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View Full Version : Is it worth changing now? Ever?



TheDragon
07-13-2003, 10:32 PM
A few days ago while finishing up a great steak at Outback Steak House, my Dad pointed out to me that I had a flaw in my stroke. While my stroke is not pokey, he warned me of my short backstroke that costs me on power shots. I may not play wonderful with it, but thats the stroke I've shot with for years and I seem to get by and continue to improve with it. I was playing pretty good pool for a few weeks, but after taking my dads advice of lengthening and smoothing out my stroke, my game has really fallen into the pits. It seems that my power shots are better now than they used to be, but every other part of my game has just plumited. Now normally I would put in the practice and live through the hard times knowing that in the long run it would help my game, but right now is a little different. I'm playing in the BCA Junior Nationals in just over 2 weeks, and I'm afraid my game may not be fully back to par by then. Right now I'm split between taking my dads advice and making an optimistically frantic attempt to improve a bad stroke, and my realistic side who keeps telling me I won't be able to change in time. What do you think?

-TheDragon

marek
07-14-2003, 05:08 AM
Hi Dragon!
Here is my opinion: your dad is really right about the stroke but DEFINITELLY at the wrong time. It is definitelly wrong time to experiment with your technique when you have only two weeks to your nationals...I can tell from my experince that any major change in technique takes approximatelly 30 days to fully incorporate into your playing style. I think you should focus on gaining confidence into your old technique until the nationals and THEN start working on the new technique.
just my opinion...

BillPorter
07-14-2003, 05:26 AM
Dragon, I agree with marek. At this point, confidence is more important that technique. Your old stroke has been working for you and you know what you can and cannot do with it. Two weeks before a tournament is no time to start experimenting with a new stroke. Your dad probably meant well, but his timing was off. Just my opinion.

L.S. Dennis
07-14-2003, 08:00 AM
Dragon, if you're playing well and continue to improve with the stroke you're comfortable with, I would not change a thing. Remember the old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it!"

It you have any doubt about never becoming a really good player with the type of stroke you have, check out Buddy Hall's game some time. Accustats has lots of his tapes!

bolo
07-14-2003, 08:09 AM
Why do you have to do it on every shot. Just do it when it is needed.

Rich R.
07-14-2003, 08:11 AM
Dragon, I agree with others. Although your dad may be right, in the long run, the timing is very poor. I also wonder why he hasn't noticed this before?
Wait until after the nationals, then, if you choose to, work on it.

You may also want to check out the backstroke (if one exists) of Allen Hopkins. The short backstroke hasn't seemed to hurt him. However, your dad is telling you the proper way to shoot pool.

tateuts
07-14-2003, 11:08 AM
Your dad is probably right in the long run, although I've seen successful players with all kinds of different strokes.

The problem I see with anyone focusing on mechanics is that they tend to think about them in the actual playing situation, which is the worst thing you can do. It's hard to focus on the task at hand when you have these distracting thoughts. The muscles need to work automatically. You can straightjacket your muscles just thinking about mechanics.

The second problem is when you lengthen your stroke, on shots that require a lighter touch, there is a tendancy to de-celerate on the forward stroke. So, like you say, the power shots are better but the normal shots are weak.

My suggestion is, forget your stroke entirely for now and focus on the task of running balls, playing safe, and making shots. You can work on your stroke when you have a few months without competition.

Chris

Fred Agnir
07-15-2003, 06:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TheDragon:</font><hr> Now normally I would put in the practice and live through the hard times knowing that in the long run it would help my game, but right now is a little different. I'm playing in the BCA Junior Nationals in just over 2 weeks, and I'm afraid my game may not be fully back to par by then. <hr /></blockquote>If this is the one tournament that defines your pool game for this year, then I'd say not to make changes. However, if this is just one tournament, with another soon to follow, and another behind that, maybe now's as good a time as any to work on the improved fundamentals.

Good luck, D.

Fred

Fred Agnir
07-15-2003, 06:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> I also wonder why he hasn't noticed this before?<hr /></blockquote>I'm sure he did. Chris has always had the pool-playing-father scrutiny on Drayton's game.

Fred

Rich R.
07-15-2003, 08:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr>I'm sure he did. Chris has always had the pool-playing-father scrutiny on Drayton's game.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>
I know Chris has always watched Drayton's progress. But from Drayton's post, I got the feeling that this issue just came up. I could be very wrong.
Just seems like poor timing to me, but I guess that is what dads are for. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran Crimi
07-15-2003, 08:46 AM
Drayton, I think you're a great kid and I'll still think you're a great kid when I'm done here, but you deserve a scolding for this so I'm going to give it to you.

First, I've seen and heard you complain about your dad telling you stuff before. You don't give him enough credit. While you're out there doing your thing, shooting pool your way, your dad is out there studying the best players in the world. He's not going to tell you anything that he thinks will hurt your game and he certainly wouldn't tell you something he thought you couldn't do before the Nationals. You've only been working on it a few days and you're already questioning whether you will be able to do it in two weeks. You hardly gave it a chance. Two weeks is plenty of time.

Trust your father and concentrate on smoothing out your stroke. If only you could have the belief in yourself that your dad has in you. That would be a great thing.

I don't mean to take anything away from the other's responses, because I think they're valid too, but I don't know if they know you and your father the way I do.

Trust your dad, Drayton, and have fun in the Junior Nationals.

Fran

BillPorter
07-15-2003, 09:18 AM
Fran, my advice was given without personal knowledge of the people involved. Since you know them well, I'll have to agree with your analysis.

I've been working on correcting a shortened final backstroke for about 30 years. Guess I won't fix the problem before the Junior Nationals! :&gt;)

Rod
07-15-2003, 11:10 AM
Drayton,
It's getting a little late but let me add my 2 bits. Anytime you can smooth out your stroke it moves you a step closer to the head of the class. Yep, the timing may not have been perfect but thats the way it goes sometimes.

My suggestion is not to lengthen your stroke at the moment just for the sake of having a longer stroke. When you need a longer stroke (more power-less effort) just lengthen your bridge and back hand position to 90 degrees. You do the same with a short bridge and move you back hand forward. That is standard practice for some of the best players on the planet.

I the long run if your stroke, bridge length etc is a little short, just an inch or more can make a big difference. Be careful of getting to long.

You never mentioned how long your bridge is so it is difficult to comment without seeing it first hand. You dad obviously knows or he wouldn't have mentioned it.

I know this may not go far, but you do have a lot of tournaments left in you. LOL Life still goes on no matter if you play well or have problems. There is always problems, that is just part of the journey and learning how to overcome the obstacles. Good luck


Rod

Fran Crimi
07-15-2003, 05:08 PM
Thanks Bill. I appreciate that. Drayton has a tendency to worry when he's unsure about something. (Don't we all...LOL.) Sometimes I think you just have to put the blinders on and press on, and accept that the outcome isn't going to be clear until you're there. Not easy to do, that blind trust thing.

So you've only been working on it for 30 years? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Heck. When you get to 40 years, you should probably start worrying.

Fran

pooltchr
07-16-2003, 05:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>

Heck. When you get to 40 years, you should probably start worrying.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Over 40 years playing and still trying to learn this darn game. Should I start worrying yet? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran Crimi
07-16-2003, 08:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>

Heck. When you get to 40 years, you should probably start worrying.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Over 40 years playing and still trying to learn this darn game. Should I start worrying yet? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Haha! No, I think you're normal, as long as you're making different mistakes and not the same one over and over for 40 years.

Fran ~~ finding new mistakes to make every day.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif