Cue upright while sighting and getting into stance.

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Recently I've really been working hard on foundational stuff, proper stance, foot placement, bridge etc.

Maybe I'm just weird but I have almost no spacial awareness of where my shoulder is. This makes it hard to get in good stance consistently. How do you get your shoulder in line if it doesn't enter into your body awareness?

Recently I felt the cue was distracting me from truly seeing the shot and how to get into stance. I was sometimes matching my stance to my cue and not the balls I was aiming at. It seemed a visual distraction as well as binding my body up so it didn't get into stance fluidly. I tried keeping the cue out of my vision by holding it to my shoulder, tip straight up in the air. The cue is outside of my peripheral vision. For some reason it felt like by having the cue out as most do, or even perpendicular to my body it was messing with me. Several people I talk to swear by using the cue (or ferrule) as a type of pointer or straight edge but I don't get it. I find kicks, banks, aim with my eyes and the cue plays almost no part, other than to imagine a bank angle if it's really odd.

I find that by having the cue on my shoulder, I actually know where my shoulder is and can get it in line very well. As I get in place at the table I fluidly lower the cue to my bridge. It is perfectly lined up. My stance is correct and my arm is in line. I'm sure it looks odd, but is there anything inherently wrong with having the cue up to my shoulder and lowering it straight down/forward into position? The cue isn't on top of my shoulder, but touching the front of my shoulder. For a visual, I'm not cracking a whip, but what you would imagine knighting someone slowly with a ceremonial sword would look like. The cue ends up on my bridge and it's in line.

So, how bad is this? Will it develop bad habits, or is it a legit way to bring attention to where my shoulder actually resides on my body? It seems to give me great awareness of how to get my shoulder in line.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If anything I'll put the cue down (up?) the middle of my face. From here there are two parallel cues that overlay quite easily on the cue ball. I had to work out the foot positions separately but coming down on the shot is a vertical drop. The two cues converge in a narrow V until you're center ball. At this stage My eyes still see two cue ferrule ends straddling center ball. I do have the options of narrowing the focus to one spot or staying with the object ball and two cues.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
The
Shouldn’t those be the same? Do you start with your cue laid on the shot line?

pj
chgo
They should be, but if I use my eyes only, the cue is lowered into perfect position. If I try to put the cue on the shot line and address it, I’m often off a bit. Basically I can get set in my stance better without having a cue in my hand to navigate. The feel of the cue on my shoulder makes a reference to actually get my shoulder where it needs to be.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
my experience has been looking thru the "2 " shafts at the shot line keeps your vision center on the shot line
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
Recently I've really been working hard on foundational stuff, proper stance, foot placement, bridge etc.

Maybe I'm just weird but I have almost no spacial awareness of where my shoulder is. This makes it hard to get in good stance consistently. How do you get your shoulder in line if it doesn't enter into your body awareness?

Recently I felt the cue was distracting me from truly seeing the shot and how to get into stance. I was sometimes matching my stance to my cue and not the balls I was aiming at. It seemed a visual distraction as well as binding my body up so it didn't get into stance fluidly. I tried keeping the cue out of my vision by holding it to my shoulder, tip straight up in the air. The cue is outside of my peripheral vision. For some reason it felt like by having the cue out as most do, or even perpendicular to my body it was messing with me. Several people I talk to swear by using the cue (or ferrule) as a type of pointer or straight edge but I don't get it. I find kicks, banks, aim with my eyes and the cue plays almost no part, other than to imagine a bank angle if it's really odd.

I find that by having the cue on my shoulder, I actually know where my shoulder is and can get it in line very well. As I get in place at the table I fluidly lower the cue to my bridge. It is perfectly lined up. My stance is correct and my arm is in line. I'm sure it looks odd, but is there anything inherently wrong with having the cue up to my shoulder and lowering it straight down/forward into position? The cue isn't on top of my shoulder, but touching the front of my shoulder. For a visual, I'm not cracking a whip, but what you would imagine knighting someone slowly with a ceremonial sword would look like. The cue ends up on my bridge and it's in line.

So, how bad is this? Will it develop bad habits, or is it a legit way to bring attention to where my shoulder actually resides on my body? It seems to give me great awareness of how to get my shoulder in line.
Am happy to help.

Billiards is not rifle shooting, where the sights (ferrule) is crisp and the target (o.b.) blurry, but the reverse, so I dislike when people say pool is like shooting a rifle.

