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View Full Version : Position play vs. Shooting with touch



ladrone
12-12-2006, 07:59 AM
I have been learning position play for the last year and find myself shooting too hard trying to get position on the next ball. Of course shooting too hard I am missing more shots. Could it be that I am not getting good enough position at the current OB or could it be the slow cloth on the table. It is getting very frustrating.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

dr_dave
12-12-2006, 08:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ladrone:</font><hr> I have been learning position play for the last year and find myself shooting too hard trying to get position on the next ball. Of course shooting too hard I am missing more shots. Could it be that I am not getting good enough position at the current OB or could it be the slow cloth on the table. It is getting very frustrating.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. <hr /></blockquote>
Are you leaving good angles on your shots (e.g., see NV 5.1 and 5.2 (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/normal_videos/index.html))?

Dave

Rich R.
12-12-2006, 09:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ladrone:</font><hr> I have been learning position play for the last year and find myself shooting too hard trying to get position on the next ball. Of course shooting too hard I am missing more shots. Could it be that I am not getting good enough position at the current OB or could it be the slow cloth on the table. It is getting very frustrating.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. <hr /></blockquote>
You can't blame the cloth. We all have to play under the conditions at hand. Sometimes the cloth is fast and sometimes it is slow. You have to adjust.

My suggestion would be to work more on your cue ball position. As Dr. Dave indicated, make sure you are leaving enough of an angle for your shots. Straight in shots are your worst enemy. It is much easier to move the cue ball around the table, when you have angles.

Billy_Bob
12-12-2006, 09:47 AM
Might want to videotape yourself shooting the fast shots and watch your stroke (play back in slow motion). I know I tend to move my elbow out when shooting fast and this causes me to miss shots (bad old habit I'm trying to break).

Also are you playing 9-ball or 8-ball?

With 8-ball it is common to be able to run the table leaving position for each next shot with every shot being slow or medium speed. I know a guy who never shoots a fast shot when playing 8-ball. And he runs the table.

With 9-ball it is common to be shooting at one end of the table and you need to get up to the other end of the table to shoot in the next ball. So more speed is frequently needed.

And then there are shots which following through (or hitting higher/lower on CB) will give you more draw or follow. "Killing the ball with fast speed" is not necessary.

Are you using english? (hitting left or right side of cue ball.) When using english, this causes all sorts of problems which results in balls missing the pocket. My advice is to not use english unless absolutely necessary. You can leave pretty good position for your next shot most of the time with just follow, stun (stop), or draw.

Billy_Bob
12-12-2006, 10:04 AM
P.S. The videos which have helped me the most with position play are Dr. Dave's DVD and Jimmy Reid's videos.

Dr. Dave shows you how to get the cue ball to go where you want after a shot and how to avoid scratching. Jimmy Reid takes you through entire runouts and tells you what he is doing for each shot and why. I don't recall seeing Jimmy Reid shooting any fast shots in these videos, mostly slow or medium speed. Links below...

Dr. Daves DVD...
http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/cd_dvd/dvd_description.html

Jimmy Reid's videos...
http://www.freepoollessons.com/video/DVDsindex.html

Billy_Bob
12-12-2006, 10:36 AM
Hey look what I found...

Here is a video of a 9-ball runout. Note that there is only one "fast shot" during the runout...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_plsd-1TNNw&amp;NR

wolfdancer
12-12-2006, 10:58 AM
I've watched many amateurs hit the ball (too)hard in an attempt to gain position. The first thing that happens, as Scott Lee points out in his lessons...any aiming/alignment error is magnified, and you'll get many more misses.
From my observations...and from my past experiences....when newer players hit the ball hard, they usually are hitting near center ball...a stun shot that just transfers the energy to the O.B...On a full hit the cue ball would not move much after contact...on a cut shot it would move sideways...but newer players usually want the cue ball to go forward after the hit.Since it won't...they decide to hit it harder next time.
Try a softer hit with topspin, or side spin. Any rotational velocity on the cue ball after hitting a rail, becomes linear velocity.
I was always amazed when I first began playing pool, and watching this great player get tremendous cue ball distance with a soft hit....but lots of spin.

