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dsiomtw
06-16-2007, 01:21 AM
So I've been playing a lot of 9-ball lately with my friends and things are getting "serious" lol. I love shooting, so I bought a table to practice more. Problem is I have no stroke! I can draw the ball, use english, and I'm learning position play ... but at the same time I can only make a long straight in shot 50% of the time. As silly as it sounds (at least to me) I seem to have a hard time putting the cue tip on the ball where I want it consistently. As much as I try to keep my body still and only move from my elbow down, and obviously I try to keep the cue straight, I seem to get these little wiggles from side to side sometimes. I feel like a retard. Are there any "secrets" to learning/practicing this, or is it just a matter of doing it 40 million times?

Also I was wondering if ya'll can recommend some good instructional DVDs? Thanks!

Caromsoft
06-16-2007, 09:38 AM
I recommend a product called the Third Eye Trainer by Joe Tucker. It is a simple plastic set of arms that slip over the end of your cue that forces you to find center ball. It also comes with a very detailed and helpful DVD with exercises. I have been using one for a couple of months and have noticed a great improvement in my stroke.

Tom

Snapshot9
06-16-2007, 10:45 AM
Couple of 'cheap' things to do, is put a dime about 14" in front and stroke it to where your tip dips at the end to land on the dime every stroke.

Another way to test for smoothness of stroke, is to get down in position, have a friend put a nickel or quarter on your grip arm 2" above your elbow. Stroke your cue, if the quarter falls off, you are moving your shoulder, and not just your arm from the elbow down.

You also can take an empty 2 liter bottle, washed out and dryed, and put in front and practice stroking where the tip enters the bottle opening every time.

Even after you master these things, these still are good checks every 3 months or so to make sure you are still stroking straight.

ceebee
06-16-2007, 11:28 AM
The video I like the best, which helped me tremendously, was Bert Kinister's "The Mighty X".

That is one straight stroke buildin' drill.

dsiomtw
06-16-2007, 11:50 AM
Thanks to all who have replied...

I think my problem is mainly my grip being too tight and just not being loose enough in the arm/wrist/hand. I'm going to work on this, and try the other things ya'll have recommended.

Any other really good instructional videos? Is there 1 or 2 that are considered the "best" ?

cushioncrawler
06-16-2007, 03:33 PM
If u have bent eyes, u need a bent cue. madMac.

Sid_Vicious
06-16-2007, 06:34 PM
You might have something there, I shot with a one piece for 4 years of "early retirement" from 1980-1985, it rolled like a bananna, and I shot well at my level of play back then. Duct tape on the butt, the weight bolt rattled, and I surprised a tourny, money stealer outta Little Rock who was pretty good as I found out latter, in a race to two of 8-ball, structured rules but not BCA. I had no clue to who he was at the time, in fact that was my first virgin, organized tournament ever. All I'd done before was bar games for beers and simple cash, but mostly the home table for pride. My cues today are just to damn good for my bent eyes...and believe me, I was bent a LOT for that fun time over 4 years, no stress, just a party. I did study the books and practice everyday, hours and hours, back then. Small town, laid back and happy. If you don't have a clue that you should lose, you'll surprise yourself at what you can do. That's why I feel the juniors kick a$$ like they do...sid

pooltchr
06-16-2007, 09:10 PM
If you are actually only moving your arm from the elbow down, then it sounds like the problem is one of alignment rather than stroke. The pendulum stroke is only effective if you can get into the proper set position to begin with. If your arm is angled in toward your body, or out away from it, your cue is not going to travel forward in a straight line.
I would try to find someone to take a look at your entire stroke. A qualified instructor should be able to help.
Steve

Jager85
06-17-2007, 06:41 AM
One thing you can watch for is make sure your elbow is always up. Your elbow should be directly above the cue for a perfect pendulum. I have been working on my stroke alot lately and I noticed my elbow was not always up all the way and it threw off my stroke. It was so little I could barely tell but when I looked real close at my cue it was not straight.

Curtis

dr_dave
06-17-2007, 11:13 AM
You might try some of the things in the stroke "best practices" document (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/resources/stroke_best_practices.pdf). Maybe some things there will help. Also, practice, practice, practice!

Regards,
Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dsiomtw:</font><hr> So I've been playing a lot of 9-ball lately with my friends and things are getting "serious" lol. I love shooting, so I bought a table to practice more. Problem is I have no stroke! I can draw the ball, use english, and I'm learning position play ... but at the same time I can only make a long straight in shot 50% of the time. As silly as it sounds (at least to me) I seem to have a hard time putting the cue tip on the ball where I want it consistently. As much as I try to keep my body still and only move from my elbow down, and obviously I try to keep the cue straight, I seem to get these little wiggles from side to side sometimes. I feel like a retard. Are there any "secrets" to learning/practicing this, or is it just a matter of doing it 40 million times?

