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phil in sofla
07-10-2002, 11:15 AM
This month's BD has an article by Mark Wilson, showing the difference between amateur players' cueing of top English compared to pro players' cue tip placement for top. In the diagram, he shows the amateur top English production coming about 1-1/2 tips up from the centerline of the cue ball (approx.), and the pro top cueing line actually OVER the top edge of the cue (for the top edge of the cue tip), at what I'd estimate is maybe THREE TIPS UP!!!

What bothers me about this applies to other techniques as well. The line Mark shows as the amateur's way of stroking top is consistent with what I see the instructors telling us-- keep the use of English limited to maybe a tip to a tip and a half or so, max. Supposedly, this is all you need with a good stroke/follow through, and not only is this all you need to get the effect, anything more is actually harmful, considering the increased chances of miscueing.

Mark explains that by using the almost over the top addressing line, pros get more action with a softer stroke (and I'd assume, WAY more action with a comparable stroke), and he suggests players who aren't pros can benefit from using this technique. He says the apparent imminent miscue won't happen if your tip is well rounded (and we can assume, to a dime's curvature rather than a nickel's curvature).

Playing with an average B player the other day, I asked him about where he strokes his top English, and he says it is well up on the ball, almost off it over the top, and that is what he thinks he needs for force follow shots.

I get the impression that what we are told is correct as to how far off axis to stroke the cue ball is something of a lowest common denominator, something somewhat conservative, to aid the beginning player, and something that players will automatically disobey once they get to an intermediate or higher level of play. Rewatching my Sigel runout series tapes, I notice him stroking many of his English shots two or more tips off axis, sometimes appearing, at least in the camera angles used, to be cueing partially off the edge of the ball, and not for some wicked action on the ball, but fairly average shape considerations, just coming off the rail a little.

How high do you stroke your top English shots, and would you agree that the alleged rule of 'no more than 1-1/2 tips of English' is sort of like training wheels, which you take off and discard once you have a certain level of experience?

Cueless Joey
07-10-2002, 11:24 AM
Great question Phil. I am baffled as to how much force can be applied at that height. One very good player showed me how much follow he can put on the cb by just being one tip above center. He said the key was to make sure the bottom of the tip hits the cb, NOT the center of the tip. So, he literally aims the bottom of the tip to the spot. Scott showed me the same thing and I was surprised how much spin I was able to apply to the cb.

07-10-2002, 11:38 AM
this is a very good question as I often find that the more topspin I use the less likely I am to make the pot with any speed..... the opposite can be said on the other hand if i use extreme draw I have never really figured out why this is... curious that you suggest using more follow... I think I do use at least 2 tips normally... this willdefinately take some more thought at practice time.

Mike H
07-10-2002, 11:52 AM
Phil, I definitely believe the 1 1/2 tip limit is like using training wheels. However, on a table with 4 - 4 1/2 inch pockets, where you must hit the object balls with the correct pocket speed every time, cueing the ball with 2+ tips of english is necessary. Here's something that might help you become more comfortable with cueing the CB that far off-center: have a partner hold the CB in place. Place the tip of your cue on the desired outer area of the CB and gradually push harder. If your tip does not slip off the ball, you can consider it safe to hit the CB that high or low.

Cueless Joey
07-10-2002, 11:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: d0wnt0wn:</font><hr> this is a very good question as I often find that the more topspin I use the less likely I am to make the pot with any speed..... the opposite can be said on the other hand if i use extreme draw I have never really figured out why this is... curious that you suggest using more follow... I think I do use at least 2 tips normally... this willdefinately take some more thought at practice time. <hr></blockquote>..........
D, you think just-a-bridge gizmo can be useful in this practice?LOL

07-10-2002, 04:05 PM
I was frankly astonished by Mark's article. For one thing, it flies in the face of what Bob Byrne has been telling our readers for decades: don't go higher than 3/4 of the way up the ball; whatever differential you achieve by going higher than that is cancelled by the risk of miscue. But secondly, and more important, is that Mark Wilson's advice works! I've had nothing but positive results with it. I wouldn't go to the extreme of suggesting you apply sidespin out that far on the ball, but his tip on follow is definitely valid as long as you're careful and your stroke is level. GF

Tom_In_Cincy
07-10-2002, 04:06 PM
Mike,
To expand on your great reply.
This example of high verticle stroking of the cue ball is a good thing for average players to try to do while practicing.
Extreme shots, that require you to strike the cue ball as far away as possible from the center, is what you can take to the practice table.

Speed becomes critical in small or tournament cut pockets (like stated in Mike H's post) and when this is the case, stroking the cueball with extreme english, becomes a weapon that not too many players have. This stroke is not for the average player.. it has to be developed and practice is the one place you can accomplish this stroke.

