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des1mone
04-06-2003, 11:40 AM
I was wondering why many of the pros have such a low stance while shooting. (Sometimes with their chins touching the cue.)
I've read that you should aim the shot while upright, then get down on the shot and shoot. But I don't see the advantage of getting that low. I have a few billiards books and they recommend shooting with your eyes more than a foot over the cue. It seems to me getting low just distorts the proper angle to shoot. Does anybody know of any advantages or the reason of the tendency for people to shoot with a low stance?

Bluewolf
04-06-2003, 12:50 PM
I do not know. For me it cuts out distractions. Also I am less inclined to lift my head on the shot.

Laura

dennis
04-06-2003, 01:02 PM
I try to do that same thing getting low down over the shot but,
being six five its really uncomfortable position for me.

Hogman
04-06-2003, 03:02 PM
For me personally, getting low on the shot assists in aiming and precise hits on the ob. For shots that require a more spacial sense of the table, such as kicks, combos and caroms, I stand more upright. For shots that are more "linear", such as long straight shots or fine cuts requiring a precise hit, I get down lower on the ob. I am always comfortable regardless of how low I get.

Celtic
04-06-2003, 03:28 PM
Getting low on the cue does help with precise aiming. Look at the snooker players, they are all low over the cue since they require such accurate shots. Aiming in pool is quite alot like aiming a rifle, the shaft is used as the sighting mechanism. This is also the reason that truely great shots use longer bridges, it gives you more of the cue to sight down. The higher you are over the cue though the less effective your aiming using the shaft is going to be.

I am not sure about aiming the shot before you get down over the shot. I set up for the shot by standing behind the shot and stepping into it with the plan already laid out on how I will play the shape, but the true final aiming of the shot comes when I am over the ball and already in my stroke.

Bluewolf
04-06-2003, 05:21 PM
Some people are not all that comfortable getting low like my husband.

In spite of my being 50 years old, I trained in martial arts for many years and still practice some of that, so am flexible and going low is perfectly natural to me.

I dont try to aim the shot before getting over it. If I do then it will look one way standing and another way when down on the ball.

It has not been uncommon for me to line up the shot standing, then get down and my brain says 'no aim over here'. If I go with my original view I always miss. If I go with what my CPU is telling me, it is right.

Laura

Blackjack
04-06-2003, 05:26 PM
Here is an excerpt from "Building the Perfect Game" entitled "Factors of Stance Mechanics". Other articles can be located at :
www.8ball.org/blackjack.htm (http://www.8ball.org/blackjack.htm)

Factors of Stance Mechanics
by
Blackjack David Sapolis



Stance Before we can have the perfect stroke, we first need to know how to get into the proper stance. What is the proper stance? It’s different for everybody, but there are some common stance flaws that lead to problems, but a sure way to get you down on the shot while at the same time being fundamentally sound in your stance.

10 Common Stance Flaws

1) Too close to the table
2) Too far away from the table
3) Crouching too low
4) Crouching too high
5) Crouching
6) Feet too wide apart
7) Feet too close together
8) Shoulders not square
9) Stiff or rigid bridge arm
10) Instability

10 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

These factors tend to add to each other. Crouching is the end result of standing too close to the table. Some players bunch themselves up into a ball mistaking muscular tension for stillness. The only thing that should move is your shooting arm, but tensing up the rest of your body to keep it still just worsens things. Others tend to extend their bodies as if they were dangling from a tree branch. Both extremes are extremely disadvantageous to our balance, or our weight distribution. Our feet being too close, or too wide apart is a direct result of uneven balance, or uneven WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION. Shoulders not being square is also a direct result of uneven balance, as we then shift our weight from our legs to our bridge arm, causing our shoulders to become tense. The shoulders should be parallel. Overall, these flaws cause instability in our stance. A solid stance means that your weight is apportioned evenly throughout your body. When in your stance, I should not be able to knock you off balance. To understand how we are to achieve this, lets look at our Stance Factors. We start at the top of our head and work our way down. Our body, to be balanced, has to follow a a line of balance. The line WILL NOT be straight, (as many other instruction manuals have told us). You will be bent at the waist, causing a curve, and your head will be tilted slightly upward (unless you look at your shoes while you are shooting) so that blows the "straight line theory" out of the water. The line I will discuss is the Line of Balance. The Line of Balance starts at the top of your head and leads to the tips of your toes. From top to bottom we will examine this line that exists for everybody, and if you don’t know where it is, don’t worry, we’ll find it! Our head sits atop our shoulders, supported by our neck, and balanced by the equilibrium which is centered in our ears. To properly balance ourselves in our stance, it is suggested that you place your ears above your shoulders at all times. The head and the neck will then have no choice but to follow. Our bridge arm is supported by the position of our shoulders. Our shoulders should be in line with our ears, and just because the bridge arm is extended, this SHOULD NOT change. Extending from the neck and down through our rear torso is our spine. The best way I know to perfectly align the spine is to put your nose, chin and sternum in a straight line. Then, line your ears above your shoulders and we have the posture that our mothers always dreamed of. This leads us down further to our Center of Mass.

