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sets up the body to address the pool table and stroke the pool balls. It's vital that your stance be comfortable and balanced. Most people will have their feet about shoulder-width apart and will be bent at the waist and leaning on the bridge hand.
Experiment with foot positioning and find the angle that is most comfortable for you. The arm that is gripping the pool cue should have the elbow up fairly high so that the forearm can swing in a pendulum-like motion as you stroke.
Bend the body down low so that the aiming eye is right over the cue stick and can sight down its length at the cue ball and object ball.
The cue stick should be gripped fairly loosely by the grip hand to enable a smooth, fluid stroke. If gripped too tightly, the cue will have a tencency to swing sideways during the stroke, and this will adversely affect cue ball contact and could cause a missed shot. The cue stick should be gripped a couple inches behind its balance point so that the tip stays down when the stick is loosely held.
The bridge should very sturdy to prevent any drifting of the cue stick from its desired angle of attack. By spreading out the fingers as wide as possible and laying the heel of the palm on the table, the bridge will be as sturdy as possible. Depending on the shot and location of the cue ball, this may not always be possible, but whatever type of bridge is used, always attempt to keep it from moving while shooting.
A closed bridge, where the index finger is wrapped around the cue shaft, will provide a more secure anchor for the pool shaft than an open bridge. Hand chalk or a pool glove will allow the shaft to slide smoothly through the bridge during the stroke.
A smooth, even stroke is one of the most important aspects of successful pool shooting and should be given serious consideration by the novice pool player. A good stroke enables the player to shoot more consistently, and will guarantee a much quicker and easier rise in your level of playing.
A solid bridge, a level stick, completely vertical pendulum stroke, follow through, and the force in which you shoot the shot, will all determine whether your shot goes in or not, and if you have a shot for the next ball. Clearly, developing a quality pool stroke right from the start is definitely in the best interest of the up-and-coming pool player.
While all the previous aspects of the game are obviously important, aiming ability is where the difference between the studs and the duds is most evident. If the cue ball hits the object ball at the correct spot, it has no choice but to go in the pocket. The ability to see where that correct spot is will determine whether you win or lose when the game comes down to the wire.
There are several aiming methods to use on the pool table, and I will be exploring them further in other pages. If you can learn and apply at least one of the aiming methods successfully, you will be ahead of the majority of the players out there, and you WILL win a lot of pool games. Good luck.
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