueprint, same thing every time, and freezes after the shot better than anyone I've ever seen.

Other than those players, I really haven't watched how many warmup strokes they take and if they take the same number from match to match, or even shot to shot, but I will now. In the process of moving to a new house now, but when we get that done, I'll sit down for a couple of days with my 30 something tapes, watch and take notes and start a new thread about warmup strokes. Not about what's right or wrong, but about what different top level tour players do. Today, I'm avoiding the moving part until 4pm when my teenager gets home and can help me load the slates so I can get the MOST IMPORTANT piece of furniture moved! I'd go over the tapes now, but I don't think that, in the middle of moving and cleaning, that I'd exactly be in the good graces of the signicant other if I was watching pool tapes while she's packing boxes in the kitchen. I think it will better assure that I have a place to sleep and live between tournaments if I put that off for a few days! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Later,
Bob

SpiderMan
02-15-2005, 12:20 PM
Thanks, I'm very interested in this topic, as I do not personally pay attention to my number of warmup strokes. Perhaps it is time to incorporate a little change in the procedure.

SpiderMan

Chris in NC
02-15-2005, 12:20 PM
After quickly scanning through all these responses, I still am not clear which pause you are talking about in your initial post. For all great players, the most prevalent, important and noticeable pause is the one after the pre-shot strokes when the cue tip finally stops and addresses very close to the cue ball at the spot you intend to hit the cue ball, leading in to the real stroke. This pause in addressing the cue tip to the cue ball after the pre-strokes IMO is very important and seen in virtually all pro players - but not all amateur players.

The second pause (the one at the end of the backstroke) is more variable and much harder to say how important it is. It varies even among pro players from virtually unnoticeable or a split second all the way up to the full 1-2 second pause you see from players such as Allison and Buddy Hall. For many of us including myself, although I've tried to copy Allison's tempo and pause, it's not natural for me to pause at the end of the backstroke more than a split second, as I feel if I do I'm losing all tempo and rythym created in the backstroke. I guess it's a personal thing, but forcing a long pause at the back of the stroke I don't think will help most players. - Chris in NC

Cane
02-15-2005, 04:17 PM
Chris, For the sake of keeping terminology straight, lets call the stop at the end of the backstroke the "pause" and the rest at the cue ball the "set".

BTW, Boss Lady eased off to take her daughter to the Dr, so I snuck in a couple of tapes of Earl playing. Watched about 200 shots and all but three of them, Earl took three "warm up" strokes, set on the cue ball for not quite a second and had a short but distinct pause at the back of his stroke. The three shots he deviated from his 3 warm up strokes were 1. cue elevated almost 45 degrees, took 4 warm up strokes on that shot, 2. a very long very thin cut, he took 4 warm up stroks on that one, and 3., a straight in shot on a 9-Ball that was just too easy to make... he just leaned over and fired the shot, no warm up strokes at all.

In any case, as promised, I have started the notebook and am tracking 4 players right now. All but one of them are taking the same number of warm up strokes on at least 90% of their shots... all are world class players. Santos Sambajon, almost always 4 strokes, Danny Harriman, almost always 4 strokes, Mike Davis, ALWAYS 4 strokes on short or slight angle shots, ALWAYS 7 on long shots or very thin cuts. Every one of these players has a distinct pause ranging from a quarter of a second to a full second. (guaging this by single framing forward the tapes and counting the number of frames where the cue was still on the end of the backstroke). As I said, I'll continue this on another thread after I get moved and settled in.

Later,
Bob

JimS
02-16-2005, 05:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris in NC:</font><hr> After quickly scanning through all these responses, I still am not clear which pause you are talking about in your initial post. For all great players, the most prevalent, important and noticeable pause is the one after the pre-shot strokes when the cue tip finally stops and addresses very close to the cue ball at the spot you intend to hit the cue ball, leading in to the real stroke. This pause in addressing the cue tip to the cue ball after the pre-strokes IMO is very important and seen in virtually all pro players - but not all amateur players.

The second pause (the one at the end of the backstroke) is more variable and much harder to say how important it is. It varies even among pro players from virtually unnoticeable or a split second all the way up to the full 1-2 second pause you see from players such as Allison and Buddy Hall. For many of us including myself, although I've tried to copy Allison's tempo and pause, it's not natural for me to pause at the end of the backstroke more than a split second, as I feel if I do I'm losing all tempo and rythym created in the backstroke. I guess it's a personal thing, but forcing a long pause at the back of the stroke I don't think will help most players. - Chris in NC <hr /></blockquote>

Chris.....I'm very glad to have the opportunity to once again read your posts.

