While reading a bunch of threads on AZB and watching videos I found an interesting piece of info related to how the muscles surrounding the shoulder and arm work.  Without getting into a lot of the science involved, I’ll just say that it makes sense, scientifically, it is also contradictory to what you would think.  The advice: For power strokes, choke up on the cue, do not, as would be instinctive, grip further towards the butt end for a longer bridge, etc.  If you watch some of the big-stroke guys, Mika, Bustamante, they grip in the middle/forward half of the handle when they need to really juice up the ball.  I would post a diagram of some stroke shots I was shooting this week, but cuetable is referencing an incorrect version of shockwave, so my computer tells me. hrmm.  I will say that my force-follow stroke has really improved with this new grip.  However, I feel like my draw stroke has suffered a little bit.  For long-distance draw shots, I feel it definitely has; but most everything else, it’s still good.

The secret to this new grip will only work if you’re one of those players that has a very loose wrist and good timing on the snap.  Watch Bustamante’s wrist, it’s like it’s not really attached to his forearm, but dragging behind it.  It’s that extra wrist action that loads up the cue ball.  I can easily hit a corner-to-corner nearly straight in shot with forcefollow and inside and get the cb to follow up the end rail and spin back downtable to past the side pockets.  I never had that kind of follow-stroke before, and certainly not with any sort of confidence or control.  I used to have to hit that ball about as hard I can, now I can hit it with only about 60% and get it.  It’s still a power shot, but well within controllable range.

In less than ideal news, either my new stance coupled with new grip, or the piece of junk office chair/desk at work is causing my bridge shoulder to start hurting again.  It’s something internal like a rawness and reminds me of when I last this kind of discomfort, which was caused by putting too much weight on my bridge arm.  I’m not doing that this time, but I am having to put my arm out and bent more than I’m used to in order to keep the bridge hand a little closer to my body.  Instead of having a straight arm, my elbow is bent around the 45-60 degree range, when I have the space.  I have to be careful here as it could easily turn into something quite painful, but I’m not sure what I can do about it.  I just have to monitor my stance and try to make small adjustments to see what hurts and what doesn’t.  Of course, all day at work it feels less and less comfortable, so I know that the ergonomics offered are just terrible and aren’t helping.  *sigh*