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View Full Version : Got a hitch in your stroke?



Chopstick
12-02-2006, 02:25 PM
Try throwing your cue at the ball. Just throw out some balls on the table. The shot you pick is not important. Don't try any shots that are too difficult. You want to have some positive reinforcement.

I think it is best the use a closed bridge when you try this for obvious reasons. When you take the shot your stroke hand is completely loose. You don't have to open your hand completely. The hand is barely touching the cue and is just following along for the ride. All of the force needed to propel the cue forward is applied in the first couple of inches of the forward stroke.

You might try letting the cue just slide forward in your stroke hand to get the hang of it. Throw it just hard enough that it goes forward about 12 to 14 inches after it hits the cue ball. Start out with some firm shots and scale it back until you can even shoot the tiny little finesse shots with the same method.

Don't take a lot of time over the shots. You are just free wheeling. If you are having problems with moment of impact twitches or glitches this will smooth them out. You don't have to do it all the time. Just try some free wheeling/free stroking a few minutes every day before you start your practice routine. I just started doing it myself and I have found that it is helpling me solve some problems.


Besides smoothing out your stroke it is also fun. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Rod
12-03-2006, 02:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr>
When you take the shot your stroke hand is completely loose. You don't have to open your hand completely. The hand is barely touching the cue and is just following along for the ride. All of the force needed to propel the cue forward is applied in the first couple of inches of the forward stroke.

<hr /></blockquote>

In reality this is not far fetched from what I'd call a normal stroke. Most shots, speed is reached early on then the cue stays on a flat plane (meaning no acceleration). Your hand should in fact ride the cue to your finish. Going along for the ride gets rid of the (hit instinct). We all know that well after a really sour poke at the cue ball. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif
That rates at the top of reasons why balls and position are missed.

Fran wrote an article a few years back in BD about throwing the cue. Although obviously not worded the same it carried a similar message. Remember that one Fran? Simple things I think, sometimes, are not viewed well. Meaning it can't be that simple. Well it is and isn't but it sure is a step forward learning what very good players feel.

If your (meaning anyone) a low level player you rarely experience that feeling. (You know, Holly Cripes, I drew the ball 4 feet to far! What I'm talking about is getting through the c/b. That is without a hint of tension and because of that you hit the cue ball exactly where you intended.

I'm real big on this as are most instructors, all though I rarely teach anymore. The message will get to you eventually no matter whom you choose (should you go that route). Hopefully it's at the top of the list.

Good post Chopstick!

Rod

Sid_Vicious
12-03-2006, 10:38 AM
"That is without a hint of tension and because of that you hit the cue ball exactly where you intended."

Rod...This is a current day event with me. My general grip is snug at the circle of the index finger and the thumb, which I am finding is a henderence for draw shots, especially the long distance ones. As odd-ball is it sounds, I am changing grips for anything involving spin and draw, which BTW the draw is used a high percentage of the time, then reverting back to my normal grip on center ball hits. The old adage, "The same, always the same" is something I am steering against today. I don't throw the cue, but a little slip creeps in now, and it does appear to do just what you said it would above. Power draws, I'm discovering, really works best with an ultra loose grip. Now if it only works under pressure at the PH when I get there. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif sid

Chopstick
12-04-2006, 02:09 PM
I think you will find that it works equally well, shoes on or shoes off. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Fran Crimi
12-04-2006, 02:32 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Fran wrote an article a few years back in BD about throwing the cue. Although obviously not worded the same it carried a similar message. Remember that one Fran? Simple things I think, sometimes, are not viewed well. Meaning it can't be that simple. Well it is and isn't but it sure is a step forward learning what very good players feel.
<hr /></blockquote>

Yup. I remember that article, Rod. Thanks for remembering. Throwing the cue (literally) as an exercise is a great way to simplify the stroke process. The main thing that makes the stick go off course is our bodily contact with it. We either twist, or grab or pull or tug at it. All that stems from what we're thinking at the time. Are we steering the shot with our brain, which translates into a twist with our hand? Are we snapping because we think we aren't going to get enough whatever? Do we grab out of anxiety and fear of losing control?

Yup. We do all those things and more. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran ~~ P.S. Great post, Chopstick.

Qtec
12-04-2006, 07:07 PM
I call it, 'letting go'.

Q

Rod
12-04-2006, 09:31 PM
Sid, It's worth a mention, some have success with changing grip pressure. Meaning, trying to hold the cue to light and in the process changing grip pressure because it was to light to begin with. Start out with a tad more pressure and keep it constant during the stroke. It's the change that creates muscle tension and sends the cue off line or restricts follow thru.

Another mention goes to wraps. It is easier to hold on to a leather wrap compared to linen. In the end we all struggle with this to a certain extent. I'm sure not exempt. I did go to a textured leather wrap because my hands are just to dry for slick linen.

I've found using the two middle fingers pretty fool proof but I lack feel. Probably because it's not my standard grip. I can however grip with four fingers with the last two doing most of the work with the thumb and forefinger mostly going along for the ride. That works well but my stand grip is the thumb, index and middle finger no matter the shot.

Rod

Fran Crimi
12-06-2006, 09:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> I call it, 'letting go'.

Q <hr /></blockquote>

Yep. Good term. Works for golf too. Harvey Pennick used to teach his golf puplis by having them literally throw the club off the tee.

Fran

Deeman3
12-06-2006, 09:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> I call it, 'letting go'.

Q <hr /></blockquote>

Yep. Good term. Works for golf too. Harvey Pennick used to teach his golf puplis by having them literally throw the club off the tee.

Fran <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue">

Gee, then I've been playing golf correctly all along... /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif </font color>

DeeMan