I've missed your input as you have always exhibited gracious manners, intelligence, pool knowledge and good communication skills. I hope you continue to post. You don't have to be a daily multi-post poster, as in the past, but I hope you pick and choose your topics and continue to add to the knowledge base of this forum. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

mworkman
02-17-2005, 07:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris in NC:</font><hr> After quickly scanning through all these responses, I still am not clear which pause you are talking about in your initial post. For all great players, the most prevalent, important and noticeable pause is the one after the pre-shot strokes when the cue tip finally stops and addresses very close to the cue ball at the spot you intend to hit the cue ball, leading in to the real stroke. This pause in addressing the cue tip to the cue ball after the pre-strokes IMO is very important and seen in virtually all pro players - but not all amateur players.

The second pause (the one at the end of the backstroke) is more variable and much harder to say how important it is. It varies even among pro players from virtually unnoticeable or a split second all the way up to the full 1-2 second pause you see from players such as Allison and Buddy Hall. For many of us including myself, although I've tried to copy Allison's tempo and pause, it's not natural for me to pause at the end of the backstroke more than a split second, as I feel if I do I'm losing all tempo and rythym created in the backstroke. I guess it's a personal thing, but forcing a long pause at the back of the stroke I don't think will help most players. - Chris in NC <hr /></blockquote>

The pause I was referring to was at the backstroke. I didn't realize most people also pause at the cueball or set position. This is something that I've never done either. I don't have a pause on either the cueball or my backstroke. I also noticed that my arm was slightly more then 90 degrees at the address position.

So, last night I was trying to address each of these issues and could hardly make a ball /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif I guess I can only experiment with one thing at a time. Allthough I'm one of the better players in my area, I'm always looking for a way to improve and I appreciate everyone's opinion and advise.

pooltchr
02-17-2005, 07:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mworkman:</font><hr>So, last night I was trying to address each of these issues and could hardly make a ball /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif <hr /></blockquote>

This is quite natural. When you are focusing on making corrections or changes, there is a drop off in your ability. Stick with it, and once the changes become natural, your focus goes back to shot making, and the end result will be more than worth it.
Steve

Rod
02-17-2005, 01:59 PM
I agree with Chris, the front pause is very important. I would be more concerned with that than a pause at the end. For one thing it's a two part function. As Chris stated, it serves to let you know exactly where you're going to strike the c/b. After all if you aim center and strike it off center that effects the outcome of the shot. This will become very evident how critical it really is.

The other purpose is gradually bringing your eyes up for your aim point on the o/b. At this point your fixed on the o/b and slowly bring the cue back. Most use this method but there are variations.

This front pause can cause another effect. It may or should slow down your stroke. Believe me that is an area that will help 90% of the people that play this game. It's a benefit -- if you will, which helps smooth out your stroke by giving you a better sense of rhythm and timing.

You will struggle a bit as Steve mentioned but it is well worth the effort. Personally I have two very short pause's (is that a word) LOL at the front and back. It is more pronounced at the front. Then on the third stroke the pause up front is very noticeable, with a slight pause at the rear.

Watch good players or the pro's on tapes. You'll soon see how meticulous they are during this process. Everyone is somewhat different but the process looks very similar for very good players.

Rod

JimS
02-18-2005, 05:27 AM
I've worked on both pauses and now use both pauses. At first it was clumsy now, after considerable practice, it's not. Now it works.

mksmith713
02-18-2005, 07:45 PM
I just wanted to thank eeryone for puttingf this litle topic on my mind....... /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif
Playing in tournament last night I had this on my mind on top of everything else.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
What a bomb of a night.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif
What is normally second nature is now playing on my mind....CRAP!!!!!!!!

Oh well.

Rod
02-18-2005, 09:09 PM
do you breathe in or out when you shoot? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

JimS
02-19-2005, 05:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> do you breathe in or out when you shoot? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif <hr /></blockquote>

and...Pay close attention to your eye shift from cb to ob pattern.......

SpiderMan
02-21-2005, 08:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JimS:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> do you breathe in or out when you shoot? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif <hr /></blockquote>

and...Pay close attention to your eye shift from cb to ob pattern....... <hr /></blockquote>

STOP! STOP! I won't even be able to remember what ball I'm playing shape for!

SpiderMan

mworkman
02-21-2005, 09:30 AM
It's been a week now and I think I have both pauses into my game now. I think I'm back at least to the speed I was at when I began. I still don't count the number of strokes, and I dont think I will for a while. I might experiment with that down the road. Now, when the shot looks on regardless of the amount of strokes I pause at the cueball and then the backstroke and let it go. It is still not totally natural, but I think I'm almost there. I think the first couple of strokes I'm just trying to get that mental picture of a successful shot. Also, I'm adusting my grip (moving cue up or back) to get at my confortable spot (hopefully about 90 degrees).