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Thunderduck
04-25-2005, 11:49 PM
I am getting a lot of my cue moving side to side during my stroke, particularly with rail bridges and closed bridges,... I tried making my bridges much tighter to stop the cue wobbling... sometimes this works, but there is huge amount of friction between the cue and my fingers and it burns when I shoot... is a very tight bridge responsible for keeping the cue straight, or is there another way to stop sideways motion from happening during the stroke?

Tduck

Rod
04-26-2005, 02:38 AM
[ QUOTE ]
is a very tight bridge responsible for keeping the cue straight, or is there another way to stop sideways motion from happening during the stroke?
<hr /></blockquote>

Yes, with your back hand. The bridge has nothing to do with a straight stroke. FUNDAMENTALS, and of course ----- PRACTICE

Rod

JimS
04-26-2005, 03:32 AM
Get a lesson and find out what's causing the problem. Lessons are the key. Develop the correct fundamentals and build from there.

Nostalgia
04-26-2005, 04:39 AM
Just to expand on what the other two said, you should be able to get a perfectly straight stroke even with an open bridge.

Getting a lesson is the best thing to do, as the others have said. I had the same problem and didn't even know it until an instructor pointed it out.

The problem is in the way your back hand moves. If your elbow and/or shoulder is not where it should be, your hand will not swing in a straight line when you stroke the cue. This is why you get side to side motion.

-JOe

Chopstick
04-26-2005, 05:12 AM
Move your bridge hand to the right or left in relation to your elbow on your stroke hand. Everyone has a natural slot where the cue will move back and forth with no wobble. That natural slot is determined by the mechanics of your stroke side shoulder, elbow and wrist. This will vary with each individual. The trick is to find it and get your bridge hand centered right in front of it.

Once you get that going, you will have to learn to aim it. When you start moving your stroke around you will be moving out of your current center of vision. Get your stroke going first and then learn to get your head centered over it. Even so, the view you are presented with down the cue may never be the same and you will have to learn to aim all over again. If you want that perfect natural stroke this is a sacrifice you may have to make.

There are many talented instructors that can help you along the way. In the end, you will have to work it out for yourself. It's a good idea to have a professional check your work to make sure you aren't developing any bad habits.

Sid_Vicious
04-26-2005, 05:56 AM
"Cue weights a ton!"

Make youself feel and believe that the cue weighs a ton in your mind. Fool youself in what the cue weights, REALLY FEEL in your mind the cue is that heavy and you'll get the straight stroke. You gotta work this for a while to get it memorized in your actual stroke, making it ingrained into your personal mechanics. The concept is rather easy. As an added personal comment, I do not grip my backhand like a teacup(like many players tell you to do.) Try these concepts with a drop and shoot, remembering to mentally feel the ton of weight even during your stance build, and use a single stroke and no warm up strokes at first until you feel the backhand pressure is "right for you", and don't worry about the fact you are missing balls at this time, that's not important, you are working out straight stroke development at this time. A forward grip using primarily the index finger and the thumb is a key element for me as well. The actual pressure is an individual thing. Good luck...sid

bustah360
04-26-2005, 06:31 AM
I had the same problem for years. At first I thought it was do to me being a lefty or something but obviously that wasn't it. I found that I was lifting my wrist up and down instead of in and out. I also found that holding the cue tight won't really help you, cuz you'll only have to compensate by forcing an open bridge or dangerously loosening your closed bridge.

Either way you're just putting a band-aid on the problem and not helping your mechanics improve. Although it can be better that you have someone watch you and point out the problem, you can always try and videotape yourself to see what you're doing wrong free of charge.

Btw...try letting your back hand hang and downgrade your kungfu grip to just 3 fingers (thumb, index, and ring) with the stroke. It will definitely take some getting used to but that's helped my stroke incredibly.

Billy_Bob
04-26-2005, 09:53 AM
Also it could be your shaft/fingers. My shaft gets oil from my hand on it and if I don't clean it, I just don't play as well. But if I have a really slick clean shaft, I play quite well.

I have seen some new $20 cues which have shafts which are terrible so far as slickness goes. I can't even play with them in their off-the-shelf condition.

What I do to get them in shape [initially] is to sand with 400 grit sandpaper (these shafts are really bad), then 600 grit, then 1500 grit. Then I rub (burnish) the shaft with a piece of leather until it gets warm.

To maintain my shaft, I clean it with 99% rubbing alcohol, then burnish it with leather until it gets warm. I do this every couple of days or every day if playing a lot.

Over time, your shaft should get as slick as a glossy photograph and easily glide through your fingers.

Sanding is bad for a shaft. If you sand frequently, you will wind up with a toothpick! I only sand when I first get a shaft if needed, then only about every 6 months lightly with 1500 grit sandpaper and only if absolutely necessary.

