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bradb
01-06-2010, 01:10 PM
Even after 40 years of play and I still find little things that I never noticed before in my game. I've worked on every aspec of my stroke from stance to grip and its amazing that I never picked up on this little quirk until just recently.

When faced with a power shot in a pressure situation where a long stroke is needed I sometimes act as if I was about to throw a punch. I clench my teeth just as I pull back before coming forward on final stroke.

I had always thought I remained relaxed on all my shots... head still... loose grip... relaxed stance, but now I know that this little tensing up, even though its not connected to my arm, has some effect on my follow thru.

So I've started practicing my stroke and concentrating on keeping the final forward swing the same as the practise swings except I'm going on thru for the hit. In otherwords "no tenseness anywhere", not even in my teeth.

It's made a difference, my shot making has improved in those tough situautions... that is when I remember to do it, old habits die hard. Brad

wolfdancer
01-06-2010, 04:34 PM
Brad, that reminds me of my all time favorite pool character....
"Nebraska". He must have been in his mid 70's, maybe older when I first began to hang around a pool room....a room where all the legends had played, and that was mentioned in one of Robert Byrne's books."McGoorty"....great read, by the way.
Nebraska still wore the wide label pin stripe suits of the "Guys And Dolls" 30's?? era...(don't think it had seen a dry cleaners in some 20 years) and in his day, he was one of San Francisco's finest pickpockets....I was told. He was now just a "booster", shoplifting useless items, mostly from the nearby Woolworth, and selling them up in the pool room. He liked to find a young couple that were playing, but not any good at the game, and he would start giving them some tips. Next thing you know though, he would be the one playing, while they were on the clock, and they were too nice to ask him to leave...although eventually they would, but many left instead. We finally had to bar him from the place, due to that...I gave him free coffee, and made sure he had something to eat...the room owners let me do that.
He gave me my first pool tip...ever.....
You had to grit your teeth, and fire on the second stroke. Amazingly, it even worked....sometimes.
Thanks for bringing back an old memory

bradb
01-07-2010, 12:29 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You had to grit your teeth, and fire on the second stroke. Amazingly, it even worked....sometimes.
</div></div>

Wolf, I never thought of that, now I can have my clenched teeth and shoot too! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

What a story. There was an old character like that at my old pool hall years ago. At one time he was a big name player but in later years he made a few bucks by bumming off of other people by giving them playing tips.

The only problem was he stank to high heaven... his clothes were permanently attached to him! Everyone appreciated his advice whenever he dropped by their table but they had to stand back from him as far as possible as he demonstrated a shot.
-Brad

KellyStick
01-08-2010, 12:05 PM
Man I wish I had a good younger days pool hall stroy with someone named after a city or state! My story is more like shooting pool against drunk farmers in small town Iowa. Many after a bit could not usually recall what ball they were shooting. Invariably they always wanted to play for a beer or a buck. They had no names that I ever new or really cared to know. At 16 I could get drunk, shooting pool, on a crappy table, with a lousy stick and spend no money doing it. Maybe make or spend a buck or two at most.

bradb
01-08-2010, 01:58 PM
Sounds like you have a few good times though Kelly.

I played the bar boxes for a while until I went into the wrong club in Dallas and the bar tender saved my ass by ushereing me safely back out. So I switched to pool halls but the players were much better there so I quit playing money pool except for table.

One day I got to see Willy Mosconi in an exibition match.. Thats when I really got hooked on pool. What a class act that guy was. So smooth and elegant as he strode around the table. He held his cue like a fine instrument. I was in awe of the man as he stroked in rack after rack... It was magic, I did'nt know you could do the things he did on a table. I wanted to go up and talk to him after but I was too scared... wish I had now.