Also I was wondering if ya'll can recommend some good instructional DVDs? Thanks! <hr /></blockquote>

cushioncrawler
06-17-2007, 03:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jager85:</font><hr> One thing you can watch for is make sure your elbow is always up. Your elbow should be directly above the cue for a perfect pendulum. I have been working on my stroke alot lately and I noticed my elbow was not always up all the way and it threw off my stroke. It was so little I could barely tell but when I looked real close at my cue it was not straight. Curtis<hr /></blockquote>Curtis -- If the cue iz bent, u will need to hold the cue the same "way" for each shot. A bent cue will allmost certainly help your accuracy and consistency. A bigger bend might help even more-so.

But i have a theory that "learners" shood uze a fat stiff straight cue, and a short bridge, for perhaps the first year. This will better train the eyes n aim n stroke. Then, u phase-in a less-stiff bent cue, and phase-in a longer bridge -- but continue to uze the original stiff cue for training, but less and less az the years go by. Only a theory -- but all u will ever hear and read about "learning", here and elsewhere, iz all "only theory". madMac.

bradb
06-18-2007, 02:36 PM
Get Daves video on beginning play.
Good stroke starts with the fundimentals. I've been playing over 30 years but I still go over the basics befor I begin a set. Practice follow through without a cue ball, just concentrate on straight back and straight thru. Work on back and forth until you feel you have your arm under control.

I have carved a small set of initials in my cue nerar the butt.... HD SB ST

head down- Straight Back -Straight Thru.

Its amazing how many games those initials have saved me.

Brad

JimS
06-27-2007, 07:40 AM
GET LESSONS!

Find a good teacher and determine exactly what you are doing wrong. Don't waste your time trying to figure it out on your own. You NEED, we all NEED, to see a pro and get started out with sound basics.

Your ego won't like admitting that you can't do it on your own because you don't know anybody who has ever taken lessons and they will make fun of you if you tell them about it. I got a lot of ribbing for taking golf lessons and then for taking pool lessons. I learned to take the lessons, practice what I'd learned and keep my mouth shut about it.

Get the lesson and work on the fundamentals. All the practice aids in the world won't help if your fundamentals are not correct.

DickLeonard
06-27-2007, 07:57 AM
Dsiomtw all I can say is welcome to the Club of people with no stroke. Watching your stroke to the cueball could be causing an anxiety attack. Concentrate more on the object ball and speed up stroke till you develop more rythymn to it. You can always slow it Later.####

sygfrid
07-02-2007, 04:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dsiomtw:</font><hr> So I've been playing a lot of 9-ball lately with my friends and things are getting "serious" lol. I love shooting, so I bought a table to practice more. Problem is I have no stroke! I can draw the ball, use english, and I'm learning position play ... but at the same time I can only make a long straight in shot 50% of the time. As silly as it sounds (at least to me) I seem to have a hard time putting the cue tip on the ball where I want it consistently. As much as I try to keep my body still and only move from my elbow down, and obviously I try to keep the cue straight, I seem to get these little wiggles from side to side sometimes. I feel like a retard. Are there any "secrets" to learning/practicing this, or is it just a matter of doing it 40 million times?<hr /></blockquote>

Quick Tips:
1. Stance- (right handed) align cue w/ right heel &amp; foot perpendicular to the cue. left foot parallel w/ the cue but aligned w/ the left shoulder. right knee locked, left knee bent, putting most of the body weight forward for stability. distance between the 2 feet will depend on your comfortability (normally the left heel is perpendicular w/ the chin), just make sure your body is not twisted in such a way that it brings discomfort. Keep your elbow up &amp; perpendicular to the cue, and your chin almost touching the cue. This stance will help you become stable and help you with pendulum swing

2. GRIP: Use only 3 fingers, &amp; imagine holding a bird in your hand... hold it tight &amp; it will die, hold too loose &amp; it will escape. You only need to CRADLE the cue

3. SWING: learn to swing with your WRIST 90% of the time, imagine it being numbed from anesthesia. Learn how to shoot fast &amp; slow with your wrist first. If you get comfortable with this, you can add some arm action. The logic behind this is that the more you swing your arm backwards, the greater the chances that you'll "wiggle" your cue. Therefore, we are reducing the "error" zone. The speed of the cue ball will now depend on the speed of your wrist (imagine your wrist can travel approx 3-5 inches, that's a lot to make the cb travel farther with greater speed). Remember to keep your shoulder &amp; elbow locked in place.

3. FOLLOW THROUGH to make sure your cue will travel straight.

4. LONG SHOTS: If you've mastered keeping your body steady &amp; your swing relaxed, you may want to try "letting go" of the cue as you follow through to make sure sure cue will go straight. Letting go means loosening your grip more as you follow through with more of the middle finger "holding" (like a hook) and NOT "gripping" the cue.

4. DON'T TRY ENGLISH YET. It's harder to control the cue ball with english. Master the natural exit &amp; entry angles first created by UP, CENTER, DOWN cb hits. You don't need to use english for position if you can do it using natural angles. SIMPLICITY is the key in Pool.

Again, these are just guidelines. It may be effective to other people. You may have to adjust a little with the stance to make you more comfortable.

[ QUOTE ]
Also I was wondering if ya'll can recommend some good instructional DVDs? Thanks! <hr /></blockquote>
You don't have to buy one yet. I suggest you take a VIDEO of yourself playing so that you can actually see how you play.

Try watching how the PRO's play through the free YOUTUBE.COM. Just don't imitate Efren Reyes &amp; Francisco Bustamente's arm swings since they move too much. Only they have mastered keeping their swing straight with this. However, watch how they USE THE WRIST and LET GO of the cue

/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

mfinkelstein3
07-02-2007, 06:31 AM
I suggest you take a lesson from a BCA Instructor.

BigRigTom
07-02-2007, 08:56 AM
I like your example of holding the cue like a bird!
That is great imaginry and I agree completely in that analogy.
One of my problems is I have a tendency to tighten up the grip on difficult shots and I usually realize it immediately after the shot.....very often after missing the shot or more often making the shot but blowing the position because I hit the shot too hard or my english failed to produce the desired track off the rail, sometimes both!

TUniversal
07-08-2007, 07:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Caromsoft:</font><hr> I have been using one for a couple of months and have noticed a great improvement in my stroke.
Tom <hr /></blockquote>

TUniversal
07-08-2007, 07:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Caromsoft:</font><hr> I have been using one for a couple of months and have noticed a great improvement in my stroke.
Tom <hr /></blockquote>

Caromsoft,

Will you tell me what exactly the Joe Tucker 3rd Eye Trainer has helped you with? Pardon me, but I think finding center ball isn't the same thing as delivering the cue straight without the side to side moving of the stroking forearm. I'm not saying that finding center ball isn't important, but I think one has to first be able to consistently deliver the cue straight.

Not picking your post apart, I'm just trying to understand.

T

P.S. Please excuse the double quote post. It was an accident.

cushioncrawler
07-08-2007, 07:15 PM
U can delete or edit your posting for i think 6 hours. I do it often. madMac.

Caromsoft
07-09-2007, 12:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TUniversal:</font><hr>Will you tell me what exactly the Joe Tucker 3rd Eye Trainer has helped you with? Pardon me, but I think finding center ball isn't the same thing as delivering the cue straight without the side to side moving of the stroking forearm. I'm not saying that finding center ball isn't important, but I think one has to first be able to consistently deliver the cue straight.
<hr /></blockquote>I found that for me, Finding center was only part of the problem. If you have used the 3rd eye trainer, you know it comes with two sets of arms, short and long. The arms not only tell you that you are hitting center ball, but, especially if you use the long arms, whether your stroke is straight. The long arms stick out about 5 inches past your cue. If your stroke is crooked the ball will hit the arms as it leaves the cue tip.

Here is what I did, and this may sound stupid, but I found a vitamin bottle the same width as a cue ball (no table at home). I found a cue ball sized target on a web sight and taped it to the back. I started practicing sending it straight down a smooth table. I soon realized that I was not hitting the bottle straight. It would veer off to the left every time. It would also rattle the arms on the way out. This told me that my stroke was not straight. The bottle would also spin on its way down the table. This told me that I was hitting the bottle off center. One of the things that Joe's video says is that your eyes can lie to you because of one eye being dominant. This was true in my case. If I lined up so that my eyes told me my stroke was straight, the bottle would veer to the left. When I began to compensate, the bottle started going straighter. I also realized that my elbow was sticking out like a chicken wing which also was affecting my stroke.

I would practice sending that bottle down that table at least a hundred times a day, concentrating on my stroke. I made the conscious effort to keep my upper arm tucked in and still, like I have seen a lot of the pros do, and just move my forearm at the elbow like a hinge. Eventually I could set up a set of "goal posts" at the end of the table with a 1/4" gap on each side for the bottle to fit through and send the bottle down straight with no spin and go through the posts without knocking them over.

All the time I was doing this my stroke was getting better, and it was getting ingrained into my muscle memory. When I did play I began to make more balls, especially the straight in shots.

The 3rd Eye Trainer might not help everyone, but it sure made a difference in my game.

cushioncrawler
07-09-2007, 03:15 PM
U have been hitting the bottle much too often.
But, why not just hit a proper ball (on that smooth table) instead of a bottle???
And, why not aim to hit another ball, sitting at the end of that smooth table???

Hmmmm -- I can see u down at the pool hall, with a rack full of vitamin bottles, offering some sort of start to any sucker passing by. madMac.

Caromsoft
07-09-2007, 07:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cushioncrawler:</font><hr> U have been hitting the bottle much too often.
<hr /></blockquote>LOL. I did consider just getting a cue ball and trying to devise some kind of billiard type surface to practice on, but by the time my stroke improved to the point that I could give up the bottle /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I started going to a pool hall a couple of times a week. I figured if I was going to get any better I had better start practicing on some 9 foot tables.

Using the vitamin bottle really is no different than stroking into the opening of a Coke bottle, except that I could actually make contact with something solid and get used to following through on my stroke.

wolfdancer
07-10-2007, 05:56 PM
I played pool for many years without a stroke, and even won tournaments playing that way.....
I didn't go to RandyG's fine School, but my friend did, and shared some of what he was taught. They teach the stroke there first....what a great idea!!! wish some of the yo yo's that I learned from, had thought of that.....
I have something now that passes for a stroke, in a bar with poor lighting, and everybody half-juiced on Budweiser.
It's true that you need to follow through, but that in itself, does not mean you have a stroke.
Some years back, a self -styled instructor was showing us his stroke.....it was a forced, exaggerated follow through...looked contrived, and I could beat him easily with my no-stroke....
I now think that like in golf...you have to rid yourself of the "hit" impulse before you can develop a swing/stroke.
I practice using a short back stroke, and try to accelerate through the ball. My other "trick" is to focus at a point beyond the cue ball.
Coke bottles might work for some people...but it's not the same as continuing through the ball with your cue.
I've seen hundreds of golfers with great practice swings...and then, they tee up the ball, and it's a completely different story.

cushioncrawler
07-10-2007, 06:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> ....It's true that you need to follow through, but that in itself, does not mean you have a stroke....<hr /></blockquote>Woolfy -- I reckon that lots of players out there would go better with a short backswing and (feels like) zero follow-throo, or a long backswing (more likely) and zero follow-throo. Its amazing how much power etc (and screw etc) that u can get with zero follow-throo, and dont think that u havta divorce that nice pause at the end of your (perhaps shortish) backswing.

Here i am talking about finding an accurate and consistent aim/line, and i am assuming that years of trying that classic textbook long accelerating follow-throo aint working. madMac.

wolfdancer
07-11-2007, 01:55 AM
Fast Larry wrote that a long backswing produces a short follow through. Folks can argue that point but we don't all have the same lower arm to upper arm ratio....for me the long backswing produced a dip in my stroke before I hit the ball. I get better action and a better follow through, with a shorter back stroke...and my accuracy has also increased...I'll soon be able to run 3 balls....

cushioncrawler
07-11-2007, 05:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Fast Larry wrote that a long backswing produces a short follow through. Folks can argue that point but we don't all have the same lower arm to upper arm ratio....for me the long backswing produced a dip in my stroke before I hit the ball. I get better action and a better follow through, with a shorter back stroke...and my accuracy has also increased...I'll soon be able to run 3 balls....<hr /></blockquote>Woolfy -- madSherie sez that she duznt mind a long backswing az long az i keep my wt on my elbowz. And she made a video to proov that i lift my head too much. madMac.

pooltchr
07-11-2007, 06:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> ....for me the long backswing produced a dip in my stroke before I hit the ball. <hr /></blockquote>

Wolf,
Finding the proper "set" position will prevent the cue from dipping before contact, if you use the pendulum stroke. The set position defines where the cue should be at contact. The purpose of the backstroke is simply to get you into position to start your forward stroke. Short, long, or in between, your finish position (follow through) shouldn't be affected by the length of your back stroke unless you are using a shorter bridge distance, in which case, you are probably (hopefully) also choking up on the cue.
Steve

wolfdancer
07-11-2007, 12:36 PM
Hey....watch yer language.....!!!!
We have both children and Republicans reading these posts.
I just read where a giant squid washed up on shore in Australia....it's the first important visitor to the island in some 50 years.....
I also read where many are now worshiping it as a God...that's what primitive people do.
Over here they worshiped Jerry Falwell...

