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View Full Version : Can You Hold A Cuestick Too Lightly?



TomBrooklyn
06-11-2003, 04:00 AM
Can you hold a cuestick too lightly with your back hand, or is the less pressure you hold it with the better?

pooldaddy9
06-11-2003, 04:20 AM
With me, less pressure I shoot better but I would think you could hold it to loose depending on the stroke.

Anonamus
06-11-2003, 06:42 AM
With the slip stroke you hold it so lightly that it slides out of your hand on the back stroke and people consider that a thing of beauty. But no matter how lightly you hold it you have to tighten up your grasp sometime before impact or you're not going to be able to accelerate through the ball.

Deeman
06-11-2003, 07:18 AM
Yes, if it falls to the floor, you are holding it too lightly. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gifHowever, I believe, no matter how lightly you grip, you will tighten up the grip just enough when you stroke forward. I think you need to "think" as light a grip as possible and your reflexes will take care of the rest.

Predator314
06-11-2003, 07:32 AM
The better I shoot, the lighter I hold the cue.

I've also experimented with a slip stroke which works great as far as making balls. I just have a hard time controlling the cue ball (speed issues). With the slip stroke, you need to hold the cue really lightly.

Drake
06-11-2003, 08:03 AM
I don't remember where I heard it from but Efren claims that when he strokes through that he isn't even holding the cue when contact is made. Sound almost impossible!!! Probably is just another nasty rumour.

Qtec
06-11-2003, 08:09 AM
No it isnt.
Qtec.

Rod
06-11-2003, 12:40 PM
In a sense yes. Sufficient grip pressure is needed to smoothly accelerate the cue at any given speed. It's not always the same, for instance break speed is not a velvet light touch compared to the low end of a soft slow roll. However the difference in these strokes does not increase pressure near as much as some players think. Were talking about very very small increases when more power is need for a stroke. The most common problem I see is someone who starts out very light. Not that that is a problem in itself but when they accelerate the grip pressure goes up big time. That is the problem. It is no longer swing the weight, it's guided/steered by a firm grip.

There is not near enough time spent on what I consider the most important aspect of the game. Yes that's what I said, nothing even compares to importance as how the cue is held and accelerated. Show me a beginer with a smooth unhurried stroke and I'll make a player out of him/her in short order.
Now where are we going to find one? LOL

Ok back on track, what should be done is hold the cue with sufficent pressure for any given stroke, soft to firm. What's most important is not to increase that pressure through out the stroke. Yes that means as you come into the impact area it "does not" increase. If anything it can decrease. That lets the cue go through the c/b with a full uninhibited follow through. Once the cue has started the forward motion, from momentum, you actually need less pressure. From many of the posts I've read here they have it backwards! Play that way and it will always be an up hill/downhill battle.

Some years ago in golf they picked several of the top touring pros for an experiment. They made a putter with a pressure sensitive wrap. They tested each pro for speed, accuracy at different distances plus pressure differences during the stroke. What they found was the best putters had near a flat line in pressure difference. It didn't increase during acceleration or at impact, it actually went down for a couple of the best putters after the initial forward movement. It was even less just after impact. The worst putters of the group had a dramatic increase at the ball. Their pressure sensor lines were any thing but flat. Sometimes difficult to compare games but in this case it is a direct parallel.

Possibly someone has tried this in pool. Over the years I've often thought about doing such. The cue would be easy enough to construct but I'm not sure about the electronics.
I'll bet anyone large amounts, if you test all of the pool players your going to see anything from light to lines off the graph, hell they make even break the meter. That is at least 98 % of pool players with a pulse. What you will see with very good players to pros is a a more consistant line. The best of them will of course be near a flat line from start and through the ball. Many will show a decrease through the ball.

Rod

06-11-2003, 02:08 PM
This makes me think of a related question about the grip. Have worked over past few months to keep the grip and wrist loose, especially during warmup strokes. And somewhere, maybe in one of Capelle's books, I read that the last two fingers are "just along for the ride." So, while having gotten rid of my former death grip, and the wandering thumb, as well, now I find that my pinky, and maybe my ring finger, seem to be coming off during warmup strokes.

Think they're all accounted for when I hit the ball, but whenever I do a mental inventory on those two digits, I tend to botch the shot /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif. So I hesitate to check all that often.

Anybody else with a flying pinky here?

Fred Agnir
06-11-2003, 02:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote afternooncaddy:</font><hr> Anybody else with a flying pinky here? <hr /></blockquote>My pinky isn't part of my grip.

Fred

tateuts
06-11-2003, 02:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote afternooncaddy:</font><hr> This makes me think of a related question about the grip. Have worked over past few months to keep the grip and wrist loose, especially during warmup strokes. And somewhere, maybe in one of Capelle's books, I read that the last two fingers are "just along for the ride." So, while having gotten rid of my former death grip, and the wandering thumb, as well, now I find that my pinky, and maybe my ring finger, seem to be coming off during warmup strokes.