Sig
12-12-2006, 11:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> P.S. The videos which have helped me the most with position play are Dr. Dave's DVD and Jimmy Reid's videos.

Dr. Dave shows you how to get the cue ball to go where you want after a shot and how to avoid scratching. Jimmy Reid takes you through entire runouts and tells you what he is doing for each shot and why. I don't recall seeing Jimmy Reid shooting any fast shots in these videos, mostly slow or medium speed. <hr /></blockquote>

It's expensive, but I'm tempted to check out that package deal for Jimmy Reid's videos.

DickLeonard
12-12-2006, 11:47 AM
Sig the secret to playing position is to make the angle by shooting the object ball into the different parts of the pocket. Most beginners play most shots to the center of the pockets and cut down on the angle that can be gained by shooting the shot into the right or left side of the pocket.

When playing on tight pockets you must play near perfect position to move the cueball around the table.####

Jal
12-12-2006, 12:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ladrone:</font><hr> I have been learning position play for the last year and find myself shooting too hard trying to get position on the next ball. Of course shooting too hard I am missing more shots. Could it be that I am not getting good enough position at the current OB or could it be the slow cloth on the table. It is getting very frustrating.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. <hr /></blockquote>Along the lines of the advice the other posters have given, you might want to try taking a moment between each shot to re-evaluate your strategy, if you don't already do this. You'll probably find that quite often there is a better way of going about things than your current plan is calling for. When I do this, it helps me guard against my tendency to want to get too straight, or rely on english and draw too much. Also, a few balls into the run and I usually have to throw my original plan out anyway, but I won't necessarily recognize or admit it without some further cogitation.

Jim

Sig
12-12-2006, 12:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Sig the secret to playing position is to make the angle by shooting the object ball into the different parts of the pocket. Most beginners play most shots to the center of the pockets and cut down on the angle that can be gained by shooting the shot into the right or left side of the pocket. <hr /></blockquote>

Good point, although you've got to be pretty confident in your shotmaking for that. Do you think it might be better in a lot of cases to use more follow or draw instead of trying to cheat the pocket?

Deeman3
12-12-2006, 12:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sig:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Sig the secret to playing position is to make the angle by shooting the object ball into the different parts of the pocket. Most beginners play most shots to the center of the pockets and cut down on the angle that can be gained by shooting the shot into the right or left side of the pocket. <hr /></blockquote>

Good point, although you've got to be pretty confident in your shotmaking for that. Do you think it might be better in a lot of cases to use more follow or draw instead of trying to cheat the pocket? <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Sig,

Just to warn you. The guy who gave you that advice has run hundreds, scores of times. If he says "slap yourslef in the head to play better" most of us ask him, "Which hand?"

</font color>
DeeMan

ladrone
12-12-2006, 02:50 PM
I am in an 8-ball league. I am also a recovering banger. I usually use follow to get position, but use side and draw also. I do believe I am not getting good angles for my shots and assume that is where the main problem is for me. There is so much information I have received from this site and attempt to implement. Sounds like I need to get better angles and look a few shots ahead? I also practice some 9-ball to practice looking ahead. Thanks.

Jerry

Deeman3
12-12-2006, 03:58 PM
Ladrone,

Free advice is usually worth at least that. Here are a few things to think about if you are really serious about improving and moving beyond banger status.

Some rules most don't have to think about but are impediments to playing well.

1) Don't shoot harder then you need for the shot and to gain position.

2) Know which direction your cue balls will go and think baout how far it needs to travel.

3) Don't hit other balls on the table without a reason.

4) Learn to hit the center of the cue ball very precisly before worrying about hitting it off center.

5) Try not to leave the cue ball on a rail if not necessary.

6) Shoot balls first that clear the way for your other balls.

7) Identify packs and clusters and balls that won't "go" early and get a strategy to open then up or move them. To try to run out without this plan is foolish.

8) If you don't think you ahve a shot or safdety you are playing Efren or just not looking hard enough.

9) Don't twirl the rack or do any other trick moves to impress people unless you are trying out for the circus.

10) Learn to stay level and shoot smoothly and don't think running boreing balls rack after rack is something stupid or lucky.

11) Learn that draw and follow are for more than followng or backing balls up.

