Slip Stroke, Speed and Carom Control

Written by Ron Kurtz

The Slip Stroke

There is not much info on slip stroke and apparently no clear definition. From what I have read I believe I do utilize the slip stroke when I get going, kind of in the zone. I have tried to force myself to use it, to push me in the zone and it seldom works. The slip does not push me in the zone; the zone itself creates the slip stroke in me. That is me, perhaps different to others who use it; I am new to it, but like it. I only use it on normal shots, not over the ball stuff etc.

This is how I characterize my slip stroke. When I am there, I am very loose, kind of fluid like, natural. I know it sound dorky, but it the best way I can think of to characterize it. During the first two strokes the butt slips around in my hand by about an inch or two searching for the proper balance point for that particular reach on that stroke. It settles down in about two strokes and feels good, straightens out etc. Then on the contact stroke the shaft will actually slide forward a bit (not always) about 0.5 to 1 inch. The fact that the shaft is semi airborne there should be no side movement and follow through is perfect. It’s just a nice feeling.

If anyone is a target bow shooter, it’s similar to not gripping your bow. You have a strap on the bow that your hand fits into so when the arrow is release the bow falls forward on it own allowing for a smooth departure of the arrow, no side twisting.

Advanced play, speed and carom control

Speed and carom control are two essential elements of position play and is very important in a game like nine ball that is heavily position play dependent.

Speed control is making the cue ball travel as far as you want it but not too far. It takes practice and patience. One method of practice is to set up a shot and place a piece of paper on the table in the path of the cue ball and try to make it stop on the paper. Do it till you get reasonable with that shot then change the angle of the hit and do the same. That is a good drill but I get tired of drills after a couple of minutes. Another way to get a lot of practice is to play smart. When playing, do not just think I want to get down over there somewhere but pick an ideal spot and try to get to it then watch your results. If you never think of a spot to land the cue ball you will not pay much attention to the resulting speed and your progress on speed control will be very slow. If you deliberately shoot for speed and pay attention to the result during regular games it will help a great deal in learning speed.

The same is true with cue ball carom, very important in position play. If you want to learn the angle the cue ball will travel after hitting the object ball, predict the angle / location on cushion the cue ball will go after it hits the object ball then watch it and see how close you were. Keep doing that and you will get good at it, which is essential for position play. If we just concern ourselves with watching the object ball go down the hole we will be missing half the game and not progress. It is important to watch the cue ball after the stroke to learn advanced play.

About The Author: Ron Kurtz started pool when he was about 14 years old and was given his first cue, a Sampaio from Lisbon Portugal, and still have the same cue 40 years later.

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Author Info - Ron Kurtz