PDA

View Full Version : Stroke Straightener



JoeW
07-24-2008, 06:25 PM
Ok it is not grammatically correct but it is descriptive and it works.

I learned from a snooker video that these folks think in terms of hitting their chest or shoulder with their back hand. I tried it and it helps me a great deal.

I probably do not get as low as a snooker player, no burn marks on my chin, but I do get low. I began trying to make sure that my rear hand hit my shoulder on every shot, no matter how much power was to be used. Two things happened. My stroke got much straighter. And even when I could not hit my shoulder on some shots I found that I tended to line up so that my rear hand could hit my shoulder. This too helped my stroke. All of a sudden I started making a higher percentage of balls.

Try it you might like it, seems that my pocketing has improved.

pooltchr
07-24-2008, 07:01 PM
Joe,
This is one of the fundamental ideas we teach with SPF. The finish is the position the grip hand ends up after every shot. Usually, it's in the rib, chest, pecs area, but it's the same spot on every shot.
Steve

Rail Rat
07-24-2008, 07:11 PM
Yes, this is a good way to make sure you are following though and not jabbing at the ball. If you are playing correctly you don't even know you are doing it, but its a good idea to check now and then and make sure you are.

Of course In snooker there are some little dink shots where you only take about a 1 or 2 inch drawback. Watch some old Thorburn videos, he was the master of the dink shot.

On a similar matter, my game has been suffering lately and its all because I got some bad advice from an instructionanl Video. It advised to NOT tighten the bridge hand, but let it lay loose on the table. I tried this with some success for a while, then I slowly started missing badly.
My old snooker instructor had told me to grab the cloth with my bridge hand and hold it tight... let all my nervous energy go into that hand. then shoot relaxed with the cue. I went back to that and now my game is back.

I would advise anybody to try that if they are not doing it now and see if it improves their game.

-brad

av84fun
07-25-2008, 12:27 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Ok it is not grammatically correct but it is descriptive and it works.

I learned from a snooker video that these folks think in terms of hitting their chest or shoulder with their back hand. I tried it and it helps me a great deal.

I probably do not get as low as a snooker player, no burn marks on my chin, but I do get low. I began trying to make sure that my rear hand hit my shoulder on every shot, no matter how much power was to be used. Two things happened. My stroke got much straighter. And even when I could not hit my shoulder on some shots I found that I tended to line up so that my rear hand could hit my shoulder. This too helped my stroke. All of a sudden I started making a higher percentage of balls.

Try it you might like it, seems that my pocketing has improved.



</div></div>

Joe, try Jim's Hand Dandy Cheap But Effective Straight Stroke Trainer!

Take a 3x5 card and cut a slit in it..lengthwise...in the center...about as wide as your baby finger or less. Just wide enough that the CB can be placed in that slit and not touch either side of it.

Cut the slit to within about 1/2 inch of the opposite end. In other words, cut a letter "U" with VERY fat sides!

Place a couple of strips of double sided tape on the bottom of the card so it will remain stationary when you place it on the table.

Place it on the table at the head string so that the "groove" is pointing down a line straight in to the opposite corner pocket.

Place an OB one diamond out from the opposite corner pocket centered on the diagonal line that the groove is pointing at.

Now, place the CB into the groove backed up as far as it will go.

You now have a device that will measure two things.

1. If your stroke is straight, it will be positioned exactly abovce the groocve when you reach your finish position.

2. The tip will end up at some point relative to the end of the card so you measure your follow through length as well.

For your grip hand to end up at the same place in the finish position (lower right quadrant of my pec in my case) you follow through distance must and should be consistent in most if not all cases.

Start by shooting stop shots and see if your cue ends up in the same, correct position both laterally and forward every time.

Then try progressively harder draw shots. Many players who have a straight stroke on soft and medium paced shots will begin to "wiper" or "slash" the cue to one side or the other of straight the harder they shoot. I tend to slash inside and I think most other people do as well and this device proves that to you....if you do it.

In another thread, I think I suggested that once you have established your aim, the tip will obviously point at an exact spot on the OB...dead center in the case of the shot I suggested you set up.

