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Thread: Neck strain and a few other issues..

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    Default Neck strain and a few other issues..

    Just after a few games of snooker tonight with a couple of pals and after playing a couple of frames I started to notice I wasn't comfortable at the table, in particular my neck seemed to be straining as I got down for the shot, I think it might be down to having my bridge hand either too close or far away from the cue ball but wondered if this was a common issue?

    I noticed a couple of things as well, first that I was unsure how far away from my body my back hand should be, seems I can either play it comfortably bit further out and miss, or pull it tight in which improves my aim but is awkward. I'm thinking my stance is a bit square on for my body shape and I probably need to have my left leg slightly forward.

    Second thing I noticed when pracising my cue action was I wobble just a few inches before hitting the cue ball before straightening back up again maybe an inch before contact. I'm at a loss to explain thag one though, any ideas?

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    Right hander sighting with left eye boxer stance required, left foot in front of the right foot. Right hander sighting with right eye then squarer stance with both legs almost parallel, reverse this for left handers.

    These are the natural basics that apply to these sighting styles, and no one sights right down the middle of both eyes, there is always a bias towards one eye however slight, the eye that addresses the cue to the cue ball, while both are used to sight the object ball. This happens naturally so don't try to force it one way or the other.

    Get someone to take a photo of you addressing the cue ball from directly in front and see where the cue lies in relation to your eyes and take a stance that suits it and everything should fall naturally into place. Or cue in front of a mirror.

    The wobble could be that your bridge is too far away from the cue ball so you're dropping the upper arm into the shot before the strike instead of afterwards. Shortening your bridge and holding the butt in the same place should cure this but it could mean having a short cue action and you might find you need a longer cue so you can have the long bridge that you like without dropping the upper arm too soon, or not at all.

    Get someone to take a photo of you addresssing the cue ball from the side so you can see where your cue arm (forearm from the elbow) is in relation to the floor, either in front, behind or bang on the vertical. Just behind is preferable with about 10/12 inches of cue extending over your bridge hand so you can have a long backswing when needed for power shots and the strike will take place just before the upper arm comes into the stroke, if at all.
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    Thanks mate, I'll give that a go and see what happens. Oh, and I am right handed and very right eye dominant

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    Quote Originally Posted by weepete View Post
    Thanks mate, I'll give that a go and see what happens. Oh, and I am right handed and very right eye dominant
    Like Stuart Bingham then, and tell us all what happens, good or bad.
    Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
    but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

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    Will do.

    So far while my snooker game is still improving though very slow progress it's done wonders for me on a pool table . I'm getting position where I wouldn't have before and the whole game seems simple and easier. maybe I need to get myself a 24ft snooker table XD

    But working on my pre shot routine, just need to build up the muscle memory and get better accuracy. Still improvement's being made and I do enjoy the games so it's no chore to work on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmax View Post
    Like Stuart Bingham then, and tell us all what happens, good or bad.
    That one comment was dynamite mate, I had a look at a Stuart Bingham match and I watched his stance and how he cued carefully. He puts
    his left foot really quite far forward and has the cue directly under his right eye with his arm a little out from his body so I tried it tonight with the blue ball on the spot and bam! side was gone that I was putting on before and topspin on the white both balls were consistantly going in the middle pocket. Tried it with screw, and though my technique with that needs work after a couple of tries I got the blue in one pocket and screwed the white into the opposite.

    Result in the first frame was no neck strain and I won after a re-spotted black. Second frame was a narrow loss but I got a bit distracted by food (frendly games and I hadn't had dinner yet!) so back to old habits. Mid way through the third frame I was struggling a bit but eventually realised I was neglecting my pre-shot routine and stance. Concentrated on it a bit and that was letting me string 3 or 4 pots together, with better positioning too but medium and short range shots were going in, even tight ones. One in partitular sticks out with a tight red to the middle pocket, aimed at the far jaw just to drop it in and played it beautifully to just drop it in the pocket. Found could play a lot of shots with more power if I needed and the angles just started working, pockets opened and I was playing significantly better which really impressed my mate

    Still got some cueing issues as I could see the wobble tonight on a couple of shots, particulary tonight with a long black that I mis hit, and though I hit the ball it was deffo my cueing at fault. I reckon you're right about me dropping my elbow.

    It's been slow progress so far. I'm not particularly a fast learner with these things but I really feel that tonight something just clicked into place. The last game was over by the time the brown ws potted and despite my mate taking brown, blue and pink I still won by 25 odd points.
    Last edited by weepete; 6th March 2019 at 12:35 AM.

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    The brain gets information from both eyes but subconsciously shuts out one when only information from one is needed. The dominant eye, if you have a really strong one, is what puts the tip of the cue to the cue ball, both eyes are used to see the angle of the pot and the peripheral vision takes in the rest of the table, again both eyes are used.
    I myself have a dominant left eye and cue right under it, a lot of players cue directly under one eye but it isn't always their dominant eye and if that's the case then some call it the sighting eye.

    I find it strange that some players don't do this naturally and have to work to find it out and it seems that you have done so. I have a theory that those who do sight directly under one eye do so because they address the cue ball late in their technique, when they're almost down, while those that address the cue ball early in their technique, when more upright, will have moved their vision centre by the time they have gotten right down and then their cue is more central but still slightly favouring their sighting eye.

    I have experimented a lot with when I look at the cue ball to address it in the centre late or early and sometimes not at all. Early and I'm OK, late and I'm better, not at all and I'm cueing across with right hand side, but then when I adjust my thumb in my bridge to get the tip of the cue centre cue ball I still make the pot which goes to prove I'm standing in the right place but I must look at the cue ball when addressing it either late or early and this in my mind is what those who aren't sighting naturally are failing to do.

    Glad I could help, keep it up and remember to look as your hand follows your eye.
    Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
    but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

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    Interesting mate, it could well be. Admitedly I do have some bad habits from years of playing pool and trying to copy others so I think in my case it's more learned behavior from probably watching some of the pros but without understanding what I was doing. But it does make sense and I do address the cue ball late.

    Had another session last night, and my cueing was better however a couple of things conspired against me and I lost 2 out of 4 frames. My safety play, if you can call it that was lacking and my judgement of the cue ball path and angles was very hit or miss. Judging pace with safety play was also difficult and a fair few times I found myself over or under.

    My cueing was straighter, short and medium shots were fine but because of that I was a bit overconfident and I did take on harder shots that I would have probably been better off refusing. I naturally play a very agressive game so it can be hard for me to rein it in.

    Long pots I was struggling with, even when I took care to line it up. I was hitting the object ball, but just not in the right place . I think I've been having issues with my bridge, but previously my cueing hasn't been straight enough for it to be highlighted. Combine that with me dropping my elbow (like you pointed out in a previous post) I don't think I'm hitting the white where I am aiming which I can get away with at short distances but trying to hit a cross table ball straight to roll it in a pocket with a bit of distance shows up any flaws in my technique.

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    With regards to safety play, you need to treat a safety with the same respect as a pot. Just don't come off the side of the object ball, see the exact contact point before the stance and again on the stroke the same as you would a pot and play the shot accordingly.
    Long pots are difficult for everyone, the most important thing to me is getting the butt of the cue on the line of aim and that's all about stance. Practise lining up a shot along the baulk line addressing either yellow or green on their spots centre ball, lie the cue down onto the side rail and check if the middle of your cue is bang on the baulk line. Adjust your feet position until it is and take this same stance at all times.

    There is a tendancy for players to turn their bodies as they drop down into the stance, for most this is OK but for some this can also take the cue off the line of aim; even thought centre cue ball is addressed the cue will then be coming across the line of aim.
    I counteract this by standing with my feet already in my stance position (boxer stance of left foot in front of my right foot) when I'm standing behind the shot sighting the contact point on the object ball, and I then step in and drop down without turning my body.
    If I don't then I'm cueing very slightly across the line by about 1/4 of an inch, close in and into an open pocket it's OK but balls near a cushion and long shots find me out every time as I hit every shot a tad to the right and as I play on a very tight table this is of crucial importance.
    Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
    but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

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    Quote Originally Posted by weepete View Post
    That one comment was dynamite mate, I had a look at a Stuart Bingham match and I watched his stance and how he cued carefully. He puts
    his left foot really quite far forward and has the cue directly under his right eye with his arm a little out from his body so I tried it tonight with the blue ball on the spot and bam!
    Dear both, I've been a ghost reader of this thread until now, but it's time I send a big thank you. I had many of the problems that weepete described, and after trying the same remedies I must confirm that vmax suggestions were spot on (to say the least).

    I only have one problem left - namely, due to Presbyopia, I aim correctly only when I keep my head sufficiently far away from the cueball (seeing a long part of the shaft helps me verifying that I am cueing along the right line), but this implies a very short action/backdrop even if I hold the cue at the very end of the bottom (and even if I stretch the bridge arm as far as I can). This tends to be an issue with long pots requiring substantial backdrop, and I suspect the only remedy to this would be buying a longer cue. But still, reading this thread helped me a lot: when I play around the top cushion among reds and black, I make way more points than before, as there's no need for tremendous power nor long action: the problem does not surface.

    Watching Bingham also helped a lot: now I put the left foot far forward and the result is a much more consistent break-off because the boxer stance forces me to bend down on the table more than before and this in turn helps me keep the cue parallel to the table during the shot (which turned out to be the reason why my break-off was getting worse and worse in recent times...).

    Well, thanks a lot again weepete and especially vmax!

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