(FAQ) What is a good pool stroke?

(About the Author)

There are many sources for answers to this question. For some people, the search is no further than their reach as they develop a pool stroke early on. The reason might be because of good coaching or mentoring, or the result of a few dollars spent on effective instruction.

Others refuse to believe they have other than a perfect pool stroke, and they might be right if they limit their games to people who have similar beliefs. But, as soon as they step outside their group, the harsh reality is that even a mid-level league player can kick their cans without half trying.

The basis of a good pool stroke is a stable stance. Weight must be distributed between your front foot (40%) and back foot (55%) and bridge hand (5%).

Only two things move during a pool stroke - your eyes and the forearm (below the elbow) of your stick arm. Everything else requires a state of stillness.

Given below are the details on what a normal shot setup requires. Other types of shots, such as off the rail, stretching across the table, or shooting over a pocket require slight adjustments for the conditions.

Here are aspects of a stroke that are important:

  1. With the cue tip almost touching the cue ball, your bridge hand should be about 6-9 inches from the ball. At this point, the stick hand's forearm drops straight down from the elbow.
  2. The stick movement should be truly and perfectly back and forth – no wavering side to side.
  3. The stick hand should be a gentle cradle for the stick, using the thumb and the two forefingers. This grip does not require strength, only gentleness.
  4. The upper arm should be directly lined above the stick. It should not move during the practice strokes or the execution stroke (except AFTER the cue tip hits the cue ball).
  5. Movement of the forearm is a pendulum. The elbow does not drop during the pool stroke movements.
  6. The wrist is relaxed and is not used as part of the forward movement.
  7. The grip is loose and relaxed throughout the complete stroke. At no time is the fist furiously clenched like a sword.
  8. The speed forward and backward on a practice stroke should be deliberate and controlled.
  9. On committing to the stroke, the speed forward is a smooth acceleration (no jerks allowed).
  10. Every execution stroke is consistent and identical to the practice stroke, differing only by stick speed.

The learning process can be improved by working closely with an instructor who videotapes your action. The majority of your improvement will come from thinking your way through your pool stroke. Keep in mind that your old stroke mechanics are the result of thousands of strokes. Remember that any change in your shot setup habits will take weeks of careful attention to groove into your regular pool shooting style - so patience is needed as you make needed adjustments.

Get the Book!

The FAQs of Pool & Pocket Billiards


Get the Book!! $7.00

book-PDF PDF book (good for smart devices)
(Includes my Money-back Guarantee)

book-red Printed book
Recent Useful Posts
Group 11, Set 6, Layout 1

(CBC) Cue Ball Control (full table patterns) - Group 11, Set 6

This is today's set of Cue Ball Cheats. These practice setups (and others in the book and blog) help you ...

Read More

Group 10, Set 7, Layout 1

(CBC) Cue Ball Control (full table patterns) - Group 10, Set 7

This is today's set of Cue Ball Cheats. These practice setups (and others in the book and blog) help you ...

Read More

Drills & Exercises - Pocket Skills (progressive) - long table sets - 1D to pocket

(D&E) Drills & Exercises - Pocket Skills (progressive): Long table sets - 1D Rail

(About the Author) This progressive exercise to improve your shooting skills is in the book Drills & Exercises for Pool & ...

Read More

(D&E) Drills & Exercises - Down the Line (mid-table diagonal) Runout Exercise (1)

(About the Author) This progressive exercise to improve your playing skills is in the book Drills & Exercises for Pool & ...

Read More

(S&D) Safety & Defense - the Cluster Tactic

(About the author) (This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.) Clusters occur when two or more balls are ...

Read More

(S&D) Safety & Defense - Player Personalities: Overview

(About the author) (This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.) The personality of your opponent can have an ...

Read More

(H&S) Hustles & Sharks - Noises

(About the Author) The idea of using noise to distract an opponent during an important shot is an old, old concept. ...

Read More

(H&S) Hustles & Sharks - Clothes & Accessories

(About the Author) There are a few pool hustlers who use this shark very effectively. The use of clothing and accessories ...

Read More

(TML) Table Map Library - Q1 to A1 short

For information on the Table Map Library, how it works and how the information was researched - read "Table Map ...

Read More

(TML) Table Map Library - Q5 to K9

For information on the Table Map Library, how it works and how the information was researched - read "Table Map ...

Read More