A good stance won’t make you a champion player, but will definitely help you develop your pool game. It will provide you balance, comfort and consistency and help you play good shots. You should know that no one stance will be absolutely correct. Selecting a stance is more about personal preferences rather than being theoretically correct. Having said that, a right stance should make you feel comfortable and help you play effectively and enjoy the game of pool. This post will provide a brief summary of the steps that should be followed to build a good stance. With practice this will pretty much become your second nature and you won’t have to think too hard about your stance, before playing any pool shot. However keep in mind that you should be consistent with your stance, from the time you approach a shot till the successful completion of that shot. Pool requires high amount of focus and very good hand-eye coordination.
Approaching a shot
Once you have decided the shot you want to play, keep your body on the shot line. A shot line is an imaginary line which is drawn between the middle of cue ball and that point of object ball which you want to hit. This allows you to focus on the target point that helps you play a successful shot. Often you will see players using their cues to extend the shot line past the table. This helps them focus on the exact point where they want to hit the object ball. You can chalk your cue at this point.
Once you are ready, place your back foot exactly perpendicular to the shot line. Proceed to placing your front foot (which is the left foot for right-handed pool players and the right foot for left-handed players). Don’t worry too much about the front foot angle, as you already know that a stance is unique to each player. Just keep in mind that it should help you balance and should make you feel comfortable. There should be sufficient room for the cue to move back and forth. A common mistake amateurs do is keeping the feet too close to each other.
You can keep your knees slightly bend or completely straight. Do what best suits you but don’t bend too much. Instead widen your feet to get yourself in a convenient position. A good test is assuming your stance and staying there for a minute or so. If your leg starts to ache after 30-45 seconds, you will get to know that too much pressure is applied on one foot.
Lowering to get a stance
Start bending from hips after positioning your feet and putting your bridge hand on the table. Keep your cue and head on the shot line and start bending your torso. Try to keep your back as straight as possible and bend to a comfortable position. Pool players have the option of choosing between a lower stance and an upright stance. While a lower stance allows you to see the exact point of contact, the upright position allows to have a wider perspective of the table. Some pro pool players like a more upright stance, while some prefer a lower stance so much that there chin bottom touches the cue.
Keep eyes in line
Once you have lowered your body to a convenient position, it is time to place your eyes over the cue. The two different options available are either using your dominant eye or using a center alignment with cue placed in between your eyes. Once again do what feels best for you. Keeping your eyes center aligned has a secondary benefit. It provides the player a groove to place the pool cue in the center of chin.
Remember that your cue should hit exactly in shot line and always remain consistent with your preferences. With practice all this will become your second nature. Don’t keep on altering your techniques as this won’t benefit you too much as much as it will create distraction.
Rechecking the line of shot
Now its time for you to check and recheck the alignment of your shot. This involves eye movement. It should help you determine whether the shot you are playing is in line with the shot line you had drawn. Double and triple check your shot line and just before hitting the cue ball, focus on the exact point of the object ball where you want to hit. This will help build focus and play a successful shot. It is only when there is possibility of miscuing that your focus should turn more towards the cue ball.
With all that said, always keep in mind that your stance should make you feel comfortable and balanced. Always keep the Shot Line in mind and try not to focus too much on other player stances. This would just confuse you.
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