Mechanics of Striking Billiards
It happens all the time, beginners step up to the table with the stick in hand and they try to muscle a shot like they are stabbing a wild boar. There is no reason to be so barbaric about pool or billiards; these games require subtlety and finesse.
When gripping the pool stick rather than squeezing it as tight as possible try to relax your arm. When the muscles of the arm are contracted it only limits movement and constrains the swing.
By relaxing the grip you are actually going to be able to get a more precise shot. More than not, players are going to overdo their shots rather than under them, how often have you seen someone hit a ball toward the pocket only to see it stop half way before it falls in?
Exactly you haven’t ever seen that, because everyone is so concerned about bashing the ball toward the objective pocket. Relaxing your grip may subtract from the amount of force behind the shot, but the increased accuracy is going to well be worth it.
Once you have your grip loosened up, you want to get your cradle just so. The cradle will take practice, at first it is going to feel like your fingers are too sticky then it may seem like hold is just awkward.
The trick to the cradle is become comfortable with it. Obviously the point of the cradle is to provide a resting position for the point of the cue stick, but if you’re not comfortable with the hold it is going to be hard to get a stable cradle.
So try the different cradles and see which one works best for you. Some of the professional players will actually work with a few different cradles, just in case their shots need to come from a weird angle.
The actual swing requires the most inverted playing technique. In baseball or football you are going to want to throw your arm into the swing or throw, but in pool or billiards you want to let your arm hinge at the elbow like it is a greased up pendulum.
Rather than using your shoulder and back to push the stick forward simply let the swing of your arm carry the stick. With good follow-through and speed power is not going to be an issue.
Actually the trick to creating a lot of power on the pool table is by hitting accurately, not by bashing the ball. So practice the grip, cradle and swing and you will start to notice a great difference and improvement in your game.
Destry Masterson – MyOnlineArticleWriting@gmail.com – Twitter: @DestryMasterson