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ought2Ba5
02-17-2006, 07:38 PM
Hello everyone....This is my first post, but I have been lurking here (and gaining knowledge) for well over a year.

I believe that your bridge is one of the most important aspects of your stroke. A solid base on the table goes a long way towards a solid shot. My problem is that I can't always decide on the best one for any given shot. For shots where my bridge hand is completely on the table, I often switch between wraping my forefinger around the stick, to using the "V" between my thumb and forefinger. The only rule I go by is "whatever feels good at the time". I do try to keep a consistant distance between my bridge hand and the cue ball, regardles of the style of bridge I use. I think I tend to "wrap" my finger more when I need to use any type of english, then when I shoot a straight forward shot, then I use the "V". My first question is...is it normal, to switch back and forth at will, or am I giving up some consistancy by doing so?

Also, when my bridge hand is on the rail, 99% of the time, I rest my cue between my middle finger and forefinger with my palm, and fingers, flat on the rail. I have been playing in leagues for over 3 years, and have not seen one other shooter use this type of bridge. I have done this my whole life, and I don't understand why more shooters do use this style. What it does for me is that my thumb is not "floating" somewhere over the edge of the table when I shoot. My entire hand is pressed tight on the rail, sometimes with my thumb on top of the rail, sometimes with my thumb underneath the rail. I can always make this feel confortable, even if I have to bridge over a pocket. Am I really the only person (other than my Dad, who tought me the technique) who does this?

....Kevin



"Where's that confounded bridge?"

jtlabs
02-17-2006, 10:10 PM
Well, I practice my draw shots with a wrap around bridge for accuracy. The same is true for power shots. On follow I am using a V bridge.

As far as shooting off the rail I use the same fingers as you but with my thumb tucked between the two fingers so my palm is never over the cue. I find this useful for hitting low on the cue ball if it is far enough from the rail. But I am just starting so I am still very much on the fundamentals of the game. Want to get this part perfect and then maintain it:).

Just wondering if your technique kind of limits how low you can hit the cue assuming the cue is not frozen on the rail and does it add any friction to your stroke? I do not drop my elbows on the follow through(or try not to) so I imagine your bridge would prevent any elevated butt action during the follow through.

Regards,
Jay

Jal
02-17-2006, 11:30 PM
If you switch from one bridge to another and don't agonize over which one to use (to the point of distraction), I doubt that it will affect your consistency. Several of the top pros alternate and they're pretty consistent, I would say.

And I'll second what Jay said as far as when to use which bridge (if you are going to switch).

Just a non-expert opinion.

Jim

ryushen21
02-18-2006, 01:27 AM
I used to have the same problem. And to answer your question, i would stick with with what seems most comfortable for you.

From my own experience and how i play now, if it isn't a power shot, i.e. power draw, break shot etc etc, I use the open bridge. For me it is all about line of sight and the open bridge provides an uninterrupted line of sight all the way. And i like that a lot and it helps me shoot and set.

But the closed bridge comes out for the heavy draw and power shots. And on the rail i use the rail bridge. And there are some other bridges that i use that i don't even know what to call.

But find that nice middle ground between comfort and consistency and figure out which one gets you the best of both worlds.

Just my 2c

Billy_Bob
02-18-2006, 05:56 AM
An open bridge has the advantage of a better line of sight. However a closed bridge has the advantage of guiding the shaft up/down in addition to the left/right support an open bridge offers.

And with something like a power follow shot (force follow), the tip of the cue would want to fly up into the air, however a closed bridge will help keep the tip on the cue ball.

So generally I'll use an open bridge if center ball hit.

Closed bridge if non-center ball hit.

Whatever works best or feels most comfortable if CB near cushion.

And fist for left handed shots (I'm right handed).

I think it is best to be comfortable so long as you are supporting the shaft properly for the particular shot.

I feel it is wrong to use a bridge exactly like someone else uses just because that is what they use. People have different size fingers, etc., so what works best for one person may not be the best for someone else.

Here are some sample bridges...
http://www.freepoollessons.com/lessons/lessons1/bridges/bridges.shtml

Fran Crimi
02-18-2006, 11:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ought2Ba5:</font><hr> Hello everyone....This is my first post, but I have been lurking here (and gaining knowledge) for well over a year.

I believe that your bridge is one of the most important aspects of your stroke. A solid base on the table goes a long way towards a solid shot. My problem is that I can't always decide on the best one for any given shot. For shots where my bridge hand is completely on the table, I often switch between wraping my forefinger around the stick, to using the "V" between my thumb and forefinger. The only rule I go by is "whatever feels good at the time". I do try to keep a consistant distance between my bridge hand and the cue ball, regardles of the style of bridge I use. I think I tend to "wrap" my finger more when I need to use any type of english, then when I shoot a straight forward shot, then I use the "V". My first question is...is it normal, to switch back and forth at will, or am I giving up some consistancy by doing so?

Also, when my bridge hand is on the rail, 99% of the time, I rest my cue between my middle finger and forefinger with my palm, and fingers, flat on the rail. I have been playing in leagues for over 3 years, and have not seen one other shooter use this type of bridge. I have done this my whole life, and I don't understand why more shooters do use this style. What it does for me is that my thumb is not "floating" somewhere over the edge of the table when I shoot. My entire hand is pressed tight on the rail, sometimes with my thumb on top of the rail, sometimes with my thumb underneath the rail. I can always make this feel confortable, even if I have to bridge over a pocket. Am I really the only person (other than my Dad, who tought me the technique) who does this?

....Kevin



"Where's that confounded bridge?" <hr /></blockquote>


Hi Kevin,

Welcome to the CCB. Great question, BTW.

As far as switching bridges, most top players do prefer one bridge more than the others. They do switch occasionally but it's generally for a reason. Switching the way you sight a ball can lead to inconsistencies. If you get used to seeing the whole ball with the V-bridge, you may feel the difference when you switch to the loop bridge. That fraction of a difference can sometimes lead to enough of a distraction to miss a shot.

Most players who prefer a V-bridge will generally use it more often than the loop bridge, including shots with sidespin. They may switch to a loop for power draw shots but they don't switch around too often.

Players who prefer a loop bridge will occasionally shoot short straight-in shots with a V-bridge, but not a whole lot more than that, other than bridging over a ball and certain specialty shots.

I think overall it's better to get used to sighting the shot one way, and only switch when you feel it's absolutely necessary, just to avoid any mishaps or distractions.

As for your bridge on the rail, it's not unusual but I'm not sure that it's the best way to go. Flattening your palm over the cue doesn't really do anything other than restrict the motion of the cue stick. It doesn't really lock-in your aim. Have you tried curling your thumb under your palm? By doing that, you're not smothering the shaft, but you are allowing two guides to allow your shaft to move smoothly through your hand, namely, the knuckle of your thumb and your index and middle finger. This way, your palm is off the cue to allow you the freedom of motion but with the important guidance of your bridge hand.

Fran