Think they're all accounted for when I hit the ball, but whenever I do a mental inventory on those two digits, I tend to botch the shot /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif. So I hesitate to check all that often.

Anybody else with a flying pinky here? <hr /></blockquote>

If I have to put my pinky on the cue, it feels strange. But my ring finger is definitely part of the cradle. I just "rest" the cue in a cradle formed by my thumb and fingers.

When I'm playing my best the cue feels light in my hands, like it's floating. I have no sensation of pressure or resistance anywhere in either hand. It's almost like the cue is set and stroking itself back and forth. I'm not in the least aware of my arms, hands, or grip.

Chris

Chris Cass
06-11-2003, 03:11 PM
Tap, Tap, Tap.

C.C.

TonyM
06-11-2003, 05:14 PM
Well... I think that if your grip allows some lateral movement in your grip hand , then you are holding it too lightly.

I have seen grips that could do this.

I think that it is more important to be able to hold the cue in a consistent manner that allows you to be accurate and repeatable.

Some of the super loose grips that I see being tried are often not repeatable.

So I think that you can go too far with this sort of quest.

I like the modern Snooker grip because I think that it is less influenced by grip pressures than most of the other grips that I see.

Tony

Sid_Vicious
06-11-2003, 05:24 PM
YES...sid

TonyM
06-11-2003, 05:25 PM
"The best of them will of course be near a flat line from start and through the ball. Many will show a decrease through the ball."

A good post Rod.

If you watch many of the top players very closely, you can get a good sense of how much grip pressure they use throughout the stroke.

I think that, yes, often they use very little grip pressure at and just beyond impact.

Jeremy Jones guarantees this effect by slightly lifting his thumb off of the cue just before impact. If you try this you will see that without the thumb, it is darn near impossible to "squeeze" the cue.

Effren and Corey Duel both have certain strokes where they completely "relax" their back hands just before impact. You can see their back hands go "slack" (it's the best way I can describe it) just before they hit the ball, and it never actually goes firm.

However, many of these players also have strokes where they do seem to intentially "squeeze" the cue just before impact.

With Corey it seems to happen with draw shots that require some force. You can see those fingers become "active" and he "triggers" the cue up into his palm at the last second. This might add a bit of "wrist" into the shot (to add a slight bit of speed), or it might cause the tip to dip down ever so slightly to get a lower hit on the ball.

Regardless of why they do it, I have observed that it is done.

So it would be interesting to plot the grip pressure versus stroke distance for a range of different types of shots and see just when they let the cue "ride" (Ie: no pressure) and when they give it a little "squeeze".

Tony

TonyM
06-11-2003, 05:30 PM
Here is another thing to think about.

Grip pressure can often be related to the amount of friction between your grip hand and the handle of your cue.

3C players often wrap their cues with a very grippy rubber sleeve. The friction is so high that you can hold the cue very lightly and yet still feel that you have complete control over the cue. Since speed control is one of the keys to 3C, a light grip might be good for fine speed control.

On the other hand a friend of mine installed a Suede wrap on one of his cues. He thought that it would "feel" nice. That it did.

But when I tried it I found a problem. The cue kept slipping in your hand when you stroked the cue back and forth! It was very disconcerting! To keep control of the cue you had to grip it very tightly!

This was definitely not a good thing imo!

So the lighter that you want to grip the cue, the more grip hand/handle friction that you need.

A linen wrap is on the low end of friction btw.

Plain urethane finish is pretty high friction, while rubber is the highest (well, pine tar might be even more, but really...).

Tony

Scott Lee
06-11-2003, 07:57 PM
IMO, it matters very little whether you hold the cue with two fingers, three fingers, or even the whole hand (which is how I grip the cuestick). The key is to NOT squeeze the cuestick on impact with the CB. The way I teach the grip, is to imagine the cue as 'weightless' while it is being 'thrown' through the CB. You only really need to hold onto the cue enough, so that it doesn't fly out of your grip hand. This is even quite true on the break! Most students that I see get a "death grip" on the cue, which transitions into a muscled swing, as opposed to a beautiful forward throwing motion (definition of a stroke), when they break...even if they grip the cue lightly when shooting most other shots. I pay special attention to the grip pressure when I am teaching someone. A tight grip will result in the swing originating from the shoulder, rather than from the elbow (the classic elbow drop). You can make every shot and get position with a "muscled" swing, but you cannot get the same ease of execution. You get much more action on the CB with the throwing motion!
The upper arm should be immobile during the stroke, with the forearm moving from the elbow down only! If your tip is not finishing on or near the cloth, you are 'dropping your elbow', and "pushing" or "punching" the cuestick through the CB. You can still make all the shots and get position this way, but imo, certainly not as easily, nor as accurately. Grip the cuestick lightly...ALL the time! Like Rod said, the better players try to make it flat line, rather than big spikes!

