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Gayle in MD
02-22-2003, 07:00 PM
Hi everyone,
I have been experimenting with my stance lately, and just curious how most of you decide which is the best way. Also, if you are right handed, as I am, which foot is most of your weight on?

I was noticing Allison's stance the other day, and she seems to have her weight on her right foot, and is right handed.

Just wondering, any opinions on this?
Thank you in advance for any responses.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Gayle in Md.

bluewolf
02-22-2003, 07:04 PM
I am wondering if the snooker vs the traditional stance might be a factor. I have been told that my weight distribution is incorrect so I would also be curious about what people here say.

Laura

02-22-2003, 07:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Hi everyone,
I have been experimenting with my stance lately, and just curious how most of you decide which is the best way. Also, if you are right handed, as I am, which foot is most of your weight on?

I was noticing Allison's stance the other day, and she seems to have her weight on her right foot, and is right handed.

Just wondering, any opinions on this?
Thank you in advance for any responses.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

first off, after working on stance and being worked on, i'm pretty sure there no such thing as "the right stance". having said that, there probably is a set of stances right for you. for whatever reason, most people in america wind up doing the "archer stance": opposite foot forward, weight on the bent opposite leg etc vs the "squared-up or snooker" stance. alison has often been used as the poster-girl for the snooker stance. usually, and i've watched her fairly closely in person, she is about the busines of distributing the weight equally. obviously, there are shots where you're spread out all over the place and you're doing the "creeping blob" stance and hoping not to fall on the floor or table as you shoot. stuff happens.

if, in fact, the shooter has an allignment issue which is effecting their aim and execution then a stance corection will be a good place to start. if that's not the issue then it sometimes becomes a matter of comfort and stamina. generall, a squared-up stance evenly balanced left right as well as fore and aft, will keep the muscle fatigue at bay longer.

a really good instructor/coach can give you an objective outside view of how your stance is working for you. the actual process of setting up the squared-up stance involves quite a few steps but once burned into the preshot routine it gives you a very comfortable and dependable shooting platform.

dan

Fran Crimi
02-22-2003, 08:25 PM
Hi Gayle,

Wish I could give you a secret formula for stance but it's not that easy to do. As houstondan mentioned, there are different stances and many are perfectly fine for that player. I can tell you though, that the saying of "whatever is most comfortable" isn't always correct. Many players fall into stances that feel fine but actually work against them.

When I'm working with a student, here's the question I ask myself regarding their stance:

What gives that particular shooter the highest percentage of aligning their body in a way that is most cooperative with their natural body construction and vision, and at the same time allow them the arm swing speed and accuracy they need to execute a particular shot?

Stance is just as much about percentages as deciding whether to shoot a safety or go for the shot. How much do you allow you body to be twisted out of it's natural position in order to facillitate a straight stroke? Finding that balance is a little different for each person.

My suggestion to you is to start out not fighting your natural body construction and then slowly adjust from there.

Good luck,

Fran

Gayle in MD
02-22-2003, 08:53 PM
Thank you Dan, and BTW I always enjoy reading your posts.

I was practicing the other day, after watching Allison shoot against Karen, and (Havent had the time yet to take the tape out and check this out) and in my minds eye, I thought I cold remember Allison having one foot more forward than the other, which would mean a little more weight on that foot.

I have always had my left foot a bit forward, but I switched to the right foot, trying to mimick what I thought I had seen her do, and it seemed to improve my aim. Well this is driving me crazy now. I'm beginning to wonder if I am unknowingly struggling with a dominate eye issue.

It seems as though I am either totally on my game, and running racks, or totally off. I don't pay a lot of attention to which eye I use, but this day I noticed an immediate feeling of, OK, NOW I'M ON, right when I changed my dominate foot from the left to right, and it definately had something to do with my aim. I hardly ever see anyone shoot without one foot being more forward than the other it seems??? Are you saying that the snooker players play with their feet even, straight on, not one foot forward at all?

Does this make any sense to you? My experience I mean, LOL.

Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
02-22-2003, 08:56 PM
Thank you Fran, good to hear from you.
I feel more comfortable with my left foot forward, so I am wondering why I seemed to aim better when I changed forward foot position?
Gayle

Fran Crimi
02-22-2003, 09:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Thank you Fran, good to hear from you.
I feel more comfortable with my left foot forward, so I am wondering why I seemed to aim better when I changed forward foot position?
Gayle <hr /></blockquote>

Hmmmm....well that's a tough one to figure out without seeing you shoot. Off the top of my head, I'm suspecting that it's not your foot reversal that's giving you better aim, but something else happening when you reverse your stance. Could be a head position issue, where you aren't bringing your head over your cue as well with your left foot forward as you are when you reverse your stance.

Try again putting your left foot forward but focus on getting your head over your cue and see if that helps. You may feel a shift of weight to your back (right) leg when you do that. If you do, that's fine.

Fran

02-22-2003, 10:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Thank you Dan, and BTW I always enjoy reading your posts.

I was practicing the other day, after watching Allison shoot against Karen, and (Havent had the time yet to take the tape out and check this out) and in my minds eye, I thought I cold remember Allison having one foot more forward than the other, which would mean a little more weight on that foot.

I have always had my left foot a bit forward, but I switched to the right foot, trying to mimick what I thought I had seen her do, and it seemed to improve my aim. Well this is driving me crazy now. I'm beginning to wonder if I am unknowingly struggling with a dominate eye issue.

It seems as though I am either totally on my game, and running racks, or totally off. I don't pay a lot of attention to which eye I use, but this day I noticed an immediate feeling of, OK, NOW I'M ON, right when I changed my dominate foot from the left to right, and it definately had something to do with my aim. I hardly ever see anyone shoot without one foot being more forward than the other it seems??? Are you saying that the snooker players play with their feet even, straight on, not one foot forward at all?

Does this make any sense to you? My experience I mean, LOL.

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

what i think i see is that snooker players, people with squared-up stance are much closer to having the feet even. most other players tend to have one foot a quite a bit gfarther forward and to wind up shooting across their body.

here's me: i'm left handed. by my old stance which is more like what most people do, i'd have my right foot a quite a bit forward which turns my body counterclockwise (from above) which winds up with me stroking across my body and actually moves my dominant eye- the left one- away from the shot. sounds pretty counterproductive doesn't it?


what i was shown was that if i set up the stroke like a left-handed gunfighter drawing and pointing the gun straight ahead, then build my balanced, squared-up stance around that line then my good eye would be right over the cue and i wouldn't be shooting across my body with the "weak" side closer to the shot.

sounds to me like you're moving into a more squared-up stance and it's helping. anyway, i'm just fumbling and guessing here when you should be listening to fran.

dan

bigbro6060
02-23-2003, 12:54 AM
i honestly wish you guys had more complete exposure to Snooker than Alison Fisher. It's like using some High school Football player to show us Australians how to play NFL football!

the male snooker players are exponentially better and have exponentially better technique, even than Allison Fisher. I'm talking about Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O Sullivan, Mark Williams and John Higgins. The way they shoot makes Allison look very ordinary indeed.

i don't think you need a complete Snooker stance to play pool. I have my left leg to the front, not square but otherwise i am down on the cue with my chin like a snooker player.

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 01:50 AM
Thank you,
That's interesting. Are you right handed or left.
Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 02:00 AM
Thank you Fran,
Well, I think that it is, that eventhho my alignment is more comfortable left foot forward, I am right eye dominant, and right handed, so when I switched over to right foot forward, that automatically put my right eye more directly over the cue. I always shoot with my head down, chin almost on the cue. Anyway, I am going to work more on this, trying to figure it out, when I practice next time. I was wondering what the correlation might be taking all three into consideration, in most cases. IOW, right handed, right eye dominate, right foot forward?

Could be, though I am right dominate, I am "Bent to the left" as they say in horse country, LOL, wow, I am beginning to sound like a real misfit, lol.

Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 02:15 AM
Thanks Dan,
Well, now it sounds like you are saying that you did just what I did.

I was shooting with left foot forward, am right handed, right eye dominant, changed over to right foot forward, aim instantly improved.

I am getting excited about figuring this out atlast.

