Cue alignment???

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You are placing your feet and cue and hand down in to the shot. If you look at any good players you will see that they move down in to the shot. The step forward with the front foot is happening at the same time as the bridge hand lands on the table. It will be very hard for you to get down on the line with so many different movements, one placing your right foot, one step to place the left, a big airstroke to place the cue and torso. Right now you barely have no flow at all.

Any tips from here wont help, they will just put more ideas into your head and make your movements even more unrhythmic. A good way to practice to really move into the shot is to stand behind the shot then give yourself maybe 2-3 seconds to move down and shoot the shot. If you start making balls this way I can guarantee that you are getting down on the shot correctly and with the bonus of not having so much time to think, just feel. Getting down in your stance have to be an automatic process, there is so many different shots in pool and your setup is constantly changing. Good setup is not mechanics its a feeling.

Do not try the Bert Kinister method though! It has to be one of the worst ideas when it comes to pool technique..
A LOT of great players and champions would tell you you're full of shit.
 

BRKNRUN

Showin some A$$
Silver Member
What seems to be a bit bass ackward in pool is that the cue gets positioned based on the grip/bridge head and feet........reality is that what should happen is the cue should get positioned and then the player sets the feet, head, grip/bridge to the cue.

This is how it is done in Golf....The club is placed....grounded/squared/aligned behind the ball (unless in a hazard of course)...and your stance is taken based on the club position...Yes there are instances where the club is back in your stance or perhaps a hair forward...but the principle is still the same...you set your club...take your stance based on the desired shot.

Yes you bend over in pool so that changes the procedure a bit....but the end result ultimately is just like the CB must be in a specific position in relation to the OB to pocket the OB....also where the cue is positioned and down a shot line correctly is a must......not where the hands, head and feet need to be....those are just the cue delivery tools.

IMO....building a pool stance and PSR should be learned/built from the final stroke point up......The cue should be placed along the shot line and you should build your natural comfortable stance around that.....then from there....stand up noting the relationship of how the cue now sits in your hands and your feet placement (especially the back foot)....

In essence....reverse engineer your PSR from the final stance backward.....now you have a PSR you can follow that puts you on the correct sight/shot line each and every time.

I like the BK video as it fairly closely fits how a natural grip is achieved......The only difference I would suggest is to have the student stand square upright...feet shoulder width apart and let the hands dangle (no cue in hand)....The way Bert's video is done does not show the hands natural angle as they would be relaxed by ones side....the natural hinge from that relaxed point brings the cue repeatedly across the body.....Everyone's grip will be at an angle...(not pointing directly forward)......but that angle may be slightly different from person to person.

Personally I like already having my feet placed and cue going down the shot line before I bend over....For me cue aligned down the shot line before bending over is akin to the elbow drop before/after contact.....If my feet are placed and cue is down the line while standing I seem to end up aligned every time....If I "rush" the PSR and swing the cue into the shot line while bending down.....well......for me it is like dropping the elbow pre contact and the result it a not so accurate alignment.

I have noticed a few top world beater pros do something similar.....the feet are pretty much set and cue is pointed at target before the bend over....I have also seen (although probably not optimal) an occasional small step back with the back foot once bending down.....I do the same thing from time to time....I feel it is purely a balance move and as long as it is not moving the cue off of the shot line....no harm.
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
What seems to be a bit bass ackward in pool is that the cue gets positioned based on the grip/bridge head and feet........reality is that what should happen is the cue should get positioned and then the player sets the feet, head, grip/bridge to the cue.

This is how it is done in Golf....The club is placed....grounded/squared/aligned behind the ball (unless in a hazard of course)...and your stance is taken based on the club position...Yes there are instances where the club is back in your stance or perhaps a hair forward...but the principle is still the same...you set your club...take your stance based on the desired shot.

Yes you bend over in pool so that changes the procedure a bit....but the end result ultimately is just like the CB must be in a specific position in relation to the OB to pocket the OB....also where the cue is positioned and down a shot line correctly is a must......not where the hands, head and feet need to be....those are just the cue delivery tools.

