View Full Version : Ideal arm position
02-21-2008, 04:00 AM
We are told that ideally, the correct position for addressing the cue ball has the upper arm horizontal and still and the forearm vertical and swinging. Works okay if you are bent down low, with your head near your cue. 'Dropping the elbow', as I understand it, is what I call swinging from the shoulder. (This is probably my worst habit, and a serious problem).
However, pictures of the older big-name players indicate that many of them played from a more upright stance. We don't see much of that today, but as we grow older it looks like a pretty good idea. My question is this: did those guys swing from the elbow or from the shoulder?
02-21-2008, 05:10 AM
Strokes were the same back then as they are today. An upright stance or down low makes no difference.
02-21-2008, 07:14 AM
The upper arm does not have to be horizontal. The lower arm should be 90 degrees to the stick with the tip at the cueball......SPF=randyg
02-21-2008, 11:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote randyg:</font><hr> The lower arm should be 90 degrees to the stick with the tip at the cueball......SPF=randyg <hr /></blockquote>
And some like me consider it optionally ideal to have the lower arm slightly less than 90 degrees to the upper arm when the cue is at the position of address and at contact.
02-21-2008, 11:48 AM
Someone once explained to me that the shoulder can move any which way, but the elbow will only move one direction like a hinge. So for a pretty much guaranteed straight stroke, keep the upper arm fixed and use only the elbow.
So far as seeing cut shots and where to hit the ball, I like a "bird's eye view". As a matter of fact a friend has a pool video game where you only see the shot from down low - straight on. I can't see where to aim for cut shots with this game! I need to look down on the shot!
What I do is look down on the shot to see where to aim, then get down to shoot the shot.
02-21-2008, 12:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote randyg:</font><hr> The lower arm should be 90 degrees to the stick with the tip at the cueball......SPF=randyg <hr /></blockquote>
And some like me consider it optionally ideal to have the lower arm slightly less than 90 degrees to the upper arm when the cue is at the position of address and at contact. <hr /></blockquote>
No doubt about it. Many persons play ahead of perpendicular and do a very good job at it.
Being ahead of the 90 degrees promotes a couple of small errors in one's stroke. First your tip strikes the cueball a little lower than you aim. How much? It's different every stroke. Secondly it promotes a slight elbow movement. When? Who knows.
I grew up playing that way, thought it was correct. After most students make the change a nice consistency comes over their game......SPF=randyg
02-21-2008, 04:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote randyg:</font><hr> Being ahead of the 90 degrees promotes a couple of small errors in one's stroke. First your tip strikes the cueball a little lower than you aim. How much? It's different every stroke. Secondly it promotes a slight elbow movement. When? Who knows.<hr /></blockquote>
There are a lot of different peculiarities in the mechanics of the strokes of better players. In fact hardly two different people have the same exact mechanics. And it's too much to declare the promotion of unnecessary elbow movement if a stroke is not started at a 90 degree position. Might be a good starting point for beginners and a good rule of thumb. It even makes sense (to me) to contact the cue with the (pendulum) at 90 degrees.
For example, and I don't know about others, but my wrist angles slightly to the rear which is partly a function of my grip. So if my lower arm were 90 degrees, my contact with the cue would be greater than 90 degrees. Said another way, my lower arm does not hold the cue. So the 90 degrees formed between the upper and lower arm should at best be considered a starting point or rule of thumb. My stroke functions very much like a pendulum around the 90 degree mark and I have no noticeable side to side (lateral) elbow movement.
Another example, this one local A player played with a very acute angle between his upper and lower arm, with his wrist and hand forward as well. The only guy I ever saw play with such a tight angle like that. I don't know how good he was when he was younger, but as an elderly man, he kept me on my toes when I played him. And it's not like his elbow was moving all over the place. His stroke was very controlled, much more so than many and mine.
02-21-2008, 05:29 PM
I have a tough time keeping my upper arm out of the motion. I have to consciously tense my shoulder muscles for every shot, sort of locking the upper arm in place, and it never gets comfortable. The correct stroke seems to be natural for a lot of people, but it never has been for me.
02-21-2008, 06:15 PM
As others have stated, there were players back in the day whose forearms were slightly ahead of vertical at CB contact...Mosconi to name one.
And as BUSTA and Furyck in golf prove, there is no one "right" way do swing a stick.
But most instructors...I think correctly...suggest that the vertical forearm reduces the number of "errors" that might come into the stroke and is therefore, more repeatable for most people.
But "vertical" is actually a bad concept. Rather, "perpendicular" to the plane of the cue stick is more accurate. When you are jacked up, for example, the forearm that is perpendicular to the cue...as it should be..but would not be "vertical" to the ground you are standing on.
IMHO, there should be NO tension in your shoulder. That would be restrictive and tiring.
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