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How To Make A Dart Jump Stroke - And Other Tips

Help To Get The Cue Ball High Into The Sky

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dart jump stroke,dart jump strokes

Jump, everybody, jump!

Photo (c) Matt Sherman, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Help today with jump shots, those lovely little things that can get the cue ball out of trouble, or else deepen your woes. Tips follow that are applicable to regular jump shots and dart jump strokes also:

*Hit the cue ball hard to execute a full jump shot like an expert.

*A forceful follow stroke will make a cue ball jump into the air whether you want it to or not. Be warned and aware that topspin on a break stroke often causes the cue ball to leave the table after it contacts a cushion.

*Despite giving the ball a hard strike, shoot with a stroke arm allowing the cue stick to slip out of the way after impact so you don't trap the ball on the table as it begins to take off.

*Fine pool cloth like Simonis, makes it more difficult to jump a cue ball. A thicker cloth will provide a better cushion for the ball instead.

* To jump one full ball from only one ball's distance away you'll need to elevate to 85 degrees or so.

*Newton's Third Law taken for billiards states that when an object exerts a force on a second object, the second object pushes back with equal force back on the first object. This will help you to play better jump shots if you remember you are trying to force the cue ball down into the table bed to jump it into the air rather than scoop up or snatch at the ball. Hit downward on the ball and it will jump away and into the sky!

* To jump with draw, try aiming just off the top of the ball at a 35-degree angle. For more forceful draw, change to a 45- or even a 50-degree angle. Most players say they are at 45 when they are far closer to 30 and will need to get onto their tiptoes to make enough angle to jump with draw. Stand on your toes mostly with the foot matching your stroke arm (left foot for lefty shooters and vice versa).

*I like what The Drill Instructor teaches about the need to own a jump cue stick. He says, "Are jump cues unneeded tools when your cue ball is caught in a trap? Are sand wedges extra for golfers caught in sand traps?"

*The cue ball will jump at a near equal angle to the stroke. Elevate your cue stick for sharper jumps or lower it for lower jump shots.

*And on those low shots where height is not of paramount concerns, try this move. When you connect your cue tip with the cue ball's surface, aim a tiny bit below center and press down on the cue stick toward the billiard table with your stroke hand. When you throw it down, it should jump to at least the level of the height of the tip of your cue. Press on that ball as you hit it/through the hit/through the cue ball.

*There are two basic ways to stroke a jump shot. 1) Mimic a pendulum or pendulum-like motion, much like a normal shot taken from a level place in the regular stance. 2) Use a dart stroke for shots taken at 45 degrees or greater. Grip your cue as you would a dart, elbow below the stroke hand and cue stick with the thumb and two fingers cradling the cue up high.

The dart grip yields elevation of your cue for high jump shots. Grip and "throw" the cue like a dart thrown to a dart board. Stand erect and sidesaddle to the table. Use an open, elevated bridge hand or in some cases, a mechanical bridge.

Spread your bridge fingers and place a little weight on them. It helps to elevate the back of your bridge hand. Your stroke hand will be near your face close to your jaw or mouth.

As mentioned above, this will be a strong stroke taken with a loose grip. Contrary to what you may think, the lighter the grip, the better.

Strike the cue ball slightly below center or you may get unwanted sidespin somewhere in the shot. Nor do you want to scoop the cue ball low for an illegal stroke or hit too high and trap the ball against the slate bed, ruining the shot.

Keep your eyes on the cue ball through the stroke. Focus on hitting dead center or just slightly below the center. By center, I mean the center line facing the player and running through the absolute center of the cue ball (the peach pit of the peach, not center ball taken on the outside of the cue ball).

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