Pool Stroke Fixers
Surely you've heard pool and rifle shooting compared? With guns you may learn to stroke the trigger correctly first, without aiming at any target. In billiards, however, stroke usually requires ongoing maintenance. This article's tips and exercises will help your billiards stroke.
How does the pro stroke feel? It feels fluid, as power, spin and accuracy come from a super-light stick class. Grip just beyond dropping the cue stick as I demonstrate in photos.
How does a pro stroke look? Even speedsters like "Machine Gun" Lou Butera and unorthodox strokers like Keith "Earthquake" McCready aka "Keither with the Ether" can be seen to be smooth, silky, flowing, graceful, and gentle. It helps to observe a pro's stance and stroke in follow through, instead of watching the balls in motion.
Use my pure pendulum drill to reset your stroke grace and timing. Shoot Diagram 1 with a center ball medium stroke. A beginner shoots the 1-ball (intermediates shoot the 2-ball) five times or more to Pocket A. Strong players cut the three to B instead. Stroke your pendulum with a forearm hanging straight down from the elbow.
A pendulum bob consumes the same time stroking through different arc lengths. You want a likewise equal rhythm, no matter the length of stroke, so don't pause on the backstroke for this exercise but trust a one-two motion. Keep your shooting hand passive and don't lunge or jab at the cue ball. Think "my lower arm moves, then the ball sinks."
It's hard to determine whether stroke or aim is off if your hand moves a lot on the stroke. A pure pendulum helps, therefore, to explore and correct aim when needed. But don't overdo it! I warn readers about the intoxicating dangers of trying to perfect a pendulum billiards stroke.
**Next page: Sharpen Feel The Simple Way**