IMO....building a pool stance and PSR should be learned/built from the final stroke point up......The cue should be placed along the shot line and you should build your natural comfortable stance around that.....then from there....stand up noting the relationship of how the cue now sits in your hands and your feet placement (especially the back foot)....

In essence....reverse engineer your PSR from the final stance backward.....now you have a PSR you can follow that puts you on the correct sight/shot line each and every time.

I like the BK video as it fairly closely fits how a natural grip is achieved......The only difference I would suggest is to have the student stand square upright...feet shoulder width apart and let the hands dangle (no cue in hand)....The way Bert's video is done does not show the hands natural angle as they would be relaxed by ones side....the natural hinge from that relaxed point brings the cue repeatedly across the body.....Everyone's grip will be at an angle...(not pointing directly forward)......but that angle may be slightly different from person to person.

Personally I like already having my feet placed and cue going down the shot line before I bend over....For me cue aligned down the shot line before bending over is akin to the elbow drop before/after contact.....If my feet are placed and cue is down the line while standing I seem to end up aligned every time....If I "rush" the PSR and swing the cue into the shot line while bending down.....well......for me it is like dropping the elbow pre contact and the result it a not so accurate alignment.

I have noticed a few top world beater pros do something similar.....the feet are pretty much set and cue is pointed at target before the bend over....I have also seen (although probably not optimal) an occasional small step back with the back foot once bending down.....I do the same thing from time to time....I feel it is purely a balance move and as long as it is not moving the cue off of the shot line....no harm.
Building around the cue is very commonly taught. Especially for beginners, PSRs that put the cue on the shot line and build the stance around it have been very widely recommended. .so ur certainly not alone and not everyone has it as bass ackwards as u may think.

BK's method of building the body relationship with the cue around a neutral hang position and simply getting that cue on the shot line isn't far off. some would argue they are one and the same. I like his method. It has a very good track record. For pegas to suggest it is so bad that it shouldn't even be attempted is just rooted in ignorance. Building around neutral hangs and positions has worked successfully in athletics for a very long time. Bert applies this familiar concept to pool and it has worked for his thousands of students, world champions among them. To throw it out like it's some fringe technique that is 'one of the worst approaches' is just silly.
 
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WobblyStroke

Well-known member
So instead of have the arm hanging down, you bend it so that the cue touches you chin as it is while down on the shot. Almost all of this angle that Bert shows while standing square to the shot will be gone. Be having the arm fully extended you will severely exaggerate the small angle the between the arm and the torso.

Another way to think about it is to go down in your stance and freeze the position of your arms in relation to your torso and then stand up. This is how we are positioned while down on the shot and it have nothing in common with the standing up with a hanging arm position that Bert wants us to line up to the shot line. The two different positions are so different anyway so theres really nothing other than maybe the back foot that will be in a similar position both standing and down in the shot. The eyes will be in the same plane but will drop down quite a bit when getting in to the stance. Berts method doesn't even put the eyes on the shot line behind the shot and already there it fails as a reasonable way to get into the shot.
ye...as suspected, u hate it bc u don't umderstamd it.
Some people hang really square. they exist. also, if u actually perform BK's method, the two positions are inseperable. start with ur neutral hang, orient the cue so it is on the shot line, then get down in that position in a way that leaves ur elbow and below motionless. Now u are in a position where all the joints are on the shot line and want to collapse their angles in the same plane. the position standing up amd the one u get into when down are super similar....thats the whole point...to keep that natural alignmemt.

I get it, his method doesn't exactly match or jive with what I prefer yo do either. But I can apply it and wind up in a different perfectly functional stroke.... one built around the hang.

There are other ways, sure. And everyone can have their favorite.. But to say this is the worst and shouldnt be tried with as successful as its been for all the thousands of people that have used it was ridiculous. Telling OP not to even try it? Come on. It's worked for many. Why not him? Good enough for multiple world champions like Hohmann and Feijen. But damn, it's just the worst and shouldn't be attempted lol.
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
If you want to keep your head on the shot line while moving down you have to be a little more fluent and manage you balance a bit better than he currently does. Most good players have a swift fluent movement that let them stay balanced while moving down into the shot I just wanted to give him an idea on how to practice in a way that creates a bit more fluency and flow.
Yes, top players flow. Less than top players get guidance on careful placement, and it's okay to separate body movements to assume the correct positions.
 

