View Full Version : when to use english?
When i ever i put right or left english on the cue ball i always miss the pocket that was intended for my object ball. It never fails, it happens every time. I know the cue is going to stray due to this right or left english, and i correct for that everytime but i still miss my pocket. What am i doing wrong? When is the right time for english, and how come i cant pocket a ball when i use english? I need tips, pointers or any information you can give. Thanks
You don't mention how long you've been playing or if your fundamentals are strong, but IMHO one of the biggest mistakes a beginner can make is trying to use English too soon, or to use too much of it.
English causes multiple things to change about a shot (or go wrong with a shot if you're not expecting it):
* SQUIRT: The cueball will leave the cuetip in the opposite direction of the English. This effect varies based upon the cue shaft's flexibility and how hard you hit.
* CURVE or SWERVE: The spin induced on the cueball by the english causes the cueball to curve in the direction of the english, i.e. right english means a curve to the right. This varies with the speed of the hit and the friction of the cloth -- lighter hits generate more curve.
* REBOUND ANGLE: English causes the rebound angle off of rails to alter dramatically.
* THROW: Throw is a subtle but important concept that affects cut shots and combos that are struck from the side rather than straight on. There are a lot of factors that induce or contribute to throw, but english can be used to either induce throw or counteract throw.
Advanced players, through much practice, learn to compensate for all of these factors. If you're not already up-to-speed on this stuff, I suggest a good book or two on the subject. Robert Byrne's books are some of the best IMHO, especially on the topic of throw.
I think all beginning players should concentrate on centerball shots, speed control, and stroke improvements in general until your potting accuracy is good, then worry about english.
02-10-2003, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dmorris68:</font><hr> * SQUIRT: The cueball will leave the cuetip in the opposite direction of the English. This effect varies based upon the cue shaft's flexibility and how hard you hit. <hr /></blockquote>
If we're going to separate each variable effect due to english, then... as we know it today, squirt is mostly affected by the relative tip-end mass.
Shaft flexibility has virtually nothing to do with squirt. You can make a high flex, low squirt shaft or a low flex low squirt shaft. You can make a very high squirt shaft with either high or low flex as well.
As of today's knowledge, speed has virtually nothing to do with the squirt angle that the cueball leaves the cuestick's original path. However, combined with swerve and distance, speed will have a pronounced effect on the overall deviation from the aimpoint. So, in a sense, speed does affect squirt.
[ QUOTE ]
* CURVE or SWERVE: The spin induced on the cueball by the english causes the cueball to curve in the direction of the english, i.e. right english means a curve to the right. This varies with the speed of the hit and the friction of the cloth -- lighter hits generate more curve. <hr /></blockquote>
Here's an experiment try to pocket a straight in shot with english, hitting slowly, but hitting with an absolutely dead level cue stick. You might have to shoot a diagonal shot on a 9' table just to be able to get the stick level. What should happen is that the english doesn't make the cueball swerve at all, but even hitting slowly, the cueball still squirts.
Another experiment is to put the cueball on a piece of chalk on the rail and hit at angle upward with right-hand english. The cueball will squirt to the left and swerve to the left as well. That gives credence to the theory that a dead-level cue will not swerve the cueball.
LOL, somehow I knew you would show up and correct me, Fred. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
I realize what you say about shaft flexibility not affecting squirt, and it's actually not the first time I've heard it. I guess I'm just so used to hearing people SAY it over the years that I believed it and still tend to quote the standard line without thinking too much about it. I need to correct myself on that one. I did think, however, that some of the high-speed video testing held that a harder hit, provided all other variables remain the same, produced a wider "squirt" to the cueball. I'll have to go back and find my source for that information.
And thanks for making a very good point that I somehow forgot to mention: that cue elevation is an all-important variable that significantly determines swerve of the cueball. It's difficult to hit a dead-level stroke during most games, so there is almost always some amount of elevation present that will impart at least some swerve to a cueball.
All the more reason for the argument that english introduces great complexity to the game, and is best left alone until the fundamentals are mastered!
02-10-2003, 03:38 PM
I have not been playing that long. I only use english on a very few shots. I do not like to use it otherwise due to the inaccuracy problem you mentioned due to my not being expereinced and also a couple of times, it actually was a crutch for not being able to make certain shots the centerball way.
I do not know how long you have played but,I think that a person who has played a short time like myself is better working with centerball and other basics.