You don't need shoulder awareness, particularly if it's hard to find, you do need a consistent stance routine, one that is affirmed by correct should placement when you take your stance near a full length mirror.

For example, for most shots I:

1) Stand perpendicular to the line of centers between the c.b. and o.b.

2) Step forward with my left foot to X

3) Turn my right foot out from the angle to Y

4) Bend down and a bit forward to shoot
 

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
Boog, I have an ingredient where I say to myself, put my soft shoulder into the plane of aim. I do it when I put my eyes there. It's the first ingredient in my set-up after my rear foot is set.

The softening of the shoulder muscles allows you to feel where it is better, if that makes sense.

Try relaxing your shoulder first consciously, before stepping into your stance, for a while and see if it helps.


Jeff Livingston
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It's an excellent question and shows you're working hard on your fundamentals. There are several ways of placing your shoulder on the line of the shot, and probably 9 out of 10 of them will be perfectly over the line but will put you in a bad stance. That's why you can't use your shoulder as a reference point for aiming.

Your shoulder will better serve you as a test of whether or not you are in a good stance rather than a way of finding your stance. Finding a good stance is like Einstein's theory of relativity. Figuring it out is a series of complicated trial and error tests, but once you get there, it becomes simple. That's the feel you're looking for because it means that all the body parts are working in sync without strain.

As you work on your approach and stance, put your focus on your eyes, head, feet and balance. How you lean when you're down on the shot is a big clue to whether or not you're in coordination over the line. Your shoulder will also tell you as well. Does your arm hang straight down? But that part should be the result of a good stance, not the cause.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
If anything I'll put the cue down (up?) the middle of my face. From here there are two parallel cues that overlay quite easily on the cue ball. I had to work out the foot positions separately but coming down on the shot is a vertical drop. The two cues converge in a narrow V until you're center ball. At this stage My eyes still see two cue ferrule ends straddling center ball. I do have the options of narrowing the focus to one spot or staying with the object ball and two cues.

my experience has been looking thru the "2 " shafts at the shot line keeps your vision center on the shot line
I'll give it a try.

You don't need shoulder awareness, particularly if it's hard to find, you do need a consistent stance routine, one that is affirmed by correct should placement when you take your stance near a full length mirror.
Good idea, I need to find a mirror.

The softening of the shoulder muscles allows you to feel where it is better, if that makes sense.
Dang! I tried this at work and I suddenly could tell where my shoulder is. I guess when our muscles are in the natural bit tense state I can't really feel the shoulder. I think this will help a ton!

It's an excellent question and shows you're working hard on your fundamentals. There are several ways of placing your shoulder on the line of the shot, and probably 9 out of 10 of them will be perfectly over the line but will put you in a bad stance. That's why you can't use your shoulder as a reference point for aiming.
Thanks and thanks for the advice, I'll work on incorporating this into my practice/game. It seems like I may have been on a bit of a dead end with the shoulder deal, I'll keep working on getting it correct. The good thing is I'm already seeing better results, but it sure felt odd at first.

Thanks for the help everybody!
 
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Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Recently I've really been working hard on foundational stuff, proper stance, foot placement, bridge etc.

Maybe I'm just weird but I have almost no spacial awareness of where my shoulder is. This makes it hard to get in good stance consistently. How do you get your shoulder in line if it doesn't enter into your body awareness?

Recently I felt the cue was distracting me from truly seeing the shot and how to get into stance. I was sometimes matching my stance to my cue and not the balls I was aiming at. It seemed a visual distraction as well as binding my body up so it didn't get into stance fluidly. I tried keeping the cue out of my vision by holding it to my shoulder, tip straight up in the air. The cue is outside of my peripheral vision. For some reason it felt like by having the cue out as most do, or even perpendicular to my body it was messing with me. Several people I talk to swear by using the cue (or ferrule) as a type of pointer or straight edge but I don't get it. I find kicks, banks, aim with my eyes and the cue plays almost no part, other than to imagine a bank angle if it's really odd.

I find that by having the cue on my shoulder, I actually know where my shoulder is and can get it in line very well. As I get in place at the table I fluidly lower the cue to my bridge. It is perfectly lined up. My stance is correct and my arm is in line. I'm sure it looks odd, but is there anything inherently wrong with having the cue up to my shoulder and lowering it straight down/forward into position? The cue isn't on top of my shoulder, but touching the front of my shoulder. For a visual, I'm not cracking a whip, but what you would imagine knighting someone slowly with a ceremonial sword would look like. The cue ends up on my bridge and it's in line.