If this does not help, may want to try wearing a glove.

Brad
04-26-2005, 10:50 AM
And if the previous posts don't help, try this:

Concentrate on your follow through. Follow through to the point where the butt of your stick slaps your fore arm square in the middle. That should straighten out your swing.

Now, send me $50! LOL

BigRigTom
04-26-2005, 11:55 AM
Hi Thunderduck,
You will have to work on getting the stroke down to a smooth forward and back motion but meanwhile....

I feel your pain...I had this problem too a while back and I ask a team mate to help me correct it.....he is a APA 9 Ball Skill level 9 and considered by many in our region to be the best in the region.
My problem was mostly a result of having my bridge hand too far from the cue ball!
I am surprised no one else has mentioned this to you.
The longer the bridge from the cue ball the more likely you will be to have this problem with the movement of the tip.
It is simple physics.
The bridge can act as a fulcrum and the cue as a lever.
......or.....
The bridge is the pivot point when you move the butt of the cue.
Try this......
Lay the cue on a pool table and hold it down with one finger about 4 inches from the tip. Now move the butt left to right while watching the tip. You'll see very little movement.
Now move the finger with which you're holding down the cue back toward the but to about 6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches repeating the butt movement each time while watching the tip of the cue.
This little exercise will demonstrate the importance of the location of the bridge. This shorter the bridge the less side ways movement you get at the tip.
Obviously it is necessary to use a long bridge sometimes but the point is to know the results and use this knowledge to your advantage.
Good luck and hope this helps.

Thunderduck
04-26-2005, 07:58 PM
Thanks for the advice... glad to know Im not the only one with this problem!

griffith_d
04-26-2005, 08:06 PM
Sure the back hand is causing the sideways motion, but the quickest fix is to shorten up the bridge distance to the CB. That will help but not cure the problem. You can work on the back hand later at your leisure.

Griff

DickLeonard
04-27-2005, 06:15 AM
TDuck try FRans grip, hold the cue in your ring and baby finger with thumb,index and middle hanging loose and that creates a stroke that goes straight.####

stickman
04-27-2005, 10:23 PM
Steady practice with a stroke trainer will help. I swear by it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

wolfdancer
04-27-2005, 10:51 PM
Buddy Hall has his whole meathook gripping the cue
That produced a twisting motion for me. I got "rid" of this,
by holding my thumb straight...especially on draw shots.It's my thumb and middle two fingers that grip for me
My friend uses dorsal flexion of his wrist to prevent twisting
The only way I can think of for you to experience "burning" during the stroke....is for the cue to be moving in your hand.
I used to have really bad calluses from hitting golf balls.
they disappeared when I started hitting 'em near center, and the club stopped twisting.

Sid_Vicious
04-28-2005, 04:03 AM
What amount of grip tension does she uses with that grip ####????sid

SPetty
04-28-2005, 06:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> What amount of grip tension does she uses with that grip????<hr /></blockquote>It's mostly just cradling the cue in the last few fingers. Although I've heard the last two, at the workshop this past weekend, she had us all try cradling the cue with our last three fingers, leaving the thumb and first finger out of it. It's difficult at first - try to have your first finger and thumb "dangling" down - but it seems to straighten out any twist or curl you might have in your stroke. I saw it work on someone - straightening out a stroke that I saw a twisting motion in before!

Gayle in MD
04-29-2005, 08:44 AM
Thanks kiddo, it was I ! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Nice of you to maintain my anonymity. That exercise really helped me, this has been a problem for me. Had the same problem when I bowled, also. Had a wrist twist. Usually I can get it worked out after twenty minutes or so, just stroking, but I didn't have time enough that morning. I think that little exercise Fran showed us will give me something to use that will provide a more immediate correction, and that will be very valuable! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Gayle in Md.

Sid_Vicious
04-29-2005, 09:51 AM
Not my grip style, but everyone is(and logically will) be different...sid

stickman
04-29-2005, 11:44 AM
I've never had a problem with twisting my wrist. My sideways motion has always been in my elbow. It tends to wander in and out from my upper body. The stroke trainer takes care of it, if I religiously practice with it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

BoroNut
04-29-2005, 01:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Thunderduck:</font><hr> curing unwanted sideways motion <hr /></blockquote>
I had the same problem once. It got so bad that I just gave up completely for two weeks and satisfied myself by playing deck quoits instead for the rest of the voyage.

Boro Nut

Thunderduck
05-09-2005, 06:52 PM
Ive tried very hard to cure my sidespin "chicken-wing" stroke... I practiced drawing straight lines on the table, shooting straight into the rail, using striped balls to observe spin, checking my alignment, observing my wrist at finish position, checking elbow, doing all kinds of straight shot drills. Sometimes my stroke goes straight and sometimes not!

I've concluded that there is NOTHING you can do to guarantee a straight stroke, there are too many variables on the backswing and follow through, slight motions in any direction can ruin the shot. So I think its just a matter of feel, and trying to keep the stick in a straight line by sheer will. I cant draw any other conclusion.

Do you agree?

Should I try that stroke trainer thingy?

Tduck

stickman
05-09-2005, 08:46 PM
"Should I try that stroke trainer thingy?"
It works for me! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Rod
05-09-2005, 11:24 PM
TD, I'll just call you that for short. You have tried very hard, er what has it been almost two weeks? Do do realize 99.5% of the people on the planet don't have a straight stroke? You want it now and, it ain't gonna happen, just that simple.

It takes time and even then you may never have a straight stroke. But who cares? If you deliver the goods it doesn't matter. You will learn it does take time. I don't care if you had the worlds best instructor (whom ever that is) it doesn't come quick and easy. You need a mind for pool, some people play all their life and hardly improve. They get smarter but they seldom execute beyond basic principals.

What I think you need is a good instructor. If it was me I could get things straight. (It's always up to you) However we would spend a fair amount of time just talking. You need more answers than just a straight stroke, although you don't realize that just yet. BTW, my stroke isn't dead straight either. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Ask me if I care? /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Rod

Thunderduck
05-09-2005, 11:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> TD, I'll just call you that for short. You have tried very hard, er what has it been almost two weeks? Do do realize 99.5% of the people on the planet don't have a straight stroke? You want it now and, it ain't gonna happen, just that simple.

It takes time and even then you may never have a straight stroke. But who cares? If you deliver the goods it doesn't matter. You will learn it does take time. I don't care if you had the worlds best instructor (whom ever that is) it doesn't come quick and easy. You need a mind for pool, some people play all their life and hardly improve. They get smarter but they seldom execute beyond basic principals.

What I think you need is a good instructor. If it was me I could get things straight. (It's always up to you) However we would spend a fair amount of time just talking. You need more answers than just a straight stroke, although you don't realize that just yet. BTW, my stroke isn't dead straight either. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Ask me if I care? /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Rod

<hr /></blockquote>

Well because I am a beginner, I guess I dont realize which skills are considered difficult and which are considered easy. I just figured that hitting it straight is something that can be mastered in a few weeks, and that english was the hard part... Why should hitting straight be hard?

Anyhow, you say I need answers... I agree with you... but I think I will improve at this game if I receive accurate information. thanks for the advice...

TD

SPetty
05-10-2005, 05:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Thunderduck:</font><hr>I practiced drawing straight lines on the table, shooting straight into the rail, using striped balls to observe spin, checking my alignment, observing my wrist at finish position, checking elbow, doing all kinds of straight shot drills.<hr /></blockquote>Did you try DickLeonards suggestion? "TDuck try Fran's grip, hold the cue in your ring and baby finger with thumb,index and middle hanging loose and that creates a stroke that goes straight."

What were your results with that?

Rackin_Zack
05-10-2005, 06:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Thunderduck:</font><hr>Well because I am a beginner, I guess I dont realize which skills are considered difficult and which are considered easy. I just figured that hitting it straight is something that can be mastered in a few weeks, and that english was the hard part... Why should hitting straight be hard?

Anyhow, you say I need answers... I agree with you... but I think I will improve at this game if I receive accurate information. thanks for the advice...

TD
<hr /></blockquote>

The first most difficult thing in the game is being able to make the cue go straight back and straight forward. Once this is mastered to a certain degree then the next most difficult thing to do is hit exactly where you aim with the exact speed you mean to hit it at each time you address the ball. If you can master but these two concepts then you'll have the tools to play world class pool!

That being said, it is much, much easier said than done.

stickman
05-10-2005, 08:11 AM
If you are a beginner, you would probably highly benefit from professional instruction. It's best to get started off right. Be sure it is a professional instructor, and not a good ole boy at the pool hall. Often, well meaning friends will teach you wrong. An instructor will teach you various basic techniques in the art of shooting pool, and not just a straight stroke. That being said, I still highly recommend the stroketrainer. I don't sell these things and make no money from the sell. I own one and use one. It is there anytime I need it or need a tune-up. The same as an instructor, it requires a degree of practice. If you have seen an instructor, and have a firm foundation in the basics, and still have a problem with a straight stroke, I would highly recommend you buy a stroketrainer. The stroketrainer, with steady use, cures my unwanted sideways motion.

