The Pool Stance

Written by Easy Pool Tutor

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Head Alignment

As a general rule of thumb, the head must be aligned with the line of aim right above the cue stick. The cue stick must be aligned with the center of your head or right below your dominant eye. You will have to find out which works best for you. The important thing is to keep your head perfectly perpendicular to the floor and not tilted left or right - although some professional player have their heads tilted, it is not the recommended way to do it. One way to check if your head is properly aligned with the line of aim is to video tape yourself as you are setting up your stance and alignment.

Refer to the illustration below for an example of the correct head alignment.

Pool Stance - Head Alignment
Head Alignment

Body Alignment

The body must be aligned with the aim line. The cue, head and stroking arm must line up with the line of aim and the cue must travel along this line as you stroke the cue. See illustration below. The "Aim Line" is represented by the dotted line (A,B).

Pool Stance - Body Alignment
Body Alignment

Stance Pitfalls

Pool Stance - Upright Stance
Upright Stance

The distance between the chin and the cue stick depends entirely on the players preference and his/her comfort zone. Many professional players shoot with the cue directly under their chin and even touching the chin as they stroke. Snooker players generally do it this way. Putting your head this low allows for better accuracy when aiming but the downside is it does not provide a lot of room for extended forward and back stroke. For pool players, it is generally recommended that your head is just a few inches above the cue (1-6 inches). Anything higher will greatly affect your aiming accuracy and consistency. The illustration below shows a stance that is too upright - this must be avoided if possible.

Addressing the ball and taking your stance

Video courtesy of Dr. Dave and The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards at www.engr.colostate.edu/pool/

Exercise: Improve your Stance

Spend a few hours, days or even weeks to figure out what type of stance fits your playing style. Things to look for would be the following:

  1. Foot position - How far away should your feet be? Does it provide you with good balance?
  2. Legs straight or bent? Which of the two are you more comfortable with? Again, does it provide you with good balance?
  3. Head alignment. This is most important. Find the head alignment that works best for you and then stick with it. Do not change your head alignment from one shot to another because you will never get consistent results if you do.

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