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Cue Arm Tucked In, Not Perpendicular


Cue Arm Tucked In, Not Perpendicular

I have been playing pool for 3-4 years and i would like to believe i am a capable player already but i can not seem to solve the same problem which has been haunting me forever. My cue arm is always tucked in towards the body at an angle and even with trying different stances and positions, it always goes in by 5* or more. Sometimes as bad as 35-40* even and at that times even i notice it.

I have tried asking almost every professional pool player who trains in the club for help and tips and none of them have been able to help. I have tried many different techniques but none of them work.

I currently line up the shot visually, place the right foot on the line, take a step forward with the left and go down to take the shot and make sure that the line is correct and that cue is not swaying. But i still seem to apply top-right spin 1/3 of the times.

Does anyone have any ideas on how i could try to fix this? This is the last capital flaw i have in my game which is holding me back.

Cue Arm Tucked In, Not Perpendicular

Replies & Comments

  1. KadjungaFenwick on 4/19/2012 6:17:51 PM

    It's a alignment problem.

    Try bringing your right foot in 1/4, 1/2, 3/4's of a step. If it does not work try bringing your left foot out a little at a time.

    I learned this at the range, pistol shooting. It transfers over quite nicely.

  2. KadjungaKadjunga on 4/21/2012 6:02:31 PM

    Thank you for the help Fenwick!

    The small change in alignment made making shots with an angle of less than 30* very easy but anything with a more acute angle is very tricky still due to the arm being still "a bit in".

    The change i made was:

    After sighting the line, putting the r.foot on the line and stepping forward with the left foot i take an extra step back with the r.foot to align the shot. This however, causes quite a lot of torque which makes playing for a long period of time a bit uncomfortable.

  3. KadjungaFenwick on 4/23/2012 3:54:05 AM

    A whole step seems like a lot. I'm looking at your elbow. It's high and you could be holding your cue too far forward. Looks can be deceiving.

    Your using muscles you haven't used before. Your also doing a two step. It should be just moving your left foot forward IMHO.

    Your problem could also be eye dominance. I was taught when cutting left use your left eye. Cutting right use your right. I'm not a Instructor BTW. I'm left eye dominate but right handed.

    Before you fiddle around with your whole game we're not all Tiger Woods. Meaning we're not all by the book perfect form. I played someone with really bad form a few weeks ago and he whooped me really bad. I held back thinking it's going to be easy and he just left me high and dry. :-0 A golf instructor said he works with what his student have. He's not going to tear them down and rebuild them to look like Tiger. Only one Tiger. Again I'm not a instructor.

    Real simple drill. Get up to the table and lag balls adjusting your stance. I striped ball works the best. Line the stripe straight forward and look for a straight roll. You can see the spin. If the cue ball comes straight back to the tip of your cue your lined up. If not adjust.

    "But i still seem to apply top-right spin 1/3 of the times." - I do the same thing. I just move my right foot forward just a little bit. You're not me and I'm not you.

    Nice that you got back to us here. I knew you would.

  4. KadjungaKadjunga on 4/23/2012 2:46:54 PM

    Thats true actually, ever since i started on trying to learn the basics correctly i have dropped a lot in the rankings. However, the end justifies the means because on the few days when i have tried something new and got the arm perpendicular then even bank shots, jump shots and long distance pots are doable (and sometimes, even easy). It does not last for more than one night or two at the best and i seem to resort back to the old habits i have drilled in from the start.

    I seriously believe that i should relearn the basics and get it right because of the massive boosts i have seen on the few nights when it is correct. If i don't and just play as i always do, then i will inadvertently add top-right side spin and that will throw off the ball from the course + screw up any jump/bank/long shots.

    As for the eye dominance, i tried that one out and changed it during the summer. It made matters a lot worse and retrained it to the old preference (slightly to the left). I have also gotten rid of a lot of other significant mistakes, this seems to be the last one i can not conquer on my own.

    I'l give the lag drill another go the next time i'm going there but... i am starting to lose faith and motivation in the game. It has been my passion for 8 years now (active, competitive play for 3-4 years) but... this is so frustrating that it makes me want to hang up the cue for good...

  5. KadjungaFenwick on 4/24/2012 6:54:15 AM

    I read what you said and heard you loud and clear. I did a complete tear down in 2007. Here's the man you need to see. He spent a lot of time with me. Over the allotted time. If your committed and I think you are it's worth every penny. He did not ask for it but I paid him another $100 more then asking price.

    Scott Lee www.poolknowledge.com

    Tell him Ken, AKA Fenwick referred you.

  6. KadjungaKadjunga on 4/29/2012 4:17:17 AM

    Thanks for the advice however i am not from the states so that option is not possible. There are a few instructors in our country but everyone who i have asked told me to stay far away from them. So, the only option is to hope to find information about some kind of boot camp in europe in the summer.

