Let’s zoom in on your routine – specifically your final stroke. What exactly should be happening during the final stroke? Where should my eye be focused? What things should I implement to better improve consistency?
Everyone has a final stroke as they pause at the cue ball then transition to the backswing then the foreswing. Recording yourself from a side angle can show any flaws that are keeping you from a consistent and higher level of play.
#1 – Back Forearm and cue should form a 90 degree angle as the cue tip is addressing the cue ball. Having the tip strike the cue ball at the bottom of the arc will give the purest and most efficient contact.
#2 – Eye are focused and gazing at the contact point on the object ball. Find the target as you are standing up to address the shot then step into your stance. Return your eyes back to this same target upon the final stroke.
#3 – Cue tip position needs to be near the cue ball as the final stroke begins to be the most accurate. I would recommend having your tip within one chalk cue distance from the cue ball. We want to prevent players from having to ‘reach’ or ‘run out of room’ for their stroke as the cue tip strikes the cue ball.
#4 – Now we have transitioned to the end of the backswing. You might be thinking I am going to mention a ‘pause’ here, but I am not. I want most amateur pool players to have a smooth transition between the backswing and foreswing, but definitely not a ‘forced’ pause. This point is actually reserved to discuss knuckle position on the backhand. A loose, but controlled grip is necessary and this is highlighted back by the knuckles pointing downward at the transition.
#5 – Eyes are still focused and gazing at the contact point of the object ball.
#6 – As you pull your tip back from the cue ball to the end of your backswing we need to pay attention to a few things. You will need to have a slow and controlled backswing. We don’t want any abrupt or herky-jerky movements that may cause your body/aim to become out of alignment.
#7 – Now we are in the finished position and your knuckles should now be pointed up. This proves a controlled, but loose grip. Grip hand may also be at a resting place on your body.
#8 – Eyes are still focused and gazing at the contact point of the object ball. It is important to stay down and not have your head pop up to see the balls rolling on the table. Over time you might develop a poor habit of then having your head raise up during your final stroke.
#9 – We need to send the cue tip through to the cue ball, not to the cue ball. Leave your tip extended and stay down so you can evaluate your forward stroke. Many amateurs have a tendency to jerk the cue tip back especially on draw shots – let’s avoid this as it kills consistency and can cause stroke deceleration.
Pool players at any skill level can benefit from reviewing their stroke from a side angle. Watch for these #9 points and consider making some tweaks to improve your consistency. If you have questions or need further guidance, please reach out for a final stroke analysis or custom online lessons.
Love this quote from Jack about visualization. Visualize it and your back arm & subconscious have a way of making it happen as you picture it.
You can't control - your opponent's lucky leaves or their rating or their flukes. Focus on you and what you can control!
Follow your routine, give your best effort and sit in the chair like a champion waiting your turn to... take control!
You can't enter the zone if you are immersed in thinking about the past (missed shots, blown opportunities, opponent's lucky leave). Likewise, you also can't enter the zone if you are immersed in thinking about the future (one more match to make the money, 3 more wins to take 1st place, who do I play if I win this match).
You can only enter 'The Zone' if you capture your mind and make it stay in the present moment. Follow your routine and do your job - giving your best effort on the one shot in front of you.
Send me a message if you need help staying in the present and improving your consistency/confidence!
Top Amateur Player &