QMD3 Stroke Trainer

QMD3 Stroke Trainer

Author
  • Price
  • Quality of Equiptment
  • Applicability to Casual Players
  • Applicability to Serious Players

A very good update to a very good product.

Based on our review of QMD3 and our review of the previous version of the product (QMD2), the QMD3 stroke trainer improves upon the prior version of the product in almost every way. You can read our review of QMD2 here.

QMD3 Improvements over QMD2 include:

Please keep in mind as we contrast the improvements, in our prior review we were unable to review the software on an Android phone. As such, the review was based on the PC/Windows version of software. As QMD3 now supports the iPhone, this QMD3 review was performed on the iPhone version of the software. The mobile phone applications are free, which is also a plus.

  • The size of the sensor has been significantly reduced. The QMD2 sensor was fairly large at  2 1/2 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. The QMD3 sensor is a much trimmer 1 1/2 inches long by 3/4 inches wide
  • The software now runs on IOS, whereas the previous release only ran on Android or PC. This means players with iPhones can now utilize the stroke training capabilities on their phones. This is significant as we felt that not offering the product on IOS excluded a potentially significant number of players who carry iPhones.
  • Setup on the iPhone was a breeze compared to our prior experience of setup on the PC. IPhone configuration was literally the push of one button after downloading the software from the app store, which itself is one button click. Setup on the PC was much more painful, required a series of steps and took about 20 minutes.
  • QMD3 now offers both, audible alerts as well as vibration alerts. QMD2 was limited to just audible alerts (at least on the PC)
  • Session metrics are now displayed graphically whereas the prior version displayed the metrics in a text based table. The graphical display allows for much easier interpretation and assessment of your results and ranges throughout the session
  • The carrying case is much more compact than the prior carrying case and the fabric covering has been replaced with a rubberized coating. It will take up less room in your cue case and should be more durable.

Lets take a closer look at QMD3

What you get

The unit comes shipped with the QMD sensor, charging cable, carrying case and instructions. The carrying case does a good job of holding everything securely. While the sensor is a sophisticated piece of equipment, I am comfortable that it will be safe when stored in the carrying case. The carrying case is compact and easy to store in your cue case.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setup is super easy.

  • Download the QMD3 app from the app store & open it. It will open to the connect screen
  • Loop the QMD sensor Velcro strap around your cue and slide the sensor down the shaft of your cue just about to the joint. As you slide it down it will tighten snugly around your shaft for a secure fit.
  • Lay the cue level, turn the sensor on, click the scan button on the app and select the sensor’s ID when it appears in the window. Viola, you are ready to go, sets up in seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the QMD Stroke Trainer

First you want to visit the settings to give the session a name and set the sensitivity (beginner through advanced) and also indicate the real time feedback you want. Real time feedback comes in two forms – A vibration and a series of audible alerts, both occur on your phone. If using the audible alerts, I recommend placing the unit on the table next to you as you are practicing. If you are using vibration feedback, slip the phone into your pocket. The following is an image of the setup screen:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you start practicing, the first thing you are going to want to do is get accustomed to the sound of the different alerts that the phone will make as you stroke. There is a distinct sound for a swing to the left, a swing to the right and at the finish of your stroke. Before you begin, take a moment to purposefully swing to the left, then to the right. The real time feedback of which way you are swerving your cue is a very important aspect of this training tool. So you are going to want to recognize which way your cue is moving as you stroke and these alerts will provide you that information. So get to know them in advance. The final alert is at the end of your stroke. That one actually sounds like a camera shutter. This indicates your stroke has been captured in the analytic software on the phone.

Setup the cue ball and practice stroking the ball in a straight line across the table width wise or length wise. There is a users guide on the QMD web site that has a number of recommended drills to help you hone your stroke. The user guide is located on their site here. One important thing to note is that the sensor is absolutely not in the way – you wont even know it is there. You can see in the picture below, that it is small enough and set back far enough that it is absolutely not in your shot line.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have recorded a number of practice strokes, you can go to the analysis tools on the phone app to evaluate the results of your session. These tools are extremely powerful in providing you insight as to the imperfections in your stroke that really help guide you as to what you need to work on to smooth out your stroke.

Lets take a look at the analysis provided by QMD3

The application is very sophisticated and is very similar to the kinds of sophisticated training technologies used in other sports such as golf and baseball.

This practice screen is where your stroke is visualized through the various angles via sophisticated animation. Multiple strokes can be recorded in a single session and each stroke can be individually selected and played back. A depiction of the cue ball and corresponding strike location show the tip location in relation to the cue ball during the entire stroke. Also interesting is that it will show you where you have a twist in your stroke mechanic. There are three views of the stroke that are able to be played back. Top down, side view and back view. Each gives you a unique perspective on your stroke. I find it fascinating to cycle through these different perspectives and there are many insights to be had by cycling through them. On each view, you can play the stroke in real speed or you can step forward & back frame by frame. Cycling through these screens across the various strokes in your practice session can show you the patterns where you consistent in certain imperfections. Identifying these patters of imperfection is the key to honing in on what you need to work on.

The following is an example of the Top view

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is an example of the side view

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is an example of the back view

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other important feature of the training software includes comprehensive graphically represented metrics captured through all of your strokes in the session. This area of the software is significantly improved over the prior versions reviewed, which was purely text based. The intent of the metrics is to be able to easily identify any unwanted tendencies you should focus on eliminating and to track your improvement. I found the graphical representation to be very effective in this regard. During my practice sessions, the most significant issue I uncovered using these metrics was that I tend to roll my hand to the left during my stroke. I had no idea that I was doing this, but after these metrics made me aware of that tendency, I was able physically detect that I was doing it during my stroke and am now working to improve it.

The following are the metrics provided. For detailed explanations on the metrics, please refer to the user’s guide, located on the company’s website here.

Acceleration Index


 

 

 

 

 

Stroke Tempo


 

 

 

 

 

Roll Range


 

 

 

 

 

Vertical Range


 

 

 

 

 

Lateral Range


 

 

 

 

 

Overall Assessment

The QMD3 is a very powerful training platform. Real time alerts, with a 360 degree capture of all aspects of your stroke and graphical representation of the major key metrics makes this training product much more comprehensive than most training methods out there. I do believe that QMD3 can be even more effective used in conjunction with coaching or video as no tool can tell you specifically “why” your mechanics are flawed and how to actually correct them.

QMD3 is a product more suited for the player who is genuinely interested in putting the time in to improve their game. The product is quite technical and requires attention to detail, study, practice and perseverance. I will say however, that the QMD3 is a marked improvement over the prior version of the product (QMD2) and these improvements make it more approachable for the more casual players looking to improve.

It is important to set your expectations properly, QMD is not a magic bullet to improving your stroke. But if you are serious about improving your game, are a true student of the sport or are an instructor yourself, this might be a product you want to check out. If you find it pricey, search similar products such as baseball swing analysis, and you will find the price point on par with comparable training products.

QMD3 is the closest thing you can come to to carrying a billiards coach in your pocket and I do recommend it for players serious about their training.

 

I am the founder of Billiard Product Reviews. I have been playing pool for over 30 years. I have a genuine love for this game and all things billiards. I consider myself a student of the game and try to learn as much as I can from instructional books, instructional DVDs, DVDs of professional matches, professional coaching, practice and from the other players that I play with. While I play competitively in league and occasionally tournaments, I consider myself a casual player, relatively speaking. I am a skill level 7 in the APA, skill level 5 in TAP and play as a C+ in amateur open tournaments. I created this site to give back to the billiards community and to assist my fellow players in selecting the right products to help improve their game or just get more enjoyment out of the sport we love.

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