Listen - The Crack Of The BatWritten by Aron Wallad
The other day, as I watched my daughter take batting practice from her new batting coach, my eyes shifted to another batter that was being coached by another teacher. Her swings were slow, ball was glancing off her bat and trickling into batting screen. Her hips were not rotating and there was no power being generated from her swings.
The coach then took some time with her to show her some techniques that would help her in her quest to be a better hitter.. They spoke for about 10 minutes. Or should I say coach spoke for 10 minutes and girl listened.
As I gazed back and forth between my daughter and this other girl I realized that after about 20 more minutes of hitting and talking with her coach that this girl ( we will call her this girl ) was smacking ball. Projectiles were streaming off her bat. That loud crack from her bat was reverberating in facility.
It dawned on me. That this is why I love this game so much. I loved that crack of bat. I loved hitting that ball so right. I loved it when ball whistled in air. Enjoying other aspects of game like base running, fielding, and throwing were great. But, I was deeply passionate about hitting. The supreme challenge was why I started playing this game and why I continue to enjoy watching it today. The anticipation of watching a great batter get ready for pitch. Awesome.
The Making of a Billiards Champion (Series II of V)Written by Jackie "The Angel" Broadhurst
The Making of a Billiards Champion (Series II of V) Fundamentals Learning proper fundamentals is most critical aspect of a player’s pool game. Mechanics will affect every shot executed. By learning proper techniques first, you will be able to build upon them easier and be best that you can be in shortest amount of time. There is much to learn about having proper mechanics, this article is about three most critical.
Bridges A bridge is used to hold cue stick in place while your shooting. The purpose of a bridge is to allow for a smooth and stable place for your cue stick, so that you can make your intended contact with cue ball. If it is not stable and smooth, you will hit cue ball inconsistently, and therefore, will get random results of aim, english and “deflection”. An “Open Bridge” is easiest to learn and has its advantages and disadvantages. It allows you to see shot better because your index finger is not covering top of stick. And, by bending your knuckles, you can get more height with this bridge for a high/follow stroke. At Boys and Girls Club, this is first bridge I teach. Once they see how easy it is to form that “little V” between their thumb and knuckle, they can quickly make more shots on table. A disadvantage of an open bridge is that there is a chance that stick can move upwards because your index finger is not covering it. A “Closed Bridge” takes time for muscles in your finger to wrap around shaft of cue in a way that is tight enough that it doesn’t move around, but loose enough that it does not inhibit your stroke. In school, I used to practice this with my pen, until my muscles were trained to do it without thinking about it. Stroking Arm The purpose is to move cue stick through ball while keeping it straight and level. Therefore, your arm should be at 90 degrees before contact. If you hold it closer to ball (less than 90 degrees), you won’t be able to follow through enough. If you hold it farther away from ball (more than 90 degrees), it is extremely hard to keep it level. To test to see if you have a consistent, straight and level cue. Place an empty pop or beer bottle on its side on table. As if bottle opening was cue ball, do some practice strokes into bottleneck without touching sides of bottle. You should be able to follow through all way to bottom of bottle without touching it.