Take the object ball (on a 9 foot table) and the cue ball and separate them by a diamond. Object ball is in the center of the table, near the side pocket, play for the end corner pocket and shoot at pocket speed. Stike the cue ball with tip of top, then a full tip, then 1 then 2, and then as much as possible away from center, using the same pocket speed stroke. Watch your cue ball position after each change of cue tip distance from center. It will make a difference.

phil in sofla
07-10-2002, 04:37 PM
Do you mean center top, or high side? If the latter, when you put speed into a high left or high right stroke through the cue ball, deflection gets real significant real quick.

SpiderMan
07-10-2002, 04:42 PM
George,

The key to this extreme topspin effectiveness is distance from the cue ball to object ball. When they are close, Mark's technique is quite effective because you can generate substantial "overspin", ie forward rotation in excess of natural roll. At half a table-length away, any overspin probably decays completely to natural roll, which is the same as what you start out with when cueing the ball as Byrne recommends.

SpiderMan

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: George Fels:</font><hr> I was frankly astonished by Mark's article. For one thing, it flies in the face of what Bob Byrne has been telling our readers for decades: don't go higher than 3/4 of the way up the ball; whatever differential you achieve by going higher than that is cancelled by the risk of miscue. But secondly, and more important, is that Mark Wilson's advice works! I've had nothing but positive results with it. I wouldn't go to the extreme of suggesting you apply sidespin out that far on the ball, but his tip on follow is definitely valid as long as you're careful and your stroke is level. GF <hr></blockquote>

phil in sofla
07-10-2002, 04:49 PM
What annoys me about this information is that, as George Fels mentions, you never hear it anywhere, and what you do hear contradicts it.

I'm very familiar with the idea that 'everything (you think) you know is wrong' in many other bodies of knowledge, but I thought I was getting the straight scoop from all the instructional material out there, especially when it all seemed to agree on certain points.

But I mean, Byrne and Jewitt (sp?) are wrong? Say it ain't so!!!

Well, I guess my fallback position is that in situations, maybe most situations, they have a point. And, in other, maybe limited, situations, other things work out quite well despite the theoretical objections to them.

They used to always say that a bumble bee cannot fly. Not knowing that, the bumble bee makes do by working at it like crazy, and we've all seen the results. Maybe the aerodynamics don't work, but moving the wings thousands of times a minute makes it all happen.

"Don't follow leaders; watch the parking meters." ---Bobby Z.

TonyM
07-10-2002, 07:20 PM
Ah yes George, but the devil is in the details! In truth, if you use a striped ball, you will find that if you contact the ball any significant distance higher than the top edge of the stripe (when it is horizontal) then you will almost assuredly miscue! This is nowhere near "over the top" of the ball.

But I also put the top of my shaft nearly above the top of the ball for extreme follow shots. And I don't miscue!

So what gives? Was Byrne wrong?

No he wasn't. While I (and presumable Mark Wilson as well) might aim above the top of the ball. I don't actually hit it there. But my normal cuetip motion is downwards (I try not to drop my elbow). So to hit the ball very high, I have to aim a bit higher.

I've seen some pros that get extreme amounts of follow while aiming just above center on the cueball. How do they do it?

Simple, their natural motion is for the tip to raise up during their stroke. These players often aim at the cloth in front of the cueball in order to get draw as well.

I think that a better bit of advice (with all respect to Mr. Wilson) is to use a stripped ball and see where you are actually hitting the ball. If you are hitting the ball well below the top edge of the stripe, you might just benefit from Mark's advice.

If you can hit the top edge of the stripe (or above it) while aiming at it, then you are likely getting all of the follow that you (or anyone else) can get as is.

Tony
-then there was the guy who aimed for follow and hit draw....on purpose....

Scott Lee
07-10-2002, 08:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TonyM:</font><hr> In truth, if you use a striped ball, you will find that if you contact the ball any significant distance higher than the top edge of the stripe (when it is horizontal) then you will almost assuredly miscue! This is nowhere near "over the top" of the ball.

While I (and presumable Mark Wilson as well) might aim above the top of the ball. I don't actually hit it there. But my normal cuetip motion is downwards (I try not to drop my elbow). So to hit the ball very high, I have to aim a bit higher.

I think that a better bit of advice (with all respect to Mr. Wilson) is to use a stripped ball and see where you are actually hitting the ball. If you are hitting the ball well below the top edge of the stripe, you might just benefit from Mark's advice.

If you can hit the top edge of the stripe (or above it) while aiming at it, then you are likely getting all of the follow that you (or anyone else) can get as is.

