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Bridges

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One of the great things about pool is that it is such a precision game.  What that means is that paying attention to little details make big differences when you play.

I want to look at bridges in this article.  Now all of you will say I don’t need this, I know how to make a bridge, and I won’t argue with you.  I will though ask that you look a little closer at your bridge.  You may find some small tweaks that will help you play better.

To help you get the gist of this, I took some lessons from Earl Strickland.  Believe it or not, the first thing we worked on in great detail was the bridge!!!  Likewise, John Brumbeck recently posted a note on AZBilliards highlighting the importance of the grip.  If these two top professionals think the bridge is important, I think we can look at it as well.

So the first thing to pay attention to in your bridge is how steady is it?  Does your bridge move or do your fingers open up when you stroke the cue ball. Any slight movement in your bridge will spell disaster for most shots.  You can test yourself by putting  a quarter on the top of your index finger and shoot a medium hard shot.  Does the quarter stay put, or does it fall off?  If it falls off, you need to work on your bridge.

Next is firmness.  Now we don’t want to constrict the cue stick with a choke bridge, but we want to make sure that our bridge is firm around the shaft and doesn’t allow any wiggle.  A firm bridge helps you hit the cue ball precisely where you are aiming, and that is important in pocketing.  One way to guarantee this firmness is to rotate your bridge (assuming you are a right hander) to the left.  This points your fingers more down the shot line and uses the web of your bridge hand to act as a guide for the cue stick.

We also want to make sure that the palm of our hand is firmly on the table.  Having your palm off the table causes movement in your bridge hand.  This causes inaccuracies in hitting the cue ball and you know what that causes!

Let’s do an experiment.  What I want you to do is shoot this shot 10 times every day for a week with your normal bridge.  They shoot it 10 times with a solid, firm bridge that doesn’t move.  At the end of a week you will have shot a hundred shots.  If you keep track of your results, my guess is that you will have a higher percentage when you are paying attention to making your bridge solid and unmoving.

If great players think the bridge is important and your results are better with a solid bridge, it probably is a good idea to upgrade your bridge.

See you on the road.