The Art of the Choke

Written by David Sapolis

Page 5 of 8:  First ·  Prev ·  1 ·  2 ·  3 ·  4 ·  5 ·  6 ·  7 ·  8 ·  Next ·  Last

Article Index
The Art of the Choke (page 1)
Satellite Interference (page 2)
Self-Communication (page 3)
Centering (page 4)
The Center of Mass (page 5)
Breathing (page 6)
Using Centering to Deal
      With Past Failures
(page 7)
What is the problem? (page 8)

So what does this have to do with your stance???

EVERYTHING!!!! Every error that you have ever committed has been due to a miscalculation or an error in judgment. When you are faced with any shot, physically getting the ball into the pocket starts with the way that you get down into your shooting stance. Your stroke is relying on you to at least balance yourself properly. If you body is not balanced properly, your stroke WILL suffer. Let’s look at our Factors of Stance Mechanics.

  1. The head
  2. The ears
  3. The neck
  4. The shoulders
  5. The bridge arm
  6. The spine
  7. The center of mass ***
  8. The hips
  9. The legs
  10. The feet

From top to bottom, all need to be in line with your Center of Mass. If they are not, your balanced is flawed. The flaw may be detectable, or non-detectable, but still there remains a flaw that can be corrected. Try this next exercise while you are preparing to get in your stance. This starts from the top of your head and works its way down to the toes.

Exercise: I see the shot before me. I have gone through the mental planning stages as to how I am going to shoot this shot. I will now get down in my stance.

a) My ears are in line and directly above my shoulders (Head not dropping down)

b) My shoulders are square and even with my Center of Mass

c) Though bent at the waist, my spine keeps a straight line

d) My bridge shoulder is comfortable, and not supporting my entire weight

e) My knees are loose, bent slightly, not locked tightly

f) My feet are a comfortable distance apart acting as a base for my entire stance

That is my 6 point checklist. Now if I find a deficiency, I DO NOT make adjustments while down in my stance. I stand up straight and begin my pre-shot routine all over again. Why is this? Because I am not down there to adjust my stance. I am down there to shoot the shot. Anything that distracts me from shooting the shot is dealt with immediately and appropriately. As you can see, it is vital to a proper stance. You must be rock solid, yet comfortable. While you are down in your stance, I should not be able to push you off balance. You should be locked in your stance, not crouched or slumped over the table lazily. Remember that Relaxed does not mean Lazy! A lazy, weak stance is mainly caused by a lack of confidence or carelessness. The shoulders droop, the neck tilts, the head drops down in discouragement. The spine hunches over and becomes tense, as do the shoulders, which are the base for you shooting and your bridge arm. (If your shoulders are tense, so is your shooting arm). We eventually bunch ourselves in a ball like a bundle of nerves. Having a strong, solid stance will enable you to master Centering techniques much more easily. Master the centering techniques that I will show you can and will enable you to achieve "Dead Stroke" much more easily and with amazing frequency.

Centering not only keeps you focused while you are at the table, it can keep you focused while you are away from the table as well.

Page 5 of 8:  First ·  Prev ·  1 ·  2 ·  3 ·  4 ·  5 ·  6 ·  7 ·  8 ·  Next ·  Last

About The Author: Blackjack David Sapolis played professional pool for 20 years in The United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Related Articles

Author Info - David Sapolis