Got a quick question for you about the application of english, and whether or not it causes the object ball to push in the other direction. When putting left or right english on the cue ball, will the object ball push in the opposite direction momentarily upon striking the object ball? Do I have the concept of english and push all mixed up?
I liked playing billiards before, but now that I've sort of "discovered" the next level through the use of spin, its become a whole new beast! Lots of fun though.
- quickshot on 10/25/2008 3:48:11 PM
You have a lot of quick questions, I hate to see what your slow ones are. As far as english goes, I can only recommend
one approach to your answer. Do your homework on the subject, and I say this for a reason. You may get some simple answers to your question, and they will do nothing but confuse you. I can say yes, left is right and right is left, and where do you go from there. When you start using spin and english be prepared to have your skill level drop at least two notches. And it will drive you nuts trying to figure out why you are missing shots you are comfortable making.
Go to your library and see if they have a couple of dvds on pool and billiards. If they do view them. One I would recommend is Bob Henning's Pro book dvd. It comes in four parts and he is very good at explaining the process. You may also want to start right here on this forum. There is a wealth of info to be found on the subject.
I hope I am not upsetting with this post. I would love to see you get your level up, but I want to see you do it the right way. If not, you will be wasting your time.
Good luck with it.
- jana on 10/25/2008 4:38:19 PM
Thanks for the detailed reply. (and for not just deflecting my question with a one-sentence answer)
I've been looking online, and really, I find most of the explanations convoluted and wordy. I think my problem is that i just need to spend some more time at the table. Thanks again, and I'll try not to use the word "quick" anymore.
- quickshot on 10/25/2008 5:21:19 PM
That was a real "quick" reply. I agree with you that much of the stuff is wordy and sometimes over bearing. But do try to get some tapes as I suggested. You can spend all the time in the world on the table, I hope practicing, but if you are doing the right thing wrong it is a self defeating.
The detailed reply, and this is the sum of my own experience, is that I have been where you are and I know how difficult it can be. Fortunately, after a year I have made good progress to the point where I invested $175 in an OB1 shaft which I like very much.
There is no substitute for knowledge and practice. Practice, practice, practice. Good luck.
- billiardsforum on 10/25/2008 9:14:13 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Quick!
I'm going to try watching some classic videos then heading to the pool hall. I find that I get pretty amped up after watching what some players are capable of.
Do you think players are naturally born with their skills (I hope not) or are their skills a product of practice?
I mean, Ronnie O'Sullivan is a snooker king (which means he could beat us at billiards too...) so do you think he is a "naturally skilled player, or did he just figure out the practice secret?
- quickshot on 10/26/2008 6:09:21 PM
A naturally skilled person is someone who, at a young age, found something that he/she really liked to do and had the time, intelligence, perseverance, tenacity, encouragement and the interest to pursue that dream over a life time. Which means they devoted their very existence to the dream. They reached out for something that struck a cord in their young minds.
@billiardsforum, there is a an article in the September issue of InsidePool magazine by Bob Henning that answers the very question of skills. It is an interesting piece that answers your very question. It's called "Inside The Master's Mind."
As for O'Sullivan, he may be a naturally skilled player, but only after a lot of practice that honed the skill he developed over time. There is no practice secret, one either does it or doesn't. The rewards are reaped from doing it and doing it right. It is the path to perfection. A good example of that is Tiger Woods. His father started honing Tiger's skills when he was 4 years.
- billiardsforum on 10/27/2008 5:45:36 PM
Thanks for the article, it was really good, and kind of encouraging. It also backs up another idea that I've believed in for a long time, and that is the idea that in order to progress above your current level, you need to play against those who are playing at a level higher than yours. (This is true, I believe, in all aspects of life, including one's career. - hence the whole mentor thing.)
- quickshot on 10/27/2008 8:47:01 PM
I agree. The bottom line is, if the mentoree is not doing the prescribed assignments to the best of his/her ability both the mentor and the mentoree is wasting both their time. And your are right about the higher levels. I played against someone who is a lower level then me. She beat me 2-1. Go figure. Anyway, life is all about choices. One can choose to go up the ladder or lean on it.
- Mitch Alsup on 10/30/2008 10:46:09 AM
During the moment of contact, the cue ball can transmit english, follow, and draw to the object ball--always in the opposite direction as the cue ball is rotating. In addition there is the concept of cling, where the cue ball pushes the object ball off line during the moment of contact (as both balls slide down the table together), and after separation the object ball heads in the direction indicated by th contact point--but is no longer pointing towards the indtended direction. One can compensate for cling by applying outside english. This is one reason you have to over cut thin shots.
Depending upon the cleanliness of the ball surfaces more or less of these forces are transfered. A dirty set of bar room balls will display more of the cling effects and slightly-less of the throw effects. I often wait for a patron to get used to the table, then clean the balls (simply wipe them down wiht a slightly damp rag) and play him. This complete throws off his game by changing the effective speed of the table and rails.
The speed of contact also influences the amount of throw. With the proper speed (medium slow), one can throw an object ball one whole diamond off line over the distance of the table. This is just slightly less than the amount one can throw an object ball frozen to a cue ball (or other object ball). One can even get a cue ball to follow the object ball after a shallow cut (where it would normally head in the opposite direction).
One can get the object ball to curve by causing the cue ball to have draw and english at the moment of contact. The amount of curve is often just enough to move an object around an obstructing ball that blocks the path by a hair.
If you want to understand these phenomona at the physics level, look here:
- quickshot on 10/30/2008 11:36:11 AM
This a good analysis of the use of english. You forgot one thing though. If the reader(s) are going to play around with this stuff he/she should be prepared to see their regular game go south while experimenting with its use. Shame on you for that wet rag move. I'll have to remember it.
- Ross on 11/9/2008 3:03:07 PM
Mitch's post (which is believe is from David G. Alciatore's faculty billiard site) is exactly the perfect response. read it, study it, practice it.
I hit up a few other help sites, and found the following also...
...yes it is called "squirt" because you are shooting off-center and the ball will go off in the opposite direction. Also, if your cue stick is elevated, you will produce a nice curve.
- jana on 11/9/2008 3:07:29 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone...I had a chance to play a little today casually, and worked on this a little.
Thanks again, and happy Sunday to you too Ross.