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View Full Version : Pool school-- The Finishing Touch!



Soflasnapper
02-25-2010, 09:53 PM
Had to report back my results after my 24 hours of instruction over the past weekend in Fort Myers with Scott and Randy G.

Frankly, stunned and amazed is a good way to put it. It wasn't clear how I would play with these techniques, since we did not play at all during the weekend (under wise advice). I was more than concerned I'll admit when we did the second video taping on the last day of the reference shots we'd done pre-training on the first day, and, while concentrating on form, I basically dogged some of the easiest shots imaginable (2-foot stop shots/draw shots with the ball in the jaws). However, upon review, my FORM and technique were great, to my surprise. It was scored about a 400% improvement. (Still, I thought, what good is that if I can't make the simplest of shots?)

So I was worried about integrating this new material into my game. Sunday night I was very tired (had to pull off the road to nap on the way back), took a 1 hour snooze when I got home, and then had a friend over to shoot some. (First shot, off the bat, fouled the cue by getting too close on the address!) So-so shooting. Got a little shooting in the next days, and then it was time for league on Wednesday. OMG!

I went 3-0 in dominant fashion, basically missing nothing until I was stalling in the last game to wait for a tardy player to show up for the next game.

Fixing most or all of my stroke flaws, getting very close on address, finally getting the feel of the pause and the finish, and fixing my eye pattern issues, evidently has put a high gloss sheen on my stroke. It feels like auto-pilot, more and more as the routine is burned in, and the confidence is self-reinforcing. I'm still thinking a BIT to do the routine, but THE stroke (the final execution) is mindless and effortless.

I made some tricky shape shots so easily it was scary. Never a DOUBT about making what was previously for me a 50-50 shot, so I could concentrate on the shape. Long straight ins? Trivial, even on the 8. Very strong. I am stoked!

I have two things to work on gamewise. My banks are falling short, so I have to recalibrate those. And speed control is differently gauged with this system. Formerly, I was trying to always stroke at the same speed, just using more or less backstroke to change the hit speed as a function of distance. School advises to use the same complete stroke at all times for SOP shots and vary the actual speed of stroke. I've got a drill to refine that feel (25 pennies). Actually, now that I think of it, the two things may be related.

Bottom line is that if you could buy a medium-expensive production cue at this price that improved your game this much, you'd buy it tomorrow. 'Nuff said.

Rich R.
02-26-2010, 06:02 AM
Thanks for the report Phil. Having been a student myself, I always get curious when someone I know takes the class. It seems everyone gets something a little different from the class but, almost without exception, what they get is possitive.

BCA Master Instr
02-26-2010, 08:42 AM
Phil is a great student of the game. Pool School should only reinforce our desire to play better.

Home safe & sound and very tired......

acuerate
02-26-2010, 08:43 AM
Hi,

the advise of 'school' always to play a 'full stroke' is interesting yet trivial... Let us take a look at golf for instance : in golf you will have a longer backswing if you want to hit 200 yards then if you want to hit 100 yards. This is logic !
When you look at a sport closer to pool which is snooker, then you will see that all professionals are clearly adapting their backswing to the required power !!! It's much more easy then adapting the speed !! Speed should be the natural momentum which you create from the swing of your arm.

If anybody has another option then I would love to read about these.

Hitting lower or higher to 'reduce speed' of the cueball is not directly a good solution either (as far as our knowledge of cue ball physics goes). In any billiard sport there is something like the 'sweet spot' ... it's an area a bit higher then central which does not make the ball 'roll' but 'slide' ... it's the area where deflection on the cue ball is lowest !!

If you hit low to reduce speet and the cue ball has to travel a certan distance to the object ball, then the deflection (if you play with some intentional or unintentional sidespin) might result in a missed pot.

Hope this is helpful.

Enjoy your game,

Johan

pooltchr
02-26-2010, 08:44 AM
The real work starts now. Make sure you work on your Mother Drills. That is how the things you learned in class will become a natural part of your game. Follow your SSS checklists to keep your routines intact. The effort you put into these things over the next few weeks will give you a huge payoff for the rest of your pool playing life!

Steve

02-26-2010, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the review, Phil. It always interesting on hearing details of what you learned.


Eric

BCA Master Instr
02-26-2010, 02:57 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: acuerate</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hi,

the advise of 'school' always to play a 'full stroke' is interesting yet trivial... Let us take a look at golf for instance : in golf you will have a longer backswing if you want to hit 200 yards then if you want to hit 100 yards. This is logic !