What I think has happened to me is that eventho I am physically more comfortable with my left foot forward, that is not the best for my aim. Now I am wondering, which do I opt for, work on being more comfortable by cranking my head around, and staying with left foot forward, or work on being more comfortable by changing my stance in order to accommodate my dominate issues. I am guessing that since I noticed that instant improvment, I should change my foot, and just get used to it.

This all probably happened because I have a pinched nerve in my neck. Man, I sound awful the more I write, LOL.

Gayle in Md., "And answers to to the name of 'Lucky'" LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Gayle in Md...

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 02:37 AM
Wow Fran, you know the more I think about this the more I realize about it. When my neck starts to hurt, it is always on the right side, between the spine and the very top of the shoulder blade, in the soft spot.

Now it makes sense to me that in the early part of an evening, I would be able to get my head more over the cue, eventho the left foot was forward, and then as my neck starts to kick in, probably wouldn't get the head over all the way, unconsciously favoring my neck. Hence my aim would start to suffer.

Also, whenever I'm nervous, or a little intimadated about shooting, that's exactly when my neck starts to hurt, and shortly after, my aim goes to hell.

Wow, I'm getting excited about all this. This could be the answer to my "On again, off again" issues! Although my game has improved, I never knew when that weird "Something" would kick in and then "POOF" shot making left the table...
Sometimes it was the other way around, esp. if I started out nervous....

Man I hope this is the cure all, LOL.
Gayle in Md.

Fran Crimi
02-23-2003, 06:46 AM
OK, now I think I see what's happening. Forget about your stance for a minute and stand up straight. Now turn your head to your left and look over your left shoulder. Keep it there for a minute. Do you feel the pulling sensation in your neck? That's what you're feeling when you stand too parallel to your cue stick, which is when you have your left foot too far in front of your right. You're fighting your anatomy.

You reversed your stance to take the pressure off of your neck but a reverse stance will give you other long-run negative effects like hip and back issues.

Try this instead: Put your right heel in the line of your shot. Place your left foot slightly forward but don't let your left heel be any higher than your right toe. Now bring your head over your cue and allow your weight to shift over to your right leg. It may feel a little awkward at first, but you won't be fighting your natural body anatomy as much.

Hey, you're experimenting, right? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran

bluewolf
02-23-2003, 07:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Thank you Fran, good to hear from you.
I feel more comfortable with my left foot forward, so I am wondering why I seemed to aim better when I changed forward foot position?
Gayle <hr /></blockquote>

Hmmmm....well that's a tough one to figure out without seeing you shoot. Off the top of my head, I'm suspecting that it's not your foot reversal that's giving you better aim, but something else happening when you reverse your stance. Could be a head position issue, where you aren't bringing your head over your cue as well with your left foot forward as you are when you reverse your stance.

Try again putting your left foot forward but focus on getting your head over your cue and see if that helps. You may feel a shift of weight to your back (right) leg when you do that. If you do, that's fine.

Fran
<hr /></blockquote>

I am glad to hear this if I am hearing you correctly. I was told that my weight was wrong because it IS more in my back leg on certain shots. Then it shifts to the front somewhat on other shots. I was told a real pool player puts the weight on the front leg and on the bridge arm.

So maybe mine is not that bad. I am also cross dominant. Left eyed and right handed. That is why I have to aim with the cue under my chin.

Thanks again to all here.

Laura

socrates
02-23-2003, 08:05 AM
A couple of things in Fran's post that bear repeating.

"ALIGNING their body in a way that is most comfortable with their NATURAL body construction and VISION."

Finding your natural stance and alignment has been something of continued interest and effort. While there are many much more knowledgeable posters on this board than myself I would like to offer the following comment. This idea occurred to me when I blended a golf instructional video "One move to better golf with some personal and video billiard instruction. Experiment with this without a cue in your hand.

1. Everyones arms and hands hang differently at their sides. If you are right handed touch your thumb and index finger togeter (finger print to thumb print) and let both arms hang relaxed and naturally at your sides. You should have a small oval formed by the thumb and index finger touching and it will be pointing in a certain direction that is natural for your body.

