: PoolDawg Staff
Hi. This is Jeanette Lee, the Black Widow. We're going to go over bridges. There's so many different types of bridges when you're playing pool and I want to show you how to form them, but my black glove might make it difficult for you to see. So, I'm going to go ahead and remove it for this purpose. Okay? And I'm going to show you the Open "V" Bridge.
So, I take my thumb and I put it on my first finger just like that. A common mistake is when you run your shaft along the edge of your thumb like this, and what happens is it rubs against the meat here and here, making it very tough to stroke back and forth. So again, take it off there and go across this "V" that you can see right there, and it should kind of go towards your middle or across your middle finger just like that.
A lot of people find difficulty with the closed bridge and actually it's the same thing. You take your thumb and instead of putting it on your index finger, you put it on your middle finger. Again, creating a "V" and again, staying away from pushing it along the side of your thumb, but instead just across the "V" now going across the ring finger versus across the middle finger. Okay? So, thumb on a "V" right there, loop that index finger over it, just a nice bridge just like that, okay.
So now, we're going to take it to the rail when the cue ball is close to the rail. So let's say the cue ball is on the rail. I'm going to take my standard open "V" bridge and I'm going to back up and put my tips on the very edge of this rail keeping the cue stick as level as possible. And I'm just going underneath it like that. Okay? And again, not across, I'm sorry, not along the thumb, but across the thumb. There you go, like this.
And as the cue ball gets further from the rail, I can bring my hand in, but again I don't want to elevate. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to keep the shaft on the rail and support-- This is the only time I would say you can open up the thumb off the index finger is when you're just cupping with your thumb and your index finger on this rail. And as the cue ball gets again further, now we get into the closed bridge.
I'm going to actually take the thumb, the length of my thumb, the middle finger tip, and the index finger looped over, and this is what I call a Closed Rail Bridge, just like that. And we use this very often on the break in nine ball or even eight ball. You can get a nice solid bridge, slow backswing, boom! Yeah, okay. So, open bridge, closed bridge, nice.
So, what if you cannot have a level cue stick? We always want a level cue stick, but sometimes there's a ball obstructing us. So, I'm going to take, again a nice "V" bridge which is always with the palm of your hand on the table, nice open "V" bridge, and what I'm going to do because this is my way, is get my tip close to the ball and I'm going to start elevating my wrist. Okay? Elevating to where now I can cue at the top of the cue ball and never elevating more than necessary. Okay? So, if this ball is further away, I can elevate less and as the object ball or let's say the obstructing ball is in the way, I'd have to elevate a little more making sure to keep my hands very steady, taking a nice slow backswing, and when you're ready just slow backswing and strike the ball.
Now finally we're going to go over the bridge, the mechanical bridge and everybody hates it, but it's because you guys don't practice it. All right, so I'm going to go ahead and move the cue ball, and let's pretend we're on a nine foot table and I cannot reach this shot. I'm pretty tall, so on a bar size table such as this one, I can reach almost any shot. But, in fact, let me just get it because most of the time if we can't reach it, I should be able to put this down, okay, this bridge down. And I want the bridge head to be a good six inches, somewhere where I can definitely still get a good backswing and fore swing going just like that, all right.
I want to take this bridge and get it about a foot out of my way just like that. I've got my hand down on it keeping it stable, but also after I strike the ball, I can move it very easily. Make sure that when you practice, a lot of people do this. You see how my tip never actually makes it to the cue ball, so when I fall through I do a lot of turning wrist action. Make sure that when you're practicing your tip gets right up to that cue ball on your practice swings. Make sure you take a nice slow backswing, boom, fall through just like that. All right, practice these and you'll have a lot more confidence and a smoother stroke. Thanks.