12) Learn to "kill" the cue ball. NOTE: This does not involve a gun.

13) Don't put powder all over the table unless you are changing your opponent's diaper.

14) Don't show disapointment to your opponent when you mess up. That way, when you learn to intensionally miss, they won't know.

15) Don't whine, we have aguy named Earl that will handle that for you.

16) Chalk with your opposite hand.

17) Learn to read kisses. Not related to Madonna and Britanny.

18) Learn your limits and don't think your draw will all of a sudden resemble Cory's. That means learn to take your medicine and shoot the possible shot, the percentage shot.

19) Play the table (unless you are stalling).

20) Don't listen to guys on the internet giving you pool advice, especially DeeMan.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif


DeeMan

wolfdancer
12-12-2006, 04:29 PM
Good advice, and some good added wit....and it's all true.Twirling the cue and powdering the table, and trying to drill a hole in the chalk cube are "tells" in poker parlance. Sweat and powder make for a nice paste by the way.I know of one guy that can't "run three balls", but complains when he misses the first one.
I plead gulty however, for breaking every one (except twirling) of Deeman's pool rules, at one time or another.

hhilario
12-12-2006, 05:02 PM
Well said DeeMan. I may add that every time you shoot try to do the most with the shot: pocket a ball, move balls that NEED to be moved, leave a safety and leave yourself a nice next shot. Is it too much to ask? then you should start with making balls and adding the others along the way.
Keep pooling it /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

DickLeonard
12-13-2006, 06:02 AM
Deeman very good advice and humor but you forgot twirling the cue. That was the one thing the Color of Money did for Pool it created a lot of broken cues which was good for the pool business.####

Greg in VA
12-13-2006, 07:02 AM
Assuming there are no clusters that need dealt with during your run, try concentrating on 3 ball patterns. The third shot in your pattern (ie. what side of that ball you need to be on) dictates where you need to be on your next shot. Breaking down the table into managable 3 ball patterns has helped me play more consistant shape.

Snapshot9
12-13-2006, 07:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ladrone:</font><hr> I have been learning position play for the last year and find myself shooting too hard trying to get position on the next ball. Of course shooting too hard I am missing more shots. Could it be that I am not getting good enough position at the current OB or could it be the slow cloth on the table. It is getting very frustrating.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. <hr /></blockquote>

Cut yourself a 6" diameter circle out of paper, and when you practice, by yourself, shoot all kinds of different shots, and before you shoot, place the circle where you want the cue ball to be after the shot. If you miss, and you will, shoot the same repeatedly until you make the shot, and put the cue ball close to the circle afterwards. I used this method, 45 years ago, and still today, position play is considered one of my strong suits when playing.

But, before I did that, I shot all kinds of shots on the table using 12 different kinds of english. I divided the cue ball up into 12 equal squares centered within the cue ball, then I shot each shot 12 times, using a different point of english on each shot, watching where the cue ball went each time. I used a medium speed for all shots, but repeated if I wanted to watch the cue ball when the shot was shot harder. (Softer hits pathes were already mapped within the medium hit line of path).

These 2 methods were the building blocks for me to be able to play shape on almost any shot on the table. Plus all the years afterward served to reinforce or adjust it along the way. It has served me well for 45 years of playing.

I am 'Old School' in case you hadn't guessed .... lol

Deeman3
12-13-2006, 07:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Deeman very good advice and humor but you forgot twirling the cue. That was the one thing the Color of Money did for Pool it created a lot of broken cues which was good for the pool business.#### <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Dick,

You are right. I don't nkow how many good ppol players the Color of Money made but it sure got a lot of marching band majorettes started. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif</font color>

When I see someone soing these "tricks" with cues and other things, I know I will have an easy night.

DeeMan
Proud Member of the Dick Leonard Fan Club

ladrone
12-13-2006, 07:36 AM
DeeMan,

It did seem like from many of my shots that I was trying out for the circus! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif I was putting too much follow, draw, and side spin on the ball. Shooting these shots I felt that I was getting better, but I was getting too straight on the next ball, so I would need english to get to the next ball. Practicing last night I realized that the major problem was forgetting to get a half ball hit position on the next ball. I am also just finding my draw shot, but hitting it too hard for more draw. I shot some center hits last night too. These felt strange, as I was always putting something on the ball. Hopefully tonight I will only play against my opponent and not also the cue ball. Thanks.