BRKNRUN

Showin some A$$
Silver Member
Yes, top players flow. Less than top players get guidance on careful placement, and it's okay to separate body movements to assume the correct positions.
Huh????....are you trying to say that for all these years Earl is less than a top player????....Video record many times over of Earl looking down for absolute careful placement of grip....

Point is....you can have both......flow and careful placement
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
Huh????....are you trying to say that for all these years Earl is less than a top player????....Video record many times over of Earl looking down for absolute careful placement of grip....

Point is....you can have both......flow and careful placement
His point is simply that with thousands upon thousands of reps, top players can almost automatically find their positions and get into their setups with flow. At first tho, making sure of key elements of a setup piece by piece is perfectly fine. Which isn't to say some guys under tournament pressure won't make double sure and get into their setups as meticulously as a beginner should.

Plus, Earl can flow around with the best of em. His 130 ball run on his channel where he's talking through the entire run and just one stroking everything is a fun watch. He got down how he needed to with no thought to it with several elements getting set at once.. If he was grinding over every shot and double checking his setup he'd be lucky to get to 40 or 50 in the time it took to run 130.
 
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start with ur neutral hang, orient the cue so it is on the shot line, then get down in that position in a way that leaves ur elbow and below motionless.

Okay how do you confirm that the cue is on the shot line? Should I lean in over the cue with my head or do you want me to look at the shot line from the side? Please don't duck this two questions and just critique my next paragraph as you usually do when you don't have any good answer.

I try to look at good players and observe what they do and then build ideas and concept out of commonalities between them. It seems like the instruction world in cue sports are obsessed with ideas and methods that are just thought up and not very often observed in good players. This method from BK is a good example, theres just not any good players doing it. Most good players line up the cue to the torso and the head to the shot line. If you look at a player air stroking the cue will be angled up and towards the side of the bridge hand while standing up behind the shot. As they bend down, the cue, while keeping its relationship with the torso, will get on the shot line for the first time.
 
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Yes, top players flow. Less than top players get guidance on careful placement, and it's okay to separate body movements to assume the correct positions.
I just think that the focus should be on getting the cue on the line of the shot when you get down. By keeping this as the main focus the body has a good capability of self correcting any mistakes. I could tell any 700+ player to stand with the feet together, the feet super far apart or wrong foot forward and they would still run tables. Good players are good because they deliver the cue in the way the shot requires not because they stand in the same way all the time. Yet we try to make bad players good by getting them to stand in the same way all the time.
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
Okay how do you confirm that the cue is on the shot line? Should I lean in over the cue with my head or do you want me to look at the shot line from the side? Please don't duck this two questions and just critique my next paragraph as you usually do when you don't have any good answer.

I try to look at good players and observe what they do and then build ideas and concept out of commonalities between them. It seems like the instruction world in cue sports are obsessed with ideas and methods that are just thought up and not very often observed in good players. This method from BK is a good example, theres just not any good players doing it. Most good players line up the cue to the torso and the head to the shot line. If you look at a player air stroking the cue will be angled up and towards the side of the bridge hand while standing up behind the shot. As they bend down, the cue, while keeping its relationship with the torso, will get on the shot line for the first time.
You are confusing 2 different things...
a) how seasoned players get down on shots in play
b) a method for finding one's natural alignment for the cue relative to their body.

Once found and their positioning is determined they can move on to a streamlined way of getting down that way at the table. This isnt something that goes in a psr. For students that I've used this approach with as it clicked for them, they go right back to getting down on shots in the same manner they have been. No issues. The details of foot placement may change but how they see the shot and get their head down on the cue need not be affected.

So ya, u don't see top players doing this at the table. But it's been mentioned several times here that Thorsten Hohmann worked with Bert and teaches this same method for determining a proper stance and alignment for his students. Which doesn't mean he puts it in theirPSR where one would be able to observe what they are doing...kinda like u dont see it in Thorsten himself but u can bet big money he used it to build his stroke up. Also, Bert mentions in his videos how he's worked withFeijen since he was a teenager. Point is that plenty of top players build their technique around natural hangs. This is a common method in other sports as well. It is just a tried and true concept that has worked for many people for a long time and will be around well after we're gone. It's very rare to see a golf pro hanging his arms to set his grip or ensure proper spacing of his bottom hand from his body. But the hanging position is a key teaching tool coaches use to put players in the correct positions for them...even if u dont see them do it much at all after many reps.

