Tom, I'm sure it's useful and may help some players a lot. But I'm not sure
you can get to your optimal stance from there. It could, IMO, even end up
being somewhat misleading. Here's the thing, as I see it and after years of
experimentation: for the average player who is not some savant running a
hundred balls four months after first picking up a cue, getting into
shooting position is a process, an organic whole. What you're doing while
looking at the shot, where you're holding your cue stick as you look, the
motion you use to get into shooting position, at what point you establish
contact between bridge hand and shaft, etc. create a chain reaction of body
mechanics that all end up contributing to what ultimately ends up
constituting your stroke. In other words, I don't think you can "take a
snapshot" and say, "that's what I need to do." It's more like having to do
a motion study, or studying a film clip and emulating that.
One other thing I've found over time is that any time I make a change to my
mechanics that does not feel natural, it eventually breaks down and fails.
If the preshot routine is unnatural, too complicated, or takes to long, for
me at least, it is a change doomed to failure.
> < snipped Pat's excellent observations on open vs. closed
> stance, as related to shot alignment >
> Here's another good thing to try. I've been using this a lot
> the past few months. It's slows me down some, so I tend to use
> it only on difficult shots.
> Approach the shot in your normal fashion. Before you bend down
> into your stance, hold the stick up in front of you like
> you're lining up the shot two feet up from the table. In other
> words, hold the stick out in front of you while you're in
> position to bend down and shoot, and sight your shot alignment
> from that position (it will get more accurate when you
> actually go down).
> The trick to this method is to get the stick out in front of
> you in a neutral way (meaning twisting up your body parts as
> little as possible), and then actually align the stick to the
> shot line by MOVING YOUR FEET. Then, when your stick is in
> decent alignment AND your body is neutral, bend down into your
> stance and make your micro adjustments and shoot.
> This is also a good method for FINDING your own "optimal"
> stance angle, ie, where do your feet naturally end up when you
> arrange yourself to bend down from neutral?
> This has been enlightening for me. I'd sure appreciate hearing
> about whether & how it strikes others.
> tom simpson