A lot of the top players have their own technique, or parts of it, that could be considered suboptimal or a bit odd compared to what should be the norm or standard approach, but obviously suits them just fine.
Below are the things that I noticed, feel free to join in and discuss these or other current or past players if you like.
Probably closest to what the textbook set up and technique would be, stays down very long after finishing the shot, be it a good pot or a bad miss to assess what went wrong.
Stands square to the table, short feathers, rarely uses more pace than necessary
Short stabby cue action with short feathers, goes through the ball well and straight with his wrist flick. I think he also relaxes his back finger more than others, letting them hang by merely touching the butt of the cue at times, gripping more by just the index and thumb.
Ronnie O Sullivan
Very good at generating spin through the use of dropping his shoulder on power shots to drive the cue forward achieving a lot of follow through. Very technical and difficult to achieve without deviating the cue from the line of aim, but he mastered this. Stephen Lee is another perfect example of this. Ronnie also seems to let his thumb has straight down next to the cue, not using it to grip it. When the shot is completed he seems to have relaxed the index finger and holds the cue with his back three fingers.
Contrary to Ronnie, Judd does not seem to drop his shoulder on power shots, instead keeping his shoulder high and only using the elbow joint. This, together with his very wide stance with quite a lot of forward lean might possibly aid him with his massive cuepower according to Alan Mc Manus.
Also well documented is the fact he cues across the white badly when feathering, but then leans into the line of aim when striking it so effectively hitting it dead straight on impact. An example of a ‘faulty technique’ with an over time in built correction/compensation (leaning over when striking) which results in achieving the end goal (striking through the white dead centre in a straight line).
Not much I can think of, probably also close to textbook? I do notice he unfurls his fingers more than some of the other players do on power shots. Has a long backswing pulling the cuetip all the way back to the V in his bridge.
Used to have a lot of sideways head movement earlier in his career, normally speaking the head should stay absolutely still, but I guess he keeps his head still when actually striking the white so it suits him fine. Methodical in his approach to the shot, tends to always use the exact same number of feathers.
Come to think of it, actually Ronnie is also always moving about on his shot, but more of a up and down head movement…
Just like Judd he has i.m.o. a lot of cue power and only uses the elbow joint, not dropping the shoulder à la Ronnie. Has a very flat back with his lower back arched a lot because he’s a tall dude and because he straightens his leg has to do something to get low and parallel to the table I guess. Judd seems to bend his lower back the opposite way, rounded instead of flattened. Experts agree this prolonged expore of Judd's lumbar region to suboptimal posture will lead to premature invertebral disc generation leading to early retirement of the game without fulfilling his full potential!
Tall dude, bends both legs to get down low enough, methodical, looooong backswings
For me also more classic and textbook. Has a more firm grip on the cue not opening the fingers as much on the backswing. Gets his head very low.
Don’t know where to begin really twists and turns around his cue like a constrictor around it’s prey but suits him just fine.
Flares his elbow outwards a lot, also has some kind of movement or ‘tic’ right after he strikes the ball.
Well that’s all I can think of now…
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