Jerry

ladrone
12-13-2006, 07:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Greg in VA:</font><hr> Assuming there are no clusters that need dealt with during your run, try concentrating on 3 ball patterns. The third shot in your pattern (ie. what side of that ball you need to be on) dictates where you need to be on your next shot. Breaking down the table into managable 3 ball patterns has helped me play more consistant shape. <hr /></blockquote>

Greg,

This is what I intend to concentrate on next. I only look at the next ball. No wonder I keep fighting the cue ball all over the table. Practice was easier last night leaving half ball hits. Looking two balls ahead should really help!

Jerry

ladrone
12-13-2006, 07:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Snapshot9:</font><hr>
Cut yourself a 6" diameter circle out of paper, and when you practice, by yourself, shoot all kinds of different shots, and before you shoot, place the circle where you want the cue ball to be after the shot. If you miss, and you will, shoot the same repeatedly until you make the shot, and put the cue ball close to the circle afterwards. I used this method, 45 years ago, and still today, position play is considered one of my strong suits when playing.

But, before I did that, I shot all kinds of shots on the table using 12 different kinds of english. I divided the cue ball up into 12 equal squares centered within the cue ball, then I shot each shot 12 times, using a different point of english on each shot, watching where the cue ball went each time. I used a medium speed for all shots, but repeated if I wanted to watch the cue ball when the shot was shot harder. (Softer hits pathes were already mapped within the medium hit line of path).

These 2 methods were the building blocks for me to be able to play shape on almost any shot on the table. Plus all the years afterward served to reinforce or adjust it along the way. It has served me well for 45 years of playing.

I am 'Old School' in case you hadn't guessed .... lol <hr /></blockquote>

I will try this. Too much english is currently my problem, but I will still practice it for when I get off line again. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif Thanks.
Jerry

Gayle in MD
12-13-2006, 08:10 AM
From someone who had absolutely no natural ability for this game, and came to it late in life, here are a few suggestions, for what it's worth.

A few lessons, with a decent insturctor, gives you a good beginning in learning the fundamentals, stance, stroke, draw, follow and stops shots...etc.

Watch good instructual videos...and tape and study pro matches, and I do mean study, lots of re-winding.

Learn to focuss. Everyone comes to this in a different way, find yours. You have to be able to block out everything beyond what is happening between you, and the shot, and you have to see the shot going inot the pocket.

Find you own rhythm....how many strokes do YOU need to correct and adjust your aim.

Of all these basic things, the most important and probably what most newcomers don't make enough time for, is shooting alone. Experiment! Apply the things you are learning while practicing alone. Don't try to apply them when you're competing until you've got them down. Using side english, for example, in competition, when you're not yet ready, will chip away at your confidence. Practice practice practice.

Never take a shot unless you consider where you're trying leave the cue ball, and stay away from the glory shots, until you build the ability to use them.

Learn how to use side english, on short shots. Most instructors will not tell you this. I don't agree at all. Side english is important! Learn it! Start to learn it right from the start. This is probably going to get me bashed by the teachers here, but just ask them if THEY ever use side english...adk them if THEY waited until they had the all time perfect stroke before they began to learn about, and use side english....but, don't use it in competition until you're comfortable with it though. Practice it when you're alone on the table.

One other thing, dominant eye determination is important, no matter what anyone else tells you. People who say it isn't, do not have a severe dominant eye condition. Determining where under your eyes to line up your cue stick, is very critical, if you happen to have a severely right, or left, dominant eye situation. Not all people have it, so not all people can appreciate or understand, the issue.


Remember that your time practicing alone on the table, is worth twice the number of hours you spend playing in competition.


Position play becomes the most fun part of pool. It is worth intense practice right from the start, and appreciating the value of leaving yourself an angle for your next shot. A good stroke is important, learning to bring your arm straight through, and follow through, and the difference between the intensity of the hit, how hard, how soft, etc...but don't let anyone tell you that you're "Not ready" to learn how to use side english...a student can think about, and be working on, more than one aspect of this game at a time. A littel side english, can get you out of a boatload of trouble!

good luck and happy shooting.

