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Thread: Long potting practive advice required please

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    Default Long potting practive advice required please

    Hello all,

    So I'm a century break player with an awful weakness in my game - long potting! I recently saw Barry Stark who sorted my grip hand out in order to unfurl and refurl the fingers which seems to have worked wonders generally. However I'm looking to make long potting a strength. At the moment, my safety is decent and when I'm 'in' I can make high breaks consistently including tons on a fairly regular basis. But I can't seem to get 'in' by a long pot consistently - I'm having to rely on a miss a lot of the time which is very frustrating.

    Does anyone have any special tricks or tips for me to consider before I start drills on the long potting. Ie slower than usual backswing, pauses etc? Are there any insane long potters on here who can kindly share what they do perhaps? Often I feel I'm hacking at the ball when I finally hit it which is ridiculous given how consistent I am in the balls. Its almost mental now also as I'm aware its a weakness.

    Thanks in advance!

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    On long pots the tolerance is a lot tighter and any slight variance in your delivery can cause a miss. In better players this is usually caused by slight movement of the upper body with reason 2 being not driving through and beyond the cueball (despite what some on here say about follow-through being a non-issue after the strike.)

    My recommendation would be 2 things. First of all try potting 10 long blues and when you miss is the OB going to one side of the pocket? If you're a righty and you miss to the left of the pocket then you may be delivering the cue right-to-left. It could be something in your backswing or it could be 'clutching' the cue by tightening the grip too early, before the strike. Usually 90% of delivery problems originate in the backswing. Slow it down as much as you can while keeping your natural rhythm.

    Best solution would be to video yourself with a camera on a tripod behind the pocket and taking in from 6" in front of the cueball to the top of your elbow. The problem should be visible when you miss. Download Kinovea (freeware) and look at each missed long blue frame-by-frame and watch for upper body movement during either the backswing or delivery by looking at the shaft of the cue over the yellow pocket leather (or green if lefty) and then watch to see if your tip is in the middle of the cueball at strike and where the tip ends up on completion of the follow-through.

    If you're seeing the cue move sideways even a couple of millimeters then put the camera beside your grip hand and do 10 more long blues and go frame-by-frame again to see if you can tell where in the delivery the grip is tightening. It's hard to see and very blurry due to the speed as the camera is running at 30fps or sometimes 60fps.

    For the basic 'to do' list, ensure you have no upper body movement and be sure to leave the cue extended at the end of the delivery or in other words stay down and still. Imagine trying to hit the OB with your tip and be sure to accelerate all the way to the end of the delivery, do not try and slow down the cue.
    Last edited by Terry Davidson; 8th September 2017 at 03:35 PM.
    Terry Davidson
    IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

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    Hi Terry,
    Many thanks for taking the time to reply with such a detailed response, will certainly take this into my practice. Thanks again

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    Before I clicked the thread my first thought was that long potting inconsistencies are usually down to an inconsistent grip on the backswing and delivery phase.

    I know this coz, I am super guilty of it from time to time.

    I'm encouraged for you that the advice you got from Mr Stark highlighted this from the outset.

    When you reach the century break standard that you are at, the majority of improvements that can be made in my opinion are down to shot selection and the grip.

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    I can't add anything else from a technical stand point.

    But perhaps start your long potting practice with the balls at a medium range and then gradually increase the distance. I find this is also useful for warm ups.

    Another tip I picked up from a vid was, during your normal practice routine set your first red as a long pot. This gets you more comfortable starting with a tricky shot also and increases your long potting practice. That said, when I'm struggling I'll reduce the distance to either a long(ish) red or medium distance. Nowadays I don't often start with a short distance red unless I'm warming up on the line up.

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    I would say - its head / upper body movement caused from lack of confidence on missing long pots. And second guessing your Aiming accuracy when down Sighting the shot..
    JP Majestic
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    Quote Originally Posted by marriott View Post
    Hello all,

    So I'm a century break player with an awful weakness in my game - long potting! I recently saw Barry Stark who sorted my grip hand out in order to unfurl and refurl the fingers which seems to have worked wonders generally. However I'm looking to make long potting a strength. At the moment, my safety is decent and when I'm 'in' I can make high breaks consistently including tons on a fairly regular basis. But I can't seem to get 'in' by a long pot consistently - I'm having to rely on a miss a lot of the time which is very frustrating.

    Does anyone have any special tricks or tips for me to consider before I start drills on the long potting. Ie slower than usual backswing, pauses etc? Are there any insane long potters on here who can kindly share what they do perhaps? Often I feel I'm hacking at the ball when I finally hit it which is ridiculous given how consistent I am in the balls. Its almost mental now also as I'm aware its a weakness.

    Thanks in advance!
    Post NR 4 above is spot on ,imo.
    Something which gets overlooked by many players !!

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    What Tel and pottr state is correct - but correct and needed for all shots.

    Second guessing when down sighting is very common I think. Your first instinct is normally the correct one on the long ones but you must drop the cue on that long line, which is the other thing thats finds out many.
    JP Majestic
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    9.5mm Elk

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    Thanks all for your replies. It's getting there hopefully. What Ive found today is a pronounced rear pause is helping me to stay down on the shot after the strike. The unfurl/lighter grip helps the cue keep online and I'm able to feel as if I'm getting the right sort of contact and range at least (and not just hacking hopefully or hopelessly lol).

    Going in to a long pot before with the 'I'm useless at these shots' mentality is I guess causing the anxiety and body movement hence hacking/missing regularly. So it's hundreds and hundreds of long reds with this pause and staying down for me ahead, until it hopefully becomes a strength!

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    Quote Originally Posted by throtts View Post
    What Tel and pottr state is correct - but correct and needed for all shots.

    Second guessing when down sighting is very common I think. Your first instinct is normally the correct one on the long ones but you must drop the cue on that long line, which is the other thing thats finds out many.
    excellent point.

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