So, how bad is this? Will it develop bad habits, or is it a legit way to bring attention to where my shoulder actually resides on my body? It seems to give me great awareness of how to get my shoulder in line.
Answering your last question first seems relevant.
What works usually becomes a habit.
Even then, your pursuit of getting better will continually require you to discard parts of your evolving game and bring in something new.
Your attention won’t stay on your shoulder position long enough to become a “bad” habit but if it works for you, a good habit might ensue.
My evolution has moved from cue lines, shot lines, aim lines to ball paths instead.
My opinion, and that is what it is, an opinion, is that the superimposed cue can interfere with seeing the ball path.
If you simply put the ball just off the center of the end rail and shoot it into the side pocket, I doubt your shoulder position is part of the shot.
Getting the edge of the ball past the near jaw, but not far enough towards the far jaw to rattle or carom away will occupy you.
The ball path and cue line are often different.
Gearing english, positional needs both require cue paths that create a ball path conducive to pocketing a ball and getting shape.
The ball path is the first order of business.
Seeing the end ball path of the object ball needs to be seen and understood from the cue ball.
Sometimes the visual from the contact point to pocket needs to be seen but the needed visual information is best held in the vision field while returning to the cue ball location.
Once there the player needs to introduce the cue with the intention of reproducing the ball path to impact.
Orienting the stance to the ball path with an angled orientation of the cue to the side should be not problem.
Watch someone like Ralph Eckert as he places both hands together already in the bridge bringing the cue forward to the line as he slides bridge forward and brings the cue into address position.
Notice how Ralph doesn’t contaminate the finding of the ball path with the cue, during finding the ball path.
His dialogue follows suit talking about getting a shot picture and the use of multiple perspectives.
One perspective you rarely hear about is the pocket/target to ball path.
Most players only identify the ob contact point to pocket/target.
Focusing on the pocket makes it dominate central focus, and with it more detail.
Bigger pockets, bigger balls, a good night at the table.
Take a closer look, real close and you will see what I mean.
 
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straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I let my arm hang as I lean over the shot line. I think that's as lined up as the shoulder needs to be. This is where air stroking the shot comes into play. If you're out of alignment, your stroke will be noticeably out of alignment.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I let my arm hang as I lean over the shot line. I think that's as lined up as the shoulder needs to be. This is where air stroking the shot comes into play. If you're out of alignment, your stroke will be noticeably out of alignment.
Combine that with feeling the elbow hinge and cue in line.
Take care with the elbow hinge though because it’s not a bicep curl position.
My hand assumes a squeeze position on the butt sides, retaining the forward hinge, never tucking.
A squeeze position doesn’t mean you are squeezing, just holding, a flex forward position, that if the hand is tightened slightly to maintain control won’t pull it off line.
Equal side pressure, like holding a small bird, no room for it to struggle and hurt itself, but gentle, quiet control.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I let my arm hang as I lean over the shot line. I think that's as lined up as the shoulder needs to be. This is where air stroking the shot comes into play. If you're out of alignment, your stroke will be noticeably out of alignment.
What the heck does any of this mean?
"Who's on first? I Don't Know. Third base!" (Abbott and Costello)
 
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FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Combine that with feeling the elbow hinge and cue in line.
Take care with the elbow hinge though because it’s not a bicep curl position.
My hand assumes a squeeze position on the butt sides, retaining the forward hinge, never tucking.
A squeeze position doesn’t mean you are squeezing, just holding, a flex forward position, that if the hand is tightened slightly to maintain control won’t pull it off line.
Equal side pressure, like holding a small bird, no room for it to struggle and hurt itself, but gentle, quiet control.
Apparently you understood what 'straighline' said. You wrote, "Combine that...." --- What is it that you're combining --- leaning over the table while hanging your arm down? Air stroking? What are you combining?
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Combine that with feeling the elbow hinge and cue in line.
Take care with the elbow hinge though because it’s not a bicep curl position.
My hand assumes a squeeze position on the butt sides, retaining the forward hinge, never tucking.
A squeeze position doesn’t mean you are squeezing, just holding, a flex forward position, that if the hand is tightened slightly to maintain control won’t pull it off line.
Equal side pressure, like holding a small bird, no room for it to struggle and hurt itself, but gentle, quiet control.
A good many long bridgers line up the shot with the tip paused at the cue ball. I've done this for decades but recently it occurred to me that shooting the shot from this setting is a matter of pulling back the stick and then simply reconnecting it to the cue ball.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Apparently you understood what 'straighline' said. You wrote, "Combine that...." --- What is it that you're combining --- leaning over the table while hanging your arm down? Air stroking? What are you combining?
The original poster was concerned about shoulder awareness.
Straightline felt the vertical cueing arm took precedence over shoulder location.
i simply added that delivering the cue straight was part of that.
The original poster likely thinks that having the shoulder and upper arm behind the head, in line, is ideal alignment.

To that end:
Starting with both hands close together near the body center, the upper body and cue need to turn towards the ball path.
At the same time the bridge hand starts to separate from the grip hand and in a bowing motion the bridge slides forward, towards the ball, while the grip hand moves back.
The shoulder and upper arm are drawn back behind the head to ball plane, and a vertical arm becomes part of reaching the address position.

We are both reading these criteria into why the poster thought shoulder awareness was important.
These are possible contexts where that is true.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I let my arm hang as I lean over the shot line. I think that's as lined up as the shoulder needs to be. This is where air stroking the shot comes into play. If you're out of alignment, your stroke will be noticeably out of alignment.
You’re right as the shoulder is directly above a vertical arm.
Getting the head in place over the path works better when the elbow hinge, vertical arm and grip all align.
And, adjusting may be necessary, as you suggest, once movement is added.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
My evolution has moved from cue lines, shot lines, aim lines to ball paths instead.
My opinion, and that is what it is, an opinion, is that the superimposed cue can interfere with seeing the ball path.
I need to find some tinfoil to make a hat real quick because it seems like you are reading my mind! ;) The more I play, the more I go to ball paths, I equate it to railroad tracks, not a single line. Of course it's not railroad tracks, but a visualization where the balls will go. You have to make sure they are clear to the pocket, or alternately use the visualized path to see caroms/banks/finesse shots etc. I honestly feel the superimposed cue messes with what my eyes actually see. If the eyes know and they start focusing on the cue, you just lost visual focus. Now I just need to put the work in to get my body to do what my eyes see.
Notice how Ralph doesn’t contaminate the finding of the ball path with the cue, during finding the ball path.
I'll give the video a watch, briefly scanning until he made a few shots you're right, he's not looking at the cue on address, he's just putting it into place while maintaining focus on his target. I've been trying to "super analyze" the small things pros do, eye patterns, stick movement, mechanics of stance etc. There's a whole micro world just under the surface of pool that many don't realize. I think I'm just getting to the point where analyzing the small details helps.

This stance stuff is frustrating and rewarding at the same time. It's rewarding in that I'm already becoming more consistent, and can more easily learn/apply patter play/shape. It's frustrating because some of the stuff I used to do to make balls was far from orthodox. I find myself making more shots, but missing some low percentage shots that used to be higher percentage due to the funky stuff I was doing. I'm sure it will pass, you gotta get good at crawling before you can walk and run!
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The original poster was concerned about shoulder awareness.
Straightline felt the vertical cueing arm took precedence over shoulder location.
i simply added that delivering the cue straight was part of that.
The original poster likely thinks that having the shoulder and upper arm behind the head, in line, is ideal alignment.

To that end:
Starting with both hands close together near the body center, the upper body and cue need to turn towards the ball path.
At the same time the bridge hand starts to separate from the grip hand and in a bowing motion the bridge slides forward, towards the ball, while the grip hand moves back.
The shoulder and upper arm are drawn back behind the head to ball plane, and a vertical arm becomes part of reaching the address position.

We are both reading these criteria into why the poster thought shoulder awareness was important.
These are possible contexts where that is true.
Well, you guys are way too deep for my simplistic way of thinking. Hanging vertical arms and body center turning towards the ball path and upper arm drawn back behind the head to ball plane, to name a few things. Wow. I'm in awe. I don't know what any of that means but it sounds impressive.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This stance stuff is frustrating and rewarding at the same time.
Part of this is that the lower part of the stance, as long as the body can be steady, doesn’t hardly matter.
Putting the upper body in position to deliver the tip through contact to send the ball on its path, is the benefit of having found that position with a standard lower body stance.
We learn how the parts of the upper body coordinate, the crawling part, then morphing the lower body to fit the situation.
The upper body needs to hold its basic configuration, regardless of lower body adjustments.
 
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