View Full Version : To Pause or Not Pause??

08-30-2002, 11:04 AM
I come to the board of the CCB with a very disputed concept. My game has really sucked for about a year now because I've been trying to learn how to Pause at the back end of the stroke like Buddy,Allison, and other great players. I asked T.K. about a year ago about teaching the Pause to beginners or not. His reply was "Yes, The Pause makes a player so consistent." So, Even though my game is struggling now......Should I continue with the effort??

08-30-2002, 11:06 AM
but of course...

08-30-2002, 11:08 AM
Pause is a serious part of your stroke.

Every good stroke has a pause. Wether its a millisecond or a 2 second time period.. there is a distinct pause.

Please continue your pause efforts.

BTW, I don't remember the pause ever being NOT recommended, it may have been discussed as "how long" or "when to pause" but never "pause is not needed" .. but then again.. I could be wrong.. (pause) nah..

08-30-2002, 11:17 AM

Cueless Joey
08-30-2002, 11:21 AM
I pause before the last stroke but not at the back stroke. I hesitate before the hand goes forward but I don't like pausing at the back stroke because I lose rhythm.
It works for a lot of people but not for all.

Cueless Joey
08-30-2002, 11:23 AM
WW, Scott said pause for AT LEAST 2 seconds before the final stroke. Pausing before the final stroke for 2 seconds or more equates quiet mind and quiet eyes. :-)

08-30-2002, 11:29 AM
Hi Drake,

It's possible that if you've been working on this for months and months, you may have incorporated a pause and not even know it. If, as you're practicing, you're trying to get the pause, and then sometimes when you're playing you don't think you've got the pause, you may actually have it.

When I went to pool school, I was informed that I didn't have a "finish", what some call "follow through". What they asked me to do physically was very awkward feeling and sometimes a bit painful. However, I practiced it and practiced it and practiced it. I got to the point where I just decided that I had given it plenty of time and it still didn't feel right, so I wasn't going to worry about it any more. I would work on other aspects of my game. However, at times, it still creeps into my practice routine.

Imagine my total surprise when I was complimented a few weeks ago on my "finish". I have apparently incorporated it via those first months of practice without even knowing it! I certainly am no longer really trying to make sure it's there like I was before, but apparently it's there enough to be noticed.

So, again, maybe if you videotaped yourself, you would see that you do, indeed, have the pause that so many say is so helpful. It may not be a long pause, but my bet is that it's there.

08-30-2002, 11:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: SPetty:</font><hr>
So, again, maybe if you videotaped yourself, you would see that you do, indeed, have the pause that so many say is so helpful. It may not be a long pause, but my bet is that it's there.

I agree, nearly everyone has some degree of pause, even if it is hardy noticable. A long pause feels unnatural to me, but a slight hesitation seems to help me with the transition from backswing to the final forward swing. Personally, I feel it helps my stroke.

No matter what your preference is, it should be consistant. This, IMO, is the most crucial point.

08-30-2002, 11:52 AM
I'd have to agree with Stickman and SPetty. It doesn't matter where you pause, as long as it is consistent. And I'd also bet that you do pause in your stroke and just don't notice it. The videotape is a good idea. IMO, you could be consciously thinking about pausing so much that it has interefered with your game. Instead of making sure that your pause is there, just do it. I believe it will come naturally. I have not seen very many players, if any, that don't pause at all.



08-30-2002, 11:57 AM
The long pause has been throwing me off a bit.

08-30-2002, 12:19 PM
The pause HAS to be there. It is physically impossible to change directions in muscle groups without a pause, it's only a matter of how much the pause feels to you in your execution. I find that accenting the pause during times of struggling over apparent fundamental breakdown, helps to make visible which fundamental is wrong. BUT, once that is discovered I quit making the pause a conscious effort. Like SPetty's finish scenario,,,I find that the sooner I can get past the "drill mode" and into "my mode", the fluid part of my game comes to the surface. That's where the fun is, being "you" and not someone in mantra mode saying "One-two-three, backswing, pause, stroke, now finish, hold, inspect form...well you see it just lets your brain get in the way...sid~~~just hit the ball, schools out, be the player, not the student

phil in sofla
08-30-2002, 02:37 PM
I do not think that the 'pause' of those who don't use a pause is any kind of pause, even de minimus.

Otherwise we wouldn't have these discussions.This millisecond pause idea being floated out is NOT A PAUSE, at least not the kind we're talking about. Yes, since there is a change in direction, I guess, theoretically, the no-pause stroke has a moment of motionless, but to all appearance to the naked eye, the cue goes from the backswing to the forward stroke without a transition in between. Suddenly, you go from the backswing to the frontswing, without a NOTICEABLE pause.

That is, the question of whether to pause is whether to 'hold' that maximum extension on whatever length backswing you're using for a definite, discernible period of time, and only AFTER that discrete time, when clearly you are no longer going backward, but not yet going forward, and only then go forward. Almost as if you were holding a pose for a picture or something.

If you think of the golf stroke, or the archery pull, considering the difference in those cases from the 'go immediately' at the apex of the swing or drawback, compared to the definite pause at that apex of preparatory stroke, that difference may be a little clearer.

I find the greatest value in the pause (the real pause I try to differentiate above from some theoretical very slight moment of change of direction) is when I'm breaking, or otherwise trying a power shot requiring a lot of stroke. To transition from back to forward without a significant pause there tends to get my stroke at least a little squirrely. When I pause, I can go smoothly forward without any side motion from trying to control a rapid change in direction of stroke.

08-30-2002, 03:15 PM
It sounds like your may be to mechanical. As SPetty mentioned you probably have a pause built in to some degree and not know it.

