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Pool and billiards grip and bridge technique and advice - Part 1 (NV B.96)



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it is very important to have good grip

and bridge technique the grip and bridge

are the only connections you have to the

queue and they are solely responsible

for the outcome of every shot the bridge

provides the line of aim and stability

for the queue and the grip delivers the

cue to the cue ball and provides control

in this video we present technique

advice that will help you ensure your

grip and bridge provide reliable

consistent and accurate cube motion for

all types of shots let's start with the

grip your grip on the cue should be

natural and relaxed one way to find a

good starting position for the grip is

to simply pick up the cue and wiggle the

arm and wrist into a relaxed straight

down position

where you place your grip on the cue

will vary with your stance the grip

should be in the position that Orient's

the forearm perpendicular to the cue

with a shorter bridge length your grip

will need to be farther up and with a

longer bridge length you grip will be

farther back again the main point is to

have the forearm perpendicular to the

cue the grip should also hang straight

down beneath the elbow with the entire

arm in the plane of the cue and it

should remain this way during the entire

stroking motion

the grip should be a light cradle that's

relaxed enough to allow the cue to pivot

within the hand during the stroking

motion

the fulcrum for the pivot will typically

be either at the index finger or the

middle finger

the fulcrum finger in this case the

index finger remains closed around the Q

with light pressure the thumb helps

provide support on the side of the Q

the other fingers lightly wrap around

and move with the cue

be sure to keep the grip relaxed during

the entire stroke tightening the grip

will adversely affect your control

consistency and tip position accuracy on

the cue ball now let's look at the

bridge the purpose for the bridge is to

provide a stable guide for the cue along

the desired line of aim of the shot at

the desired tip position on the cue ball

shown here is a standard open or V

bridge with spread fingers with this

bridge you rest the thumb up against the

index finger to form a V groove for the

cue

notice how the heel of the hand is

firmly on the table and the fingers are

spread for extra support you don't want

your thumb away from the hand as shown

here

this causes the cue to slide on the

fleshy part of the hand which can be

sticky and less stable again you want a

stable V formed by the thumb against the

index finger with as little resistance

as possible one advantage of an open

bridge is that you have full view of the

cue even when your stance is low this

can make aiming and sighting easier than

with a closed bridge where part of the

cue is blocked from view another

advantage of an open bridge is the V

forms a centered and free sliding

support even when the queues taper

enters the bridge with a closed bridge

if the bridge length is long or the

taper starts soon on the shaft more

resistance and spreading can occur

during the stroke

let's take a closer look at the close

bridge which is commonly used

notice how the index finger forms a

closed loop against the thumb the index

finger can be bent completely around the

cue or it can be flexed against the

thumb or middle finger the middle finger

provides the main support beneath the

cue

the result is a very stable guide during

the stroke

you want to make sure there are no gaps

between the queue and the index finger

loop this can result in undesirable q

motion during the stroke you also want

to make sure you don't apply too much

pressure with the loop this will

constrain the Q's motion too much and

reduce control again you want to close

loop forming a stable guide without too

much resistance

there are many bridge variations and

alternatives here are some examples the

ones you should use are the ones that

are the most stable comfortable and

consistent for you

here they are from the side notice how

the heel of the hand is always planted

firmly against the table the fingers

also help provide stability where

possible the heel of the hand is off the

table

only at steep cue angles here's an

example where elevation is required to

clear over an obstacle ball an open

bridge can easily be adjusted to create

different tip positions and cue

elevations the bridge height is

increased by first lifting the knuckles

and then by lifting the heel of the hand

a closed bridge can also be elevated but

it can't get as high as the open bridge

when shooting over a rail at a nearby

cue ball there are several rail bridge

alternatives the most common is formed

like so you rest the thumb against the

cue and straddle with the first two

fingers this results in a very stable

guide against the rail cushion here are

some alternative rail bridges useful in

different situations

and this is what they look like from the

side

you

here are some example bridges useful in

bridging along a cushion

you

and this is what they look like from the

side

you

when the cue ball is too far to reach

comfortably with a hand bridge you can

use a mechanical bridge the grip use is

a dart style grip formed by the thumb

and first two fingers the elbow can be

held out to the side or hang straight

down the free hand should hold the

bridge down firmly and help clear the

bridge away from moving balls when

necessary

a mechanical bridge usually offers

guides on the small side allowing an

elevated bridge for example to clear

over an obstacle ball