<span style="color: #FF6666">Yes, good golf logic it is.
Very "old school" in pool. The Bicep does a great job in speed control.</span>

When you look at a sport closer to pool which is snooker, then you will see that all professionals are clearly adapting their backswing to the required power !!! It's much more easy then adapting the speed !! Speed should be the natural momentum which you create from the swing of your arm.

If anybody has another option then I would love to read about these.

<span style="color: #FF0000">Our opinion is taught every day in Pool School. Speed Control is just another workshop.</span>

Hitting lower or higher to 'reduce speed' of the cueball is not directly a good solution either (as far as our knowledge of cue ball physics goes).

Agree.

In any billiard sport there is something like the 'sweet spot' ... it's an area a bit higher then central which does not make the ball 'roll' but 'slide' ... it's the area where deflection on the cue ball is lowest !!

<span style="color: #FF0000">Deflection is the cue stick and it's always deflecting.</span>

If you hit low to reduce speet and the cue ball has to travel a certan distance to the object ball, then the deflection (if you play with some intentional or unintentional sidespin) might result in a missed pot.

<span style="color: #FF6666">I think you are refering to cue ball squirt.....right?</span>
Hope this is helpful.

Enjoy your game,

Johan
</div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">Johan & Randyg...two Worlds apart........</span>

wolfdancer
02-26-2010, 03:31 PM
I'd rather adjust my back stroke distance, then adjust my tempo....a carry over from Golf, especially with wedge shots and putting.....but there is more then one way to skin a cat.

pooltchr
02-26-2010, 04:40 PM
Just like in golf, we teach changing the amount of backstroke when dealing with very soft shots (We refer to them as finesse shots). That would equate to what you do with your putter.

But whether you are on the tee or in the fairway, you will still use a full swing in golf, even though you are using different clubs to control the distance. This would equate to what we call the SOP stroke. Since changing cues for different speeds doesn't work, we teach students how to adjust, depending on how much speed the shot requires.

More similar to golf than you might initially suspect.

Steve

Soflasnapper
02-26-2010, 05:36 PM
To clarify on my prior use of portions of a full swing (i.e., NOT a full swing) to control speed: really, I did BOTH, and not in a disciplined way I could necessarily calibrate. That is, yes, I did vary my backswing (and my bridge length) for softer shots, but I also hit with a slower, softer swing. Which brought two variables into play, making it harder to rely on either one precisely.

I suspect that honing it down to only one parameter will lend itself to better precision, once trained properly.

Longer term viewers of this board might ask, 'But SoflaSnapper, didn't you post about the same improvement after one lesson before (2 balls improvement was the claim), and how'd that work out for you??'

Good question, and I finally got the tools and the metrics to understand what happened, and the reason it won't happen again. A) yes I went up what subjectively felt like a two ball improvement, but B) fairly quickly, it dropped back to worse than when I began (possibly a 3-ball drop). Why?

I was given a kind of bandaid with incomplete information-- to clean up some mechanical issues, I was advised to use a shorter bridge length and a shorter grip position. (Also to get a lot closer at address, focus entirely on the cue ball on practice stroking, to set, pause and finish, etc.) HOWEVER, lacking some critical information and self-analysis tools, I unintentionally went back to my more typical bridge length, while keeping my (somewhat) choked up grip position. This led to a) being a lot further from the cue at address, and b) my tip was dipping as of contact, ruining any accuracy of tip placement on the hit.

Also, I didn't believe that I could get and confirm a line by only sighting the cue ball (which was true), and I didn't know what additional confirmations were required. So, BRIEFLY, having 'band-aided' quiet eyes helped a lot, even without the extra confirmations necessary for a confident process (it was even so a lot better than what I was doing before). But I couldn't understand what I was doing or how it should work, abandoned that practice, and went into full bore ping-pong eye mode without any regularly repeating process.

Now I have a marked length for my correct address position, knowledge of my standard full finish position (which I can measure, to see if I went with an elbow drop out of prior habit), and a repeatable personal eye pattern to work with. Good to go!