Scott Lee

06-11-2003, 07:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TonyM:</font><hr>A linen wrap is on the low end of friction btw.

Plain urethane finish is pretty high friction, while rubber is the highest (well, pine tar might be even more, but really...).<hr /></blockquote>I agree with this completely -- that's why I prefer no wrap or sprayed wraps to exposed linen. Because I do shoot with a loose grip, linen wraps tend to slide in my hand. I sometimes feel like I'm about to let loose of the cue, and it's an uncomfortable feeling.

Most folks look at me like I'm crazy when I say that I prefer no wrap or a sprayed wrap, as if for some reason a linen wrap is a must-have for a "real" cue. I actually do prefer the appearance of linen -- it provides a nice contrast between butt and forearm -- but for feel I certainly prefer no linen. For me, the perfect compromise is a sprayed wrap like the old Meucci's had, where there was just a hint of wrap texture through the wrap spray, so that you could "feel" you were on the wrap area even though you weren't touching linen. From what I hear now, most sprayed wraps (even on the new Meucci's) are solid urethane finishes with no texture peeking through at all.

Hence my quandry over whether the custom Jacoby I'm ordering will have a sprayed wrap or just linen... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

06-11-2003, 08:27 PM
Thanks for chiming in on that. At least it sounds like I'm not too far off track ... was wondering whether I should glue that stray finger down. Will let it be for now.

Rod
06-12-2003, 01:58 AM
[ QUOTE ]
So it would be interesting to plot the grip pressure versus stroke distance for a range of different types of shots and see just when they let the cue "ride" (Ie: no pressure) and when they give it a little "squeeze".

<hr /></blockquote>

Tony,
I think it would be very interesting. Granted even the pro's has their little quirks for c/b control. Sometimes it bites them too. I really think if people would pay more attention to this one factor it would improve their game more than any other aspect. After all if you can count on a good delivery the c/b reacts as expected. It's that little squeeze or for the average player a definate grip. To much time IMO for the average/above average player is spent in the wrong area. They need to Learn how to deliver a cue. When things go wrong it's blamed on squirt, swerve, throw, planet alignment etc. LOL Sure they all have there effect but a good stroke makes it consistant. Then if needed don't change the stroke just make the proper adjustments.

You have the cue equipment, I nomonate you to build a cue with sensors and beg borrow or buy the equipment for a read out. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Your a technical oriented guy and there might even be a demand. It sure would simplfy or should I say get the point across to a student in a hurry. A friend of mine uses the term, ride the cue. It's probably one of the best expressions for just letting the cue do the work with the hand just along for the ride.

BTW, although to bulky a blood pressure sleeve would show any change. That test with a putter had to of been over 10 years ago. Something must be out there.
Rod

bluewolf
06-12-2003, 07:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> IMO, it matters very little whether you hold the cue with two fingers, three fingers, or even the whole hand (which is how I grip the cuestick). The key is to NOT squeeze the cuestick on impact with the CB. The way I teach the grip, is to imagine the cue as 'weightless' while it is being 'thrown' through the CB. You only really need to hold onto the cue enough, so that it doesn't fly out of your grip hand. Scott Lee <hr /></blockquote>

I hope this is how I hold it. It is very light,4 fingers,but then I have to hold it very very light or I would nt be able to hit the cueball. It seems a little firmer on the follow, but not like a 'baseball grip'

Laura

tateuts
06-12-2003, 09:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> Can you hold a cuestick too lightly with your back hand, or is the less pressure you hold it with the better? <hr /></blockquote>

Last night I watched a very good local pro and specifically looked at his right hand grip. This guy is really fantastic, with a nice long smooth stroke. He had his thumb and forefinger completely encircling the handle, with no gap, and the other three fingers only on the cue on the foreward stroke, opening on the backstroke and closing on the forward stroke.

I guess it takes all types - but folks, don't try this at home!!!

Chris

TonyM
06-12-2003, 11:29 PM
You have described the exact grip used by most of the top snooker players!

It is described in detail on Frank Callan's website (sorry, too lazy to find the link :-)

Many of the top 9 ball pros now use this grip as well.

It has several advantages:

1) the primary weight of the cue is being supported by just the first finger and thumb encircling the butt. This creates a "pivot" that allows the hand to freely move at a natural angle with respect to the cue on the backswing and follow-through. This greatly minimizes the tendancy to lift the cue on the back swing and keeps the cue more level without the need for an elbow drop.

2) since the main part of the grip is just the first finger and thumb, grip "pressure" is not really a factor, since it is almost impossible to grip the cue too tightly this way and still get the correct pivoting motion.

3) It is easy to do this grip consistently.

