this is an old hat. i’m sure that so many people have written, read, and talked about this topic that you’d turn blue just by hearing it. but i’m writing about it anyway: the pause.
i’ve incorporated the pause into my stroke for a while now. shortly after my friend gave me a lesson over the phone, i added the pause. i didn’t do this consciously; it just felt right. i guess my body knew something i didn’t. but now it makes sense why the pause would work.
when i switched to a swing-based stroke, i’ve found that the pause gives me better power, particularly on draw shots. what the pause did for me was to let me relax my muscles completely before the strike. the closest analogy i can think of is pulling the bow string; you pull the string as far as you can, pause, then let go. when i pull back my forearm enough, i pause and let the forearm go, allowing gravity and the cue to do most of the work. granted, i do need to supply power on power shots, but i can largely get away with just gravity and the weight of the cue. it has worked well for me, and the process is logical enough that i’ve made it part of my routine.
not saying everyone should use the pause, but it may be worth trying if you’re looking to improve your technique.