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dr_dave
01-05-2008, 05:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr><blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>Concerning doing what is "natural," I don't think this is always the best advice. What many people do "naturally" doesn't always give the best results. For example, not dropping the elbow, or pausing in the final back swing, doesn't come naturally to many, but these changes can still help (some but not all people), even if it doesn't feel "natural." Now, with lots of practice, anything can be made to feel natural, so maybe this is a moot point.<hr /></blockquote>
If your stroke is not built around your natural style, it will break down under pressure. You can't play all day and NOT miss a bvall without a natural stroke.
The FIRST rule of any game is to play YOUR game. Uninhibited.
You have to relax.<hr /></blockquote>
Many people have stroke/stance/grip/bridge flaws that feel natural but cause inconsistency or inaccuracy. Sometimes, if these "natural" flaws are removed (through lots and lots of practice and maybe some instruction), improvement can result and the new technique (with the flaws removed) can become natural and relaxed (and more effective). Do you agree?

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
01-05-2008, 05:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SKennedy:</font><hr> My "natural" stroke enabled me to play a decent game of pool. However, it was limiting me in one area....an ability to consistently draw the ball the desired amount and control the speeed of the cue ball also. My natural stroke was causing me to always strike the cue ball higher than what I thought. While I had learned to adjust somewhat by aiming lower on the cue ball than you normally would, I still had trouble controlling my draw shots. Learning the "right way" has helped.
Granted, there are very good players who may not have the perfect stroke, but I'd bet there are fundamental similarities with all their strokes. Major league baseball pitchers may have differnces in their individual mechanics, but they all have things in common that are of utmost importance. Minor things can be overcome by adjustments, especially when the individual is very athletic, but there are some fundamental items that must be executed. Pitching really only starts at one critical point in a pitchers delivery to the plate. Anything he does prior to that point really doesn't matter a whole lot. I suspect the same thing with the pool stroke. <hr /></blockquote>

Ralph_Kramden
01-05-2008, 11:03 PM
I think over time people can learn to play a very good game even if they have a flawed technique in their game. The biggest problem IMO would be to overcome an inaccurate hit on the cueball during a draw shot.

Without a straight stroke and a solid bridge under the cue, a good draw could be achieved, but probably would not be very consistant. Weak draws and scoop jumped cueballs would possibly be the biggest flaws at the most unexpected times.

Artemus
01-06-2008, 04:08 PM
A person goes to the pool room for the first time and grabs a cue from the wall. He goes to the table with the base of his hand and wrist firmly on the table, fingers spread widely and pointing 45 degrees into the air. From there he places the cue in the large gap between his thumb and forefinger and starts stroking. The right hand is choking the butt of the cue in a death grip. Is it natural? Is it comfortable? For him, yes it is. Should he change? How long should he play that way?

Another person at the next table has been playing for 2 years and has his head positioned far to the outside of the cue and his eyes are angled instead of level. He couldn't run a rack of anything if his life depended on it.
But, he's natural and comfortable. Should he change?

We could go on and on and pick out many variables where a person is natural and comfortable. But if he/she can't run multiple racks, they BETTER change to something UNCOMFORTABLE until it becomes comfortable enough to elevate their play and keep doing it through higher levels.

dr_dave
01-06-2008, 08:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr> A person goes to the pool room for the first time and grabs a cue from the wall. He goes to the table with the base of his hand and wrist firmly on the table, fingers spread widely and pointing 45 degrees into the air. From there he places the cue in the large gap between his thumb and forefinger and starts stroking. The right hand is choking the butt of the cue in a death grip. Is it natural? Is it comfortable? For him, yes it is. Should he change? How long should he play that way?

Another person at the next table has been playing for 2 years and has his head positioned far to the outside of the cue and his eyes are angled instead of level. He couldn't run a rack of anything if his life depended on it.
But, he's natural and comfortable. Should he change?

We could go on and on and pick out many variables where a person is natural and comfortable. But if he/she can't run multiple racks, they BETTER change to something UNCOMFORTABLE until it becomes comfortable enough to elevate their play and keep doing it through higher levels. <hr /></blockquote>Well stated! That was the basic gist of my reply to Qtec.

Regards,
Dave

SKennedy
01-07-2008, 03:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr> A person goes to the pool room for the first time and grabs a cue from the wall. He goes to the table with the base of his hand and wrist firmly on the table, fingers spread widely and pointing 45 degrees into the air. From there he places the cue in the large gap between his thumb and forefinger and starts stroking. The right hand is choking the butt of the cue in a death grip. Is it natural? Is it comfortable? For him, yes it is. Should he change? How long should he play that way?

Another person at the next table has been playing for 2 years and has his head positioned far to the outside of the cue and his eyes are angled instead of level. He couldn't run a rack of anything if his life depended on it.
But, he's natural and comfortable. Should he change?

We could go on and on and pick out many variables where a person is natural and comfortable. But if he/she can't run multiple racks, they BETTER change to something UNCOMFORTABLE until it becomes comfortable enough to elevate their play and keep doing it through higher levels. <hr /></blockquote>

Let's relate this to something else...like baseball. I use to coach a lot of kids baseball. I watched young players with natural ability and who matured physically faster than their peers be the best players in the league. They did quite well with their natural ability. But, they reached their peak and never improved much beyond a certain point if they failed to learn the correct fundamentals. A weaker player, who learned the fundamentals, would advance further. You can't get to the next level unless you have the basic fundamentals and can execute consistently. That applies to any sport. If you don't know or execute the fundamentals, then you will always be mediocre and inconsistent....at best!

When the better and "uncoachable" players were in their mid-teens and I would "insult" them by teaching them the "basics" they always ignored by warnings about being passed up by the other players as they got older. One was a young man that is still a good friend of my son's....he was the big baseball hero....made varsity team as a freshman at a big high school and sat the bench his first year. His senior year he was still sitting the bench, and never progressed further. Why?...he lacked fundamentals and you couldn't teach him anything...he already knew it all!

I don't want to be the 2nd guy in your story. You are absolutely correct. But, the fundamantals are that..fundamentals and sometimes we impose too may things that aren't really that important. In pool, I see fundamentals as having a decent stroke, being able to line up the shot, and having a relaxed grip, etc.

bradb
01-10-2008, 01:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> Many people have stroke/stance/grip/bridge flaws that feel natural but cause inconsistency or inaccuracy. Sometimes, if these "natural" flaws are removed (through lots and lots of practice and maybe some instruction), improvement can result and the new technique (with the flaws removed) can become natural and relaxed (and more effective). Do you agree?

Regards,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>

Yes this is true, "natural" to a certain player may not be what is correct to bring them to the best of their ability. As Steve mentioned above on coaching talented players, they must also be adaptable, and thats the hardest thing to overcome when you try to excel in any sport. The best example of course is Tiger Woods who changed his swing after winning the Masters and then proceeded to perfect his game even more.

I also agree with Steve that you should'nt put too much emphasis on minor details. How many times have we seen players dog a shot because they temporarily forget the basics. Knowing the nuances of the game is a result that comes from years of experience and realizing how they come into play is how we fine tune our shot making. But the fundamentals of a proper stance and stroke is what this sport is all about.

SpiderMan
01-10-2008, 02:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr><blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>Concerning doing what is "natural," I don't think this is always the best advice. What many people do "naturally" doesn't always give the best results. For example, not dropping the elbow, or pausing in the final back swing, doesn't come naturally to many, but these changes can still help (some but not all people), even if it doesn't feel "natural." Now, with lots of practice, anything can be made to feel natural, so maybe this is a moot point.<hr /></blockquote>
If your stroke is not built around your natural style, it will break down under pressure. You can't play all day and NOT miss a bvall without a natural stroke.
The FIRST rule of any game is to play YOUR game. Uninhibited.
You have to relax.<hr /></blockquote>
Many people have stroke/stance/grip/bridge flaws that feel natural but cause inconsistency or inaccuracy. Sometimes, if these "natural" flaws are removed (through lots and lots of practice and maybe some instruction), improvement can result and the new technique (with the flaws removed) can become natural and relaxed (and more effective). Do you agree?

Regards,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>

I agree 100%, from 3 examples in personal experience. I played pretty well despite having all three of these flaws, and it's been very difficult to train myself to abandon them. But the improvement is noticeable and real. Occasionally, when I find myself in a mini-slump (periods of lesser play on an otherwise good night), I will find that I have unconsciously regressed to some of the old habits.

The things I had to drill into my habits, for incremental improvement, were:

1) Don't rush the transition from backstroke to shot

2) Keep eyes on a level horizontal plane, even when stretching for awkward shots

and

3) Look at the target last. I actually prefer saying this to saying "look at the object ball last", because the target is something smaller than, and different from, the generalized "object ball".

Since I began working earnestly on fixing these flaws in mechanics, I also tend to notice them more often in other players.

SpiderMan

dr_dave
01-10-2008, 05:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>I agree 100%, from 3 examples in personal experience. I played pretty well despite having all three of these flaws, and it's been very difficult to train myself to abandon them. But the improvement is noticeable and real. Occasionally, when I find myself in a mini-slump (periods of lesser play on an otherwise good night), I will find that I have unconsciously regressed to some of the old habits.

The things I had to drill into my habits, for incremental improvement, were:

1) Don't rush the transition from backstroke to shot

2) Keep eyes on a level horizontal plane, even when stretching for awkward shots

and

3) Look at the target last. I actually prefer saying this to saying "look at the object ball last", because the target is something smaller than, and different from, the generalized "object ball".

Since I began working earnestly on fixing these flaws in mechanics, I also tend to notice them more often in other players.<hr /></blockquote>Great check list! I think these are good examples of things that don't "come naturally" to many people ... but can help many people. I also try to constantly remind myself to keep doing these things, but they don't come easy. Maybe if I played and practiced more, and kept brainwashing myself with constant reminders, they would become more natural.

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
01-10-2008, 05:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> Many people have stroke/stance/grip/bridge flaws that feel natural but cause inconsistency or inaccuracy. Sometimes, if these "natural" flaws are removed (through lots and lots of practice and maybe some instruction), improvement can result and the new technique (with the flaws removed) can become natural and relaxed (and more effective). Do you agree?

Regards,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>

Yes this is true, "natural" to a certain player may not be what is correct to bring them to the best of their ability. As Steve mentioned above on coaching talented players, they must also be adaptable, and thats the hardest thing to overcome when you try to excel in any sport. The best example of course is Tiger Woods who changed his swing after winning the Masters and then proceeded to perfect his game even more.

I also agree with Steve that you should'nt put too much emphasis on minor details. How many times have we seen players dog a shot because they temporarily forget the basics. Knowing the nuances of the game is a result that comes from years of experience and realizing how they come into play is how we fine tune our shot making. But the fundamentals of a proper stance and stroke is what this sport is all about.<hr /></blockquote>Excellent post!

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
01-11-2008, 10:40 AM
After watching my power draw video, I've added a new item to my list:

4) Keep the grip relaxed during the entire stroke, even with power shots.

One of my New Years resolution is to practice these items enough to make them come "naturally."

Regards,
Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr><blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>Concerning doing what is "natural," I don't think this is always the best advice. What many people do "naturally" doesn't always give the best results. For example, not dropping the elbow, or pausing in the final back swing, doesn't come naturally to many, but these changes can still help (some but not all people), even if it doesn't feel "natural." Now, with lots of practice, anything can be made to feel natural, so maybe this is a moot point.<hr /></blockquote>
If your stroke is not built around your natural style, it will break down under pressure. You can't play all day and NOT miss a bvall without a natural stroke.
The FIRST rule of any game is to play YOUR game. Uninhibited.
You have to relax.<hr /></blockquote>
Many people have stroke/stance/grip/bridge flaws that feel natural but cause inconsistency or inaccuracy. Sometimes, if these "natural" flaws are removed (through lots and lots of practice and maybe some instruction), improvement can result and the new technique (with the flaws removed) can become natural and relaxed (and more effective). Do you agree?

Regards,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>

I agree 100%, from 3 examples in personal experience. I played pretty well despite having all three of these flaws, and it's been very difficult to train myself to abandon them. But the improvement is noticeable and real. Occasionally, when I find myself in a mini-slump (periods of lesser play on an otherwise good night), I will find that I have unconsciously regressed to some of the old habits.

The things I had to drill into my habits, for incremental improvement, were:

1) Don't rush the transition from backstroke to shot

2) Keep eyes on a level horizontal plane, even when stretching for awkward shots

and

3) Look at the target last. I actually prefer saying this to saying "look at the object ball last", because the target is something smaller than, and different from, the generalized "object ball".

Since I began working earnestly on fixing these flaws in mechanics, I also tend to notice them more often in other players.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

bradb
01-11-2008, 06:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>
4) Keep the grip relaxed during the entire stroke, even with power shots.



Dave, I think this is one of the most important points you can stress in a good stroke.

A relaxed grip, prevents tightening your hand on the follow through and pulling the cue off line, especially in a power shot. The grip, the wrist and the elbow should be like flexible joints on a machine that facilitate the motion, not adding additional power to it.

Some players find It very hard to not try and grip the cue hard when powering forward on a shot, but its amazing how much pace you can get with a smooth relaxed stroke, and how accurate it can be! Its another one of those things we all learn the hard way with out proper instruction.
-brad

Qtec
01-11-2008, 10:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr> A person goes to the pool room for the first time and grabs a cue from the wall. He goes to the table with the base of his hand and wrist firmly on the table, fingers spread widely and pointing 45 degrees into the air. From there he places the cue in the large gap between his thumb and forefinger and starts stroking. The right hand is choking the butt of the cue in a death grip. Is it natural? Is it comfortable? For him, yes it is. Should he change? How long should he play that way?[ QUOTE ]


Do you expect someone playing for the first time to run racks?
Just because he can't make a ball doesn't mean to say that he has a bad stroke.
[ QUOTE ]

Another person at the next table has been playing for 2 years and has his head positioned far to the outside of the cue and his eyes are angled instead of level. He couldn't run a rack of anything if his life depended on it.
But, he's natural and comfortable. Should he change?<hr /></blockquote>

Again, you have to learn to play the game.

