In the first episode of our Anthony Beeler Instructional Lessons series, Anthony teaches you how to get the perfect stance. He covers the 4 elements of a good pool stance: alignment, balance, clearance, and distance. Stay tuned for episode 2, where Anthony will show you how to get the correct distance between your bridge hand and the cue ball.
Hello, I’m master instructor Anthony Beeler and today I want to talk to you about the four elements of a good pool stance. There are four elements to a good pool stance, and you can remember those by reciting the first four letters of the alphabet. There’s alignment, balance, clearance, and distance. Let’s go to the table and see what those look like.
We first need to determine whether you’re left or right eye dominant. In order to do this, we want to stand a few feet away from the pool table, and place a cue ball at the opposite end of the table. You’re gonna use four fingers to form a circle. You’re going to look at the cue ball through that circle. You’re gonna close your right eye first. Did the cue ball jump? If it did, you are not left-eye dominant. Open both eyes back up, then close the left. If you close the left, and the cue ball is still in the center, then you are right-eye dominant. And I am right-eye dominant, and that’s why whenever I close my left eye, the ball stays in the center. Do this test at home, and determine if you are either left or right eye dominant, and then we will apply it to our stance as we move forward.
Before we get into our stance, the first thing we need to do is aim from a standing position. You wanna stand far enough away from the cue ball that you can see the relationship that the cue ball has with the object ball. And I like to look at ball overlap whenever I’m aiming the shot. Once you’ve got your point of aim, then what you are going to do is get your correct distance from the cue ball. You’ve seen pool players play where they may come up, do a shot like this and on the first time their head is really close to the cue ball and then the next time that they come up to the shot their head may be further away. They’re actually getting two or three perspectives, or maybe even more than that, on the same shot.
Imagine, for example, that there’s a million shots in a game of pool. Well, you can multiply that by the number of variations your head is in when you are down on the shot. So we want to eliminate all that. In order to eliminate that, we want to keep our distance from the cue ball the same as much as possible. So we are going to use our cue as a measuring guide to determine how far our body is away from the cue ball.
What I recommend is once you see the shot line, you’re gonna place your cue at your side. You’re gonna pin it to your side with your dominate eye along the shot line. And then you’re gonna just walk forward until the tip is almost touching the cue ball. This cue is gonna serve as that measuring guide I was referring to, and it will make sure that your body is not too close and not to far away and that you’re getting the same look at the cue ball on each and every shot.
Now, once I’ve got my distance, the next thing I want to do is lock my eyes in on the contact point of the object ball. Once my eyes are locked in on that, then I can get into my stance. As I’m getting down into my stance, I want to be sure that I’m well balanced. My right foot is gonna stay in the position that it’s in now; it’s on the shot line. My left foot will move up, out, or somewhere in between,but it will never ever move back. As I’m getting down into my stance, it’s okay for me to bend at the knees in order to attain what I perceive to be a correct balance. So as I’m getting down you’ll notice that my right foot is on the shot line, my dominate eye is on the shot line, and you’re gonna also note that as I’m stroking through my body is not in the way. And by that I mean there’s sufficient clearance for me to shoot this shot. If my body was over this way, then my body could get in the way. But I want sufficient clearance to where, when I’m down on that shot, I can stroke through the ball.
As you can see, a good stance serves as the foundation for each and every shot. It’s important to be aligned. You need to have your dominate eye on the shot line and your right foot on the shot line if you’re right handed. You also need to have the appropriate balance. You need to have roughly 60% of your weight on your right foot, and 40% on the other foot. You also need to have sufficient clearance for each shot that you shoot. You don’t want your body to get in the way. You also want to keep your head the correct distance away from the cue ball, so you get the same look at each and every shot. Practice these elements, and I think it will improve your pool game.