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Billiard Stance Body Positioning

Billiard Stance Body Positioning

Written by Matthew West, reproduced with permission.

Billiard Stances- A Comparison Of Two Styles Part One - Body Positioning

Step 1) Observing the {Line of Shot} stand [Head, Eyes] with [Right Elbow, Eye-of-Grip, Bridge, Cue, Chest/Belly] over [Pelvis, Legs, and Feet] behind the through the {Cue Ball}

The Eye-of-Grip is the 'V' formed between your forefinger and thumb

Observe the Line of Shot by first looking at the pocket, and then at the cue ball and object ball together, forming an imaginary line between cue ball and object ball that aims the object ball into the pocket.

Begin by positioning the head behind the shot, and then shaping the rest of the body and the cue to the shot. Try having the grip holding the cue quite low to the table so that when you bow down, the grip and cue can come up into the stance to meet the body. This encourages a smooth motion into line. Point the cue in the general direction of the shot, already quite horizontal behind the shot, with the left arm and bridging hand extended gently forwards. Try having the cue somewhat flat in relation to your body and the table and the shot as you stand, not straight out away nor held against the torso. This helps with your sense of distance and gives you room to move the bridge out and forward as you stretch out down into a stance. While standing, I personally find that positioning the bridge hand just below the half way point of the cue works best, as it gives me the cue weight to guide the positioning down of the bridge hand.

Snooker stance: stand the right leg and foot straight, somewhere just outside the line of shot and slightly turned out to the right. How much you position the right foot outside the line of shot determines how centered you remain behind the shot. Because the stance is square on to the shot you can't be too centered or you won't be able to bring the head and right elbow into line with the cue. If the stance is too off-centered it becomes uncomfortable with too much weight pulled over onto the right leg/foot. Differences in body shape, size, and flexibility determine how comfortably off-centered you can be, bringing the head and elbow and cue into line. Traditionally the line of shot passes through the right heel, but I think it's better to try to be slightly more centered if you can. I position my right hip just inside the line of shot which brings my right foot approximately 1 heels width outside the line of shot. Turning the right foot slightly out will help create the angle of body needed to fit the right elbow/upper arm in line behind the head. Stand the left leg and foot slightly bent and slightly cocked inwards, forward of the right by about a half-length of your foot. Cocking the left knee inwards helps to stabilize the base and helps keep the left side of the body from being too clear of the shot. Once in the stance the width between both feet will vary depending on your body shape and size, but as a rule of thumb, shoulder width is about right, hip width is too narrow.

Going down square on and off-centered behind the shot means the chest, and belly need to bend over the pelvis square on and off-centered as well. Getting the belly center around the belly button well positioned and comfortably bent flat over the pelvis is very important, this is where the body centers itself, breathes the chest, and powers the limbs. Not being too centered or off-centered behind the line of the shot is the solution to staying comfortable here. Almost all of the turn required should occur in the shoulders and arms, not in the torso and pelvis. Because of the squareness of the stance, a very gentle shoulder turn is necessary to tuck the right upper arm/elbow in line behind the head.

Side-on stance: Stand both legs and feet comfortably lengthwise behind the shot with whatever bend combination you find the most comfortable. Position the right foot somewhere outside the line of shot, angled out the right. Stand the left foot straight ahead establishing good length difference between the feet. The width between the feet is considerably less than the width in a snooker stance, my left foot is only about 2 heels width outside the line of shot. The flatness of the torso in relation to the table is a matter of preference, you can choose to be as flat on the table as a snooker stance, or you can remain more elevated over the cue. Because the body is presented side-on, very little shoulder turn is needed to tuck the right upper arm/elbow in line behind the head.

Once in a stance, the head, eyes, elbow, eye-of-grip, bridge, and cue, all need to be lined up together to deliver a smooth, relaxed stroke with the right forearm. The upper edge of the forearm should be presented facing the line of the shot over the cue, neither turned outward or inward. The right elbow/upper arm is significant, if it is not aligned, the upper edge of the forearm cannot be presented facing the line of shot, the eye-of-grip underneath cannot swing straight through, the head will want to move, and the stability of bridge and feet is compromised. The pendulum effect relies on a correctly aligned elbow/upper arm. If it is out of line gravity becomes your enemy rather than your friend and the muscles of the forearm tense to hold the cue in place as you stroke. Traditionally, the forefinger and thumb are the parts of the hand that grip the cue, but there are many variations that can work, it all depends on what feels right for your hand. Try the traditional single forefinger and thumb grip, two fingers and thumb grip, three fingers and thumb grip, middle fingers and thumb grip, and even a whole hand grip where all the fingers hold the cue. I recommend experimentation to find what suits you best.

Back to Billiard stance Introduction | Go on to Step 2.

Billiard Stance Body Positioning

  • Title: Billiard Stance Body Positioning
  • Author: (Matthew West)
  • Published: 12/13/2006 4:45:19 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/14/2006 4:45:19 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)
  • Source: User Contributed

Billiard Stance Body Positioning

The Billiard Stance Body Positioning article belongs to the Billiard Shot Making and Shooting Tutorials category. Pool tutorials around billiard shot making and shooting tips.

Billiard Stance Body Positioning Comments

  1. Billy XYZBilly XYZ from Paramaribo, Paramaribo District on 6/3/2010 4:50:16 PM

    This site could really really use some pictures or diagrams of what you are trying to explain in regards to pool player stance. It will guarantee more visitors.

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