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Wally_in_Cincy
06-22-2002, 08:52 AM
Rather than jump into the neverending "Stroke Length" thread I decided to start a new one.


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: stickman:</font><hr> The top of my stroking arm is stationary. The bottom arm swings like a pendulum and contacts the ball in the straight up and down position. As my arm continues forward, it also rises up toward my chest, causing the tip to go down towards the table. After stroking through the ball, my stroke ends when the tip comes to rest on the table. <hr></blockquote>


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Scott Lee:</font><hr> When the forearm is vertical at the CB address, and the followthrough motion is completed correctly (without dropping the elbow), because of the kinesiology of the pendulum motion, the grip hand (and the butt of the cue) end up close to, or touching the chest. The bridge hand acts like a lever here, and the tip naturally ends up on, or near the cloth at the completion of the stroke... regardless of where you aim on the CB. This is a very natural motion,
Scott Lee <hr></blockquote>

Thank you, Thank you. Bravo! I could not agree more.

This is the most important thing I learned from my local BCA instructor.


I recently had my first formal instruction from local BCA intructor John Scalf. It was about 3 hours of classroom style and about 3 hours of the students doing drills and John observing us and making suggestions or corrections as required.

The 2 things he stressed most were "Speed Kills" and "your stroke is the most important part of your game".

The first stroke drill he had us do was this:
Striped ball 5" from the head rail with the stripe vertical. The object is to shoot the stripe ball, one-handed, into the far corner pocket at POCKET SPEED. Get into your stance, form your rail bridge then remove your bridge hand. 3 practice strokes at the same speed you're going to shoot the ball and on the fourth stroke send the stripe at pocket speed to the pocket, follow through 6" and the cuetip ends up on the cloth.

Hey Scott Lee, sounds kinda like your "pocket speed drill" huh?

I knew this was the best way to stroke from experience but I didn't always do it right. Having someone actually EXPLAIN it was awesome. I now stroke this way all the time and pocketing balls has become, dare I say, almost automatic. (Well, cut shots anyway, don't ask me about banks /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif )

You can have all the aiming systems in the world but if your stroke is not correct any system is useless IMO.

Get your stroke right and 80% or more of your game will take care of itself. JMHO /ccboard/images/icons/tongue.gif

Wally~~card-carrying member of Scott Lee and Stickman Fan Clubs /ccboard/images/icons/cool.gif

stickman
06-22-2002, 09:10 AM
Thank you Wally, but all credit of mine goes to Scott Lee, who taught me this stroke. Obviously, this isn't the only way to stroke the ball. I see a lot of other strokes that seem to work well for other people, pros included. I will say this however, my game has done nothing but improve since learning to stroke this way. I find myself analizing the stroke of others all the time, since learning this stroke. Karen Corr was the first I've noticed using a similar stroke. I can't say that I've found a lot of people using this stroke yet, but as long as it works for me, that's all that matters. I'm glad to hear that it has helped your game too. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Tom_In_Cincy
06-22-2002, 09:15 AM
Wally,

Bottom line to the stroke is consistancy....

Even very good players that have very unorthodox stokes, are consistant. The delivery of the cue tip to to cue ball is the most important of all skills.

I was once told, "The "stroke" is the fine art of throwing the cue stick forward, consistanlty"

stickman
06-24-2002, 09:38 AM
George Breedlove: Getting a little carried away with the tip on the table concept! LOL

http://home.earthlink.net/~qstickfvr/The%20Men%20of%20Billiards_files/GeorgeBreaking.jpg

06-24-2002, 09:41 AM
ya check out where his elbow is :O)

John in NH
06-24-2002, 09:48 AM
Hi Wally,

Thanks for the lesson!

Good luck,

John

06-24-2002, 12:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> I was once told, "The "stroke" is the fine art of throwing the cue stick forward, consistanlty" <hr></blockquote>

Tom...Here what Jerry Briesath taught me: The definition of a stroke, is a beautiful, forward throwing motion!"
I have always remembered that, and strive to teach the same thing!

Scott

Cueless Joey
06-24-2002, 01:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; I was once told, "The "stroke" is the fine art of throwing the cue stick forward, consistanlty" &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

Tom...Here what Jerry Briesath taught me: The definition of a stroke, is a beautiful, forward throwing motion!"
I have always remembered that, and strive to teach the same thing!

Scott <hr></blockquote>.............
Jerry must have Efren's video on slow motion. ;-)
I was amazed how much action the cueball does when I throw the cue on a straight line and how much straighter I can shoot.
Joey~ Hustled two friends on a 3-rail lag contest for dinner.~

06-24-2002, 04:46 PM
Wally...You're welcome! LOL I hope John was also maintaining that a pause at the CB, before the final backswing, is also an essential element to the successful completion of the perfect stroke!

Scott Lee

Patrick
06-25-2002, 12:57 AM
A perfect stroke is a level stroke, it is not perfect when the cue goes downwards in the follow through, it should go straight! I have never seen a pro do what you teach.