Gayle in Md.

Greg in VA
12-13-2006, 08:46 AM
<hr /></blockquote>

Greg,

No wonder I keep fighting the cue ball all over the table. Practice was easier last night leaving half ball hits. Looking two balls ahead should really help!

Jerry <hr /></blockquote>

Exactly! Nine times out of ten when I land straight in on my position (and don't want to be there) it is because I failed to consider the third ball.
Constantly guard against this while practicing. I make this mistake more during practice. The fear of losing during competition helps me maintain the disipline to play 3 ball patterns.
However, how we practice should be how we play

av84fun
12-13-2006, 12:31 PM
Hi ladrone. First don't fall into the trap of trying some world champion shot in order to get PERFECT on the next OB when you can shoot a softer, more makeable shot and end up with DECENT position.

If you HAVE to shoot hard, use virtually no English and therefore eliminate "squirt" which causes a HUGE percentage of misses in my opinion.

Learn to use OUTSIDE english which can dramatically alter the CB path and can increase total CB distance traveled by 50-100% or more at any given stroke speed.

Learn to use INSIDE english which will open up whole new routes where softer shots might work out well.

Finally, always look for "down the line" instead of "across the line" position routes which reduces the need for precise speed control by a huge amount.

There's about 2 years of work for ya right there!

But the best advice I can give you...if you are REALLY serious about advancing is to:

1. Find a great instructor.
2. Get Jimmy Reid's DVDs
3. Get Burns books
4. Get Jack Koehler's books.
5. Understand that you shoot too hard...because ALL amateurs do.
6. Understand that the use of english is your best friend if you understand how and your worst enemy if you don't (because of "cue stick induced deflection" or "squirt and unintended "throw"...one or both of which cause a HUGE percentage of misses.)

(-:
Jim

ladrone
12-13-2006, 02:19 PM
Gayle,

I do intend to get some lessons at some time when money is not so tight.

Visualizing the ball going in is something I do before I go down on the shot.

I feel comfortable with english, but I believe that I lose focus on the shot and think about my leave.

I do agree that side english on short shots does work for my game and has recently become part of it.

I need to look more in the dominant eye thing. Thanks.

Jerry

ladrone
12-13-2006, 02:22 PM
av84fun,

I feel very confident using outside english, but that inside english is very tough. I will also look into some of the instruction you referred to. Thanks.

Jerry

FatsRedux
12-13-2006, 03:07 PM
This simple practice routine will help you:

Place three balls out at random (just make sure that all balls are a minimum of 6" or more apart and no ball is frozen to a rail). Walk around the table, analyze the layout from all different perspectives, and decide how you will run all three. If you miss start over again from scratch. If you run all three add another ball and do it again. Keep at it until you are consistently running nine balls.

Fats

pooltchr
12-13-2006, 06:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr>

Learn how to use side english, on short shots. Most instructors will not tell you this. I don't agree at all. Side english is important! Learn it! Start to learn it right from the start. This is probably going to get me bashed by the teachers here, but just ask them if THEY ever use side english...adk them if THEY waited until they had the all time perfect stroke before they began to learn about, and use side english....but, don't use it in competition until you're comfortable with it though. Practice it when you're alone on the table.


Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

Gayle,
You know I would never bash you for a comment on this forum. (NPR is different!! LOL) But to answer your question...NO! I was using side spin long before I understood what a good stroke was. I only wish I had known how to stroke the ball properly before I started using side spin. I would have been a much better player much quicker. Using and understanding side spin is a critical part of the game. Using it without having a dependable stroke can just exagerate other problems. It's best to learn to walk before you try to run....and certainly less painful! That is why I always make sure my students have a good stroke, and can control the cue ball from the vertical center before starting them on side spin. Building a solid game is like building a pyramid. You have to start with a solid foundation and then work your way up one level at a time.
Steve

Gayle in MD
12-13-2006, 06:52 PM
Steve...I don't agree.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
A good stroke is a great advantage, and it's important. You can work on aquiring a good stroke, and learning how to use angles and side english, simultaneously.

