The Straight Factor
Allow me to explain in detail some of what it takes to make a ramrod straight, repeatable billiards stroke. Most pool shots require a straight-through movement with the cue stick.
The factors that kill the beginners pool stroke, and also those of millions of strong intermediate players who have played billiards for ten years or more, include all types of muscle tension, adding leverage to the shot, and manipulating the cue stick rather than releasing it into the stroke.
One of the Newtonian laws of motion says--Im paraphrasing--Objects set in motion tend to move forever unless a force diverts the motion. Lets restate that as Shermans First Law of Cue Stick Motion:
Shermans 1st Law: Any cue stick you send forward can only be hampered mid-stroke by hands or body so let go and let fly.
To demonstrate, I take a cue stick and shoot an object ball straight to a pocket, letting go of the cue stick completely during the final stroke. The entire stick from its tip down follows the ball to the pocket. A noisy and spectacular demonstration... and no, I do not use one of my thousand-dollar sticks!
The golf teaching pro often takes a similar tack, instructing a student to release their club in their follow-through, the goal being to hurl the club many yards down the driving range. (At least, with my demonstration, no one has been knocked into a coma, nor could they be, unless their head was hunched over the corner pocket.)
And thus is the point (pun intended) of my Live and Let Fly cue stick move. When you let go of the stick going forward, nothing can hinder the tremendous momentum youve built for the tip to work its way straight ahead.
How might Frank Sinatra have put it?
Fly your cue to the moon, and let it play, among the stars...
Let it see what Spring is like on Jupiter and Mars...
In other words, straight and true,
In other words, dont be a fool...
Twisting the bridge hand, tightening the stroke hand or moving the body during the shot will yank the pool cue sideways. Your goal for most strokes is straight forward... straight ahead... down the shot line... hand moving straight back and through as if you are walking down a sidewalk.
If you are smart, you will do as little as possible in your pool game with either hand to hamper the silken, flowing movement of the cue--straight back and forth.
One of the ironies of a great player's pool game is they do less than others to produce a great stroke, since the attempt to manipulate a straight stroke often makes a crooked one!
Loosen the shooting hand through the stroke and allow the cue to come back and through without squeezing it tightly and forcing a laser-straight stroke.