In his vid Bert says this is a 6-7hr process and u neednt reallythink about it after that. I've seen it click for people immediately.

To answer ur questions....which really only need answering if this is a psr component....which it aint.... Suppose u wanted to make sure of ur hang and build up in play whereu get to see it in action.... Where the head is will depend somewhat on your patticular hang angle and body dimensions. For me there is no issue as my neutral hang is right on the often recommended 45degrees to my body. I trust u dont need a walkthrough of how this can work at such a commonly taught angle as I recall that was ur preference as well. For an angle more across rhe body, just watch yhe BK vid. Does he have any issue getting his head over the cue? Spoiler alert: no. So ur big on watching yop players and how they move at the table. Take those same observation skills and rewatch Bert's demo. No real need for me to type out what u can view for yourself. It aint hard. The head is very near the cue already. a very slight turn of the neck and minimal bend gets u right over the cue so there should be zero issues getting on ur shot line.

As for the comparrisons to pros and what their extremely well trained arms can do from a variety of stances vs untrained people taking basic lessons... I dont know of a single sport where beginners are coached like experts. Good luck being a trailblazer with that approach.
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
I take back what i said about it not being meant for a psr. went out and played a session using a hang in my psr. It worked great.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks. Never heard it used that way.

Guess I’m not as fluent in English as I thought. 🙂

pj
chgo
You're right. It's rarely used that way. That is an alternative definition. 'Fluid' is a better choice. Here are the main definitions of 'fluent':

adjective
adjective: fluent


  • (of a person) able to speak or write a particular foreign language easily and accurately.
    "she became fluent in French and German"

    Similar:
    articulate

  • have a (good) command of
  • (of a foreign language) spoken accurately and with facility.
    "he spoke fluent Spanish"
 

HelpMeScrubs0013

Active member
I'm seeing my problem. I've turned my body more when standing an seeing the shot before I get down kinda has helped. I know I'm putting the cue around my stance an not stance around the cue. I feel like I need to go more straight down an foward an not lean down an right like this pic shows. I keep my cue angled then I get down on the cue. Trying to see best way not to keep that bad habit. I see top players keep there cue to there hip an get down around the cue an not move it at all when going down. When i do bert way it works but idk best way to do it when standing up straight. I see why jeremy jones does berts method.
 

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BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
Huh????....are you trying to say that for all these years Earl is less than a top player????....Video record many times over of Earl looking down for absolute careful placement of grip....

Point is....you can have both......flow and careful placement
I was speaking in general terms, we can find many top players who flow and some who look at their grip, et al (bearing in mind Earl has ADHD and some quirks in his PSR).
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
I just think that the focus should be on getting the cue on the line of the shot when you get down. By keeping this as the main focus the body has a good capability of self correcting any mistakes. I could tell any 700+ player to stand with the feet together, the feet super far apart or wrong foot forward and they would still run tables. Good players are good because they deliver the cue in the way the shot requires not because they stand in the same way all the time. Yet we try to make bad players good by getting them to stand in the same way all the time.
Yes. I've had strong reactions to saying things as an instructor at AZ like "Stop asking about your exact, precise foot angle. You hit the CB with your stroke arm and your cue tip."
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
Okay how do you confirm that the cue is on the shot line? Should I lean in over the cue with my head or do you want me to look at the shot line from the side? Please don't duck this two questions and just critique my next paragraph as you usually do when you don't have any good answer.

I try to look at good players and observe what they do and then build ideas and concept out of commonalities between them. It seems like the instruction world in cue sports are obsessed with ideas and methods that are just thought up and not very often observed in good players. This method from BK is a good example, theres just not any good players doing it. Most good players line up the cue to the torso and the head to the shot line. If you look at a player air stroking the cue will be angled up and towards the side of the bridge hand while standing up behind the shot. As they bend down, the cue, while keeping its relationship with the torso, will get on the shot line for the first time.
There are instructors who teach unorthodox methods in all stick-and-ball sports. Some of what I teach is considered unorthodox or even highly irregular. However, my rule for inclusion on a method is "it gets it done in one lesson for students, not hundreds of practice hours each".
 