02-10-2003, 04:14 PM
When ordering from an American waiter /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
02-10-2003, 04:28 PM
I've only been playing for a couple years so my advice is simply what I have learned from experience, using english should seem awkward at first, once it started to get repetitive for me I could pocket the OB and get the shape I wanted, English can cause alot of things to go wrong, these have already been posted in other responses so my simple advice to you my friend is to practice, alot. Once you start to get used to putting english on the CB it will get alot easier, the pockets seem wider and you will think you have a string on where the CB goes, it just takes alot of practice (and patience)
02-10-2003, 04:38 PM
<font color="blue"> </font color> Can you say this paragraph 3 times fast? I tried it. I can't.
Fran <font color="blue"> </font color>
<font color="black"> </font color> Shaft flexibility has virtually nothing to do with squirt. You can make a high flex, low squirt shaft or a low flex low squirt shaft. You can make a very high squirt shaft with either high or low flex as well.
02-10-2003, 07:37 PM
racer...Although several posters gave you explanations of what english and the other variables are, and DO...none of them answered your question, as to: "When do I use english", or the title of your post. The real answer is you shouldn't! Sidespin is utilized 90% of the time to alter the natural path of the CB AFTER contact with a rail.
Many, many players never learn what happens to the CB based on natural angle and speed control WITHOUT sidespin. Consequently, they use 'english' on every shot, whether they need to or not. This then takes away from their ability to be able to control the CB effectively with no english...because, of course, they don't practice that way.
You should be VERY confident that you understand tangent line, and how only top or bottom, with NO english will affect the path of the CB...topspin causes the CB to hook across the tangent line...backspin causes the CB to bend away from the tangent line. Sidespin on the horizontal axis will run straight down the tangent line, the CB spinning like a top. Of course, if you elevate your cue (which has already been mentioned) that will have an effect too. Learn to use english when you cannot get the CB to go where you want it to, without it! For example, you might have an obstacle in the way of the natural rebound path of the CB off of a rail. Using sidespin can alter the path of the CB so as to get 'around' the obstacle, without bumping into it.
Take very simple angle shots...practice them using centerball hits, and adding topspin and backspin. Then practice the exact same shots, the same way, but adding right or left english, and record the results. That's how you can learn to make balls using english. Bottomline, use english sparingly and occasionally...not all the time! 3-C billiards (no pockets), on the other hand, requires sidespin on almost every shot.
02-11-2003, 05:07 PM
Hi guys. Well I got the Byrnes book and theres is quite a bit about throw and english releated stuff..which is good but, the problem is that I cant understand all those words used there /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif
02-11-2003, 05:27 PM
I could say it, after several times and alot of frustration I got the hang of it, sounds kind of like pool /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
amen scott lee,
i ve become dependent on throw almost to the point where I miss if I shoot a "natural shot," it becomes addictive and it has become a crutch to use throw to often, its a hard habit to break, i ve found myself having to rethink how I shoot and play.
honky~~~~>recovering english addict
02-11-2003, 08:56 PM
trial and error, trial and error
It is important to know how to analyze your errors. If you are overcutting or undercutting the ball, you should know how to adjust your aim for the next try at the same shot to get the ball in
as for when to use English. AS sparingly as possible! First see if there is a solution for the shot which doesn't require English. If there isn't try to use only the amount of english you need
Practice. That is all. Lotsa practice.
02-12-2003, 06:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesin_the_nine:</font><hr> Practice. That is all. Lotsa practice. <hr /></blockquote>I have to disagree. I played pool for years and didn't know many basics that prevented me from becoming a much better player than I could have been. Of course I played mostly in bars, so I didn't get much time with anyone who knew much more than me. I was one of the better players in any bar I went to.
I might have eventually learned how to do things with enough practice, perhaps about 20 times as much playing time as if I had knowledge. Therefore, I would add knowledge as an important ingredient to add to practice.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesin_the_nine:</font><hr> Practice. That is all. Lotsa practice. <hr /></blockquote>I have to disagree. I played pool for years and didn't know many basics that prevented me from becoming a much better player than I could have been. Of course I played mostly in bars, so I didn't get much time with anyone who knew much more than me. I was one of the better players in any bar I went to.
I might have eventually learned how to do things with enough practice, perhaps about 20 times as much playing time as if I had knowledge. Therefore, I would add knowledge as an important ingredient to add to practice. <hr /></blockquote>
Very good point. I was very fortunate to have a co-worker of mine (who happened to be an A player), take me under his wing when I got into shooting seriously and he taught me lots that most people may never know. I combined that with having no other life BESIDES work, sleep, and pool for about 2 years straight. That is what got me where I'm at now. The combination of both. Good point!
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