[ QUOTE ]

We could go on and on and pick out many variables where a person is natural and comfortable. But if he/she can't run multiple racks, they BETTER change to something UNCOMFORTABLE until it becomes comfortable enough to elevate their play and keep doing it through higher levels. <hr /></blockquote>

I get this all the time, "Q what am I doing wrong". They all think they have to change something to improve their game when quite often they don't have to. They do the right things but just aren't proficient enough. They need more practice.

When I give a lesson I am very careful about putting people into positions that are uncomfortable. I want them to enjoy the game for years to come not quit the game after a few years because of back trouble.

Qtec.......we have different ideas about 'natural'.

Artemus
01-12-2008, 06:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr> A person goes to the pool room for the first time and grabs a cue from the wall. He goes to the table with the base of his hand and wrist firmly on the table, fingers spread widely and pointing 45 degrees into the air. From there he places the cue in the large gap between his thumb and forefinger and starts stroking. The right hand is choking the butt of the cue in a death grip. Is it natural? Is it comfortable? For him, yes it is. Should he change? How long should he play that way?&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>
Do you expect someone playing for the first time to run racks?
Just because he can't make a ball doesn't mean to say that he has a bad stroke.
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr>I think it's clearly evident in the scenario that the guy had a fundamentally horrific bridge hand. As a result of that, it would be almost impossible for him to have a good stroke. CHANGE the bridge hand to something that's UNCOMFORTABLE (but correct for a rank beginner) and now he has a chance for a good stroke. Otherwise he'll play for the rest of his life with no chance or no hope to improve keeping it the way described.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr>
Another person at the next table has been playing for 2 years and has his head positioned far to the outside of the cue and his eyes are angled instead of level. He couldn't run a rack of anything if his life depended on it.
But, he's natural and comfortable. Should he change?<hr /></blockquote>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>
Again, you have to learn to play the game.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr> So is it best to learn to play the game from the start "the right way" or "the "wrong way"?

We could go on and on and pick out many variables where a person is natural and comfortable. But if he/she can't run multiple racks, they BETTER change to something UNCOMFORTABLE until it becomes comfortable enough to elevate their play and keep doing it through higher levels. <hr /></blockquote>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>
I get this all the time, "Q what am I doing wrong". They all think they have to change something to improve their game when quite often they don't have to. They do the right things but just aren't proficient enough. They need more practice.

When I give a lesson I am very careful about putting people into positions that are uncomfortable. I want them to enjoy the game for years to come not quit the game after a few years because of back trouble.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Artemus:</font><hr> Who said anything about that? Posture is just another fundamental and there are plenty of positions that are acceptable as well as comfortable.

Qtec.......we have different ideas about 'natural'.

<hr /></blockquote>

I think we have different ideas about fundamentals.

Scoobie
01-13-2008, 10:08 AM
I've played at pool for 20 years. I rarely made a ball in a pocket, even the ones inches a way. Then I stared singing Karaoke. What does that have to do with pool? /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The DJ and I became friends. And occasionally played pool before/after the show. One day I remarked "I love this game, but just can't figure out how to aim the angles." So, he told me there are three things I need to know. He proceeded to show me how to aim by using the ghost-ball technique. That improved my game, and that's when I felt I actually could play pool, not play at pool.

After a couple of weeks, he said "Now comes the hardest part. How to use the Cue". I was a bit taken aback. I said "I know how to use the cue". His response was "And that is the hardest part - willing to learn." So, after he was sure I would listen, he showed my the stroke fundamentals. Again, my game improved dramatically. I still have trouble with the angle of my wrist, cause it just doesn't feel "natural" yet. However, everytime my game gets in a slump, I self-evaluate, and most of the time it's cause I've fallen into previous bad habits; like my wrist angle.

The third thing he wouldn't show me for months. He insisted on me practicing the stroke. That was so extremely boring, stroking a cue ball down the table, or using a beer bottle, etc. I'm glad he did though. I now play on his league team!

Oh, the third things was cue ball control and positioning(without left/right english). This is still a work in progress.

Sooooo, now my wife and I play in a mixed double league. She was very inconsistant. Then I started showing her some aiming techniques, and working on here with the stroke fundatmentals. I must be a good teacher, cause she'll run the rack on me occasionally.

In my career field of software engineering, I have seen millions of lines of code written by those who claimed to be software engineers. Just because you can write a few lines of code doesn't make you a software engineer. I look at playing pool the same. Anyone can play at pool. Only those who wish to learn will ever actually play pool.

Of course, as always, this is my experiences and opinions. Your mileage may vary. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

SKennedy
01-14-2008, 05:30 PM
Nice post. Thanks for sharing. I can't believe you can teach your wife anything. After 33 years the only thing I've taught mine is that men are pigs!