You are confusing 2 different things...
a) how seasoned players get down on shots in play
b) a method for finding one's natural alignment for the cue relative to their body.

Once found and their positioning is determined they can move on to a streamlined way of getting down that way at the table. This isnt something that goes in a psr. For students that I've used this approach with as it clicked for them, they go right back to getting down on shots in the same manner they have been. No issues. The details of foot placement may change but how they see the shot and get their head down on the cue need not be affected.

So ya, u don't see top players doing this at the table. But it's been mentioned several times here that Thorsten Hohmann worked with Bert and teaches this same method for determining a proper stance and alignment for his students. Which doesn't mean he puts it in theirPSR where one would be able to observe what they are doing...kinda like u dont see it in Thorsten himself but u can bet big money he used it to build his stroke up. Also, Bert mentions in his videos how he's worked withFeijen since he was a teenager. Point is that plenty of top players build their technique around natural hangs. This is a common method in other sports as well. It is just a tried and true concept that has worked for many people for a long time and will be around well after we're gone. It's very rare to see a golf pro hanging his arms to set his grip or ensure proper spacing of his bottom hand from his body. But the hanging position is a key teaching tool coaches use to put players in the correct positions for them...even if u dont see them do it much at all after many reps.

In his vid Bert says this is a 6-7hr process and u neednt reallythink about it after that. I've seen it click for people immediately.

To answer ur questions....which really only need answering if this is a psr component....which it aint.... Suppose u wanted to make sure of ur hang and build up in play whereu get to see it in action.... Where the head is will depend somewhat on your patticular hang angle and body dimensions. For me there is no issue as my neutral hang is right on the often recommended 45degrees to my body. I trust u dont need a walkthrough of how this can work at such a commonly taught angle as I recall that was ur preference as well. For an angle more across rhe body, just watch yhe BK vid. Does he have any issue getting his head over the cue? Spoiler alert: no. So ur big on watching yop players and how they move at the table. Take those same observation skills and rewatch Bert's demo. No real need for me to type out what u can view for yourself. It aint hard. The head is very near the cue already. a very slight turn of the neck and minimal bend gets u right over the cue so there should be zero issues getting on ur shot line.

As for the comparrisons to pros and what their extremely well trained arms can do from a variety of stances vs untrained people taking basic lessons... I dont know of a single sport where beginners are coached like experts. Good luck being a trailblazer with that approach.

I'm just saying that a alignment that just considers the body is not very useful. The motion the arm produces have to be matched to the eyes/head in order to be functional. The plane of the elbow flexion/extension have to be behind the head and go through the shoulder in the correct spot in order for the cue to be aligned to the body a hanging arm will seldom produce this alignment. All it does is aligning the cue to the arm and does not consider the head. I will say that Bert has a lot of good drills and concepts around the game and is a great coach. But this method and his ideas around mechanics and the body has many flaws and I'm just pointing them out.

Berts method only considers forearm, wrist and cue to the shot line. Then he do a lot of shoulder motion and head motion in order to keep the cue in the same place while leaning in to the shot.. This is the problem with all "put the cue on the shot line" approaches, they all have a lot of shoulder motion while moving down in to the shot, and this will make it hard to get consistent alignment between the head and arm. The shoulder is really the hardest part to get right in the set up. That's probably the reason so many instructors will teach the pendulum stroke because they haven't figured out how to place or move the shoulder in the shot.

Good players will align the cue to the torso and head to the shot line and when they go down there is only motion in the neck in order to match head and torso. I've had great success with new players teaching this method so I don't see the problem of teaching new players accurate concepts from the beginning.
 

Island Drive

Otto/Dads College Roommate/Cleveland Browns
Silver Member
I am very familiar about your problem. It is often caused by many small flaws that adds up to line up shot.
Vision center, bridge hand placement are 2 biggest reasons(IMHO) why you(probably) end up lining up your shot to left.
Then you subconscious make needed correction to make a ball. That comes when people practice and think success is a making ball.
Instead it should be ladder like.

