Improve Your Billiards Stroke

Insert Quarter, Groove Your Stroke

A lot of billiards and pool players are plagued with a "Chicken Wing" stroke that ruins their shot making ability by thrusting the elbow of their grip hand out awayfrom their body.

The result is coming through the cue ball out of alignment with the target line and as a result, to sink the ball, they train themselves to correct for having shoulder and elbow out of precise alignment.

I recently read an article about Vijay Singh's Record Breaking golf season that credited his Routine practrice routine that among other things involves the placement of a golf glove in his armpit. This way he maintains proper arm/body connection throughout the swing.

There are a lot of similarities between golf and billiards and Vijay's routine got me to thinking about a proper billiards stroke.

To be in alignment, the upper arm, at least just below the armpit, needs to be immediately adjacent to the upper chest. That puts the shoulder, the elbow and the wrist on a plane with the back leg and the target line. Here's a use for that billiards glove I discarded months ago.

Doesn't work, a glove in this instance will not fall because in a deffective billiards stroke, even with a chicken wing, doesn't allow enough clearance for the glove to slip out of place.

How about a chalk cube? Same thing, only it is a little more irritating.

A quarter? Works fine and if you get your upper arm a little out of alignment, you'll be tracking the quarter across the floor.

But I wanted to be sure. No one told me the skin of the upper arm should be touching the upper chest to deliver a good stroke, but I did have a test bed for such a theory.

Doug Carter's Stroke Trainer, when used properly, will train the muscle memory in your stroke arm, hand and wrist all at one time.

So I set up the Stroke Trainer, just to test the feeling. Sure enough, there is a tightness between the upper arm and chest when I am properly set up with the Stroke Trainer.

If you can hold a quarter in your armpit throughout the stroke (backswing through follow through) you will be amazed at your increased accuracy on long shots.

Feels awkward. Damn right, but if you use this little gem while you are practicing and do it repeatedly, you will groove your billiard stroke.