View Full Version : Repositioning my stance-upper arm woes

05-03-2006, 07:56 AM
Hi, I've been enjoying this board for a few years, and I've finally come up with something to post!

I recently was able to view my stroke/stance with the help of a video camera. I have a smooth and fairly consistent stroke, but I noticed something I didn't like when I saw how I held my grip arm.

The instructors will surely know what I'm talking about. When I face the shot, my shoulders aren't in line with the stroking line. They are more square to the table, which seems to lead my upper arm to be angled outside of the stroking plane as well. My forearm is closer to the center of my chest.

My feet are planted fairly square to the table, as well.

To remedy this, I have been aligning my feet with the stroking line. This causes my shoulders to be more in line with the shot, and my upper arm also drops naturally in the stroking plane. Sounds easy enough, right?

Its less comfortable, though. My neck has to twist to the left a lot more(right-handed). It's frustrating that I have been practicing this way for years, and I am very grooved into this stance! I only want to change it if it will eventually help my game...

How crucial is it that the upper arm is aligned with the stroking line? Thanks for any replies.

05-03-2006, 09:22 AM
If I'm reading your post correctly......I had the same problem
I bent forward only. While the cue seemed to be straight to me...it was actually pointed a bit inwards.....and the result was, I missed my share, and then some, of long shots.
I found the cure in one of Bert Kinnister's tapes.
He suggested that you begin your stance by lining up to shoot the shot one handed.....which resulted in a little side bend, and fixed the problem. I kind of visualise it as though I was releasing a bowling ball (don't know if they'll delete this post for mentioning "bowling".....it's one of the 7 words here, that are forbidden)
I also now extend my bridge hand out first when taking a stance.

05-03-2006, 11:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hankhill:</font><hr>To remedy this, I have been aligning my feet with the stroking line. This causes my shoulders to be more in line with the shot, and my upper arm also drops naturally in the stroking plane.<hr /></blockquote>

When down on a shot, I've always been taught that you should be balanced in all directions, similar to golf. That is, you shouldn't stand with your feet parrallel to the table (when hitting a shot perpendicular to the table) because you're not balanced forward to back. Likewise, you shouldn't be standing with your feet in the stroking line, as you are unbalanced side to side.

The way I was taught to assume a "correct" stance (from a snooker coach) is to hold the cue with your grip hand, and rest it on the table in line with the shot. Let your arm hang down, and your back leg should be in line with your arm, so when you turn your foot 45 degrees you will be stroking over your foot. Then, place your other foot about shoulder width across and a little forward. Then you may bridge, stroke and pot balls /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif.

I hope I interpreted your post correctly. This is all from a snooker coach, but it may help. It helped me /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Cueless Joey
05-03-2006, 11:11 AM
I have a different problem.
I've always shot inconsistently b/c my stroke can be straight one day and crooked the next.
It finally dawned on me to look at my forearm when at the shooting position. I FINALLY saw that my forearm cocked away from me. No wonder I shank too many shots.
So, I've been trying to shoot like Allison Fisher.
Get the cue, bridge hand and grip/elbow in line with the right pectoral area.
I am amazed how much straighter I shoot now.

The upper arm has to be in line with your follow-thru.
I don't drop my elbow so my wrist ends up in the shoulder area. If the shoulder or upper arm are not in line, I'd be crooked.

05-03-2006, 11:29 AM
There are various theories regarding stance and many different opinions. Mine is that you should do what works best for you. I have shot for years with my feet aligned along the plane running through the cue and my upper stroke arm. Over the past year or so, I've discovered that I actually am more consistent by standing more square to the shot. What I try to do now is kind of center my body along the line of the shot. I end up just a tad to the left of being directly centered, but then my upper torso bends to the right so that my head and eyes are lined up directly over the cue along the shot line. What persuaded me to try this was watching the snooker players. The tough part is that it is very easy to slip back to the old way. Give yourself a month or so to evaluate your results shooting with your new stance. If it doesn't help, go back to the way you were shooting.

05-03-2006, 11:55 AM
Good post !!
What part of Australia are you from?
I've been to Newcastle, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth (Freemantle)....great country !!!
Was rescued from drowning on the beach next to Bondi...Tamarac?....after a failed attempt to master body-surfing.
I like the idea of placing the cue on the table using your bridge hand. It helps me when I just extend that arm first, then take a stance....I'll try placing the cue on the table in practice.
When people ask me where I'm from, I tell them "Alice Springs"

05-03-2006, 01:43 PM
Yes, you read correctly-the cue points inwards. During practice, I can keep the stroke smooth and make shots decently. But, when I am playing other people(especially if I am at all nervous) my stroke becomes more unpredictable-I think my "crooked" stance is probably magnified by elevated muscle tension. Hopefully a better alignment on the shot
will help out!

I spent an hour or two practicing my renewed stance, and it seems to be starting to fall together somewhat. Funny, if I get at all distracted, I go back to standing too square to the shot, without realizing it! /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif This old habit may die hard, but I'll get it.

The point made about balance is a good one-I will try to open up to the shot a bit, instead of perpendicular. That did feel unstable, which can't be a good thing.

Thanks for the input, everyone! This gives me a handful of good approaches to start with. I'll post how it works out for me.

05-03-2006, 01:52 PM
Don't get discouraged about falling back into the old habit.
I've read where in order to incorporate changes into your stroke/swing....it takes 21 consecutive days of practice....to replace the old way, internalise and validate it......

05-04-2006, 01:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> I like the idea of placing the cue on the table using your bridge hand. It helps me when I just extend that arm first, then take a stance.... I'll try placing the cue on the table in practice.<hr /></blockquote>Are you saying that right? Put the cue in your bridge hand and put the bridge hand on the table before you get into your final stance?

The description of getting into the proper stance that I like is one that suggests holding the cue in your swinging arm hand (grip hand maybe? I just don't like using the word "grip" when talking about the hand that cradles the cue...) and laying the cue along the line of aim, and then positioning your stance around the cue. This is not the full description, but I always thought that would make the best stance.

Where are you from? /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

05-04-2006, 04:20 PM
I think my newer stance is coming along nicely-every hour I use it, the more natural it feels. I figure thats a good sign!

I find that extending my bridge hand(left for me)to help me initially line up on the shot works best. After that, i just make sure that my shoulders aren't too square to the shot(my initial problem). Then I drop down when I feel like I'm lined up. I also tend to keep my elbow too close to my body, but I can adjust that when I need to.

I put up a full length mirror next to my table, so I can adjust myself properly. That way I get instant feedback and can correct it if I look out of line. I look a little odd doing this, but it does seem to help! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Were you asking me where I was from? If so, the answer is western Maryland-about 1 1/2 hrs west of the Frederick area. A pretty rural area-not much in the way of nice pool rooms /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif, but very scenic.

05-04-2006, 04:42 PM
Are you saying that right? Put the cue in your bridge hand and put the bridge hand on the table before you get into your final stance? <hr /></blockquote>
That's what I do...helps me to correct some old bad habits I have in my stance/setup.
Where are you from? <hr /></blockquote>
Alice Springs

05-07-2006, 04:15 PM
When at the practice table think of 8 or so shots that you come across regularly. Shoot these using your new stance. How much? I have done this 2 hours a day for 8 or 10 sessions. This will help ingrain the new stance.
When you become nervous and fall back to your old stance its because it is still connected with the shots.
Practicing what I have suggested can help "reprogram" your stance/stroke habits.
Best, Ron.