Patrick

Cueless Joey
06-25-2002, 01:33 AM
Patrick, the pros shafts bend when they draw the ball because their follow-thru is so perfect, the tip almost digs to the slate.

Rod
06-25-2002, 01:51 AM
Scott, I like that, because that's what it is. The hand just goes along for the ride.

Patrick
06-25-2002, 02:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr> Patrick, the pros shafts bend when they draw the ball because their follow-thru is so perfect, the tip almost digs to the slate. <hr></blockquote>Of course the tip touches the cloth on draw shots, because the cue is at an angle downwards. But it goes straight forwards.
When pros use top spin, their cues don't touch the cloth, because the cue goes straight.

Patrick

Scott Lee
06-25-2002, 12:05 PM
Patrick...You are truly a nutcase! You don't understand the physics and physiology of muscle interaction (kinesiology), nor do you understand the dynamics of a pendulum swing, and the fulcrum effect of the bridge hand.
If the elbow does NOT drop, the cuetip WILL end up on or near the cloth on every shot...topspin included.

Scott Lee

Scott Lee
06-25-2002, 01:50 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr> I was amazed how much action the cueball does when I throw the cue on a straight line and how much straighter I can shoot.
Joey~ Hustled two friends on a 3-rail lag contest for dinner.~ <hr></blockquote>

Joey...LOL! See how EASY it is to win, when you KNOW exactly how far the CB is going! Was it Thai food? That place was EXCELLENT! Keep up the good work! BTW, I am likely coming back to L.A. VERY soon (sometime in the next couple of weeks) for just a few days, if you want to get together again!

Scott

06-25-2002, 04:27 PM
I have to admit scott I am more in agreeance with patrick on this thread as I went out and tried the pendulum thing for a while with a buddy of mine (Jim Masterman) who was on the 2001 bca mens open championship winning team. And both of us came to the same conclusion that that swing GREATLY reduces the amount of follow through you can achieve not to mention giving us both a sore chest in the proccess ( the only way we could see to avoid this would be to stop before the chest which means we may start the deceleration proccess prematurely). I think this kind of stroke may not be quite so detrimental to someone who was small in stature and quite skinny but for most of us beer drinking pot bellied lazy ass pool players hitting the chest really does not seem like the right thing to do. These are just my observations I am not trying to tell anyone how to shoot only saying that I personally would not shoot that way.

06-25-2002, 04:38 PM
Im not sure I am reading this correctly but it seems to me there are contradictions going on here.


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Scott Lee::</font><hr>

When the forearm is vertical at the CB address, and the followthrough motion is completed correctly (without dropping the elbow), because of the kinesiology of the pendulum motion, the grip hand (and the butt of the cue) end up close to, or touching the chest. The bridge hand acts like a lever here, and the tip naturally ends up on, or near the cloth at the completion of the stroke... regardless of where you aim on the CB. This is a very natural motion,
Scott Lee
<hr></blockquote>


in this comment Scott is saying that your bridge hand "acts like a lever" which implies nothing about "throwing the cue forward" but even so Scott comes back with this later in the thread.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Scott Lee:</font><hr>

Tom...Here what Jerry Briesath taught me: The definition of a stroke, is a beautiful, forward throwing motion!"
I have always remembered that, and strive to teach the same thing!

Scott <hr></blockquote>

This is very confusing to me as you would think that if you were trying to "throw the cue forward" that this would be more easily accomplished in a straight manner as opposed to the arcing manner of a pendulum swing would it not???

heater451
06-25-2002, 04:57 PM
I think Scott meant to say, "fulcrum".

Also, the "throwing" motion is completed at (or loosely, "through") impact. Afterwards, the 'rocking' of the cue over the bridge, bringing the tip down to the cloth, is due to the mechanics of the body.

(Something about this makes me think about casting a fishing line. . . .)

06-25-2002, 05:04 PM
so not only do you have to ensure that your arm from the elbow down is completely vertical at contact with the cueball (because being slightly off this changes where the tip hits the ball) but you have to also time the shot so you make sure you are throwing the cue forward at the correct place??? why not cue stright through the ball.. leave the cue loosly in your hand and let the throwing motion work on its own then when your hand is forward the cue stops going forward by the natural pressure applied by your hand due to the change in angle.

stickman
06-25-2002, 10:01 PM
The best way to understand this stroke is to see it. The way Scott gets around the country, I'm sure he will pass your way eventually. E-mail him and find out when he is passing your way. You may not wish to change your style of shooting, (if you're a great shooter already why change), but you will see that indeed this stroke is a workable solution for those of us without natural inborn strokability. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Some of us are stroke challenged. LOL

I assure you Scott can make a cueball do just about anything you want a cueball to do with this stroke.

06-25-2002, 10:58 PM
This post may not exactly fit in this spot, so please excuse if it's somewhat off-topic.

While I happen to shoot more often with a pendulum-type arm swing, I have no problem agreeing with the benefits of shooting with a level stroke. In fact, I think you'd probably get better results with a level stroke. So why don't I use it?