Therefore, on the final shot stroke, I think in terms of following the cue in an effort to make the cue touch the OB target. Obviously you can't actually DO it but you can TRY to do it and that gives the brain an OBJECTIVE REASON to cause your muscles to propell the cue STRAIGHT forward.

DEADLY...for me anyway...and completely eliminates my tendency to slash to the inside.

Finally, let me attribute a GREAT bit of advice to its source, Stan Shuffett who is one of the great teachers of the game. What he recently told me ROCKED MY WORLD!

Here is a man who has been playing pool for 40 years or more, is a noted BCA instructor and the teacher of his prodigious son Landon and guess what. EVERY DAY, Stan begins his pool sessions by doing drills that are specifically designed to insure a STRAIGHT stroke.

So here's a guy who is sure that "muscle memory" (which actually doesn't exist...it is BRAIN memory) last for less than 24 hours...and he's RIGHT!

And he takes the time EVERY DAY to tune up that memory regarding one of THE CORE ISSUES in playing accurate pool...a straight stroke.

GREAT advice!

Regards,
Jim

JoeW
07-25-2008, 07:49 AM
A lot of good advice here - thank you. I like simple training devices and straight forward recommendations.

It is an interesting phenomena that the stroke is the first thing to go and that it needs to be worked on everyday. It seems that lack of a stoke is what gets me in trouble more than most anything else. So it would seem there is / was something wrong with the habits I had developed if the stroke is easily effected by any passing tension.

I have wondered for some time why players twitch one finger of their bridge hand. Now I get the idea. It transfers "nervous" energy to that hand while the player strokes and it reminds the player to have a tight grip on the cloth. Both are good ideas.

Recently I learned that after all these years of playing, I have an unreliable closed bridge. Seems that my hands are too small to wrap around a Z shaft let alone a larger one. I just can't seem to get the stick to rest on bone. It is always resting on resilient flesh. So I have gone to an open bridge on nearly all shots with my thumb sticking up in the air. This Works much better. I think that twitching the bridge hand finger to remind me to grip the cloth is an idea whose time has come.

In my opinion Pooltchr's willingness to tell what he teaches in class will get him more students not less. I think that Joe Tucker's approach to teaching is an excellent example. The willingness to be open about what one knows inspires confidence.

Of the available advertised materials I just bought Joe Tucker's package. There is just something about the man's forthrightness that is appealing. The stroke trainer is a good tool for the new player or for someone who has a problem with their stroke. I showed it to a friend last night and it immediately helped her.

This weekend I will go through his other materials and post a review here.

I think that the primary benefit to the rear hand hitting or intending to hit the body is the habit it leads to that will ensure a straight stroke in tense situations. That is when it counts. The body contact helps to develop a strong habit that will be difficult to break.

Rail Rat
07-25-2008, 09:39 AM
The stroke is everything and it needs to be practiced and worked on constantly.

If we had to go through the list of things to do before we got down on every shot there's no way we could function, it all has to be automatic so that we can focus on pace and position. In other words, once you learn it, then forget it and take it for granted, but of course we're human and we stray away from time to time.

Also the hardest things to do is to scrap a bad technique once its locked in and learn another. It compounds the thought process and takes concentration away from the game. All the more reason for practice.

My play got so bad a while back I was even thinking of quitting, then I remembered to tighten my bridge hand and like magic my game came back. But thats just one thing of a list of dozens of things to remember in play.

Its not so much a learning process as a re-learning one.

brad

skin
07-25-2008, 12:43 PM
I had to go out today and diagnose what was wrong with my play because I couldn't make anything during a tournament last night. And I mean nothing - even with cue ball in hand and a short shot.

My technique for examining my stroke mechanics is to use the slip stroke - stop the last stroke at the cue ball, slide the grip hand back on the cue during the backstroke, and then stroke forward. The stroke has to be very straight in order to make a shot that way. I figured out I was not gripping the butt tightly enough which was introducing wobble into the final stroke.

Once I got that fixed, I was able to diagnose the main problem causing me to miss. I was sighting too fat on the object ball and undercutting it. I don't think I could have figured out the sighting problem without getting the wobble out of the final stroke first.