Tony
<hr></blockquote>

Tony...This is exactly the same thing I have been teaching for years. I use the 9-ball, because the blue chalk shows up quite easily on the yellow stripe, or the white part of the ball. Aiming the edges of the tip at the edges of the stripes will teach extreme draw and extreme follow very easily...provided you have the stroke to go with it! LOL

Scott Lee

Alfie
07-10-2002, 08:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> But I mean, Byrne and Jewitt (sp?) are wrong? Say it ain't so!!! <hr></blockquote>Here is the first post of another discussion on this article.

http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=6c33a97e.0206242107.15116a88%40posting .google.com

Alfie
07-10-2002, 09:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TonyM:</font><hr> I think that a better bit of advice (with all respect to Mr. Wilson) is to use a stripped ball and see where you are actually hitting the ball. If you are hitting the ball well below the top edge of the stripe, you might just benefit from Mark's advice. <hr></blockquote> Line up the stripe with the cue. Check the chalk mark to see where you are really hitting. The chalk mark on striped whitey doesn't lie. The edge of the stripe (tip offset half way from center to edge, tip offset 9/16", 30 degrees around from center ball hit) is the miscue borderline.

Make sure the stripe is parallel to the cue.

Judge for yourself.

07-10-2002, 09:38 PM
i was going to post on this very article. i watch a couple of pros all the time, and unless there is something that my eye can't catch, they seem to stroke close to center. this post is contrary to everything i was told.

TonyM
07-10-2002, 10:35 PM
Yes some pros do aim near center when applying top spin Arnie (contrary to what Mr. Wilson espouses). In their cases they actually hit higher then where they are aiming. In all likelyhood their elbows drop just before they hit the cueball. Some of these players also aim at the cloth in front of the cueball in order to apply draw (Bustemante for example, also Jeremy Jones).

It's not about where they are aiming, but where they actually HIT the ball that counts.

But it is true that most pros probably hit the ball higher than most amateurs.

Tony

07-11-2002, 05:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> This month's BD has an article by Mark Wilson, showing the difference between amateur players' cueing of top English compared to pro players' cue tip placement for top. In the diagram, he shows the amateur top English production coming about 1-1/2 tips up from the centerline of the cue ball (approx.), and the pro top cueing line actually OVER the top edge of the cue (for the top edge of the cue tip), at what I'd estimate is maybe THREE TIPS UP!!!

What bothers me about this applies to other techniques as well. The line Mark shows as the amateur's way of stroking top is consistent with what I see the instructors telling us-- keep the use of English limited to maybe a tip to a tip and a half or so, max. Supposedly, this is all you need with a good stroke/follow through, and not only is this all you need to get the effect, anything more is actually harmful, considering the increased chances of miscueing.

Mark explains that by using the almost over the top addressing line, pros get more action with a softer stroke (and I'd assume, WAY more action with a comparable stroke), and he suggests players who aren't pros can benefit from using this technique. He says the apparent imminent miscue won't happen if your tip is well rounded (and we can assume, to a dime's curvature rather than a nickel's curvature).

Playing with an average B player the other day, I asked him about where he strokes his top English, and he says it is well up on the ball, almost off it over the top, and that is what he thinks he needs for force follow shots.

I get the impression that what we are told is correct as to how far off axis to stroke the cue ball is something of a lowest common denominator, something somewhat conservative, to aid the beginning player, and something that players will automatically disobey once they get to an intermediate or higher level of play. Rewatching my Sigel runout series tapes, I notice him stroking many of his English shots two or more tips off axis, sometimes appearing, at least in the camera angles used, to be cueing partially off the edge of the ball, and not for some wicked action on the ball, but fairly average shape considerations, just coming off the rail a little.

How high do you stroke your top English shots, and would you agree that the alleged rule of 'no more than 1-1/2 tips of English' is sort of like training wheels, which you take off and discard once you have a certain level of experience?





<hr></blockquote>

I believe that beginners should only use 1 to 1 1/2 tips of follow untill they learn to freeze their shoulders, keep their cue level, and learn how to stroke the ball rather than poke or jab at it. My force follow shots are sometimes almost ontop of the cueball, only using the top 1/8" or so of the cueball, but I hit down a little bit on the cueball, especially if I'm using an open bridge, and I try as hard as I can to avoid any sidespin. Using that, I can hit a ball 3/4 full from a foot away, and still go 3 rails for position on the other side of the table. If you don't do it that way, the cueball will slide a little bit after you hit it which causes friction on the cloth to slow it down alot more.

Kato
07-11-2002, 07:20 AM
Phil, remember when we used to watch Dick Weaver play? He cued so far outside, top, and bottom we thought he'd miscue? Same difference I guess.

Kato

Vapros
07-11-2002, 09:53 AM
People do strange things with pool cues. One cannot assume that the hit will be in the same spot as the aim or the practice strokes. It also makes a great difference whether the cue tip is on an upward or downward path - which is a whole 'nother smoke.

I used to see a pretty good player from New Orleans, whose aim and practice strokes weren't even at the cueball, but went right past it on the lower left. But he could play. Another player lines up every shot as if he intends to hit it with low left english, but winds up hitting the ball with the same range of contact points as anyone else. You probably know players like that, also. It seems impossible, but it happens.