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View Full Version : 9-ball / 10-ball : the long stroke



Pask
03-08-2010, 03:06 PM
I had a great time with my coach yesterday. We haven't played together for a long while since he moved. After a 9-ball game or two, he told me it was time for me to change my stroke for rotation games. I've known that kind of stroke by watching good players, in the flesh or on videos, and I've tried to do it on my own. But it's not a natural stroke for me and even if I've forced myself to use it as often as possible, I often tend to use a shorter stroke when I don't feel secure, on difficult shots for example.

What I call a long stroke is when you hold the cue at the end of the butt, and have a long shaft over your bridge. My coach forced me to use it all the time when playing 9-ball, on every shot, even soft or short-distance shots, or when bridging on the table frame with cue ball close to rail. He forced me to do so to make me get use of it, to make it more natural for me. Of course, I missed many shots or positions because I felt a bit confused at first, as it was changing my habits. But just by teaching me this, my coach showed me a very powerful, important, basic thing. By using this stroke, you transfer a miximum of the cue weight to the cue ball. The result is that you don't have to force on your stroke to hit the cue ball. Very useful for long distance shots or to make the cue ball run all over the table as it is often necessary in rotation games. And you get less tired by the way. I was relly surprised by the effect of such a stroke. Pocketting looked easier in a way you see.

I'm looking forward to practicing this long stroke more and more to really getthe feel of it and to make it natural for me too. In the past, I was afraid of moving the shaft sideways when hitting the ball with a too long shaft over the bridge (I don't know how you call that in English, it's when you preprare you shot straight in the aiming line and when you hit you move the cue sideways, even slightly, and miss the shot). But yesterday,, with this intense practice when my coach forced me to use a long stroke on all shaots, I realized that I was thinking wrong : I've worked alot on my fundamentals since I came back to pool for competition. So I very rarely move sideways when hitting now, whatever the shaft length I take. So there's no reason a long storke wouldn't work. And it did work for sure!

Anyway, I'm neither a top player, nor an expert, and I'm sure this kind of stroke should look obvious for many people here. But I wanted to tell about my own experience here, and show low/mid range players that they should always question themselves about their play. This long stroke was a big change for me, even if it wasn't very natural at first. But it'll make my play improve for rotation games for sure.

cushioncrawler
03-08-2010, 04:55 PM
Pask -- Ok u hold the cue near the end, and u hav a long bridge -- but, do u aktually make a long backSwing and forewardSwing.
Or do u mostly take a short backSwing etc anyhow?????????

I think that most players can aim better with a longer bridge -- but cueing can be a problem.
I think that a shortish bridge might be more forgiving (for akuracy) if u hav a stiff cue, ie a hi'squirt cue.

Anyhow, what works works -- theory duzzenmaddermuch.
madMac.

Pask
03-08-2010, 05:30 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Pask -- Ok u hold the cue near the end, and u hav a long bridge -- but, do u aktually make a long backSwing and forewardSwing.
Or do u mostly take a short backSwing etc anyhow?????????

I think that most players can aim better with a longer bridge -- but cueing can be a problem.
I think that a shortish bridge might be more forgiving (for akuracy) if u hav a stiff cue, ie a hi'squirt cue.

Anyhow, what works works -- theory duzzenmaddermuch.
madMac. </div></div>

I thought it would matter with cueing indeed. That's why I was avoiding this kind of stroke most of the time before. But it doesn't in fact. You keep the same distance between your two hands, with still a right angle between holding forarm and the cue. For short hits, you just keep sliding short, and longer for long hits. But you don't have to force (or feel like you have to force) for long shots or power shots : the cue weight will give you strength. Then you just backswing calmy and long for this kaind of shots, and the cue ball will be hit without any effort. Therefore, not only you keep calm and don't get tired, but also you keep accuracy, even with longer bridge, because your backswing doesn't need to be forced. This stroke is very steady, stable. I really didn't think so before my coach taught me, but it is much more steady than it looks. But you mustn't think of adding power, or you will miss the shot. I think that was the 'unnatural' thing to me with this stroke. But after training it a little while, I understood that I needn't hit strong, just keep cool.

Of course this kind of stroke is rather dedicated to rotation games, or long shots for other games. For games requiring area position play like 14.1 r 8-ball, you don't need to hold the cue this way most of the time. Also, you don't have to do so in rotation games when you have to position your cue ball very close. My coach forced me to stroke this way on every shot just for practice and to make me learn it, obviously.

cushioncrawler
03-08-2010, 06:12 PM
Pask -- I try a long bridge once in a while -- it haz a lot going for it for sure -- i am talking about english billiards on 12' table here.
In fakt, with my prezent style, i (yesterday) got a more akurat rezult for some shots than with my standard medium bridge, or short bridge.
But everyone iz different.
madMac.