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Billiard Stance Head Position

Billiard Stance Head Position

Written by Matthew West, reproduced with permission.

Billiard Stances- A Comparison Of Two Styles - Part Two - Head Positioning

Step 2) [Head, Eyes] bows [Right Elbow, Eye-of-Grip, Bridge, Cue, Chest/Belly] over [Pelvis, Legs, and Feet] onto the 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 elbow/upper arm 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, 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 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 lean forward too much, instead of stretching comfortably out. The bridge should be approximately one hand length away from the cue ball. 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 extend the right leg very slightly further outside the line to the right and allow it to unlock and bend slightly. I am careful though to keep the bend less than that of the left leg. I also extend my left leg a little 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 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.

Back to Billiard stance Step 1 | Go on to Step 3.

Billiard Stance Head Position

  • Title: Billiard Stance Head Position
  • Author: (Matthew West)
  • Published: 12/13/2006 9:01:50 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/14/2006 9:01:50 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)
  • Source: User Contributed

Billiard Stance Head Position

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

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