Bluewolf
04-06-2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by Blackjack
Here is an excerpt from "Building the Perfect Game" entitled "Factors of Stance Mechanics". Other articles can be located at :
www.8ball.org/blackjack.htm (http://www.8ball.org/blackjack.htm)

Factors of Stance Mechanics
by
Blackjack David Sapolis



Stance Before we can have the perfect stroke, we first need to know how to get into the proper stance. What is the proper stance? It’s different for everybody, but there are some common stance flaws that lead to problems, but a sure way to get you down on the shot while at the same time being fundamentally sound in your stance.

10 Common Stance Flaws

1) Too close to the table
2) Too far away from the table
3) Crouching too low
4) Crouching too high
5) Crouching
6) Feet too wide apart
7) Feet too close together
8) Shoulders not square
9) Stiff or rigid bridge arm
10) Instability



99 critical shots of pool? LOL Actually I am low but my head is about six inches above the cue. I do not crouch but rather bend at the hips and knees (probably bend a bit more at the knees than most players) and stand about two fet or more from the edge of the table unless it is a stretch shot,rail shot etc then am closer. I could crouch indefinately in a deep knee bend, and I used to stand that way without any problem. Over time it evolved into what it is today. One of my favorite instructors said whatever is comfortable and allows the cue to swing freely. Also my stance is pretty much square, so my elbow is slightly hiked, rather than horizontal, but not nearly as much as Allison Fisher.

Some do that so called snooker thing where their legs are pretty much straight, they are square, bent at the waist, and their stroke arm is very hiked. Many women I see stand this way. For me it works better to have some bending in my knees rather than to put all of my stress in my lower back. My legs are much stronger than my lower back. Also, this way I can get pretty low and not have as much of an elbow hike.

I tried that Allison Fisher type but it hurt my body so bad, I felt like a contortionist.

Well I graduated to what is comfortable to me. I guess if it works it works, if it dont it dont.

I may be going out on a limb here but I think it is possible to have 'paralysis by analysis'.

Just now beginning to learn to play by feel and go with the flow.;) ;)

Laura

des1mone
04-06-2003, 07:18 PM
The chances are... if you came up to a cut shot with your eyes closed, and opened them when your chin was touching the cue; you would have no idea where to aim the cue ball. That is why I don't see the purpose of having your eyes as close to the cue as possible. I do agree, it can be useful on straight in shot or precise shots, but not the average cut shot.

Rickw
04-06-2003, 08:45 PM
I'm just over 6' tall and I've tried several different stances. I find that for most shots that are relatively easy, it helps just to be comfortable as long as your feet are in line with the shot. For difficul cuts or long shots, I find getting down lower helps. I also like to lengthen my bridge, get slightly beind the cue and then sight down the cue. Because of my height, this is not very comfortable but it definitely enhances accuracy.

One thing I've noticed, if you are slightly raised and comfortable over the shot, your stroke seems to be much more fluid.

Blackjack
04-06-2003, 10:32 PM
Rick brings up a good point. With my students, I tell them to find a player to observe and emulate. If you are built like Mike Massey, incorporating the stance traits of Jose Parica will cause you problems. This is also evident on the break. Different body types call for different shifts in weight for balance. What works for Johnny Archer is not necessarily going to work for Shannon Daulton. This was recently brought to the surface when one of my students (who was about 6'3", 260) was trying to emulate the body mechanics he had observed in Francisco Bustamante's break. It's just not going to work the same way, obviously. I steered him in the direction of Mike Massey and things are coming along much better. The same is true with the stance. Balance is essential, and comfort (as Rick pointed out) is essential.

dennis
04-06-2003, 11:38 PM
I am assuming then that your stance should not only be comfortable ,but functional as well, for example buddy hall
seems to be larger in stature he seems to be comfortable with a more upright stance. Compared to like you say a effren reyes,bustamante.I think that flexibility and conditioning play a great role in the ability to bend and twist into positions that our
bodies don't normally go into.Thanks for the input ,later,
dennis

Bigbro6060
04-07-2003, 12:08 AM
lots of good points

Personally i shoot 80% like a snooker player with chin on cue, only my leg position is slightly different

As for what's comfortable

yes of course comfort is important but remember this. What might not be comfortable when you first try it can quite easily become comfortable with training and practice over time

No one can comfortably run a marathon straight off the bat but with training it is possibly for most people

There are many sports where correct technique is not initially comfortable

dennis
04-07-2003, 12:13 AM
Thanks for the link blackjack,I especially like the piece about breathing and center mass. There is a certain point in tournaments I play in that I feel the confidence being "drained out of me.From there it is very difficult to regain the mental
strength to finish my opponent.I think this will help
thanks again,later,
dennis:D

Bluewolf
04-07-2003, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by des1mone
The chances are... if you came up to a cut shot with your eyes closed, and opened them when your chin was touching the cue; you would have no idea where to aim the cue ball. That is why I don't see the purpose of having your eyes as close to the cue as possible. I do agree, it can be useful on straight in shot or precise shots, but not the average cut shot.

My husband was always saying to shoot with my eyes closed on a straight in to see if it would go in. I have done this and it is pretty kool. I dont know what it is a test for, other than confidence in one's stroke. I have lined up the shot, gone through the whole preshot routine with my eyes closed and then shot with my eyes closed with remarkable success.

I think that it helps turn off the analytical part of my brain, which is the cause of 90% of my misses.

As far as being low on the ball, I have seen people resting their chin on the cue. Now, this looks odd to me but who am I to say that is wrong, especially if it works for that person. Heck, the person is emulating the best woman professional in the world.:p

Laura