The slip stroke technique pays off for me just about every time I need to figure what to fix. You might try it if you get a chance.

Deeman3
07-25-2008, 12:46 PM
I wish I had all that time to devote to my game. Unfortunately, when I did, my game went to hell overthinking things.

skin
07-25-2008, 02:37 PM
I know what you mean about overthinking it, Deeman. But my game was so bad last night I had to do something. Fortunately, it only took about an hour to figure it out. Now, we'll see how long it lasts.

JoeW
07-25-2008, 03:03 PM
The slip stroke as you describe it is a natural habit with me. Seems that I have always used it and thought that everyone did as it seems to me to be the only way to get my forearm hanging vertical.

skin
07-25-2008, 04:55 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The slip stroke as you describe it is a natural habit with me. Seems that I have always used it and thought that everyone did as it seems to me to be the only way to get my forearm hanging vertical. </div></div>

I have only known one player who used it as his regular stroke. Everyone else I know keeps their grip hand in position on the final backstroke instead of sliding it down the butt of the cue, almost to the end.

At any rate, I discovered while I was experimenting with using it many decades ago that after using it for a while in practice, my regular stroke was much better. I have used it ever since to get my stroke back when it has gone south for some reason.

av84fun
07-25-2008, 11:36 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I had to go out today and diagnose what was wrong with my play because I couldn't make anything during a tournament last night. And I mean nothing - even with cue ball in hand and a short shot.

My technique for examining my stroke mechanics is to use the slip stroke - stop the last stroke at the cue ball, slide the grip hand back on the cue during the backstroke, and then stroke forward. The stroke has to be very straight in order to make a shot that way. I figured out I was not gripping the butt tightly enough which was introducing wobble into the final stroke.

Once I got that fixed, I was able to diagnose the main problem causing me to miss. I was sighting too fat on the object ball and undercutting it. I don't think I could have figured out the sighting problem without getting the wobble out of the final stroke first.

The slip stroke technique pays off for me just about every time I need to figure what to fix. You might try it if you get a chance. </div></div>

Skin,,,just for the sake of accuracy, what you described is a "stoke slip" not a "slip stroke."

A "slip stroke" involves allowing the cue to slip through the grip fingers in the FORWARD direction...almost like throwing the cue forward.

Regards,
Jim

JoeW
07-26-2008, 06:32 AM
I think I missed what both of you are talking about.

Sorry.

skin
07-26-2008, 07:26 AM
Jim, I have only heard it called the slip stroke. Whatever it is called though, it's a cool technique.

mlfield
07-26-2008, 08:19 AM
If you are curious about the "slip stroke" Anna Kostanian on the WPBA uses it very effectively. She is a fast rising star on the women's 9-ball tour and recently defeated Allison Fisher at Charlotte.

Bambu
07-26-2008, 08:58 AM
[quote=skin]I had to go out today and diagnose what was wrong with my play because I couldn't make anything during a tournament last night. And I mean nothing - even with cue ball in hand and a short shot.
The stroke has to be very straight in order to make a shot that way. I figured out I was not gripping the butt tightly enough which was introducing wobble into the final stroke.
------------------------------------------------------------


I suppose anything is possible, but I dont think a loose grip on the butt would cause anyone to stroke crooked. A tight grip is almost never good because it can cause muscle tension. Relaxed and comfortable is usually preferred, with only a minor squeeze upon contact.

Fran Crimi
07-26-2008, 01:46 PM
Actually no, a slip stroke means letting the cue slip through your hand during the backstroke. Many players allow the cue to slip through their hand during the forward stroke, anywhere from a little to a lot. That's not slip-stroking. That's just releasing the cue.

Fran

JoeW
07-26-2008, 02:45 PM
Does this mean that the cue stick remains in one position while the back hand moves?

I do this to get my back hand vertical. Once it is vertical there is no need to let it slip n slide once my forearm is vertical.

Why would one want to use a slip stoke where the hand but not the cue moved? At some point they would have to grip the cue to get follow through. Is this what is done on the last stroke?

