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Cross-dominant and having difficulty getting my head and feet in the right place
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Cross-dominant and having difficulty getting my head and feet in the right place - 02-28-2020, 06:14 PM

I'm left-handed, right-eye dominant. My vision center (tested) is on the inside of my right eye.

After a few years of playing, I trained myself to stand behind shots favoring my grip hand (left side) to more easily step into shots and pivot my back foot along the shot line. As a result, I had a tendency to miss shots, especially straight-ins or almost straight-ins, to the right, as I flat-out wasn't seeing them properly. Improving my fundamentals across the board reduced this issue, but it still pops up from time to time.

When I stand more to the left to get my vision center on the shot line, I see the shot line more accurately, but my back foot will then be WAY past the shot line. From this stance, doing Jerry Briesath's "chin lock" and following Mark Wilson's advice of having the shot line run in front of or along my toes on my back foot is almost impossible.

It seems like I can either choose to get my eyes properly aligned with the shot or my body/grip hand, but never both. To get my back foot on the shot line from my vision-centered stance, I have to bring it really far in and to the right, which takes my head off the shot line, then I have to twist my body while stepping forward. At that point I've completely lost that laser-lock on the object ball with my eyes because my head moved to the right while getting my body into position.

Another interesting conundrum is that seeing the shot accurately while standing (and therefore when down on the table) means I don't perceive center ball correctly, presumably because my grip hand is off-kilter, but getting my stance right means finding center ball is obvious, but then I won't see the shot correctly.

Not sure where to go from here. Would I be better off adopting an already sideways stance at address (i.e., back foot on the shot line, head on the shot line, but body turned almost parallel with the shot line) before getting into my stance? Right now I stand completely square to the shot to size it up.

Any ideas or advice is welcome. Thanks!
  
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02-29-2020, 08:31 AM

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Originally Posted by BlueRaider View Post
I'm left-handed, right-eye dominant. My vision center (tested) is on the inside of my right eye.

After a few years of playing, I trained myself to stand behind shots favoring my grip hand (left side) to more easily step into shots and pivot my back foot along the shot line. As a result, I had a tendency to miss shots, especially straight-ins or almost straight-ins, to the right, as I flat-out wasn't seeing them properly. Improving my fundamentals across the board reduced this issue, but it still pops up from time to time.

When I stand more to the left to get my vision center on the shot line, I see the shot line more accurately, but my back foot will then be WAY past the shot line. From this stance, doing Jerry Briesath's "chin lock" and following Mark Wilson's advice of having the shot line run in front of or along my toes on my back foot is almost impossible.

It seems like I can either choose to get my eyes properly aligned with the shot or my body/grip hand, but never both. To get my back foot on the shot line from my vision-centered stance, I have to bring it really far in and to the right, which takes my head off the shot line, then I have to twist my body while stepping forward. At that point I've completely lost that laser-lock on the object ball with my eyes because my head moved to the right while getting my body into position.

Another interesting conundrum is that seeing the shot accurately while standing (and therefore when down on the table) means I don't perceive center ball correctly, presumably because my grip hand is off-kilter, but getting my stance right means finding center ball is obvious, but then I won't see the shot correctly.

Not sure where to go from here. Would I be better off adopting an already sideways stance at address (i.e., back foot on the shot line, head on the shot line, but body turned almost parallel with the shot line) before getting into my stance? Right now I stand completely square to the shot to size it up.

Any ideas or advice is welcome. Thanks!
With a cross dominant eye you will have to stand more sideways to your cue (facing your cue more) so you can get your eye over the cue while not impeding your arm swing with your torso. Just make sure your weight isn't distributed forward in your stance or you could wind up putting a strain on your shoulder and you could develop chronic shoulder pain. I've seen it happen. Keep tweaking your stance until your weight distribution favors slightly towards the back leg and you should be fine. You made some good observations and did your homework. You're almost there.
  
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02-29-2020, 01:46 PM

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Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
With a cross dominant eye you will have to stand more sideways to your cue (facing your cue more) so you can get your eye over the cue while not impeding your arm swing with your torso. Just make sure your weight isn't distributed forward in your stance or you could wind up putting a strain on your shoulder and you could develop chronic shoulder pain. I've seen it happen. Keep tweaking your stance until your weight distribution favors slightly towards the back leg and you should be fine. You made some good observations and did your homework. You're almost there.
Thanks, Fran. I've read quite a few of your answers to cross-dominant questions in this forum, and you seem to have a good grasp of the issues players like me face.

So in other words, standing square to the shot at address (i.e., body perpendicular to the shot line) is a no-go for me? Right now that's most comfortable, but I realize comfort doesn't mean much, especially when it's ultimately the product of a detrimental habit.