One last piece for me is remembering to visualize and experience with as much vivid detail the shot at hand. I'm pretty left-brain oriented, and I prize the intellectual side of pool knowledge perhaps to a fault, when it is a body performance issue at the end. Over time, I've developed great instincts, ability to see and execute ridiculously precise thin cuts and odd backcut combo lines. I have to trust myself and my instincts more, and finally getting a reliable repeating swing process that works by itself without thought or doubt is the key to relaxing and performing.

wolfdancer
02-26-2010, 05:58 PM
From a few golf instruction books and videos that I have read, or viewed over the years......one often goes backwards for a short time frame when changing something "mechanical". You have to replace the old with the new, and "internalize it" to where it is done without conscious effort on your part. then you can rely instead on your hand-eye coordination.

pooltchr
02-26-2010, 06:16 PM
Your experience is quite typical of our students. Often, while training yourself on new processes, your efficiency will decline. Once you have trained yourself with the MDs, you will see the improvement.

It sounds like you managed to get a good majority of the information presented. PEP, SPF, speed control and your checklists are going to take you a long way. (you really can shoot a #1 speed and a #9 speed using the exact same stroke!!!)

You are going to see many benefits from the time you spent in pool school. Review your book frequently, and practice the way they showed you.

And if we ever meet up, I want the 7 and out!!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Steve

Soflasnapper
02-26-2010, 08:53 PM
Steve, you and my teammates all want weight now!! A lot of notice and compliments were immediately paid to my improvement, and it's just starting!

To be fair, I concentrate better for league than for casual playing, and I've had games in league where I could do no wrong well before this class experience. But it's never been there for the whole night and 3 games, plus even when the results were great, I did not have such confidence and assurance (my faulty techniques always threatened to pop up at the most inopportune time).

I'll have even a better test the next two weeks, when we meet the only two teams in our division back to back who are possibly equal to my squad. So more likely my games will be in tied or behind situations, instead of the no-pressure situation of large leads helping me to relax more fully as occurred this past week.

For now, I'm concentrating on the mother drills, and working this system. Most people want to shoot better, but it's the one who puts in the time and effort to get there who get that reward.

pooltchr
02-26-2010, 10:06 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Most people want to shoot better, but it's the one who puts in the time and effort to get there who get that reward.
</div></div>

Can I quote you on that? Very well stated!

Steve

BCA Master Instr
02-27-2010, 03:49 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Most people want to shoot better, but it's the one who puts in the time and effort to get there who get that reward.
</div></div>

Can I quote you on that? Very well stated!

Steve </div></div>


Scott must have taught him that....:-)

Qtec
02-28-2010, 05:48 AM
Full stroke = smooth backswing. smooth transitition to forward swing and 'releasing/letting go/ not holding back' the cue allowing it to go through the Qb.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">in golf you will have a longer backswing if you want to hit 200 yards then if you want to hit 100 yards. This is logic ! </div></div>

Wrong. You use the same swing but use a different club. ie, a 9 Iron for 100yds and a 5 wood / 2 Iron for 200 yds.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When you look at a sport closer to pool which is snooker, then you will see that all professionals are clearly adapting their backswing to the required powe </div></div>

Of course. If the balls QB and OB are 1 ft apart and you just want to stop the QB you don't have to hit it hard, ie no ned for a long backswing, although if its a straight shot you can, alla J Parrot. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Hitting lower or higher to 'reduce speed' <span style="color: #CC0000">Do you mean spin?</span>of the cueball is not directly a good solution either (as far as our knowledge of cue ball physics goes). In any billiard sport there is something like the 'sweet spot'<span style="color: #CC0000">First I've ever heard of it.</span> ... it's an area a bit higher then central which does not make the ball 'roll' but 'slide' ... it's the area where deflection on the cue ball is lowest !!</div></div>

Surely this point must be lower than the equator.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you hit low to reduce speet and the cue ball has to travel a certan distance to the object ball, then the deflection (if you play with some intentional or unintentional sidespin) might result in a missed pot. </div></div>

It might.
Q

JJFSTAR
02-28-2010, 06:20 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: acuerate</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you hit low to reduce speet and the cue ball has to travel a certan distance to the object ball, then the deflection (if you play with some intentional or unintentional sidespin) might result in a missed pot.
</div></div>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
It might.
Q </div></div>
It might also be that the original line of aim was the incorrect point to pot the OB. However with the attempt at draw-drag (that is what we call this type of shot around here) the resulting unintentional or intentional miss hit to the right or left; might deflect the CB to the correct point to pot the ball.