What holds the cue in one position while the hand moves?

Fran Crimi
07-26-2008, 03:58 PM
Joe, to my recollection, the cue stick and the hand are moving back at the same time. For some reason, slip stroke players like to address the ball with their back hand all the way forward on the cue---as in follow through position. The cue stick is then tossed back and I believe the back hand slips back right after the toss while the cue is still in motion. I'm recalling this strictly from memory so I'm not 100% sure of the exact mechanics, but I think that's the basic idea.

As to why players do it, I really don't know. Those I've asked have said it's just something they fell into.
Fran

skin
07-26-2008, 04:28 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">[quote=skin]I had to go out today and diagnose what was wrong with my play because I couldn't make anything during a tournament last night. And I mean nothing - even with cue ball in hand and a short shot.
The stroke has to be very straight in order to make a shot that way. I figured out I was not gripping the butt tightly enough which was introducing wobble into the final stroke.
------------------------------------------------------------

I suppose anything is possible, but I dont think a loose grip on the butt would cause anyone to stroke crooked. A tight grip is almost never good because it can cause muscle tension. Relaxed and comfortable is usually preferred, with only a minor squeeze upon contact.
</div></div>

I was for some reason making a circle instead of an ellipse with the thumb and index finger of the grip hand (tip of thumb to tip of the index finger) and the cue was slightly wobbling on the forward stroke. When I tightened the grip up by forming an ellipse (essentially tucking my index finger a little under and behind the thumb) the slight side-to-side wobble of the cue went away. There might have been something else there in my elbow mechanics, don't know.

At any rate, slipping down the cue and then tightening a bit before the forward stroke (slip stroking) got the wobble out and led me to figure out my grip was too loosey-goosey. I have fairly long fingers and so my closed bridge can get too loose sometimes, too.

skin
07-27-2008, 02:27 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: av84fun</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I had to go out today and diagnose what was wrong with my play because I couldn't make anything during a tournament last night. And I mean nothing - even with cue ball in hand and a short shot.

My technique for examining my stroke mechanics is to use the slip stroke - stop the last stroke at the cue ball, slide the grip hand back on the cue during the backstroke, and then stroke forward. The stroke has to be very straight in order to make a shot that way. I figured out I was not gripping the butt tightly enough which was introducing wobble into the final stroke.

Once I got that fixed, I was able to diagnose the main problem causing me to miss. I was sighting too fat on the object ball and undercutting it. I don't think I could have figured out the sighting problem without getting the wobble out of the final stroke first.

The slip stroke technique pays off for me just about every time I need to figure what to fix. You might try it if you get a chance. </div></div>

Skin,,,just for the sake of accuracy, what you described is a "stoke slip" not a "slip stroke."

A "slip stroke" involves allowing the cue to slip through the grip fingers in the FORWARD direction...almost like throwing the cue forward.

Regards,
Jim </div></div>

Jim, not trying to make a big deal out of it, but here is a link below to an article by Bob Jewett on different strokes with diagrams of the slip stroke and stroke slip (reverse slip stroke). What I was trying to describe is what his diagram shows as the slip stroke.

http://www.sfbilliards.com/articles/2005-10.pdf

I tried the stroke slip some in practice way back when. All I can say about the experience is that if there is a hell for pool players, that has to be the only stroke they're allowed to use!

- skin

JoeW
07-27-2008, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the reference Skin. Now I see and understand what these people are doing. I kinda like the idea of a slip stroke. Seems like it will yield more / better(?) follow through. Have to give it a try.

skin
07-27-2008, 02:54 PM
You've got it, Joe.

CB action overall is better for me with the slip stroke and I will sometimes gamble with using it during a game, mainly on long shots that need heavy draw.

I don't rely on it as my regular stroke because I am inconsistent with it. In my experience, it is an unforgiving stroke. Any flaw in my stroke will be exaggerated by it. That's why I use it for diagnostic purposes.