    However, after last nights attempts of playing i found out that my stance and alignment is correct however the problem comes from when i am going down to take the shot. If i stay up half-way so that my chin is not touching the cue, the arm is perpendicular but when i go down the whole way, it twists in.

    The extra step back forces my body to contort in a way that when i go down, i HAVE to force the body to twist and that causes discomfort.

  7. KadjungaFenwick on 4/29/2012 5:57:41 AM

    Try a a snooker stance. It works for Karen Corr and A Fisher.

    When I changed I used a mirror and video to check that my arm was perpendicular.

  8. KadjungaKadjunga on 4/29/2012 6:13:56 AM

    might give it a shot, but the classical stance has developed naturally over time as i found out. Will try it for sure tonight.

    Its not odd, there are no good instructors in estonia and only one person was suggested but he lives in another town. One teaches how to aim via imagining a line from the cushion back to your target and another one suggests when trying to draw a ball to aim at the center and during the stroke lower the cue. That sounds ludicrous. Also, talked with a few of the real professionals (who are on the euro circuit) and all of them suggested to look abroad for an instructor and to stay away from the ones we have.

    could you elaborate a bit more on the "stay up tap a bit"? Or you meant stay up a tad bit?

  9. KadjungaFenwick on 4/29/2012 7:55:44 AM

    could you elaborate a bit more on the "stay up tap a bit"? Or you meant stay up a tad bit?

    Grammatical error. ;-0 Sure. I'm low but not touching my chin. A lot of great players stand more upright.

    " Its not odd, there are no good instructors in estonia and only one person was suggested but he lives in another town. One teaches how to aim via imagining a line from the cushion back to your target and another one suggests when trying to draw a ball to aim at the center and during the stroke lower the cue. That sounds ludicrous."

    It is quite ludicrous. Wast of monies. For draw you cue up below the equator and follow through. Aiming, what ever works but I aim edge to edge. When using center ball it's simple. As soon as you add english it becomes complicated.

  10. KadjungaMitch Alsup on 4/29/2012 12:07:13 PM

    What I see from the picture, is that you have excess tension in the shoulder and elbow. Get rid of this tension and the elbow has no option but to surender to the force of gravity. That is, one doe NOT hold the cue directly under the elbos, one allows the hand under the elbow to achieve its position by gravity.

    I suspect that you also have excess tension in your hand.

    Now, assuming you release the tension and the grip hand is directly under the shoulder, you will find that your head is no longer in the correct position, and your body is also no longer in the correct position. In this case, I suggest rotating your body 1 hour clockwise (seen from above). This will give you more extension at the bridge hand, and also rotate the shooting shoulder backwards so the cue stick will align with the head/eyes.

    Also note, for shots requiring little energy/speed, the cue will hold itself to your hand with no finger pressure gripping it. Just cup two fingers under the cue and let it rest in your hand. Loose is the key, here, and will allow your hand to develop the forward snap the leads to good english down the road a bit.

  11. KadjungaKadjunga on 4/29/2012 3:45:39 PM

    Thanks for the tip about the tension, will try it the next time i am there.

    However, i am seriously losing my willpower to keep playing the game. This flaw is drawing me crazy and i can not seem to ever find what on earth i am doing wrong. Every solution is temporary and never works the following day. I could not even pot simple shots tonight... And before i went on this crusade to fix my flaws i had nearly inch perfect position play... but it was never 100% consistent... sigh...

  12. KadjungaFenwick on 4/30/2012 5:00:19 AM

    Thanks for the tip about the tension, will try it the next time i am there.

    Mitch has a good eye.

    However, i am seriously losing my willpower to keep playing the game.

    If it was easy would you play?

    This flaw is drawing me crazy and i can not seem to ever find what on earth i am doing wrong. Every solution is temporary and never works the following day. I could not even pot simple shots tonight...

    You're thinking in the shooting position. Do your thinking standing up. Stop thinking when you go into the shooting position. It's hard. I still catch myself. Also don't practice when playing and vice versa. I go and practice before a match. When the match starts I'm in the game.

    And before i went on this crusade to fix my flaws i had nearly inch perfect position play... but it was never 100% consistent... sigh...

    Your not alone.

  13. KadjungaKadjunga on 4/30/2012 1:03:10 PM

    Hmmm, possibly. Tho the only things i do when i get down is check if the line is correct and if the arm is swaying or not. On any negative feedback i back out and redo the whole process. But the more i think and try to get the body/stance correct, the worse it gets.

