: Samm Diep
In golf, there’s a term called the “sweet spot.” This refers to when the ideal part of the club face strikes the ball to achieve maximum energy upon contact, usually in the center. The sweet spot itself may vary from club to club but one thing that is always consistent is that once you find it, you’ll know it. All it takes to miss the sweet spot is the slightest torque or twist of the club. With a poor swing, the intended energy does not get fully transferred to the ball.
The same principles can be applied to your pool stroke.
When it comes to your stroke, timing is everything. Think of your hanging forearm as a pendulum. A pendulum is a weighted, mounted object that uses gravity to swing back and forth freely. Now, cradle the cue stick lightly in your hand using the weight of the cue to swing your forearm freely back and forth. If you find yourself gripping too tightly to the cue, it will be very difficult for it to swing freely. If you catch yourself dropping your elbow with each stroke, you may be adding unwanted twist or rotation to your stroke.
Think of your elbow as a hinge. A hinge allows two parts to move back and forth on a line with limited rotation. Your shoulder, on the other hand, is a rotary joint. In your backstroke you engage your tricep and in your forward stroke you engage our bicep. When you drop your elbow in your follow through, you’re activating your shoulder. When a rotary joint is involved in the pool stroke it can introduce a host of inconsistencies in your follow through.
To achieve more acceleration, you may see the professionals incorporate an elbow drop in their follow through but they have put thousands of hours into perfecting their stroke. As you’re developing your perfect pendulum, work on consciously keeping your elbow up and hinging only from the elbow.
In order to achieve the purest delivery of cue tip through the cue ball, you will also want to get your cue tip closer to the cue ball with each warm up stroke. At the point of contact, your hanging forearm should be perpendicular with your level cue stick. Think of this at the bottom of the swinging pendulum. This is how you’ll find the “sweet spot” in your pool stroke.
Three tips to remember when developing your perfect pendulum pool stroke:
Get your cue tip as close to the cue ball as possible in your warm up strokes.
Make sure your forearm is perpendicular at the point of contact.
Work on hinging only at the elbow, without getting your shoulder involved.
The next time you’re in the mile high area and looking for a Denver billiard instructor, be sure to look me up.