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Is Feathering Really Important?

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  • Is Feathering Really Important?

    I have seen many professional players (Ronnie/Ding/Selby and many others) perform feathering before their stroke. Then there are few professional players (Marco Fu and few other) who hardly perform it and still play flawlessly and make 147s.
    Both seem like acceptable approaches and both give good result.

    I have, however, found that in my case feathering sometimes result in the little added side spin on my shot as repetitive to-fro motion of the cue sometimes results in the slight deviation from the intended position where I want to hit the shot eventually.

    I know you might say that if it troubles you then you should stop feathering and play the shot as it is but then again when there are majority of the professional players are performing it, it made me think maybe it is important to learn this technique rather striking without it.

    So what should be a better approach - with it or without it?
    Let's say someone has picked up the cue just today and come to you for guidance - what would you suggest - feathering or not and why?
    Last edited by _Harry_Potter_; 4th May 2016, 05:39 AM.
    I Admire Ding, Adore Judd & Would do ANYTHING to play like Ronnie.

  • #2
    Personal choice
    Terry Davidson
    IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

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    • #3
      why do you think they are feathering? Go and find out what all the reasons are for feathering ,then you can make an informed decision.
      This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
      https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by itsnoteasy View Post
        why do you think they are feathering? Go and find out what all the reasons are for feathering ,then you can make an informed decision.
        He was sort of asking for other peoples informed decisions, so he could make one.

        Harry Potter, feathering allows you to make sure you hit the cue ball in the right place and line up your follow through for a straight delivery.

        The three players you quoted could probably deliver a perfect shot with a run up.

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        • #5
          Ask Dave Harold.
          "Am too good not to win this tournament" - Stephen Hendry

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          • #6
            it is if you work in a pillow shop.

            Otherwise its all preference

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            • #7
              If you think you're playing well then you'll pot whether you feather or not and if you think you're playing bad then you could feather all day and you'll still miss
              It's hard to pot balls with a Chimpanzee tea party going on in your head

              Wibble

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              • #8
                the essence of feathering is preparing for the back swing, like practice is preparation for a match.
                if a player practices enough they'll find their own tempo in time. then hopefully with experience they should be able to take some/most of what they do on the practice table, and apply it in the heat of battle under pressure on the match table



                -
                Last edited by j6uk; 18th May 2016, 08:49 AM.

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                • #9
                  I think people get hung up on feathering. The point to make is nothing to do with whether somebody feathers or not, it is more to do with the fact that a pre shot routine is essential.
                  Those players who don't necessarily feather the cue ball will still have the same pre shot routine for 99% of their shots which allows their technique to remain unaltered under pressure.

                  I played Rob Milkins at the Gloucester academy and thought he was taking me lightly by not feathering, I then watched him in a PTC final a week later and noticed he cued exactly the same against me as he did against established pros. Feathering is not the be all and end all, having a consistent pre shot routine is.
                  "just tap it in"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tomwalker147 View Post
                    I think people get hung up on feathering. The point to make is nothing to do with whether somebody feathers or not, it is more to do with the fact that a pre shot routine is essential.
                    Those players who don't necessarily feather the cue ball will still have the same pre shot routine for 99% of their shots which allows their technique to remain unaltered under pressure.

                    I played Rob Milkins at the Gloucester academy and thought he was taking me lightly by not feathering, I then watched him in a PTC final a week later and noticed he cued exactly the same against me as he did against established pros. Feathering is not the be all and end all, having a consistent pre shot routine is.
                    If you were teaching someone from scratch Tom, would you tell them to do a few feathers first?, I have never understood why begginers say, look at what so and so a pro does if it's not text book as if that gives them a reason not to try for a text book technique, would anyone tell a beginner to lift their head like Fu or McManus? Of course not and it wouldn't be an excuse to lift yours just because they did. These quirks in a pros set up or action for me are not to be copied, they are good despite these flaws not because of them.
                    i totally agree the pre shot routine is very very important but I think feathering should be a part of it, I like the way J6 describes it, it's about finding your swing tempo, I feel from a static start there may be a chance of cueing too quickly as you haven't given your brain any instruction for the tempo of the shot, of course once you are up at your level it's so ingrained it probably isn't as important as its all natural but for club players just learning I think feathering is very important.
                    This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
                    https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by itsnoteasy View Post
                      If you were teaching someone from scratch Tom, would you tell them to do a few feathers first?, I have never understood why begginers say, look at what so and so a pro does if it's not text book as if that gives them a reason not to try for a text book technique, would anyone tell a beginner to lift their head like Fu or McManus? Of course not and it wouldn't be an excuse to lift yours just because they did. These quirks in a pros set up or action for me are not to be copied, they are good despite these flaws not because of them.
                      i totally agree the pre shot routine is very very important but I think feathering should be a part of it, I like the way J6 describes it, it's about finding your swing tempo, I feel from a static start there may be a chance of cueing too quickly as you haven't given your brain any instruction for the tempo of the shot, of course once you are up at your level it's so ingrained it probably isn't as important as its all natural but for club players just learning I think feathering is very important.
                      I think it's difficult to say mate. If I was to teach somebody from scratch i'd probably just ask them to pot the cue ball into a pocket over and over again, it'd be interesting to see whether they naturally do feather the cueball or not (I suspect they would). I would also pay attention to how quickly they address the ball and what sort of tempo is natural to them.

                      When I went for coaching I was having trouble with concentration mid break, I had made century breaks but was going through a period of missing silly balls on 50/60. The coach told me I feather different amounts on nearly every shot but that I look most comfortable when playing at a fairly quick tempo. We brought my feathers to a consistent pause at address, 1 feather, 2 feathers,3 feathers, pause at backswing then strike and immediately I saw the benefits.

                      I think feathering is important and yes it is part of a pre shot routine but the most important thing is making sure somebody's pre shot routine suits their natural rhythm. If they play quickly like a Milkins, don't slow them down and incorporate a feather unless it's blindingly obvious they are rushing.

                      The key word for me is consistency, whether somebody feathers or not their pre shot routine must be as close to identical each time.

                      Feathering vitally important- not in my opinion but it is for my action.
                      "just tap it in"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tomwalker147 View Post
                        I think it's difficult to say mate. If I was to teach somebody from scratch i'd probably just ask them to pot the cue ball into a pocket over and over again, it'd be interesting to see whether they naturally do feather the cueball or not (I suspect they would). I would also pay attention to how quickly they address the ball and what sort of tempo is natural to them.

                        When I went for coaching I was having trouble with concentration mid break, I had made century breaks but was going through a period of missing silly balls on 50/60. The coach told me I feather different amounts on nearly every shot but that I look most comfortable when playing at a fairly quick tempo. We brought my feathers to a consistent pause at address, 1 feather, 2 feathers,3 feathers, pause at backswing then strike and immediately I saw the benefits.

                        I think feathering is important and yes it is part of a pre shot routine but the most important thing is making sure somebody's pre shot routine suits their natural rhythm. If they play quickly like a Milkins, don't slow them down and incorporate a feather unless it's blindingly obvious they are rushing.

                        The key word for me is consistency, whether somebody feathers or not their pre shot routine must be as close to identical each time.

                        Feathering vitally important- not in my opinion but it is for my action.
                        Nice answer Tom and very interesting to me as I too miss shots ,but it's around the forty break mark, that I just shouldn't and I too feather different amounts, I am going to work on finding a more consistent routine, thanks again that's been very helpful.
                        This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
                        https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by itsnoteasy View Post
                          Nice answer Tom and very interesting to me as I too miss shots ,but it's around the forty break mark, that I just shouldn't and I too feather different amounts, I am going to work on finding a more consistent routine, thanks again that's been very helpful.
                          Glad to have helped. It really has improved my game.

                          I've never been one for getting anxious in competitive matches but sorting the feathering has helped to give me an even greater sense of calm, I guess it's down to trusting my technique. I'll be really interested to hear how you get on!
                          "just tap it in"

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                          • #14
                            I can be all over the shop Tom, from point and shoot to four feathers, from seemingly taking ages to find my line,when having a bad day, to playing quite quickly when having those days you just can't miss( which of course ends up in me missing lol) . Trusting your technique is definitely a winner, takes the thinking and doubt out your action, when I think too much I get a slight snatch in my action( mainly gripping to early), doesn't make me miss much but I can feel it and I start potting balls into the side of pockets instead of the middle, and just miss timing it a bit,which ends up with me out of position and chasing the break.
                            This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
                            https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i can see feathering becoming more of an issue if a player feels like their fishing for the center of the white

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