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Stroke: A good stroke is smooth, efficient, and precise. This is accomplished by minimizing movement in you body. A good stroke starts long before you attempt to shoot a ball. First, you must examine the table and select a shot you want to make. Determine if the shot requires any english and decide what speed you should use on the cue ball. Don't approach the shot until you have decided these two things and chalked your cue. Next, you must position yourself for the shot. Try to avoid leaning over the table or standing on one leg. Position yourself in such a way that if the table were removed, you wouldn't fall over. In other words, always stay balanced. When you bend over to shoot take two or three slow preparatory strokes. Your head should be aligned directly over the cue. You're stroking arm should be locked at the shoulder. Arm movement should be limited to the elbow down. The forearm should be straight down and the butt of the cue should be directly under your forearm. If you're hand is curled in or out and the cue is not directly under you forearm, adjust your hand until this alignment is achieved. It may feel awkward at first, but your accuracy will improve dramatically if you do it this way. Your preparatory strokes should me smooth and precise. To get a rhythm going, inhale slightly when pulling back; exhale slightly when moving forward. On the final, actual stroke pull back slowly again. Don't freeze in the back position. Proceed forward immediately with a smooth, fluid motion, exhaling fully while you do so. Keep your head down through the shot. A common mistake people make is immediately jumping up and watching all the balls roll. This is a mechanical flaw that will lessen the accuracy of the shot. On the follow through, don't try to jerk the stick back after the shot (don't jab). This places tension in the stroking muscles and impedes a good straight stroke (even draw shots require a good follow through to get maximum reverse english). Shoot easy! Almost all players try to over power the cue ball. See how softly you can shoot. There are many benefits to this. Your accuracy will improve. You will be able to see off center hits on the cue ball and correct your stroke. You will be able to see the effect english has on the object ball. It will also be easier to maintain your form. There is one more thing you need to do. Hold the cue as level as possible. The higher the butt of your cue on off centered hits, the more you will deflect the cue ball. We will talk more about deflection later but basically it means if you hit on the right side of the cue ball it will squirt to the left a little and vice versa. This affects the accuracy of your shot.

Remember: Minimal body movement on every shot. Stay balanced through the entire shot. Don't dip your shoulder while shooting or twist your body in any way. Stay down and exhale on the follow through. Do not OVERPOWER the cueball! Learn to feel the stroke of the stick by shooting easier. Exaggerate these points until they become second nature.