One of the most important basic techniques that need to be mastered is your Bridge Hand if you want to improve your overall game. I have written “The Bridge” to help players improve the fundamentals in developing a good bridge. The formation of a strong bridge hand is a very important part of your overall technique as we are building it to support the cue on the line of aim.
Start by placing your hand flat on the table and spread your fingers. Next you press the pads of your fingers to grip the cloth. This will automatically lift the knuckles on your bridge hand. Bring your thumb tight against the first finger to form a groove or channel for the cue to slide through. This groove is recommended to be on the line of the aim of the shot.
There are three basic bridge hand heights. The normal height is for stun shots and you need to drop your bridge hand for screw shots and raise your bridge for top spin shots. The Bridge should be between 9 – 12 inches away from the cue ball depending on the kind of shot and always keep the base of your bridge hand on the table because the more contact with the cloth the stronger the bridge will be.
Striking the cue ball accurately when you are bridging over balls or playing from near the cushion places great demands on your technique. Bridging on the cushion cuts down the length of backswing available which can lead to delivering the cue too fast and this is the most common fault.
The most important aspect is to deliver the cue smoothly through the ball and to get your eyes up on the object ball before you strike the cue ball. Remember to hold the cue slightly shorter when you are bridging over balls or playing from the cushion. This is because you do not need a long backswing or follow through and the more compact you make your action the more accurate it will be.
The two most common cushion bridges are to drop your wrist down on the side of the cushion leaving only fingers on top and cue through the fingers. The other bridge is to put your cue flat on top of the cushion and cue along your thumb by wrapping your first finger over the cue.