doncartmill
03-01-2010, 03:01 PM
I am assuming what you are calling a draw drag shot .is one where you apply enough draw for the length of the shot,that the QB ideally has just stopped spinning backward and not started to roll when it hits the object ball. This provides a dead shot with regard to QB, minimizing travel after impact. If for some reason you wanted to get a little R or L english on this shot as well...then ideally it must still be spinning at impact.
You can not use the cancelling effect of pivot point and QB deflection in this situation ,because shot at this speed the cue ball will also experience swerve. This has been demonstrated in a number of videos...shot at a normal/resonable speed the CB deflection and pivop point bridge will cancel out. The same shot at a slower speed allows swerve to come into the mix.
Any R or L english applied to a soft shot is going to experience swerve. Your final comment about ,if the QB moves R or L and because you have aimed wrong still pockets the OB ,is
of no consequence ???

JJFSTAR
03-03-2010, 04:20 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: doncartmill</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am assuming what you are calling a draw drag shot .is one where you apply enough draw for the length of the shot,that the QB ideally has just stopped spinning backward and not started to roll when it hits the object ball. </div></div>

Incorrect you are describing a stop shot. Draw-drag as we call it locally is a shot that attempts to simulate the proximity of the CB to the OB as being closer with the use of draw. The draw turns to natural roll and therefore is easier for many to control how much it rolls forward instead of trying to use just speed.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: doncartmill</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> If for some reason you wanted to get a little R or L english on this shot as well...then ideally it must still be spinning at impact.
</div></div>
Correct

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: doncartmill</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> You can not use the cancelling effect of pivot point and QB deflection in this situation ,because shot at this speed the cue ball will also experience swerve. This has been demonstrated in a number of videos...shot at a normal/resonable speed the CB deflection and pivop point bridge will cancel out. The same shot at a slower speed allows swerve to come into the mix.
</div></div>

I assume that since you were thinking that I was talking about a stop shot that you are saying here that a CB cannot be stopped with a pivot point that will cancel out the squirt/deflection because of swerve. If so that is incorrect; there will always be (theoretically) a point where squirt and swerve cancel each other out given the pivot point, butt elevation in conjunction with the speed used; this is sometimes called “squirve”. Now a persons ability to control this is practically zilch, but even on a masse shot that pockets a ball there will still be some point at which a stop shot could be accomplished. The likelihood of hitting it would be 1 in 1,000,000,000,000 from even a diamond away from the pocket, but it is theoretically possible.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: doncartmill</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Any R or L english applied to a soft shot is going to experience swerve.
</div></div>

Correct

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: doncartmill</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Your final comment about ,if the QB moves R or L and because you have aimed wrong still pockets the OB ,is of no consequence ???
</div></div>

That is correct my final paragraph is inconsequential. Jokes loose their punch if you have to explain them. I will quote myself as well as you and I think you will find both of these statements inconsequential.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: acuerate</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you hit low to reduce speet and the cue ball has to travel a certan distance to the object ball, then the deflection (if you play with some intentional or unintentional sidespin) might result in a missed pot.
</div></div>
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JJFSTAR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It might also be that the original line of aim was the incorrect point to pot the OB. However with the attempt at draw-drag (that is what we call this type of shot around here) the resulting unintentional or intentional miss hit to the right or left; might deflect the CB to the correct point to pot the ball.
</div></div>

Both of these statements are correct. If you put some unintentional english on a ball you might miss that ball that you might otherwise make. Also if you put some unintentional english on a ball you might make that ball that you might otherwise miss. Granted the former is more likely that the latter but neither need be said here.

Scott Lee
03-04-2010, 03:00 PM
Phil...It was great to have you in school! One more part of the puzzle to reinforce. Remember, that it takes some period of time (with a highly focused and disciplined practice regimen), for the "process" to really take root. The fact that you saw immediate improvement in a day or two is testament to your 'analytical mind', and the fact that you already had a pretty good process in place. What we did at school, as you noticed, was tweak, or fine-tune your process. I expect that by another 2-3 weeks you should be well versed in everything you learned at school, and playing better than ever! I look forward to seeing you again!

Scott Lee

Scott Lee
03-04-2010, 03:04 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Most people want to shoot better, but it's the one who puts in the time and effort to get there who get that reward.</div></div>

Truer words were never spoken! There is NO magic bullit!

Scott Lee

wolfdancer
03-04-2010, 03:48 PM
Damn, that ain't what you done tole me....I demand a refund.