I don't buy into the philosophy that an instructor should dictate to a student when they are ready to begin learing any aspect of this game. I see far too many professionals, with lousey strokes, to buy that view...sorry /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif The more you know at any given time, the broader is the foundation. Even beginners should be experimenting with side english, throughout their learning process. The perfect stroke, is great, I see no reason, however, to put the brain on hold, while perfecting it. After all, any dummy can see the results of what they are doing, and when it does, and doesn't work....experimentation is the basis of becomming a good pool player, IMO. That, and working on perfecting every other aspect, as you go, including learning the results of using side english.

Gayle in Md.

pooltchr
12-13-2006, 07:17 PM
Why do teachers teach students basic math before getting into algebra? An orderly approach to building anything is usually the best way to go.
Steve

Bob_Jewett
12-14-2006, 12:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> ... Learn how to use side english, on short shots. Most instructors will not tell you this. I don't agree at all. Side english is important! Learn it! Start to learn it right from the start. This is probably going to get me bashed by the teachers here... <hr /></blockquote>
Not at all. I agree with you completely, provided that the student is aware of all the potential problems of using side spin. I think that a student should have played with side spin for a significant period of time before selecting his first personal cue stick.

The exception to the above I would make is that if the student has such an erratic stroke or ineffective aiming that he rarely knows which side of the object ball he is going to hit, there is no point in complicating things by adding side. Few students who have gotten as far as seeking lessons are this inept, but some are.

Gayle in MD
12-14-2006, 04:46 PM
Thank you for your response, Mr. Jewett. I am always impressed with your posts here on the CCB. And, I agree with your stipulations.

Gayle in Md.

pooltchr
12-14-2006, 07:27 PM
Bob,
Would you agree that if a player is able to improve the accuracy and control of their stroke and aiming, that their ability to effectively use side spin would be greatly improved? And if you agree, wouldn't it make sense that someone who strugles with fundamentals and aiming would find it difficult to effectively control the results when using side spin?

I have quite a few students who want to learn draw and english. I've found that in most cases, they are able to make it work much better once we make sure the fundamentals are solid first.
Steve

Bob_Jewett
12-14-2006, 09:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Bob,
Would you agree that if a player is able to improve the accuracy and control of their stroke and aiming, that their ability to effectively use side spin would be greatly improved? And if you agree, wouldn't it make sense that someone who strugles with fundamentals and aiming would find it difficult to effectively control the results when using side spin?

I have quite a few students who want to learn draw and english. I've found that in most cases, they are able to make it work much better once we make sure the fundamentals are solid first.
Steve <hr /></blockquote>
Sure, all of their shots will improve with better fundamentals. I think no one disagrees with this. I just think that if a student can run three balls, it's time to show them how side spin works, even if they can't use it consistently on most shots. I think it is much better for you to show it to them in a proper framework with the appropriate warnings than for them to pick it up in some back alley from shady characters who might fill their heads with "backhand" bogosity.

pooltchr
12-15-2006, 05:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Bob,
Would you agree that if a player is able to improve the accuracy and control of their stroke and aiming, that their ability to effectively use side spin would be greatly improved? And if you agree, wouldn't it make sense that someone who strugles with fundamentals and aiming would find it difficult to effectively control the results when using side spin?

I have quite a few students who want to learn draw and english. I've found that in most cases, they are able to make it work much better once we make sure the fundamentals are solid first.
Steve <hr /></blockquote>
Sure, all of their shots will improve with better fundamentals. I think no one disagrees with this. I just think that if a student can run three balls, it's time to show them how side spin works, even if they can't use it consistently on most shots. I think it is much better for you to show it to them in a proper framework with the appropriate warnings than for them to pick it up in some back alley from shady characters who might fill their heads with "backhand" bogosity. <hr /></blockquote>

