How To Shoot Pool Accurately Without A "Poked, Jab Stroke"

4 Ways To Get Your Stroke Right In 4 Pages

shooting pool, jabberwocky, poke stroke, poked stroke
Shooting pool improves with a SMOOTH stroke. All About Pool

Shooting pool accurately involves a smooth, non-poked stroke. Here's how!

Draw Jabberwocky

A common mistake when stroking a pool cue, especially when using a draw stroke, is to jab or poke at the ball and pull the cue back from a full, flowing follow-through. The stroke not only looks terrible, it tends to yank the stick off line and ruin the intended direction for the cue ball.

A jab draw stroke may be used on special occasions with the rear of the cue stick jacked some (or much) into the air (see related jab draw article) but for most shots taken comfortably at the table, a fuller follow-through is desirable.

Here’s How You Do It

This jabbing stroke issue is a simple problem and I offer four simple solutions:

1) Employ An Effective, Classic Stroke
2) Use A Timed, Accelerating Draw Stroke
3) A Clear Picture On Follow-Through
4) Pre-Plot Speed Pacing

Let’s start with the classic stroke. What I call the classic pool stroke is used where the cue ball is easily reached with your stick and hands, and there is room at the table and between the balls for a full stroke of some length going forward, even if you use a compact backswing. Principles of the classic stroke include:

The classic stroke movements for the arm and hand help remove the ugly little hitch of the jabbed stroke.

2: The Accelerated Draw Stroke

Next, let’s review how to accelerate the draw stroke properly. Imagine your bridging distance (between the loop of your closed bridge hand or the groove of your open bridge and the cue ball) is seven inches in length. You need to accelerate your draw stroke, however gently, over those 7 inches of time and space on the final stroke.

In other words, at the risk of oversimplifying the issue, if my cue stick is moving 5 miles-per-hour an inch past the loop of my bridge hand, I want it going 8 m.p.h. at 3½ inches past (halfway to the cue ball) and 12 m.p.h. at impact then even faster during the follow-through past the cue ball.

I almost never need to strike a draw shot hard, but I often need to accelerate the cue stick smoothly through impact. One of the reasons I’m called “Quick Draw” Sherman is I can teach most anyone to play draw effectively quickly. I have a repertoire of over a dozen teaching tips for draw, but this is one of the more effective aids to bridging understanding.

Once students understand than use the smoothly, continually accelerating movement of the cue stick, their draw strokes become far more powerful and accurate.

3: Pre-Plan Your Choice Of Pro Shot Speeds

Finally, realize that a pre-shot commitment to the correct speed will help you shoot the shot without that nasty hitch of a jab-and-poke. I recommend 3 paces or speeds for strokes and 2 to be avoided that will wreck your day!

Take my advice very seriously, because a commitment to speed will do more for your game than can be imagined. Every teacher I respect in this sport teaches a commitment to a preset speed for the given shot at hand

Recall also from your studies elsewhere here at how every piece of pool instruction you're read anywhere says that strokes are soft, medium or hard, not SLOW, medium or FAST. More on that elsewhere at:

Control Your Speed Via Your Billiards Grip