Alpha and Omega
The beginning of our conversation starts with four fundamentals of billiards which are: stance, grip, bridge and stroke. These will be the fundamentals on which we will build our technique.
If we also added aiming and positional game, we would already be little masters of billiards. The more you play billiards and the more you become skillful, the more you will realize that everything in the game is up to these four factors. This is why today we will start with the stance which is the beginning and the end of everything that you do on the pool table.
Some time ago I was reading a book about billiards from the famous Robert Byrne, in which he says that there is no ideal stance and that when we look at the top 50 players in the world everybody stands different. To some point I can agree with that, but I think that snooker is a good example to which we should model, and within itself there are less heterogeneous things than in pool.
With this text I will try to introduce some rules about stance.
If we look carefully, we will notice different stances. When we execute a classical shot or a jump shot we don’t stand in the same way. Even when we execute break shot, we don’t stand the same way as we do during the game. That’s why we will divide stances in static and dynamic, and basic and conducted.
What would be static stance? It’s a stance used when executing a shot nothing moves except the back hand. All stances are static except the break stance that has its own characteristics. We will discuss this more when we talk about the break. The basic stance is what we will talk about today because it will help us to perform other stances—for example break shots or jump shots.
Basic stance has 3 general and 2 strictly pool elements—tasks.
Basic characteristic of the stance:
I hope that we all know what “beside” means. If anyone has doubts about the meaning of the word you should automatically stop reading this article and go find out the meaning. Now! 😀
In order to make the ball make contact with the cue ball, the cue ball must be launched in the precise direction. In order for the cue ball to go along that direction, must be shot with the cue in that direction.
Have you noticed that in that last sentence wasn’t about you at all?
The most important thing is the cue, because without its action the balls would be motionless infinitely. So the focus is on the cue, and we as kinetic energy sources stand beside it. Only our eyes and shooting machine stand along with the cue. Eyes, so they could control the aiming and the position of the cue, and arm so it could give the cue straight motion.
Your hips and chest must be away from the cue so it could move freely and so that the back hand which holds the cue could pack when striking the ball without getting the cue off the line of direction.
If the only thing that you remember from today’s story is the word “beside,” you have learned the most important characteristic of the stance—position to the cue, and that is beside.
That’s it for today, we will continue in the next article.
Photo: iwishmynamewasmarsha/Flickr Editor: Dana Gornall