  14. KadjungaMitch Alsup on 5/1/2012 2:14:43 PM

    Almost any major change in a persons stroke can do all sorts of strange things to their game, for a while. You have develop a series of compensations that adjust your game to the "chicken wing" arm position and learned how to make it work. Once you straighten out the "chicken wing" you basically have to unlearn all those compensations. With this in mind, I suggest a few drills:

    1. place CB at headspot, and stroke the CB towards the center diamond on the end rail with no side spin, follow through at least 2 inches beyond where CB started. Practice this until the CB comes back and lands on the still extended cue tip. Once you get the hang of this with center ball hits, try follow and draw until you get the CB to reliably come back to the cue tip.
    2. Place an OB at center spot, place CB at head spot, aim CB such that OB will hit the center diamond on the end rail. In this exercise (which is moderately difficult) you want the OB to return from the end rail and hit the CB. Practice this until you get over 70% success.
    3. Place OB and CB and aim as in B. For this exercise (which is very difficult) you want the CB to hit OB which then rolls up table to end rail then returns from end rail hits CB and then CB returns to make contact with your still extended cue tip. If you can do this 30% of the time, you have a very excellent stroke.

    So spend 30 minutes a day concentrating on getting rid of the chicken wing and practicing these drills. Then forget entirely about your body position (entirely) and play an hour and a half just trying to pot balls without giving any thought to body position, arm position, follow through or english. Just play to have fun. Over a couple of weeks, the chicken wing will disappear, your game will improve, and your enjoyment will return.

    Repeating: 30 minutes of the chicken wing accuracy drills, then 90 minutes of just having fun.

  15. KadjungaKadjunga on 5/8/2012 2:17:22 PM

    Hello,

    thanks a lot for the tips and advice, i have not managed to solve this problem completely and will try to seek out a instructor somewhere abroad or try to find one in person. It is a bit too complex to figure out on your own. Maybe with a video analysis but... dont think so.

    Also, thanks to the tip from fenwick with the foot placement my jumpshot accuracy has gone up from 5% to 85%. One of the few instances where the arm is actually perpendicular.

    Aaanndd... it is not so vital to play as well since just tonight, after being away for so long from the tournaments, i managed to reach the 2. place and losing with just a single frame. So the problem is not so drastic as i thought before.

    Thanks again for the help,

    Kadjunga

  16. KadjungaMitch Alsup on 6/3/2012 11:56:10 AM

    Let us try a 15-minute exercise. For 15 minutes, and only 15 minutes; repeatedly, place the CB at headspot and stroke the CB down table to the center diamond and have the CB bounce back and land on the tip of your still extended cue. When you can do this, you:

    1. have a straight stroke
    2. are not imparting unwanted sidespin
    3. have reasonable speed control

    When you get to the point where you are doing 80% of better on the above exercise. Migrate towards the really hard one. Here, you place the CB at headspot, place an OB at center spot, stroke the CB into OB such that the OB runs down table to the center diamond, bounces back and hits the CB. To get this one right, you will have already figured out what a good stroke is. For extra credit, try making the CB come back and touch the still extended tip of your cue.

    I can do 95%+ on the top drill, 75% on the middle drill, and 30%-odd on the last drill. Its really hard, but if you get it, your stroke WILL have cured itself.

    Don't spend more than 15 minutes a session on this drill. Afterwards just play/practice as you wish. For FUN.

    Also note: many players get into competitive situations and have their games go down hill, Much of the time it is simple head problems (as explained in "The inner game of Tennis"). Give it time, adjust to the pressure of the situation, and finally get to the point where you relish the competition; you will find our game has come back to you.

  17. KadjungaBilliardsBill on 6/3/2012 12:31:30 PM

    From an aiming system that works: Step back a couple of feet from the table before you get down to shoot. With your eyes, line up the cue ball to the object ball and the line that needs to be followed will become clear as will the spot on the object ball which the cue ball needs to strike in order for the object ball to go in. Now line up the middle of your chin to that line which needs to be followed for the cue ball to strike the object ball just right so that it will go in the pocket. Now you are ready to step to the table. As you do, keep your chin lined up with the line you need for the cue ball to follow. Now take a few practice strokes to make sure your stroke is on that same line. Now pause just briefly and when you feel that everything is lined up, shoot. After using this method for a short time, it will become automatic before you line up every shot and in a short amount of time you will notice much greater accuracy and more balls going in!

  18. KadjungaKadjunga on 10/16/2012 11:30:13 PM

    Thanks again for the help from everyone. Forgot to post an update earlier.

    In the end, what worked was just relaxing and stop thinking about it. I adapted a stance with more space between the legs and the problem went away. A friend only later told me that i had changed the stance to something new and that when i start to play, my legs are a lot closer together. It works tho, and been tearing away in competitions since then. Might turn pro now and join the eurotour even.

    Also, the 'trick' of taking a step back once you are in position worked wonders for the jump shot accuracy. The line is almost always correct now with very little induced throw-off spin. All the advice here was golden, if anyone else has a similar problem.

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Cue Arm Tucked In, Not Perpendicular

  • Title: Cue Arm Tucked In, Not Perpendicular
  • Author: (Urmas Mihkelsoo)
  • Published: 4/19/2012 2:04:20 PM