Billiard Stances- A Comparison Of Two Styles

Written by Mathew West

Page 2 of 2:  First ·  Prev ·  1 ·  2

Basic Fundamentals
· The Pre-Shot Routine Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Pool Stance Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Pool Grip Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Bridge Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Pool Stroke Pool & Billiards video demonstration

Other Related Articles from other Authors
· Billiard Stances - A Comparison of two styles
· How to Learn to Stroke Straight
· Getting a grip (right) is vital
· Stroke Detection and Correction
· How to Stroke
· Bridging the gap

Step 2:[Head, Eyes] bows [Right Elbow, Eye-of-Grip, Bridge, Cue, Chest/Belly] over [Pelvis, Legs, and Feet] onto the {Line} behind the {Cue Ball}

Step 2 is the critical part of this drill. The important bit is the aiming of the shot from the head, as you bow down the elbow, bridge, and cue into place under the head. Once the elbow, bridge, and cue are in place, all the lining up behind the shot should be complete.

Bend the head down as straight as possible to keep a consistent view of the shot. As you go down onto the cue, pull back slightly with the right upper arm/elbow and eye-of-grip and extend gently with the bridge. This brings the cue up in against the chest, and helps line things up with the head. I liken this action to that of drawing a bow in reverse, one arm holds relatively still while the other extends forward. Both shoulders, arms, and hands need to move in unison for precision. It is important to get your weight slightly forward into the shot, with the pelvis slightly forward over the legs and feet. If your butt is sticking out over your heels, you are falling away from the shot and you will lack power in the stroke. Don't lean too far forward though, it is important that the pelvis, legs, and feet carry most of the weight, it is what this part of the body is designed to do. The heels and toes of the feet need to be firmly planted. On the table, the left arm should carry only some of the weight comfortably, creating the triangle or tripod of weight bearing points. The left arm should rest slightly bent on the table if it fits. In my experience, a completely straight left arm tends to exert unnecessary pulling pressure on the left chest part of the body. A too bent left arm, on the other hand, is likewise something to avoid because it encourages the body to hunch up and crouch and fall forward, instead of stretching comfortably out. A good tip is to make sure that the left shoulder/upper arm joint is as flat as possible to comfortably carry weight and stabilize the stance and minimize strain down the left side of the body. The bridge should be approximately one hand length away from the cue ball for most shots. You can vary the angle of the bridge hand, how much if at all is a matter of preference. The cue tip should be directly behind the cue ball at first, ready to move back with the first practice stroke. All of the bridge fingers need to be firm, although perhaps the forefinger needs to be especially firm since with the thumb it forms the base for the groove.

For both stances, I advocate having the head and chin all the way down gently touching the cue for most shots. This reduces the 3-dimensional image your eyes record to a more 2-dimensional image making long distance aiming easier. This isn't at all necessary, and if not comfortable is probably not a good idea, and indeed at times having a more 3-dimensional view of the shot helps to see the line as you stroke it. Another reason to have the head and cue touching is that it can help with your sense of head, eyes, elbow, eye-of-grip, bridge, and cue being lined up correctly.

Snooker stance: When using a snooker stance on the American Nine-Foot Tables I use exactly the same upper body shape as the one I use on a Snooker Table. However, I alter the shape of my base in relation to the line of the shot. To get low and stay comfortable I allow the right leg to unlock and bend slightly. I am careful though to keep the bend less than that of the left leg. I also move my left leg a bit wider. On the American Nine-Foot Tables I don't recommend the traditional lower body shape of a snooker stance. The greater height of the Snooker Table makes it easier to bend a flat torso over the pelvis and a straight right leg/foot. In my experience to achieve a comfortable flat square torso in relation to a Nine-Foot Table, the legs need to be spread slightly more width wise and the right knee needs to be unlocked and slightly bent.

Whatever shape you settle on for your base in the pelvis, legs, and feet, the important thing is that you can stay down comfortably and more or less evenly weighted between both legs and feet. A little more weight on the front left leg and foot is fine, but too much is disastrous, as this puts too much weight onto the left arm and bridge, restricting the movement of the swinging right elbow. A firm base is essential for achieving controlled, comfortable, and aimed stroking.

The last and final step is of course to shoot the shot and I include how I structure this step for your interest.

Step 3: Stroke the Line-> Pause-> Shoot

The stroke should begin with the cue tip just behind the cue ball. At this point of contact the right elbow should be vertical, forming a 90 degree right angle between upper arm and forearm. The first motion of the stroke should be away from the cue ball, then returning to that starting point on the forward stroke. The entire body should be comfortably still as you stroke. The head, and neck and shoulders especially, should not move, only the elbow, forearm, and grip should swing the cue. This is impossible to do without a good base in the pelvis, legs, and feet. The right upper arm/elbow needs to remain in line with the head and cue.

It isn't enough to just stroke, you have to aim that stroke as well. Eyes can move up and down the line between cue, cue ball, and object ball, but at the moment of contact it is essential to be looking at the line passing through the cue ball and object ball together, so that the shot can be confirmed as it is played.

Pausing the stroke, I feel, has many merits. Firstly, if your stance is well set up, comfortable, and stable over a solid base, you should be able to pause the motion of elbow, forearm, and grip without strain. If you find it difficult chances are you're not really that stable over your base. Secondly, pausing, whether at the front of the stroke next to the cue ball, or at its apex at the back, gives your eyes the chance to check the line of the cue in relation to the line of the shot. No matter how good you are at setting up it's still easy to miss. The subtlest of body movements can throw your aim off. This is why I recommend a pause, either at the front or back swing of your last stroke- it gives you one last moment to check the line and the alignment of your body and cue in relation to that line before you shoot.

I hope you have enjoyed, please feel free to email me with questions/comments at wesma740<at>hotmail<dot>com .

The Pattern of the Number 3 in Billiards

Three Fundamentals:

  1. Head/Eyes = Aim
  2. Hands/Cue = Stroke
  3. Pelvis = Stability

Three Fundamentals:

  1. Head/Eyes/ guiding Hands/Cue/ over Pelvis into Stance
  2. Head, Eyes, Elbow, Eye-of-Grip, Bridge, Cue, all in Line
  3. Sighting, Stroking, Shooting

The Pool Break

Channel swinging elbow power and body weight transference from right to left foot through the bridge hand / Hit the cue ball with a flat cue / Swing with the elbow in line and a loose grip on the cue, tightening on impact / Hit the dead center of the cue ball at maximum cue speed.

The Head

The head is so important. Your head is where your eyes are. It is where the balance of the body begins. The reason I think people miss most often is not because they fail to cue the ball where they want it but rather that they fail to sight the shot correctly in the first place

Page 2 of 2:  First ·  Prev ·  1 ·  2

Copyright Notice: Contents, materials and images © Copyright www.easypooltutor.com. This information may be shared freely so long as the Copyright notice is included. If any contents or images are used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained by contacting the owner of this website.

Basic Fundamentals
· The Pre-Shot Routine Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Pool Stance Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Pool Grip Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Bridge Pool & Billiards video demonstration
· The Pool Stroke Pool & Billiards video demonstration

Other Related Articles from other Authors
· Billiard Stances - A Comparison of two styles
· How to Learn to Stroke Straight
· Getting a grip (right) is vital
· Stroke Detection and Correction
· How to Stroke
· Bridging the gap

Related Articles