I think thats my fondest memory in pool

Brad

cushioncrawler
01-11-2010, 02:22 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bradb</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Even after 40 years of play and I still find little things that I never noticed before in my game. I've worked on every aspec of my stroke from stance to grip and its amazing that I never picked up on this little quirk until just recently.
When faced with a power shot in a pressure situation where a long stroke is needed I sometimes act as if I was about to throw a punch. I clench my teeth just as I pull back before coming forward on final stroke.
I had always thought I remained relaxed on all my shots... head still... loose grip... relaxed stance, but now I know that this little tensing up, even though its not connected to my arm, has some effect on my follow thru.
So I've started practicing my stroke and concentrating on keeping the final forward swing the same as the practise swings except I'm going on thru for the hit. In otherwords "no tenseness anywhere", not even in my teeth.
It's made a difference, my shot making has improved in those tough situautions... that is when I remember to do it, old habits die hard. Brad</div></div>Brad -- After 40 yrs u still hav teeth??????
I am on a break from billiards till the snooker starts -- but i will giv the clenched teeth thing a go when next i hit a golf ball.
madMac.

wolfdancer
01-11-2010, 03:31 PM
Mac, that will really help...tighten up every muscle before you swing. I posted this a long time ago...in the book "Mad Ducks And Bears"(Plimpton), Alex Karras had plans for a phony pro/am charity golf tournament. One group would end up with a "pro" named Crusher,a midget with a decent swing....who would then hit one down the middle, 110 yds, and exclaim "I really crushed that one"
If I get any shorter off the tee, I'm going to name myself "Crusher". They keep lengthening the course every year, but they won't change the distance markers

Soflasnapper
01-16-2010, 04:17 PM
I sometimes chew gum while playing. In order to minimize head and eye motion on the stroke, I stop chewing, sorta taking a last chomp, and holding the gum between the closed molar area, on or before the final spf. I've never thought of this as clenching, or creating tension, but it might, I guess, at least a little. I do believe I kind of scrunch up my face, slightly squinting and/or grimacing at times, on hard shots.

I think it was a Tom Simpson column one time that recommended a lot of relaxing while in the stance-- letting out one's stomach (if it is typically held in), for instance, and up to and including, wait for it, relaxing your sphincter (!?!?!).

(Maybe that was the secret of that smelly guy mentioned on this thread?)

But I have found that trying to relax as much as I can (not including the last suggestion) gets me lower in my stance, quieter in the stance, and it seems to reduce the pressure I'm feeling at the time.

Along similar lines, I've heard of intentionally lightly pressing the tongue to the soft palate above the top row of teeth as a signal to yourself you're ready, and a way to reduce tensions you may not realize exist.

bradb
01-17-2010, 01:24 PM
I notice when I chew gum it does help a bit.

I believe its something that harkens back to my time in the service when I used to lift weights. I used to lift for power instead of repetition. When I got to my maximum lift, I would take a few deep breaths, clench my teeth and start the lift. Its sort of ingrained.

Interesting note on face tightening, I know few players who do this... Its not much, just a hint, but I can detect when they are about to power the ball.

On the tongue pressing technique, I noticed that Steve Davis the snooker player used to do that. It was really pronounced with him. brad

Soflasnapper
01-17-2010, 07:37 PM
Brad, I'm sure it was pronounced in Davis, but in what way was it VISIBLE? Did his tongue stick out of his mouth, or what?!

bradb
01-18-2010, 01:10 PM
Sometimes he would press his tougue over his front teeth with his mouth partly open while he was studying a hard shot.

Stephen Hendry's motions were to dance his eyes back and forth as if he were watching a ping pong match. The annoucer would comment that he was looking back and forth between the QB and OB. I think it was also a way to at least move something before he stroked.

Stretch
01-21-2010, 11:33 AM
Hi Brad, ya i'm a gum chewer too. It's a prooven fact that the jaw muscles dicipate a huge amount of nervous energy and significantly lowers your stress level as well as blood pressure. I even go a step futher and consiously relax my face muscles for the shooting, slack jawed and calm with a deep breath and controled easy exhale i'm ready to take the shot.

I love Hendry and Davis too. Davis even dabbles in 9 ball! It was great to see him play and do the colour comentary on TV. Wish he would do more. St.

bradb
01-22-2010, 06:06 PM
Stretch, I used to chew gum a lot. On day I was driving during rush hour and was a bit nervous. I was chomping away when I accidently bit the side of my mouth... damn that hurt! My cheek swelled up so much that I continued to keep biting it so I had to give it up.

I'm back to chewing again while pool playing but a lot less aggressive on the chomping! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif -brad