Effective pool playing requires a good grip and stance. Holding a pool stick correctly is the foundation of a successful game, which is why it’s essential to learn how to do it properly.
This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to hold a pool stick correctly, explore different grip styles, highlight common mistakes that players make and also provide tips from professional players and coaches.
II. Step-by-Step Guide
Proper hand placement and a balanced stance are the basics to master when holding a pool stick. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Place your bridge hand on the table
The bridge hand is the hand used to support the stick while taking a shot. Place it on the table, around 8-10 inches away from the ball.
2. Place your other hand on the butt end of the stick
Place your other hand on the butt end of the pool stick. This will help you control the stick’s weight.
3. Create a V-shape with your fingers
Your index finger and thumb should form a V-shape. The V-shape should be pointed towards your back hand, and your back hand should be relaxed around the cue.
4. Balance your body
Ensure that your feet have a balanced stance with your hips aligned with the cue stick; this will help you maintain better control of the shot.
5. Focus on the shot and strike
Take a few deep breaths and focus on your shot. Once focused, strike the cue in one straight follow-through motion towards the ball.
III. Visual Guide
Visuals can help you understand better. Here are the positions and angles to keep in mind when holding a pool stick.
A. Proper Hand Placement
Your bridge hand should be steady to ensure a balance when aiming at a shot. Also, your fingers should be spread out and flat on the table.
B. Perfect Grip
A perfect grip is an excellent way to ensure control when holding your cue. This way, you can avoid under or over-hitting a shot.
IV. Common Mistakes
Several mistakes can ruin your game when holding a pool stick. Below are the most common:
A. Uneven Hand Placement
Some players tend to place their hands unevenly on the cue, which can harm your accuracy.
Sometimes, players grip the cue too tightly, which ruins the fluidity in their shots.
C. Lack of Follow-Through
Players sometimes forget to follow through the shot causing a lack of power and accuracy.
D. The Stance
Your stance is crucial, and not having a proper stance can cause balance issues, resulting in a poorly executed shot.
V. Tips from Professionals
To get unique insights on pool, we reached out to some professionals who provided some great tips:
A. Proper Cues
“Use a cue with a steel-threaded joint to avoid warping and to increase accuracy,” says Ewa Laurance, the world’s leading female pool player.
B. Consistent Grip
According to Thomas Engert, “A consistent grip is the key to smooth strokes and accurate shots.”.
“Resistance training and yoga are essential; they help balance and stability,” says Florian “Venom” Kohler, a professional pool player.
VI. Different Grips
There are multiple grip styles to choose from:
A. The Open Bridge Grip
An open bridge grip requires your fingers to be spread out on the table, giving you more stability, and allowing for more precise shots.
B. The Closed Bridge Grip
A closed bridge grip involves curling your fingers under your palm with only the tips of the fingers exposed to create a bridge.
C. The Loop Bridge Grip
A loop bridge grip involves creating a “loop” with your thumb and fingers by sticking your thumb out.
VII. Common Cues Used
Here are four common cues used in pool:
A. House Cues
House cues are available in many pool halls. They are usually available in different lengths and weights and are ideal for those who don’t have their cue.
B. Two-Piece Cues
The two-piece cue is detachable into two parts, which is convenient for those who need to travel with their equipment.
C. Break Cues
Break cues are designed to be used for breaking, and they’re heavier and tougher than usual cues.
D. Jump Cues
Jump cues are used to perform jump shots and feature a harder end for more forceful strikes.
VIII. Match the Style
Choosing the right pool cue depends on your style and profile:
A. Regular Hand Profile
Players with regular hand profiles should choose a lighter cue with a thinner grip.
B. Large Hand Profile
Those with large hand profiles should select a wider cue with a comfortable grip.
C. Small Hand Profile
For those with smaller hands, a shorter cue with a skinnier grip is more manageable.
D. Beginner or Professional
Beginners should choose mid-range cues, which are lighter and flexible, allowing for some control to match their experience level. Professional players should select custom cues for maximum control and performance.
Holding a pool stick is essential for excellent pool playing. This guide provided a step-by-step on how to hold a stick correctly, using visuals and professional tips to help improve your game.
While there are several grip styles and cues available, it’s essential to find what’s most comfortable for you, and remember to practice your form consistently.