1. try shoot straight in shots and goal is just to not have side spin. In your case i would line up(when looking line from up) half tip left english. I think that is proper bridge hand placement for you. Then go down and you maybe see "change" where you are actually not hitting left english and your bridge is on proper place. Aim no more left english(down on shot) and shoot repeats and observe spin you get. Maybe look your cue, cueball or line between cueball and object ball while doing it. Focus straight cueing and don´t be afraid to miss shots.
Success is not having spin even if you miss shot. The purpose of this is to get rid of subconscious stroke corrections.

After you get rid of sidespin try then vision center stuff and test how you should be to actually make ball.

There is a lot more tricks and tips about this topic but I hope you get some help and ideas for your practice from this short post. :)

Edit: short video of me doing "no look" straight ins where i actually watch down to my cue and see is it going straight. Kinda advanced stuff but you could try that too.

video desctription. (This was filmed 2021)
Me practicing long straight in shots. More dropping into shot line practice than aiming. Notice how i am not in shot line while standing up to see shot. I still watch the aiming line but i get into it when i drop on the shot. I normally be on line when my chin us about 1foot(30cm) above the cue. That way i get more relaxed stance because i don´t need to twist my body out and back in.
You always were looking at your right foot before getting down on the shot. :)
 

WobblyStroke

Well-known member
I'm just saying that a alignment that just considers the body is not very useful. The motion the arm produces have to be matched to the eyes/head in order to be functional. The plane of the elbow flexion/extension have to be behind the head and go through the shoulder in the correct spot in order for the cue to be aligned to the body a hanging arm will seldom produce this alignment. All it does is aligning the cue to the arm and does not consider the head. I will say that Bert has a lot of good drills and concepts around the game and is a great coach. But this method and his ideas around mechanics and the body has many flaws and I'm just pointing them out.

Berts method only considers forearm, wrist and cue to the shot line. Then he do a lot of shoulder motion and head motion in order to keep the cue in the same place while leaning in to the shot.. This is the problem with all "put the cue on the shot line" approaches, they all have a lot of shoulder motion while moving down in to the shot, and this will make it hard to get consistent alignment between the head and arm. The shoulder is really the hardest part to get right in the set up. That's probably the reason so many instructors will teach the pendulum stroke because they haven't figured out how to place or move the shoulder in the shot.

Good players will align the cue to the torso and head to the shot line and when they go down there is only motion in the neck in order to match head and torso. I've had great success with new players teaching this method so I don't see the problem of teaching new players accurate concepts from the beginning.
I played asession doing BK's method in my psr the other night. no issues for me. I can see alignment concerns if starting square but once turned in a way that orients the cue on the shot line, the head isn't really more than a few inces at best off the cue and the slightest move puts it right òver so the move to get down is straight down.
I totally agree with u that shoulder is most tricky to deal with and is actually what most of the intermediate players I work with have a big lack of understanding around. fwiw, bert's method addresses the shoulder as this is one of the joints that must be aligned. In my session the other night I really tried to lean into his 'series of collapsable angles' stroke concept which obv incorporates the shoulder with an elbow drop. I took it to the extreme and really got a little up in my stance and let them collapse fully and it was surprising how even with an exaggerated super long follow through, everything stayed on line. I think his method is great. I prefer somethig else in both theory and practice, but his way is very strong imo.

fwiw I do what you describe as well. But so do the students who initially built their technical setups around a hang. I think that position is very good for showing people where they need to end up when down on a shot. As mentioned earlier, once known, one can get into that position in a manner that suits them. Actually Im pretty sure this is how Thorsten teaches it as well... there was an article posted in here a while back about how the author got a 3hr lesson with him and he taught her to build everything around her head position and where she sees straight. So at the table, you would see her actions match the ones you described, but she'd end up down on the ball in a stance that matches her hang plane too.
 

HelpMeScrubs0013

Active member
So would it not hurt starting with the right foot on the shot line with shoulder an cue on the line as well. I already got it down where my body doesn't like being squared. I have to be at a angle already before getting down.
 
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