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?On the power stroke, the cue should come forward faster than it did during the warmup strokes.
?Use some wrist action in hitting the cue ball.
?Hit through the cue ball without any feeling of checking your stroke, even on draw shots. "Let the ball have that last finishing caress." ( Willie Hoppe, Thirty Years of Billiards, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1925.)
?Follow through at least as far as you draw back.
?Don't try to "steer" the cue ball during the follow-through by swerving the cue tip to one side or the other. Develop a perfectly straight delivery that doesn't veer toward the side of the English.
?Everything but your right arm should be motionless when the cue ball is struck. "The striking motion should be confined to the wrist and arm and chiefly to the lower division of it.... Persons who throw their bodies forward after the cue would do well to renounce the game, for that quality totally unfits them for the delicacy of touch and firmness of body, eye, and purpose which are the grand essentials of success." (H. W. Collender, Modern Billiards, Trow's Printing and Bookbinding Co., New York, 1881.)
?Keep your hand on the table until the follow-through is completed.
?Don't let go of the cue until the follow-through is completed.
?Don't "baby" the ball. "A good stroke must be made crescendo, that is, increasing in speed until contact.... Timidity will cause you to 'spare' the shot, with a resultant foozle." (Daly's Billiard Book.)
?Because God hasn't given us the gift of seeing ourselves as others see us, as the Scottish bard Burns discovered 200 years ago ("giftie gie us" is how he put it, if memory serves), entrust these instructions to a friend while you are practicing and have him criticize your stance, bridge, grip, stroke and follow-through.