bridge hand distance

cincy_kid

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I was going to post this the other day and then after seeing MR3C's post his excerpt about stance and pre-shot routines, it reminded me that I wanted to ask this. I never really took any "lessons" playing pool other than playing people better than me to try and get better. However, there was a guy in the pool room long ago who showed me a warm up exercise he would do before playing a match and part of that had to do with your bridge hand. He said it was important to make sure your hand was closer to the CB so that when you stroke, you are aiming as accurately as you can be. If you have too much distance between the CB and your hand, there is a lot of variance that can happen on your stroke / follow through, where you may go a little left or a little right and not hit the ball where you intended.

I can totally understand that and I think I am fairly close to the CB when I am playing personally, BUT, I see people like Chohan where he is so far away from the CB, and yet pockets balls with the best of them!

Would you say then, it's just a matter of preference and whatever you are used to?

In other words, if what I said above is true, would Tony's ball pocketing improve if he got closer to the CB?

Just curious of your thoughts on this subject as I have seen many members on here and top pros play with varying distances between hand and CB.
 

beatle

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n general in all sports everyone is looking for a simple miracle product or change that will make them play good. the fact is to play better than good it is the time you spend practicing that makes it work.
 

cincy_kid

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n general in all sports everyone is looking for a simple miracle product or change that will make them play good. the fact is to play better than good it is the time you spend practicing that makes it work.
Right, I understand that with lots of practice one could become a pro playing one handed if they wanted. But in theory, does it make for a more accurate aim to be closer to the ball? Makes sense to me!
 

OneRock

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I was going to post this the other day and then after seeing MR3C's post his excerpt about stance and pre-shot routines, it reminded me that I wanted to ask this. I never really took any "lessons" playing pool other than playing people better than me to try and get better. However, there was a guy in the pool room long ago who showed me a warm up exercise he would do before playing a match and part of that had to do with your bridge hand. He said it was important to make sure your hand was closer to the CB so that when you stroke, you are aiming as accurately as you can be. If you have too much distance between the CB and your hand, there is a lot of variance that can happen on your stroke / follow through, where you may go a little left or a little right and not hit the ball where you intended.

I can totally understand that and I think I am fairly close to the CB when I am playing personally, BUT, I see people like Chohan where he is so far away from the CB, and yet pockets balls with the best of them!

Would you say then, it's just a matter of preference and whatever you are used to?

In other words, if what I said above is true, would Tony's ball pocketing improve if he got closer to the CB?

Just curious of your thoughts on this subject as I have seen many members on here and top pros play with varying distances between hand and CB.
If you play every day, you'll eventually be able to pocket balls with your eyes closed while doing many unorthodox things. Most modern players seem to have a long bridge, but you'll also notice that most of them don't take long backswings either. And one top of that, they pause a lot. The long bridge allows them to sight better and get a better view of the cue ball. Personally, whenever I get to play a lot (several hours a day every day, which I haven't done is 2-3 years), my bridge seems to get longer over time, and at some point, I get so complacent that I end up falling out of stroke and getting frustrated. And of course, other bad habits tend to come back. That's when I go back to basics by shortening the bridge and gripping the stick further down.

I'm not so sure that shortening the bridge alone is the only remedy for inaccuracy. Tightening the muscles in the stroke arm has a lot to do with hitting the CB a bit to the left or right. And of course, other unintended body movements. Like any other sport, there are too many moving parts.
 

sorackem

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if what I said above is true, would Tony's ball pocketing improve if he got closer to the CB?
(.02):
Theoretically, yes.
Integrating changes like you describe, while minor, can still require a brief adjustment period. The travel between concentrating on it - and integrating it.

When I am not executing well, it is usually not immediately obvious why.
Going back and concentrating on the basics nearly always results in prompt improvement.

Talent and time on table will allow someone with skill and ability to overcome minor flaws, but it is counter-intuitive to expect that those flaws would not more quickly or more often manifest in less than ideal performance.
 

pvclou

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All shots should not be played with the, 'same length' bridge. This is my professional opinion.

I think the advantage of the variable bridge length is especially evident in the small games (e.g. straight rail). Briefly, the idea behind shortening or extending your bridge length is to be able to deliver the right amount of power with an unhindered and "natural" stroke.
 

Island Drive

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I've always looked at it like a choice of golf clubs. The more distance between your hand and the cue ball the more spin and speed you can apply. Like a Nip Bridge or a Break shot bridge or a simple stop shot bridge where the obj ball and pocket are both close. Each has a different bridge/distance to increase your make %.
 
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pvclou

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I think the advantage of the variable bridge length is especially evident in the small games (e.g. straight rail). Briefly, the idea behind shortening or extending your bridge length is to be able to deliver the right amount of power with an unhindered and "natural" stroke.
I should also mention that there are two more parts to it : the placement of your forward foot, and your grip hand. So, if you want to deliver a soft stroke, then use a short bridge, front foot closer to the ball (so that your stance is more upright), and choke up on the cue...reverse everything to deliver more power. This is what I've read from the French, at least.
 

mr3cushion

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I think the advantage of the variable bridge length is especially evident in the small games (e.g. straight rail). Briefly, the idea behind shortening or extending your bridge length is to be able to deliver the right amount of power with an unhindered and "natural" stroke.
100% correct. With the correct timing and tempo.
 

jay helfert

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The shorter your bridge, the closer you are to the cue ball (and your shot). Sometimes you must use a longer bridge (when stretching etc.) but in general it's nice to be within 6-8 inches of the cue ball. I know you will see good players with longer bridges, but they have found ways to adjust for that.
 

Ratamon

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I like a longer bridge when I'm playing in close quarters as it's easier for me to visualise the cut angle that way. If the CB and OB are further apart, I normally use a shorter bridge for stability and precision.
 

androd

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I like a longer bridge when I'm playing in close quarters as it's easier for me to visualise the cut angle that way. If the CB and OB are further apart, I normally use a shorter bridge for stability and precision.
A great player "angus (sarge) MacDonald told me When you're close up, use a derringer, medium distance a 38, when far away use that ole kentucky Rifle. ;)
 

12squared

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A lot of good and interesting replies as usual. One other factor that wasn't mentioned is when using backhand english for example, there is a perfect bridge distance depending on the deflection of the shaft being used (and your stroke). You could calibrate that bridge distance by trial and error using extreme backhand English using different bridge lengths to see when the shot goes to your aim point.

The idea even if you don't use backhand English on a regular basis, it may act as a self correcting technique if you don't hit the cueball where your aiming in some shots. But as others say, bridge length would change based on the shot - and it is easier to sight with a longer bridge as well as juice it up.
 

ChicagoFats

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If i have to cinch a ball on a long shot, i ALWAYS shorten my bridge. Take it with a grain of salt because I have terrible fundamentals so this helps.
I also can draw a ball pretty far and believe it or not I like to be closer to the cue ball for some reason which defies others logic/science.
 

cincy_kid

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If i have to cinch a ball on a long shot, i ALWAYS shorten my bridge. Take it with a grain of salt because I have terrible fundamentals so this helps.
I also can draw a ball pretty far and believe it or not I like to be closer to the cue ball for some reason which defies others logic/science.
Well me too Fats, so guess we are in the same boat :)

I can always draw a ball further if I am closer to the CB, I feel it gives me that much more follow through than if I am already a foot from the CB to begin with. I don't know how Tony does it so well...
 
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