About.com Review - "The Secret Art Of Pool"
I give this DVD my highest recommendation. Brett is a terrific sports coach who speaks confidently in his distinct accent and will rivet the player's attention to follow his advice through his nearly 2½ hour long presentation. He rightly instructs the student to do 90% of the game "outside the box" and outside their stance, including chalking with purpose, stroke and aim thoughts, and waving away negative stroke thoughts.
I certainly agree with most of the concepts Brett teaches on his new DVD. He covers all the basic and also many advanced concepts, including:
*Finding your natural rhythm
*Two tests for finding the correct grip, the "Tube of toothpaste test" and Brett's "Hit 'em over the head test"
*Two speeds of stroke to help simplify play, his "little finger speed" and "all open fingers speed"
*Checkpoints for good form throughout the stroke.
*"Feeling the pinch for a good hit" and tips on building a power piston stroke on a gradual basis, using different stroke lengths, extensions and speeds
*A number of his unique aim systems including some clever tools for using sidespin, topspin and draw, along with very helpful advice for dead straight shots and near-straight cut shots with a natural adaptation to billiards throw that will help players find the "pro side of the pocket"
*Rail bridges and open and closed bridge advice--alone these are worth the price of this DVD in my opinion
Like me, Brett teaches both pool and golf and exchanges helpful concepts between the two sports. I'm sure you'll find Brett's stylish and clear exposition of the forefinger and thumb V-grip in both sports fascinating.
His combination of the V-grip, hand on the rear of the cue stick and elbow drop will create immense power in the stroke for most players. He teaches his #1-5 shot routine that clearly covers sighting on the target, assuming a stance properly and on line, and stroking to a complete follow through.
As a teacher, Brett's great use of repetition will help hammer home the fundamentals for any player. He shows his special grip and stroke from multiple angles and in real time and slow motion for many of his shots.
The DVD also makes a great companion for further illustrating the "V-grip" beyond his Secret Art book:
The use of the V-grip has been coming into vogue with a variety of pros in recent years. It brings the adductor pollisis muscle (the meaty part of the web between thumb and forefinger into play. While not the ideal stroke for every player, (some readers already are playing at a high level with a pendulum-type stroke) when coupled with an accurate stance and alignment, the V-grip stroke allows for a piston-like stroke arm elbow to work with near-maximum efficiency.
Brett's addition of a nice, high elbow held way above the table provides stroking room for the long follow through and piston cue stick path. One advantage of this stroke style is to limit the use of the wrist. No worries, though, you will still get absolutely tons of power, even on draw strokes.
For the big V, the cue stick rests in the fingers of the hand with a golf-like "weak hand" grip atop the cue stick to gently hold the cue. I like this method also because it emphasizes a full release and not muscle tension or arm tightness through the finish of the stroke. Brett walks the initiate all the way through his V technique, including tips to help remain aligned with a high-seated elbow on the backstroke.
Brett further correctly emphasizes the opening and close of the last three fingers of the stroke hand, a must if you want to learn this type of billiards stroke and add it to your game. And if you learn Brett's stroke, and he certainly gives you enough details on his DVD to master it, your ultimate motion will have a pronounced elbow drop with no loop to it, with a firm-yet-not-too-firm grip and forearm tendons that power through the ball. If you're still uncomfortable with this different method of playing regular shots, I'd suggest trying it for monster break and jump shots regardless.
Finally, select player endorsements can tell you more about the high-level players in Lee Brett's stable of students:
You changed my stroke, thanks! If anyone wants good advice or needs help, Lee Brett helped me with my problems. - Shane Van Boening
This new technique of mine is the best thing I have discovered so far in my career. Technically and with fundamentals, Brett is a very good coach. - Darren Appleton
Mike Dechaine - I suggest Lee Brett to anyone who wants to do better in this game.
Joey Aguzin - Lee knows some things that other instructors do not. Besides that, Lee Brett is a genuine pool talent.
Dave Segal - I would highly recommend Lee to any pool player looking to improve his or her game.