2. With your right eye on the line of the shot and your feet approximately shoulder width apart begin to move your feet and consequently your body so that this oval aims down the line of the shot. For most people they will be turning clockwise as they do this. There should be no twisting into the shot - let your body move naturally and stay connected the same as you were in your relaxed position.

3. What you are trying to find is that position where the oval and consequently your arm hanging naturally at your side are aiming (pointing) down the line of the shot.

4. The emphasis is not to try and force your feet into a position but rather let your body find its place where your arm will be naturally aligned with the shot. I recommend you keep your feet approximately shoulder with apart during this alignment process.

5. It is my beleif that this is one approach to discovering your natural body position and alignment.

Personally, my game improved, (after 8-10 years of struggle) when my emphasis changed from focusing on an exact foot position to sensing the natural alignment suggested by Fran and conceptually described above.

Another idea that is a bit unusual but that has helped me personally is the idea of pre-setting my body and consequently my feet before I bend over the shot. Basically, I use the above method, except with a cue in my hands (at the port arms position described in several instruction books one of Ewa's comes to mind) and get on the line of the shot using my natural body position described above. I then bend over and put my bridge in position and there is NO additional foot movement. It takes awhile before this occurs naturally so that when you bend over your bridge is at the appropriate length and you do not need to adjust your feet to be comfortable.

I refer to the above method as a "weather vane" approach to finding your natural stance and alignment.

Certainly there are many solid stances and no exact foot position. However, it does appear to me that there needs to be proper alignment so that your arm swing will be in its natural slot.

Sorry, for the long post. Any feedback on the above via email or private post would be appreciated.

P.S. I am not suggesting that this is THE only approach to stance and alignment. However, it might be something to consider, compare to what you are currently doing, modify it if necessary or if all or portions of it do not work for you abandon it and move on to another approach.

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 11:54 AM
Fran, it's awfully nice of you to put all this effort into helping me here, and I really appreciate it. I am confused though, "Don't let your left heel be any higher" ...not quite sure what you mean by higher?

And, um, well, ah hem, hate to reveal this too, but my right leg is also two whole inches shorter than my left leg, lol. Basically, one foot is always going to have to hold more weight than the other.

In Jr. High School, the girls started to make fun of me, said I had a phoney wiggle, and really gave me a bad time. Now mind you, I grew up Tap Dancing! Never knew one leg was shorter than the other. Was apparently automatically compensating for this, unawares.

Then one day, When I was in my twenties, I was reading some magazine, and read that, (Oh S#$%, when Carol gets a hold of this, LOL) Marylin Monroe used to have one spike heel cut off two inches shorter than the other one in an effort to produce a wiggle!

MAAAN!!! I jumped up and ran in front of the mirror. Sure enough, shifted my weight, straight legged from right leg to left, and couldn't believe how my head went up and down!!! LOL, Jim says if I ever get lost in the woods without a compass, I'm doomed!

Gayle in Md., "And answers to the name 'Lucky'" LOL

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 12:48 PM
Yeah, well that is basically what I did. Changed to right foot forward, weight on the right foot. Automatic improvment in my aim resulted. But remember, I have to have my feet apart, with the short leg and all, lol. If not, I'll just topple over, LOL.
"And answers to the name 'Lucky' "

Gayle in Md. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

02-23-2003, 01:59 PM
I'd like to offer a couple of suggestions, but first, a couple of observations. I think the stance is probably the most important part of an effective stroke, and it is often overlooked. Most of the time I'm a little "off", a small variation in stance or balance is to blame. On the other hand, it's very easy to over-analyze, and I've been guilty of that, too. I used to play pool with a golf pro, and he said he knew if he was thinking on the course about whether he was pulling with his left hand or pushing with his right on the swing, that his game was pretty much screwed! I also recall an article in one of the pool magazines a few years ago about Rodney Morris, and he was asked what aiming &amp; stroking method he used. His response was that he just looks at the object ball, bends down and strokes (paraphrased).