A pendulum armswing with no back hand manipulation will give you a straight stroke. Less moving parts. On the other hand, by dropping your upper arm or manipulating your back hand, you will get a level stroke, however, it's not as easy to obtain 'straight' as compared to pendulum.

So here's the trade-off: Level gives you more action, and it's a beautiful thing if you can get it to go straight. (Please don't tell me that all you folks who drop your arm get straight it all the time because then I'd have to accuse you all of being Efren.) Many people who do level, don't do straight exceptionally well. There are simply more moving parts involved. It's just that simple.

I've found that with most shots, a downward stroke that you get with pendulum works fine. The important element is 'straight' which is easier to obtain. When it's necessary for that little "extra", then I drop my upper arm and go with level, hopefully achieveing the more difficult 'straight' along with it.

That's how I view when to use pendulum and when to use level for myself.

Fran

06-26-2002, 12:16 AM
i too will confess fran that when im shooting more of a soft draw shot or cinching a ball i try and keep my upper arm as still as possible.... I think that I do have alot of both strokes in my game but I would not reccomend either one as the be all end all of stroking

Rod
06-26-2002, 01:05 AM
Well Fran no one has accused me of being Efren! I play with a level cue for most shots. It is what I grew up with. When I played my best my stroke was very straight. It isn't quite that straight now, my warm up stroke's has a bit of movement. I still hit the c/b where I intend to so that's whats important to me. The pendlum is the simple way, it's not really simple but easier to teach and have consistancy. I'd think a pendulum type player would be asking for trouble on a once in a while level stroke. I see that quite a bit when things go wrong with that type of player. It is either a push stroke or can be a jab.

Speaking of jabs, some years ago I asked a friend this question. Were you ever a boxer? Somewhat perplexed and a strange look replied no. I said well thats funny I was sure you must have been in boxing. Why do you say that he replied? Because that's one hell of a right hand jab you have there!!!/ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif He never forgot that comment, in a good way.

Patrick
06-26-2002, 02:10 AM
Of course you need to drop the elbow when you follow through long. You are decellerating the cue that way. If you don't drop the elbow then the cue goes downwards. You don't need more follow through than the time the tip contacts the cueball, that is about 2mm, more follow through is not necessary, you only need follow through to stop the cue. If you want to stop the cue level, you need to drop the shoulder. How can you believe that I think you can follow through 30 cm without dropping the elbow!?
If the cue is going downwards in an arc when it hits the cueball, it will contact the cueball a shorter period of time, which results in less spin. The less movement in the cueball contact, the better. The cue should go straight!
What if you start moving the downwards arc sooner, then you will hit lower on the cueball, you will need to grip the cue exactly the same every time. If you use a level stroke, it doesn't matter if your arm is at a 85 or 95 degree angle.

Patrick

SPetty
06-26-2002, 10:40 AM
Thanks, Fran, for chiming in here. I may be listening wrong, but it seems that most instructors never ever waver from the "move only the forearm pendulum swing" mantra. I am not particularly comfortable with always doing that one stroke on every single shot, and now I have "permission" to sometimes stroke a little differently and not have to feel guilty about it or even worse, stupid about not following the mantra! Thanks again.

Fred Agnir
06-26-2002, 11:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Fran Crimi[/quote:</font><hr>I've found that with most shots, a downward stroke that you get with pendulum works fine. The important element is 'straight' which is easier to obtain. When it's necessary for that little "extra", then I drop my upper arm and go with level, hopefully achieveing the more difficult 'straight' along with it.

That's how I view when to use pendulum and when to use level for myself. <hr></blockquote>
So you're saying that the pendulum stroke and the level stroke are definitely not the same? Woohoo!! I 100% agree with you.

It seems to me that a lot of instructors seem to equate (or combine/connect)the pendulum swing with "stroke as level as possible." I could never understand this since I've always thought that if you shoot with a pendulum motion, that the only time the cue is level is at/near contact with the cueball. Stroking as level as possible is an entirely different animal.

FWIW, I'm like a multitude of people who do both methods of stroking. I think the more difficult straight/level shot as you describe (for added ummph) is a necessary evil to "master" in order to advance in this game.

This sort of tells me however that instructors (as well as students) aren't on the same page with the terminology.

Fred

Scott Lee
06-26-2002, 01:35 PM
SPetty...The key here is semantics. I believe Fran, like myself, will advocate the pendulum swing 'mantra' for the majority of shots. Occasionally, all players need a different kind of stroke for a specific instance. However, for average playability on any table, the pendulum swing is still the most efficient, accurate, and repeatable stroke for consistent results. That's why I advocate that kind of swing most of the time. Nothing is ALWAYS or NEVER! JMO

Scott Lee

06-26-2002, 06:35 PM
Absolutely, SPetty. The more weapons you can build into your arsenal, the stronger you'll be. The key is to know when to use what. You wouldn't use a cannon for a target 2 feet away, just as you wouldn't use a 22 to hit a target in the next town.

Learn them all...even make some up, then use them wisely.

Fran