You don't squeeze the cue on the follow through with this grip. You just let the back fingers "collapse" down onto the cue naturally.

Allison Fisher, Steve Davis, and many good pool players use this grip as you describe it.

Depending on how you look at it, some have called it a "tight grip" (if you look from the front and only see the cue pulled up into the web of the first finger) and some have called it a "loose grip" (if you look from the side and see the grip hand pivoting freely about the first finger with the other fingers "flying" on the backswing).


When I started playing snooker more frequently, I found that my natural grip (which had worked fine for 9 ball) just didn't seem to be consistent nor accurate enough. So I worked on adopting the grip that you described. It took me a few months to finally get used to it, but I think that the extra work was worth it in the long run.

I now use this grip for both games.

Tony

tateuts
06-13-2003, 12:08 AM
Tony,

I can see why they call it a tight grip. It looks like the thumb and forefinger snugly circle the handle. There is a really nice rythym to the opening and closing of his hand, like a metronome. It looks like a very solid, unobtrusive grip. What I like about the grip is that it naturally seems to keep the cue level and well under control - with no downward arc of the cue tip on the forward stroke.

Regards,

Chris

SPetty
06-13-2003, 07:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TonyM:</font><hr> It is described in detail on Frank Callan's website (sorry, too lazy to find the link :-)<hr /></blockquote>http://www.fcsnooker.co.uk/basics/the_grip/the_grip.htm

06-13-2003, 08:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> Can you hold a cuestick too lightly with your back hand, or is the less pressure you hold it with the better? <hr /></blockquote>

Hi Tom, I took a lesson from Fast Larry recently in Mass and he went into great detail on this subject. He holds the cue, does not grip the cue. He holds it with 4 fingers, but only his finger tips, not his fingers are on the cue. He had me grab the butt of his cue when he was playing several times and I could pull it free during his stroke. The cue was literally just laying on his finger tips. He said, you cannot hold the cue too light.

He also said Mosconi taught, soft &amp; a light hold is best, softer &amp; lighter is better. He favors no grip pressure for follows, but on his draws, he teaches you to grab the cue at impact.
Two entirely different methods. His draw method is totally different from what others teach, and it worked wonders for me. He said when he saw me first play, saw dust was hitting the floor coming out of my hand I was squeezing the cue to tight. He will not let you use the word grip, you must call it the hold. Once he got me letting it just lay in my hands, the action I began to get with the cue ball was phenomenal. He said this is the big secret why the Phillipino players are so great.
The Ice Mon

Fred Agnir
06-13-2003, 08:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote gna:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr>
Hi Tom, I took a lesson from Fast Larry recently in Mass <hr /></blockquote>Where?

Fred &lt;~~~ in Mass

06-13-2003, 09:30 AM
It was in Fitchburg, Mass
The Ice Mon

bluewolf
06-13-2003, 10:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote gna:</font><hr> Hi Tom, I took a lesson from Fast Larry recently in Mass and he went into great detail on this subject. He holds the cue, does not grip the cue. He holds it with 4 fingers, but only his finger tips, not his fingers are on the cue. <hr /></blockquote>

I have been holding my cue like that, I think with the cue just resting on my finger tips. Some people say that I hold it too loose. I do not really know. I think holding it a little firmer might help to not shake maybe but light seems better for finess. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

I think I should ask Scott.

Laura

Fred Agnir
06-13-2003, 10:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote gna:</font><hr> It was in Fitchburg, Mass
The Ice Mon <hr /></blockquote>At St. Joe's?

Fred &lt;~~~ must know The Ice Mon

TonyM
06-13-2003, 11:12 AM
Yes, the grip helps to keep the cue level, that's one of the definite pluses.

I think that more people should learn to grip the cue this way.

Tony
-grips like that...

bluewolf
06-13-2003, 03:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> In a sense yes. Sufficient grip pressure is needed to smoothly accelerate the cue at any given speed. There is not near enough time spent on what I consider the most important aspect of the game. Yes that's what I said, nothing even compares to importance as how the cue is held and accelerated. Show me a beginer with a smooth unhurried stroke and I'll make a player out of him/her in short order.

Ok back on track, what should be done is hold the cue with sufficent pressure for any given stroke, soft to firm. What's most important is not to increase that pressure through out the stroke. Yes that means as you come into the impact area it "does not" increase. If anything it can decrease. That lets the cue go through the c/b with a full uninhibited follow through. Once the cue has started the forward motion, from momentum, you actually need less pressure. From many of the posts I've read here they have it backwards! Play that way and it will always be an up hill/downhill battle.

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks Rod! This helps me a lot.

laura

snook
06-13-2003, 04:46 PM
i hold a cue pretty lightly, and here as of late, i find myself unkowingly doing the slip stroke, i dont like it thought, i think its because im slipping TOO much, and losing my straight guidance along the way, im not fond of it, and am trying to correct it.