I don't see how you can be effective if you're right handed and you put your right foot forward. This appears to me to be awkward, and would have to put your body in the way of your stroke. Right-handed, right eye dominant players tend to have a little squarer stance than others, but still clearly have the opposite foot forward (watch Earl Strickland). I personally wouldn't worry about your dominant eye: line up your shot as you're walking around the table and allow your body to come to a natural alignment. If you're sighting the line of your shot naturally as you approach, your dominant eye should take charge on it's own. As for your physical discomfort with your stance, I used to have this, too. My solution was to relax my stance by bending my front knee slightly, allowing my bridge arm to bend at the elbow, and not getting my chin on the cue. The best way I can describe it was that I did have a Sigel stance, and ended up more like Archer's. Lastly, there's nothing wrong with varying the weight distribution for different types of shots. Different cue ball placement on the table dictates that you do this. I generally have a bit more weight on my back (right, I'm right handed) foot on most shots. Too much weight on your front foot and bridge hand make it way more likely you'll raise up before you finish your stroke.

Different things work for different people. You have to experiment, but experiment within the framework of the fundamentals. One last thing: I notice when I'm playing well that my back foot is directly under the back of the cue, my front foot is directly under the elbow of my bridging arm, my feet are shoulder width apart, my front knee is slightly bent, my head is over the cue, and my body is at about a 45 degree angle to the line of my shot. Bending your front (left) knee &amp; keeping your back (right) knee straight should help with the problem of the shorter leg. Hope some of this helps. Don't overthink it.

Fran Crimi
02-23-2003, 02:03 PM
Geez Gayle, you keep throwing more irons in the fire! Anything else I should know, like you've got a pin in your elbow from a previous accident and you can't swing your arm? Cripes.

Ok, ok....let me think about it...I'll send you an e-mail. LOL

Fran /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 02:33 PM
WEll, now you mention it, lol, I do have a torn ACL, right knee, then there's that bigger left breast, oh forget about it, LOL. Thanks Fran, LMAO, well now, guess I have finally found my handle on here. I'm sure you've heard that old joke about the ad for the lost dog......"And answers to the name 'Lucky'"..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Gayle in Md. How can I be falling apart, and still fell so good, LOL.

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 02:43 PM
Thank you for the response, and good post. I will print these all up and take them to the table with me. I really appreciate the help you each offered. No place like the CCB!
Thanks again,
Gayle in Md. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 02:50 PM
Hi and thanks, To tell you the truth, it was obviously more comfortable to have the left foot forward, being right handed. But, I'm wondering if because of my neck issues, right foot forward might just create a better eye line up for me. One thing for sure, I'm going to get to the bottom of this. Today, I am going to review some of my tapes of Alison, and work on this again.

Thanks for the post,
Gayle in Md. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

bluewolf
02-23-2003, 07:05 PM
Gayle,I have neck issues too, In fact, muscle knots which never go away. So I just try to stand in such a way that my head is down instead of bent so that my neck doesnt become too tired.

In spite of my orthopedic challenges /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif, I can still get very low over the ball. I have the limitation of having to use a very light grip and use an even weighted stick (not back or forward balance) due to hand problems. I think that noone's body is perfect and I bet that lots of folks have things they have to work around. My husband cannot get low due to low back, but still shoots good.

Laura

Rod
02-24-2003, 12:06 AM
Hi Gayle,
Here is one answer on a forward foot.

You put your left foot in,
You put your left foot out;
You put your left foot in,
and you shake it all about. LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I'm not a big fan of this dominant eye stuff unless someone is half blind in one eye. If not standing left foot forward is natural. But then that is not always the case for everyone. Normally we need both eyes to aim, because of this most players have the cue directly under their chin. Some may favor one side slightly which is natural. Standing more squared up might be your answer but very very few put the right foot forward if they shoot right handed. It is awkard at best and you have to be in balance to play. No answers here just comments.

For what it's worth, which may not mean a thing in your case. I play left foot in front and favor my weight slightly to the rear. My left eye is forward and my domanant right is of course to the rear, so my head is slightly cocked. Years ago my left eye was more forward but my vision has changed over the years. Be careful about your balance and where your weight is. To much weight on your bridge hand/arm can cause neck pains. You probably didn't gain much from this except hear part of the Hokey Pokey. LOL

Isn't Scott due for a visit soon?

Rod