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Detailed Technique For Billiards - Aiming Pool

Answering A Reader's Questions


aiming pool, aiming in pool, aiming billiards, right foot, pool sighting, billiards sighting

Aiming pool accurately does begin with the feet

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.com
Today I answer specific aiming pool and billiards related questions. If you've read the articles at this About.com GuideSite, you've probably encountered the same issues...

"Hi Matt,

I have always been intrigued by this aiming pool article you wrote. I know for sure I shoot better when my chin is over the cue. But I don't get it there the way you do because in part there are a couple of things about your stance advice which I do not seem to "get"!

That said, I have a couple of questions!

First, at the beginning when you are sighting the shot, it looks like your head is not looking down the cue because the cue is at your side. How can you tell things are lined up from that position?

Second, again at the beginning when you are sighting, is your right foot already in place?

Where does the right foot end up--in relation to the cue stick--directly under it?

I sometimes get the foot too far to the right of the cue and end up with right hand clearance issues.

Your tips are great - thank you Matt!"

Great questions, all, certainly. The answers may surprise you.

1. How can I tell things are lined up from my recommended position of head to the side of the cue stick and aiming line?

Not every player has pure binocular vision suiting them for the chin over the stick position. And for some, such a position is downright painful due to neck or back issues.

We shoot pool with our hands and arms, not our heads and eyes. The mechanical motion of the stroke (for most strokes) is straight back and forward again. I can shoot with my eyes closed and you should be able to also, so the best place for the head is wherever your eyes can see the impact target best, not over the stick directly unless that is coincident to the shot at hand.

Most players would do better with their head balanced and comfortable above their trunk rather than forced over the cue stick--most players--based on their personal vision abilities and etc. Yes, many pros post their chin above the cue stick but they were told that was the best before they practiced 10,000 hours to compensate for any lack of accurate sighting this provides.

2. At the beginning when I am sighting the next shot as illustrated, is my right foot already in place?

As long as my cue stick in set down pointed to the target before I bend into the full stance, I am little concerned about the exact placement of my right foot, which will pivot a bit before taking the completed stance. Your stance should be balanced but not forcibly anchored down into the floor.

My heels are nearly together, again, I'm balanced and comfortable, with my stick to the right of my right hip as pictured in the accompanying article.

3. Where does my right foot end at the end in relation to the cue--directly under it?

Again, a balanced stance at the table is best. And whether the right handed player's right foot goes on line with the stick, partially on line with the stick (pivoted beneath the stick at an angle) or to the left of the stick is based upon the player's height, cue stick length, leg length, and the amount their trunk has pivoted to the right during the stance.

Keep these aiming pool and billiards and other pool questions coming! I start at $100 U.S. for private lessons, so take full advantage of my time here at About.com!

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