I also "walk into" shots. Would I be better off standing closer to the table with my body already turned/back foot on the shot line, and then stepping forward with my lead (right) foot to complete my stance? It seems like walking into the shot definitely favors the squared approach, and becoming parallel with the shot line from that initial head/body position requires a lot of twisting and contorting.
  
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02-29-2020, 01:56 PM

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Originally Posted by BlueRaider View Post
Thanks, Fran. I've read quite a few of your answers to cross-dominant questions in this forum, and you seem to have a good grasp of the issues players like me face.

So in other words, standing square to the shot at address (i.e., body perpendicular to the shot line) is a no-go for me? Right now that's most comfortable, but I realize comfort doesn't mean much, especially when it's ultimately the product of a detrimental habit.

I also "walk into" shots. Would I be better off standing closer to the table with my body already turned/back foot on the shot line, and then stepping forward with my lead (right) foot to complete my stance? It seems like walking into the shot definitely favors the squared approach, and becoming parallel with the shot line from that initial head/body position requires a lot of twisting and contorting.
Have you tried "reverse engineering" your stance? Find the finished stance you like, then back out of it step by step: first lift your torso, then step back with your front foot, then (optionally) your back foot, making note of where they are, until you're standing upright, and take careful note of where/how you're standing in relation to the CB and shot line. That might be the position you want to find first in your preshot routine.

pj
chgo
  
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03-01-2020, 05:25 PM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
Have you tried "reverse engineering" your stance? Find the finished stance you like, then back out of it step by step: first lift your torso, then step back with your front foot, then (optionally) your back foot, making note of where they are, until you're standing upright, and take careful note of where/how you're standing in relation to the CB and shot line. That might be the position you want to find first in your preshot routine.

pj
chgo
That's a great idea. I think my biggest issue isn't necessarily finding the right stance, because I can "feel" when my eyes, feet, hand, etc., are all lined up (it truly feels like I can't miss), but rather it's more about finding a way to get into that stance that isn't awkward and involves doing a jig on the way down to the table. The standing sideways at address thing is probably the key. I've noticed a few pros tend to do that on difficult shots, especially the ones with very closed stances. They step forward a great distance with their lead foot, but there's not a ton of body/head movement because their bodies are already aligned.
  
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03-02-2020, 07:18 PM

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Originally Posted by BlueRaider View Post
Thanks, Fran. I've read quite a few of your answers to cross-dominant questions in this forum, and you seem to have a good grasp of the issues players like me face.

So in other words, standing square to the shot at address (i.e., body perpendicular to the shot line) is a no-go for me? Right now that's most comfortable, but I realize comfort doesn't mean much, especially when it's ultimately the product of a detrimental habit.

I also "walk into" shots. Would I be better off standing closer to the table with my body already turned/back foot on the shot line, and then stepping forward with my lead (right) foot to complete my stance? It seems like walking into the shot definitely favors the squared approach, and becoming parallel with the shot line from that initial head/body position requires a lot of twisting and contorting.
I like the idea of walking into shots. I think players get a better perspective of the line of the shot by standing back from the table. The key is really in planting your back foot correctly. Think of it as your anchor.

On a few occasions I had to teach actors to be able to shoot pool like experts, and they couldn't play at all, and my time with them was limited. Not only did they have to shoot like experts, they had to deliver lines at the same time. I had to figure out a way to help them get into their stance quickly without thinking too much about it so they could talk at the same time. That's when I discovered the benefit of planting the back foot. Once you place that foot on the right spot, it would be hard for you NOT to be in alignment.

One actor, Oliver Platt, gave me a real challenge. He was prepping for the film 'Diggstown' and he had a scene where he was pretending to shoot pool drunk in order to hustle someone. Once I got Oliver to plant his back foot on the right spot, he could do all the swaying around to act drunk that he wanted. He was good to go.
  
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03-03-2020, 06:31 PM

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Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
I like the idea of walking into shots. I think players get a better perspective of the line of the shot by standing back from the table. The key is really in planting your back foot correctly. Think of it as your anchor.

On a few occasions I had to teach actors to be able to shoot pool like experts, and they couldn't play at all, and my time with them was limited. Not only did they have to shoot like experts, they had to deliver lines at the same time. I had to figure out a way to help them get into their stance quickly without thinking too much about it so they could talk at the same time. That's when I discovered the benefit of planting the back foot. Once you place that foot on the right spot, it would be hard for you NOT to be in alignment.

One actor, Oliver Platt, gave me a real challenge. He was prepping for the film 'Diggstown' and he had a scene where he was pretending to shoot pool drunk in order to hustle someone. Once I got Oliver to plant his back foot on the right spot, he could do all the swaying around to act drunk that he wanted. He was good to go.
Thanks, Fran. Good advice.

Let's say my stance doesn't remain perfect consistently. In your opinion, is it better to err on the side of getting my vision center on the shot line or my back foot?

I feel like I can still aim properly even if my head isn't fully aligned throughout the entire "walk in,", but certain shots become iffy due to eye dominance (long thin cuts or long rail cuts in particular).

Likewise, I feel like I can deliver a pretty straight stroke almost all the time even if my footwork isn't perfect, but sometimes I'll miss a long straight-in randomly, and I think it's because of a slight, slight sideways contact on the cue ball (imparting a tiny amount of spin and deflection).
  
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03-04-2020, 05:52 AM

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Originally Posted by BlueRaider View Post
Thanks, Fran. Good advice.

Let's say my stance doesn't remain perfect consistently. In your opinion, is it better to err on the side of getting my vision center on the shot line or my back foot?

I feel like I can still aim properly even if my head isn't fully aligned throughout the entire "walk in,", but certain shots become iffy due to eye dominance (long thin cuts or long rail cuts in particular).

Likewise, I feel like I can deliver a pretty straight stroke almost all the time even if my footwork isn't perfect, but sometimes I'll miss a long straight-in randomly, and I think it's because of a slight, slight sideways contact on the cue ball (imparting a tiny amount of spin and deflection).
By 'vision center' I'm sure you mean 'line of sight' -- a term that has already existed for many years in sports before the made up term 'vision center,' which btw, sounds more like a store where you shop for eyeglasses.

To answer your question: You need to know your aim line or line of sight in order to know where to place your back foot. So of course, finding that line must always come first. Your back foot is your guide for placing your cue over the line of the shot, so planting your back foot correctly is equally as important.

As for missing certain types of shots, I call them 'tendencies.' We all have tendencies, some good and some not so good. It's important to know what your tendencies are. You have to pay attention to the shots you miss and look for patterns in your misses. For example, you may have developed a tendency to miss a shot at a certain angle. The reason can come from a whole list of possible reasons why. It would be nice to figure out the exact reason for the tendency, but while you're working on it, you still have to make the shot in match play, so thinking something like, I need to aim a little fuller or a little thinner on this angle is good enough to get you through it.

I have certain shots where I have to remind myself to be careful of my approach, as I tend to approach the shot wrong. Why? Who knows? Maybe I just created a bad habit at that angle. What's important is that I know my tendencies and that I'm able to make sure I include the correction in my approach whenever I come across that angle.

While it's nice to be accurate, try not to get too nitpicky with every single thing or you'll drive yourself crazy and you can get stuck in one place. Sometimes just telling yourself to hit the shot "a little fuller" or "a little thinner" is all you need.

Last edited by FranCrimi; 03-04-2020 at 06:02 AM.
  
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03-07-2020, 11:52 AM

Sent you a PM.
  
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03-07-2020, 01:12 PM

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Sent you a PM.
That'll help everyone else who reads this thread with hopes of solving their own problems.
  
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03-15-2020, 12:24 PM

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By 'vision center' I'm sure you mean 'line of sight' -- a term that has already existed for many years in sports before the made up term 'vision center,' which btw, sounds more like a store where you shop for eyeglasses.

To answer your question: You need to know your aim line or line of sight in order to know where to place your back foot. So of course, finding that line must always come first. Your back foot is your guide for placing your cue over the line of the shot, so planting your back foot correctly is equally as important.

As for missing certain types of shots, I call them 'tendencies.' We all have tendencies, some good and some not so good. It's important to know what your tendencies are. You have to pay attention to the shots you miss and look for patterns in your misses. For example, you may have developed a tendency to miss a shot at a certain angle. The reason can come from a whole list of possible reasons why. It would be nice to figure out the exact reason for the tendency, but while you're working on it, you still have to make the shot in match play, so thinking something like, I need to aim a little fuller or a little thinner on this angle is good enough to get you through it.

I have certain shots where I have to remind myself to be careful of my approach, as I tend to approach the shot wrong. Why? Who knows? Maybe I just created a bad habit at that angle. What's important is that I know my tendencies and that I'm able to make sure I include the correction in my approach whenever I come across that angle.

While it's nice to be accurate, try not to get too nitpicky with every single thing or you'll drive yourself crazy and you can get stuck in one place. Sometimes just telling yourself to hit the shot "a little fuller" or "a little thinner" is all you need.
Thanks for all the advice, Fran.

Yes, that's what I meant about vision center. I had issues in the past with standing behind the shot in a manner that wasn't giving me a fully accurate picture of it. I suspect that I had accidentally stumbled upon a more solid approach/stance but wasn't making the proper adjustments to get my head on the shot line, because inconsistencies have plagued me throughout a lot of experimentation over the years.

However, I believe I have solved the issue, or at least significantly reduced it. Essentially, I was focusing too much on my body position and bringing my cue towards my body after setting up, rather than letting my eyes dictate my cue position and then building my stance around it. Sometimes that setup worked perfectly (which has to be the most maddening part of the game). But ultimately, I was delivering the cue a little crooked on many shots. Not enough to miss a ton, of course, but enough to make long (and sometimes not-so-long) straight-ins dicey propositions.

What I changed was, instead of trying to build my stance to accommodate my body/comfort, I'm now instead building it to accommodate my cue. Physically, it's just a small turn of my shoulders and a slightly longer step forward--nothing significantly different than what I did before. The difference is that I'm forcing myself to mentally "connect" what I'm seeing on the table (the shot line, with my chin locked onto it) with my cue, then building my stance around where my cue is.

I think this explanation from TH summarizes what I was doing wrong (of course, I watched this years ago and thought "nah, that doesn't apply to me!"):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPn3Wzp4NT8

When done correctly, I feel really "locked in" on the shot, which tells me that before my elbow/grip hand/cue weren't always perfectly aligned with the shot or even with each other.

I'll keep tinkering, but this seems very promising.
  
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03-15-2020, 07:49 PM

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Thanks for all the advice, Fran.

Yes, that's what I meant about vision center. I had issues in the past with standing behind the shot in a manner that wasn't giving me a fully accurate picture of it. I suspect that I had accidentally stumbled upon a more solid approach/stance but wasn't making the proper adjustments to get my head on the shot line, because inconsistencies have plagued me throughout a lot of experimentation over the years.

However, I believe I have solved the issue, or at least significantly reduced it. Essentially, I was focusing too much on my body position and bringing my cue towards my body after setting up, rather than letting my eyes dictate my cue position and then building my stance around it. Sometimes that setup worked perfectly (which has to be the most maddening part of the game). But ultimately, I was delivering the cue a little crooked on many shots. Not enough to miss a ton, of course, but enough to make long (and sometimes not-so-long) straight-ins dicey propositions.

What I changed was, instead of trying to build my stance to accommodate my body/comfort, I'm now instead building it to accommodate my cue. Physically, it's just a small turn of my shoulders and a slightly longer step forward--nothing significantly different than what I did before. The difference is that I'm forcing myself to mentally "connect" what I'm seeing on the table (the shot line, with my chin locked onto it) with my cue, then building my stance around where my cue is.

I think this explanation from TH summarizes what I was doing wrong (of course, I watched this years ago and thought "nah, that doesn't apply to me!"):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPn3Wzp4NT8

When done correctly, I feel really "locked in" on the shot, which tells me that before my elbow/grip hand/cue weren't always perfectly aligned with the shot or even with each other.

I'll keep tinkering, but this seems very promising.
Well you can't go wrong with any advice from Thorsten. He's one of the best ever in this game and one of the hardest workers, and he's not afraid to experiment.

You're on the right track in making your cue placement your priority and arranging your body position around that.
  
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03-15-2020, 08:40 PM

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You're on the right track in making your cue placement your priority and arranging your body position around that.
I’d add that there’s a body position that works best for each of us and we need to find it so we can arrange that best position around the cue. Finding it may involve some work with only the CB, or even with no ball, to find the stance most conducive to a naturally straight stroke along your sight line without the shot line’s influence.

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03-15-2020, 08:41 PM

I think in a lot of cases accuracy may have less to do with eyes than stroke. You can line up exactly how you like seeing the shot and if your stroke goes its own way, you'll never make it.
couple things to try:

Shoot one handed

Shoot one handed at nothing. Follow though into the cloth just to see what your full stroke does.

Note you're not trying to develop a one handed delivery; just determine what your normal stroke is actually doing.
  
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03-16-2020, 10:20 AM

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Originally Posted by straightline View Post
I think in a lot of cases accuracy may have less to do with eyes than stroke. You can line up exactly how you like seeing the shot and if your stroke goes its own way, you'll never make it.
couple things to try:

Shoot one handed

Shoot one handed at nothing. Follow though into the cloth just to see what your full stroke does.

Note you're not trying to develop a one handed delivery; just determine what your normal stroke is actually doing.
I agree. As I've refined my fundamentals, I've noticed more and more often that certain shots felt more solid than others, almost like I couldn't miss. It felt like everything was just lined up perfectly. Now I realize that's the effect of getting my eyes and my body aligned just right.

I spent a lot of time working on getting my eyes aligned with the shot and then assuming that my grip hand/stroke would also be in line based on that. Not the case. For me, the slight sideways turn to connect my cue placement with the shot line is the key.

Seeing TH demonstrate what I did for years--standing square to the shot and then just dropping into my stance from that position--and saying it's wrong and won't get the cue on line was really eye-opening. And he's 100% correct. I think I developed that position after watching a lot of pros, who seemingly do just that, but they all turn at least slightly, and I suspect that turn is less about body position and more about body clearance to get their cues on the shot line.
  
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