Has anyone ever told you your stroke should be ‘continuous’, or ‘one smooth motion’? If you stop to think about it, it’s impossible for your stroke to be ‘one smooth motion’ UNLESS you’re talking about ONLY the final delivery: from the stop at back of the backswing, then through striking the cue ball, to the finish. THAT is one smooth motion you should strive for.
Check it out. On every practice stroke, you move your grip arm – and therefore your stick’s tip – forward, then backward, forward, then backward. You can’t change direction from forward to back without a PAUSE; without stopping one motion to start the other. Try to do it without a pause, and you still have to stop moving in one direction in order to move in the other. Gets kinda herky-jerky if you don’t control that pause and change of direction.
So you should work to control each pause and change in direction to maximize your chances for success. The MOST important pause in your shooting routine comes before you deliver the stroke through the cue ball. When your practice strokes are over and you make your final backswing before delivery, you do NOT want to jerk your arm back quickly, nor do you want to try to quickly change your cue stick’s direction from backward to forward, because that just makes it harder to keep your stick under control.
Instead, you need to bring back the butt of your cue slowly, smooth and steady, so you have complete control through that change of direction from backward to forward. Try it by starting in the SET position, then watch the tip of your cue as you slowly and smoothly bring your grip arm backward, then pause there. Now go back to the SET position, watch your cue tip again, and then quickly move your grip hand to the back of your backswing and stop there. The tip of your cue stick will not be easily controlled if you lose control of your stroke.
The PAUSE at the back of your backstroke, just before final stroke delivery, will help ensure that your arm doesn’t bounce. If you don’t add any elbow drop on the shot – at least not before your stick’s tip contacts the cue ball, then you will hit the cue ball exactly where your practice strokes were aimed.