Ask yourself why do you pause? You should try to be dead focused on the o/b at that time. What ever time duration is needed to be focused is how long the pause is. For some that is just a fraction of a second. There are no rules on how long that should take. If it takes much longer than your built in rythm will allow then it will hurt your rythm and timing.

If you care to look at it another way I have three simple words that I use and teach, "Finish Your Backswing". There is no time factor in that statement. It means exactly what it implies. If that is 2 tenth's of a second, then that is what it is. I think the best way to set this up is a pause or slight pause at the c/b. Give your self time for exact tip placement and aim, your warm up strokes. Then pause, which is created by the time to focus on your target, then start you backswing.
One secret if there ever was one is don't snatch the cue back quickly. That sets up a quick return plus many times you loose focus of your aim point. Bring the cue back at a slow pace and when it stops, you have "Finished Your Backswing." As you can see there are two checkpoints. Believe it or not it looks like a longer pause than it actually is because of the cue speed. The forward motion will be or should be a gradual increase of speed delivering the cue well through the c/b, most shots.

One other note that I will never leave out is grip pressure during this time, for most shots it should be fairly light. A tight grip can destroy your rythm and timing and your efforts.

I think if you focus on those areas the pause on either side will come more natural without having to think about it.

08-30-2002, 03:24 PM
Thanks. I'm just concentrating on it to much.

08-30-2002, 04:40 PM
It's not easy to add the pause to your game. What you have to understand is that it will never become consistent if you try and force a pause into your stroke. You have to learn that the pause is a signal to allow yourself time to focus and fixate on the object ball. If you link the pause to the timing of your eyes, then the pause can become automatic, and you won't have to think about it again. You can look back into the archive to see more detail about the eye timing/pause issue.

Keep at it!


08-30-2002, 04:47 PM
i pause at the cb on the last practice stroke be sure i am ready and my stroke feels right. i have a slight pause at the final backswing. i think lessons are great and watching the pros is great, but every one has their own style.if emmulating someone elses style isnt working,then it is time to try something else


08-30-2002, 05:11 PM
Even Allison doesn't advocate teaching the pause at the back of the stroke to everyone. For all good players, there does need to be a pause - either at the front of the stroke after completing the pre-shot strokes when the cue-tip is addressing the ball, or at the back - at the completion of the backstroke, like Allison and Buddy. A few have the pause in both places, but almost none fail to pause at the front.

IMO, the pause at the front is the one that is more important. As far as the back of the stroke, the transition from the backstroke to the forestroke needs to be a smooth one, but for some they can do this with a split second (almost unnoticeable) pause, and for others it's a more pronounced pause. There are very few that can utilize the more pronounced (Buddy and Allison type) extended pause and play at a real high level, so IMO I wouldn't force it if it doesn't feel natural. - Chris in NC

08-30-2002, 06:17 PM
I completely agree, almost, ha! Really you do need to experiment and I don't think anyone who teaches would ever suggest that you emulate them. It is shown as a guide line and it is up to you within your inner rythm to adapt a form of this method. One problem I see over the net or in books is some words take on a new meaning. By that I mean how slow is slow, fast, pause etc. It still is up to the individual and is best observed with video, like Scott is sending you. Then you can detect movements, jerks etc. After you improve get another video, I'm sure someone has a camera. Then compare the two tapes. I took golf lessons for some time and borrowed a camera. Later on I shot a couple of tapes hitting balls. It was amazing how much my swing improved and a more fluid movement. You need to know what to look for and that can be a bit of a problem. The important thing of course is that you improve.

08-30-2002, 08:32 PM
I have always felt that the stroke starts at the top of the backstroke, when you begin to take the cue forward. The backstroke is just the necessary motion to move you from the aiming position to the hitting position.

Make the backstroke, but don't begin your stroke until you are ready to hit the cue ball. For some, that might be immediately, with no pause at all. For others, it doesn't happen until later in the evening. Do what works for you.

08-30-2002, 09:22 PM
Excellent response, Phil. I've found the same thing to be true with long stroke shots, like table length draws.


08-30-2002, 10:31 PM
Quote Vapros, For some, that might be immediately, with no pause at all. For others, it doesn't happen until later in the evening. Do what works for you.

I like that, especially the part of later in the evening. Ha Ha Ha. If you have/had ever seen Cicero Murphy play it would be much later in the evening! Buddy or Allison does not have a pause compared to him.

Scott Lee
09-01-2002, 03:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: whitewolf:</font><hr> There are 4 things you are supposed to be thinking during this pause (or feeling after you have them ingrained - in my own words here), but I will have to review the tape again to remember them all. The most important thing however is to ask yourself (in my opinion/ if I had to choose one) while pausing: "Am I lined up alright?"

This is no gimmick, no fleeting quick fix. Just unreal is all I have to say. I have gone up a notch without even practicing the drills yet.

PS thanks again Scott <hr></blockquote>

WW....#1: Do I know where I am aiming on the CB (vertical axis)?; #2: Do I know where I am aiming on the OB, so that it will go in the pocket?; #3: Do I know how hard I am going to shoot (soft, medium or hard)?; #4: Do I have a
REASONABLE idea of where the CB is going to end up? All this happens during the pause at the CB, before committing to one stroke back, and followthrough!


09-01-2002, 09:17 AM
WW....#1: Do I know where I am aiming on the CB (vertical axis)?; #2: Do I know where I am aiming on the OB, so that it will go in the pocket?; #3: Do I know how hard I am going to shoot (soft, medium or hard)?; #4: Do I have a
REASONABLE idea of where the CB is going to end up? All this happens during the pause at the CB, before committing to one stroke back, and followthrough!

Scott <hr></blockquote>

for dummies like me who cant remember so many words: