View Full Version : Cue Stabilization during Stroke
10-08-2002, 05:26 PM
I've been tinkering with my stance, stroke etc
Is it a fair comment that there has to be something other than an open bridge hand and your arm to help stablize the cue during a stroke ?
Snooker players use their chest and chin to stablize the cue.
Pool players seem to use their chest as well, but also the closed bridge does a lot of stablizing
I found that a stance which didn't have my chest against the cue and using a open bridge allowed a lot of sideways cue movement and you really had to concentrate to keep the cue on line
is this a fair comment ?
10-09-2002, 07:36 AM
Your body doesn't have to be on the cue to keep it going straight. A lot has to do with the way your lined up on the cue. Also, your grip can come into play. If your twisting your grip hand, this will make the cue turn also.
There's been quite a few threads on the subject. I can think of one now. You have to have a camcorder to see what's going on back there. A large mirror angled just right can let you know also what's going on.
The best would be to hook up with a BCA instructor. I think they charge about $50. for a stroke analysis. I'd first get the mirror and if it comes down to it, call the instructor. That's your best bet. They can point you in the right direction and that would also include a video taping of the analysis too. JAT
I don't think it's accurate to say that snooker players use the chin/chest to stabilise anything. The classic snooker stance has you down as close to the cue as possible, but without anything touching the cue.
Any additional friction other than at the tip can only defeat the purpose of a smooth acceleration through contact, and you'll see that some of the top players have a very light action, often using a lot of wrist action to get this smooth acceleration. Having said that, it's said that Mosconi pressed so hard on his cue that the cue bent over time.
In response to the other reply re. BCA instructors. Not all BCA instructors are worth listening to. Early in my playing game, a very well known BCA instructor told me my stroke was spot on. That, of course, was bull&*^% and the fact that I didn't iron out the flaws at that time made it considerably more difficult to correct once the bad habits were compounded over time.
The recommendation to seek out a good instructor (BCA or other) is good advice, but I'd canvass advice from a variety of sources, rather than relying on a single person with a meaningless badge.
I was taught to practice stroking through the hole of a beer bottle. You will hit the sides at first but eventually/hopefully you will build some muscle memory and not hit the edges very often at all.
eg8r <~~~~ Very bad at this drill
phil in sofla
10-11-2002, 12:29 AM
>>>>Is it a fair comment that there has to be something other than an open bridge hand and your arm to help stablize the cue during a stroke ?
Some people think so, at least to keep the cue from squirreling around atop the open v bridge it's resting on during the stroke (probably not to help keep the arm swing straight), but it might be a minority opinion.
I've only seen one instructor/author express concern about that, and that guy claimed having the classic light grip and resting on an open bridge was a very loose situation prone to stroking inaccuracy because the cue would move around, come up off the hand, etc. He advocated firming up the back hand, if I remember right, putting the cue into the crook of the thumb and first finger, and using that to exert a light but firm downward pressure onto the open bridge. It was part of his whole power game approach, a lot of full stroking, sort of a modern style of playing most things firm, which he called Power Pool.
Of course, if you're full stroking out there on an open bridge that might lead to more jumping off the v with the classic grip than if you mainly use moderate to soft speed. Personally, if I have to come with a stroke I'm using a closed bridge anyway, and with an open bridge on soft to moderate speed shots, my very light grip doesn't need any help other than gravity in keeping the cue down in the v that I've noticed.
I tried that tighter grip a little, liked the feel and had good touch with it, to my surprise. But it got my hand a little too much into the stroke and tended to take me off line with a little steering. I'm more comfortable almost floating the cue slightly off my grip hand (it feels like), and sometimes slightly slip stroking, letting the cue go. Getting my hand out of the stroke and hit as much as possible works best for me.
In terms of keeping the arm straight through, an old training method was to play with a folded newpaper under your arm, to teach a tight line on the arm close to the body. I stroke more off my body than that, and if I get any contact, it's distracting, so I reset my stance to free that up. For me, keeping straight on the stroke requires I quiet the last stroke, make it's transitions in direction very deliberate. I stop at the cue ball for a beat, take back straight, pause again at the end of the backswing, and then go. I think it's at the transition from the backswing to forward motion that a little hitch can get in there and send your stroke off line. At least that's true for me.
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