View Full Version : Flying Elbow

09-14-2005, 07:39 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions on stopping a "flying" right elbow? I believe it's caused in my stroke by initally starting the shot with my shoulder which causes the elbow to fly out on me. I'm trying on each shot to have the cue tip go straight through the cue ball but I find myself putting a very small amount of english on the ball, because of the elbow, which throws the shot off slightly. Just trying to concentrate on not using the shoulder or to hold the elbow in is not working for me. Of course the easier I shoot the less the elbow comes into play but not sure how to try to correct the problem. I would appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks!

09-14-2005, 10:45 PM
I'm by means no expert, but I have heard that if you open up your stance a little it will help keep your elbow in. Maybe an instructor (Cain?) can correct me. Also, A good drill is to stroke the cue ball the length of the table, off of the short rail, and freeze. If you are hitting the CB center, it should return to you cue tip. If you can do this many, many times over, you'll eventually "learn" to keep that elbow down. Of course someone here will probably argue that "muscle memory" is a farce and doesn't exist. But anyway, these thing have worked for me.

09-15-2005, 03:53 AM
Your elbow cannot move left, right, up or down without your shoulder making it do so. Don't focus on your elbow, focus on your shoulder and keeping it perfectly still. Another way to stop your elbow from hopping around is to slow down your entire stroke. Do some practice strokes in the mirror, and keep stroking slower and slower until you see no movement in your elbow at all. From that slow stroke, learn how to develop speed at the right time so you don't have to "pump" your elbow to generate tip speed.

09-15-2005, 07:35 AM
What I've done to help a few people with this same problem was to have the player work through his mechanics slowly while I use my hands as "guage". Let me try to explain that better.

You know when you're talking about the biggest fish you ever caught and you put your hands out to say "I caught a fish THIS BIG one time"?

I'd set up the table with all 16 balls (15 + cue), using any ball to set up (8) simple straight in shots from the kitchen to the corners. I'd have the player get in his stance and while he stroked, I'd place my one hand above his shoulder and the other hand over top of the stick (between his grip and bridge to ensure he wasn't pumping the cue).

We'd start very slow at first, then work up to his normal stroking speed. If he felt any resistance from my hands, then he knew we would have to start over from very slow again.

Also, set up some drill where you are over the table far enough that when you're stroking at the cue ball, you can rest your bridge arm on the table. This will force you to get down over your stick so that you have a consistant sight angle. Keep that elbow on the table and don't stand up until the ball falls in the hole.

Hope that helps.

Fran Crimi
09-15-2005, 08:13 AM
Flying elbow, eh? Golf term. I bet you play.

No problem. You can fix this, but there will be a little mental anguish involved. What you've done is you've created a habit which has now become your comfort zone. You'll have to learn what 'straight' really feels like, and then push past the discomforting feeling of awkardness as you retrain your brain to accept 'straight' as your new habit.

Here's what I suggest you do: Get into your shooting stance and have someone, preferably an instructor, hold your shoulder with one hand and physically move your arm straight (with your cue in your hand) with their other hand several times. While they're doing that, you should concentrate on the feel of what your arm is doing. Then try it yourself. Repeat this process with that person as many times as necessary until you can successfully duplicate a straight arm swing on your own. It will feel terrible, but as time progresses, you will begin to create a new habit and it will become your new comfort zone.

No matter how horrible it may feel, you have to trust the process that in time it will feel right. Just stick with it.


09-15-2005, 11:36 AM
You guys are wonderful! Thanks for replying. It seems to me that each person is touching on the same move from just a slightly different angle. I will attempt to follow each suggestion and hopefully straighten out this calamity. Of course, I'm still open to any other thoughts from others on the "flying" elbow problem. Fran mentioned that I probably played golf and I did for 40 years until my neck became too painful to continue. However, I do give golf lessons and if any of you have a problem and want to email me I can probably help you for free if you just describe what's happening and how the ball flights. It's funny that in Golf everyone understands the swing to a certain degree but in Pool very few people have a clue. Even outstanding players that can do the game still can't see it on others. In my primary Pool Hall I don't know of one person who really understands and can help with the basics. We have one guy that was rated in the top 20-25 in the world a few years back but the lessons he gives are primarily made up of him showing shots and where you should hit the ball! What I'm trying to say is that it isn't easy to find someone to help me work out the problem as you guys have suggested. We have one young man that wants to learn everything and perhaps he can help me once I explain what we want to do. Again, thanks a lot...going to the Pool Hall right now to start working.

09-16-2005, 04:46 AM
This post was helpful to me. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I adjusted my stance a little and moved my hand just a little further away from my body.
http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=ccb&Number=204035&page =2&view=expanded&sb=5&o=21&fpart=