In every stroke, your stick forearm comes forward to make the cue tip contact the cue ball. The quality of a player is determined by the precision on where the cue ball is contacted by the tip and the precision of the stick speed.
If you are going to learn how to get more and more precise, request the services of a good instructor who uses a video camera. He can videotape you making various shots, and then point out areas of improvement. The video camera provides the concrete evidence that makes you more aware of your stroke movements.
The instructor will set up several shots for you to shoot. Then he sets up the camera angle. He will set the F-Stop to in a range 1/100 to 1/250. Although this darkens the picture somewhat, each individual video frame will be less blurred. When you view the video immediately after shooting, each frame can be viewed one at a time.
This is not a small project to learn about the reality of your skills. There are many shots that will need evaluation. There are several types of shots include:
- Normal speed shots (medium bridge) - center ball, follow, draw, left and right side spin.
- Normal speed shots (long bridge) - center ball, follow, draw, left and right side spin.
- Slow roll shots (short bridge) - center, follow, draw (drag shot).
- Nip shots (very short bridge) - center ball, follow, draw, left and right side spin.
- Break shots (long bridge) - center ball, follow, draw, left and right spin (use a 1/500 F-Stop with bright lighting).
Each of these shots should be closely monitored by your instructor and recorded on video. This could take several sessions. But, if you are REALLY serious about mastering speed and spin, make a listing of shots that you consider important. Prioritize them and begin the videotaping process. Record each shot 10 times (helps you get over camera shyness). Consider videotaping from a couple of different camera angles.
When you have spent an hour recording these shots, plug the camera into the TV and start with your analysis. The instructor can identify your worst fundamentals. Jointly agree on what should be practiced for the next week or two between scheduled coaching lessons.
Alternately, have your most common shots videotaped and dissect these with your instructor. Focusing on improving basics will get you the most immediate results. This process might take months, but will have the quickest and fastest payoff in skill improvements.
Break strokes could require several of these taping sessions as you experiment with the several dozen ways that breaks can be played. Following that, a video tune-up once a year will keep you sharp.
The key to mastering any cue ball stroke is to know what you want and know the stroke that gets the results you anticipate. The closer you can bring reality to your fantasy, the better player will be.
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