wolfdancer
07-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Steve, thanks for the tips..
it just seems to me that the longer your forearm, the longer you can keep your stroke level..mine are relatively short, so...
I'll never be mistaken for a real pool player, but I can make them all sweat a little if they want to win the match

pooltchr
07-11-2007, 03:03 PM
Your stroke, and therefore, the path of your tip, are most level when your arm is at the bottom of the pendulum. That's when you want to make contact with the cue ball. Once your arm moves forward of that 90 degree position, your grip hand is also moving up, and consequently, your tip should be moving down toward the table.
Steve

cushioncrawler
07-11-2007, 04:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Hey....watch yer language.....!!!!
We have both children and Republicans reading these posts.
I just read where a giant squid washed up on shore in Australia....it's the first important visitor to the island in some 50 years..... I also read where many are now worshiping it as a God...that's what primitive people do. Over here they worshiped Jerry Falwell...<hr /></blockquote>Tasmaniacs killed off all of their aborigines, then the Tazzy Tigers, then some pristine lakes'n'rivers, then some old'old trees. But they have a great billiards league, and some great billiards players, i must vizit one day (never been there). My son woz picking cherrys in Tazzy last year, on an island, he used to boat across to the island each day in his little tinny, probably being watched by big eyes from beneath, and he carryz a little squid-jig, lucky he didnt try to uze it, a 26' squid might'nt fit in a 13' tinny. Giant Squid &amp; Colossal Squid are lucky that they taste so bad, else the japs would invade (again). madMac.

wolfdancer
07-12-2007, 11:52 AM
"I cried because I had no stroke until I saw a man that had no arms"
I think this was a poem I read.....

cushioncrawler
07-12-2007, 04:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> "I cried because I had no stroke until I saw a man that had no arms". I think this was a poem I read.....<hr /></blockquote>George(??) Sutton had zero hands, but woz a professional. He sure didnt (koodnt) uze a pendulum.

I had 3hrs praktis last nite, koz i hadta play my first match for 2007 last nite, i won but played rubbish, about 8 breaks of 20+ and one of 40+. Anyhow, among other things, i tryd holding the cue nearer the butt and uzing a shortish backswing and pendulum action, this went well'nuff to look at again next week. I allso went ok uzing a longish action, uzing a Pumpulum action (arm goze down on BS and upish on FS). And the extra couple of oz wt in my flexy cue went ok. But i missed a short range dead straight pot-red -- unfortunately the bend in my flexy cue haz allmost disappeared, i might put a brick on it over the weekend. Hmmmm, dunno, might try the stiff 20.6oz next week.

Old (high friktion) pockets on a 12' table are murder -- u pool guys'n'gals would freak-out i'm telling u -- sometimes u would swear that the red iznt going to touch the sides, but it iz spat-out anyhow. I'm telling u, there iz no place on a 12' table for "zero deflection" cues, and there iz no place for "pivot point" stuff. madMac.

1Time
07-17-2007, 02:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> You might try some of the things in the stroke "best practices" document (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/resources/stroke_best_practices.pdf). Maybe some things there will help. Also, practice, practice, practice!

Regards,
Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dsiomtw:</font><hr> So I've been playing a lot of 9-ball lately with my friends and things are getting "serious" lol. I love shooting, so I bought a table to practice more. Problem is I have no stroke! I can draw the ball, use english, and I'm learning position play ... but at the same time I can only make a long straight in shot 50% of the time. As silly as it sounds (at least to me) I seem to have a hard time putting the cue tip on the ball where I want it consistently. As much as I try to keep my body still and only move from my elbow down, and obviously I try to keep the cue straight, I seem to get these little wiggles from side to side sometimes. I feel like a retard. Are there any "secrets" to learning/practicing this, or is it just a matter of doing it 40 million times?

Also I was wondering if ya'll can recommend some good instructional DVDs? Thanks! <hr /></blockquote> <hr /></blockquote>

dsiomtw,

What you described is indicative of a problem primarily with your mechanics. There's no telling what change or combination of changes you would need to make to correct this without seeing you in action. It could be anything and any combination of things that if changed could correct this and possibly improve your whole game. Of course you could attempt to correct this on your own via reading and instructional videos; however I don't recommend this as a best solution since doing so may end up like trying to find a combination to a safe. My recommendation is to seek out an instructor or better player in whom you can trust and demonstrate your game and specific problem(s). A more experienced pair of eyes will be in the best position to suggest changes to try. Someone who knows what they're doing and sees you in action should be able to come up with a few things right away that are likely to work for you. Once you have found the necessary change(s), then practice what you have learned. It's arse backwards to practice your mistakes. First learn to do it right and then practice that.