Thunderduck
05-10-2005, 12:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stickman:</font><hr> If you are a beginner, you would probably highly benefit from professional instruction. It's best to get started off right. Be sure it is a professional instructor, and not a good ole boy at the pool hall. Often, well meaning friends will teach you wrong. An instructor will teach you various basic techniques in the art of shooting pool, and not just a straight stroke. That being said, I still highly recommend the stroketrainer. I don't sell these things and make no money from the sell. I own one and use one. It is there anytime I need it or need a tune-up. The same as an instructor, it requires a degree of practice. If you have seen an instructor, and have a firm foundation in the basics, and still have a problem with a straight stroke, I would highly recommend you buy a stroketrainer. The stroketrainer, with steady use, cures my unwanted sideways motion. <hr /></blockquote>

Any opinions on the Buddy Hall cue guide? Its only 10 bucks! Does it work?

By the way, I tried Fran's grip but wasnt confident enough to commit to it...

Im glad hitting straight is hard! That means Im not as retarded as I thought I was for struggling with it..

Duck

stickman
05-10-2005, 07:27 PM
If the Buddy Hall stroke guide is as I remember, it is a clear plastic tube that you shoot through. It has no guide to help you hold your wrist or arm in a set position. I used something similar with unsatifactory results. I know its hard to fork over the doe for instruction or a stroketrainer, but the results are worth the investment. Save some of your pool money, and forgo a new cue, or some other gadgets. You'll save the money in short time.

BoroNut
05-11-2005, 05:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stickman:</font><hr> I know its hard to fork over the doe for instruction or a stroketrainer...<hr /></blockquote>

It sounds too deer for me.

Boro Nut

heater451
05-11-2005, 06:53 PM
Since no one has mentioned it. . . .

How do you address the table/cueball?

Is the unwanted motion due to your body fouling your "strokeline"? Are you moving your hand around your body, and inducing a side-to-side motion?

Here's a not-so quick, yet extremely 'dirty', graphic of what I am talking about:

http://heater451.home.mindspring.com/images/strokeline.gif


If you are stroking around your body, then try laying down your cue on the table, and then aligning your body around the cue.

If your problem is simply due to your arm and elbow flying around, try locking out your shoulder, and just letting your forearm flow back and forth. Use a relaxed grip. You may only need to "burn in"---that is, getting your arm muscles working together, to achieve the stroke you want.

Rod once suggested using a milk or water jug, filled, and letting it swing forward and back. You can also practice with a pushbroom or mop, holding the shaft loosely with your "bridge" hand, and, again, stroking back and forth. The actual stroke is quite different, but you should be working the right muscle group. If nothing else, you might get a clean floor.

Good luck!



===============================

stickman
05-11-2005, 07:19 PM
dough /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Rod
05-11-2005, 08:23 PM
[ QUOTE ]
but I think I will improve at this game if I receive accurate information. <hr /></blockquote>

You will granted but the problem is there may be (and probably is) more than one thing your doing wrong. To receive correct answers on an internet form is dependent on how well it's explained and how well you process that information at your level.

There is an order however and the first would be good alignment which allows the cue to swing straight back and through. If that's off then what is to follow will be thrown off as well. Even if your alignment is very good there are many "moves" that beginning players make that cause a crooked stroke. Heck even players that play at a much higher level still make "moves". At best it's a guess without seeing you play. If you can swing it seek a good instructor in your area. In one lesson you'd find out what your doing wrong and a way to correct the problem. Getting your stroke straight is a start but rest assure it won't stop there, there are more bumps along the way.

Another way is put yourself on video, you should be able to see your back hand moving side to side, not to mention any up's and downs. Many times these moves may not be as clear at slow speed but are exaggerated at a faster pace. I feel pretty sure your making a move. Whether it be up or down or side to side. If the cue tip moves to the left, then the hand/wrist/arm is moving away from your body. If the tip moves to the right then your hand/wrist/arm comes closer to your body. When I say away or closer it relates to your position at address. You want the cue tip to come back to the same exact position established at address. Don't forget, any shoulder movement will get this out of alignment as well.

Assuming your alignment is good (which is assuming a lot), this is where I would look. Now to cure the cause is another issue but it's really not difficult to teach because an instructor can see it, We can't do that well over the internet, to many variables.

Not to confuse you but some use BIH (back hand english) it's an advanced move and the back hand does move away or closer to your body, depending on the english used. A stroke doesn't have to be straight to accomplish what the shooter has in mind. I'd leave that alone since you don't know, just pointing out another aspect. BTW as I said in another post, your bridge does not effect how straight the cue travels. Well unless it's just plain old sloppy.

Rod

Thunderduck
05-12-2005, 01:29 AM
Very nice posts, thanks... I'm starting to hit a higher percentage of good strokes in the past few days... I hit a very nice follow shot today at high speed and it went perfectly straight,.. my wrist and cue felt perfect after finish.. the next shot went skew. haha! This game is like golf, I swear.. this shows me that my setup and stroke have the potential to be correct... maybe I'll film myself tomorrow and put the video on a webpage...

Tduck