Rail Rat
07-28-2008, 03:55 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I know what you mean about overthinking it, Deeman. But my game was so bad last night I had to do something. Fortunately, it only took about an hour to figure it out. Now, we'll see how long it lasts. </div></div>

I would work on a relaxed arm swing and grip. Thats hard to do when you're faced with a tough shot, but its the only answer. My solution is to have a tight bridge hand grip to take tension away from the stroke arm, but everyone needs to find thier own way to deal with stress.

I know the feeling about shooting bad, but don't change your game up too much because of it, focus on the smooth stroke. brad

JimS
07-28-2008, 05:38 PM
"Throwing" the cue at the cb was recommended to me as a means of developing a straigher stroke. It seemed that my hand was tightening on the cue and the fingers closing were causing the cue to go off target line. I like it and do it most of the time.

Rail Rat
07-28-2008, 06:48 PM
Tightning the grip in the follow through is a killer. It can throw your cue off line and you wind up slashing the QB.

I let the cue lay in my hand with just enough grip to stroke it forward, never changing the grip pressure.

I don't know about throwing your cue at the QB, you don't want to have to rely on that in any situation. Best to work on the stroke basics and get them down pat.

skin
07-28-2008, 08:26 PM
Rail Rat:

My problem is I haven't tried to play serious pool in 20 years. I am having to relearn lots of things.

Thanks for the good advice.

Scott Lee
07-29-2008, 09:31 AM
JimS..."Throwing the cue" is correct, but you don't actually let go of the cuestick (as some posters are describing, as a 'stroke slip'). The real key is to let the weight of the cue, and perfect timing, create the speed of the stroke...with just enough tension in the grip, to keep the cue from sliding in your hand.

Scott Lee

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JimS</div><div class="ubbcode-body">"Throwing" the cue at the cb was recommended to me as a means of developing a straigher stroke. It seemed that my hand was tightening on the cue and the fingers closing were causing the cue to go off target line. I like it and do it most of the time. </div></div>

Rail Rat
07-29-2008, 11:03 AM
[quote=Scott Lee]JimS..."Throwing the cue" is correct, but you don't actually let go of the cuestick (as some posters are describing, as a 'stroke slip'). The real key is to let the weight of the cue, and perfect timing, create the speed of the stroke...with just enough tension in the grip, to keep the cue from sliding in your hand.-Scott Lee

Yes that is a good description, only I don't like the expression "throwing the cue." It implies releasing it, and you should always have control. I like the term "straight through."

The key is to NOT hold it very tight, it's a relaxed grip. You don't want your fingers to tighten on the butt, or your wrist to rotate, let the cue almost lay in your hand.

You should "hold" on your last feather...then slow back...then hold... then forward straight through. The amount of "hold" time is up to the player, it can be hardly noticable or pronounced like Alison Fisher.

brad

SpiderMan
07-29-2008, 03:37 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Does this mean that the cue stick remains in one position while the back hand moves?

I do this to get my back hand vertical. Once it is vertical there is no need to let it slip n slide once my forearm is vertical.

Why would one want to use a slip stoke where the hand but not the cue moved? At some point they would have to grip the cue to get follow through. Is this what is done on the last stroke?

What holds the cue in one position while the hand moves? </div></div>

I know someone who strokes like this. What happens (in his case) appears to be the result of a very loose but controlled grip on the butt of the cue.

As he pulls the cue backwards, his hand slides on the butt just a little bit until the stick gets moving. So, at the end of the backstroke, his hand is a little further back on the cue than it started out. Now, when his forward stroke begins, the hand slides forward on the butt just a little before the stick completes it's change of direction. If he takes several practice strokes, the back-and-forth shifting of the hand position repeats itself.

The total change in hand position is probably no more than a couple of inches, and he doesn't really think about it when he's doing it. I suppose the advantage might be that it would ensure he is not gripping the cue too tightly.

SpiderMan

Deeman3
07-30-2008, 09:41 AM
A real slip stroke is a beautiful thing to see. I tried it for a while many years ago but it was just not for me. The last person I saw who did it very well was Jimmy Moore in about 1984 at the BCA nationals. I was so enthralled in his stroke, play and legend I had to be reminded a couple of times to shoot when his inning was finished. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif