Alignment 'Tricks'


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So you can aim well, cue like a pro and yet you still miss pots. Wtf!?

Chances are it is your alignment.

Starting with the eyes alignment, and I can't stress this enough... This is the most important part of the game. Get the eyes aligned properly and the rest becomes a whole lot easier. I'm sure you've all done dominant eye and vision centre tests and they help a lot. Most however are for when down on the shot. It doesn't help you much when aligning the eyes to the shot whilst standing. I learned this from Nic Barrow and its very ingenious. You need a tall mirror and some long sheets of paper. You want to block out the entire mirror apart from about 4 inches... 2.25 inches if you're feeling like training to an professionals level. The gap should run from top to bottom on the mirror. Next place the mirror behind the centre pocket with the gap directly centre pocket. Then place a cue ball centre table and an object ball in the jaws near the mirror and perfectly central. Now find the line of aim (this is the easy bit) and approach the shot and get down all the time looking at the mirror to keep your vision centre in the picture at all times. This is what sets top amateurs from professionals IMO. As you place the feet you need to rebalance yourself... This means the head and vision centre move off the line of aim. Bad, very bad. You can get away with it on forgiving tables or short shots, but on long straight ins or tough cuts it makes a big difference. Practise this and get into the habit of keeping the vision centre on the line of aim and I promise your consistency of pots will go up.

For those struggling with finding the vision centre whilst down here is a little trick I've developed. Players get used to how their head is positioned over the cue, especially in snooker where the chin touches the cue... They look to feel the cue on the chin in the same position... Of its not in the right position you've had it. Practise getting down on all varieties of shots without placing your bridge. Just have the cue held in a way as it doesn't get in your sight (across your body is ideal) then just get down and move your head until the pot looks certain. Then keep the head perfectly still and behind the cue hop slowly to aim through centre cue ball. Notice how it is beneath your head. Of you place the chin on the cue notice how it feels, is it different than normal? Shoot some balls doing this and notice how cleanly you're hitting the cue ball.

Now for the bodies alignment. Everyone knows the grip (and the butt), elbow, shoulder, entire forearm, back foot, V of the bridge (and the tip) and the vision centre is the perfect alignment. Most think they do this but they don't. A little trick to have this perfect alignment is to stand a foot further back that normal. Walk in, back foot first stepping onto the line of aim. This is the first part and ensures the back foot is on the line of aim. It can be at any angle to the line of aim, what ever is comfortable and natural. Then place the front foot. Most players then drop down with their grip arm by their side. A little trick is to bend the elbow of the grip arm into a position as it would be when down BEFORE BENDING INTO THE SHOT. Work on getting the grip onto the line of aim before bending down. Then with the cue in the bridge you're using place this onto the line of aim also before bending down. Try to place the bridge a few inches further back on the table as you place it then slide into position at a distance you normally bridge from. SLIDE STRAIGHT FORWARD TO THE CUE BALL. Don't slide across the line of aim, this will completely screw alignment. This serves a few purposes. One it gets you travelling straight along the line of aim so there is no sideways movement of the vision centre, two you can see more of the cue on the line of aim whilst standing than when down which helps... A lot, and three it forces you to think about where you are placing the bridge... Which also helps... A lot.

By getting the grip and bridge on the line of aim before getting down it forces the shoulder, elbow and entire forearm to be on the line of aim. If you watch some of the top snooker players play they get the grip and bridge on the line of aim well before their hand hits the table, which means they down shuffle their aim whilst down. They can literally shoot with their eyes closed once their hand hits the table. It means they are ridiculously consistent with their alignment and the rest is down to their cue action.

I hope this can help a few people out as I've had a couple of requests to target the things I've mentioned.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm having trouble envisioning this, any chance you could post a video or pictures or diagrams demonstrating this technique?


Where'd my stroke go?
Silver Member
Great post Pidge. This is the part of the game that I need to work on the most.
I think poolplayers get too caught up in aiming, when they would be much better off spending those hours on alignment.


Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member