On that point, we do agree. And I do cover spin with almost all of my students. I just start with the fundamentals first. When they are confident with their stroke, learning how to use spin properly seems to come along much easier for them.
Steve

mantis
12-16-2006, 10:17 PM
In general, i always try to shoot with a soft, smooth stroke. However, like in golf, once I get to the actual stroke, I tend to swing at the ball (golf), or stroke it harder than I meant to, especially when I am trying to put spin on the ball. However, after being sick for the past 2 days, I played while feeling very fatigued, and only applied the softer stroke. I ran 2 of the first 3 racks I played, and had better spin or english on the ball with the softer stroke. This reaffirmed to me the need for a consistently softer stroke, as I get out of line and miss more balls the harder I try to shoot. Also, I found that I could move the ball around the table better with spin and a soft stroke, than with speed from a harder stroke. I know that I play consistently better when I play a softer stroke. Now I just have to make that my normal stroke. Of course there are times when a harder stroke is needed for certain shots, however, I think a beginner should still shoot the shot softly until they can consistently reproduce the stroke, then slowly add speed as long as they continue to be able to keep the correct path with their stroke.

MrLucky
12-17-2006, 06:26 AM
You seem to have learned what is to me the most important lesson in pool ! Having a smooth consistant stroke ! this is the biggest downfall of most players even solid players at times try to do too much and get out of their stroke ! Good shooting and remember "Stay down on your stroke and stance!" rising up on the stroke is probably the second most common problem! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

mantis
12-17-2006, 09:49 AM
I also believe that there are a lot of shots that people feel they need to hit hard to create spin that can actually be more successfully and more consistently hit with a soft stroke with better follow through. I would rather error a little on position in the beginning to keep a fundamentally sound stroke, until that stroke is second nature, and I can increase the speed only when really necessary, which is probably less than most people think. For me it is just commiting to the softer stroke, and not ramping it up when I actually hit the ball. I have had a few times that I have been reminded of this in some way or another, and I always play better when I employ it in my game. Somehow, I tend to slowly drift into stroking many balls harder than I really need to until I realize that it is costing me missed shots and position again. I don't know about the argument of when to begin teaching spin and english, but I do believe that if your foundation is off (the stroke in this case) that everything you do from there will be slightly off. Thus I believe one should error on the side of a softer stroke in their earlier play. I think the solid foundation you will build will help you past other hurdles later, instead of creating more with a flawed foundation. I do not comment too often on technique or play here because I am no expert, but I have seen this very vividly in my game over the past year or so. I would say to try and commit to only a soft stroke and good follow through in every game you play by yourself for at least a few days. I am willing to bet that your percentage of balls pocketed will improve, and you will see position play in a different light than you did before.

Stretch
12-17-2006, 06:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mantis:</font><hr> I also believe that there are a lot of shots that people feel they need to hit hard to create spin that can actually be more successfully and more consistently hit with a soft stroke with better follow through. I would rather error a little on position in the beginning to keep a fundamentally sound stroke, until that stroke is second nature, and I can increase the speed only when really necessary, which is probably less than most people think. For me it is just committing to the softer stroke, and not ramping it up when I actually hit the ball. I have had a few times that I have been reminded of this in some way or another, and I always play better when I employ it in my game. Somehow, I tend to slowly drift into stroking many balls harder than I really need to until I realize that it is costing me missed shots and position again. I don't know about the argument of when to begin teaching spin and english, but I do believe that if your foundation is off (the stroke in this case) that everything you do from there will be slightly off. Thus I believe one should error on the side of a softer stroke in their earlier play. I think the solid foundation you will build will help you past other hurdles later, instead of creating more with a flawed foundation. I do not comment too often on technique or play here because I am no expert, but I have seen this very vividly in my game over the past year or so. I would say to try and commit to only a soft stroke and good follow through in every game you play by yourself for at least a few days. I am willing to bet that your percentage of balls pocketed will improve, and you will see position play in a different light than you did before. <hr /></blockquote>

For sure! Call me lazy, but i never did want to work any harder on position than i have to. Most of the time it's pretty underwhelming, you know rolling the balls down. Cue ball acts pretty predictable with a natural roll. If somewhere along that rollout presents a shot for the next ball then there's only weight to consider. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I like the expression "your just helping the cue ball go where it wants to go anyways" type shape player. I only get into trouble when i try and force the issue. the other style is the stun shape shooter, who works their position off the tangent lines but play a harder (than necessary) shot. This can work for you, or against you, sometimes. St.