Back Foot Alignment
by Rich Kranicki
Here is another Back Foot example demonstrated by my friend Jade, who appeared in my Back Foot article a couple of issues ago. Jade is from the South Jersey area and loves to play pool as much as time will allow any mother/wife/pool fanatic that I have met. Earlier this year at the Valley Forge Show in March, I asked Jade to help me to prove a point without her realizing exactly what my point would be. I asked her to show me two different ways for her to begin with her Back Foot Alignment. With the first way, shown in an earlier column, she elected to pose in her usual shooting stance. She started with her whole Back Foot to the left of the floor’s imaginary aim line. The following photographs show the way I asked her to model.
This new and unfamiliar position for Jade has the middle of her back foot’s arch directly in line with the imaginary line on the floor. Now, because of her physique (short legs, etc.) and because this is not her preference for her usual shooting stance, she has instinctively made a slight deviation from her usual head position over the aim line. The important thing to learn here is that this time her initial back foot alignment is in a different starting position than her normal style, which ultimately influenced her body’s search for a comfortable alignment for her head. The result is that there is more of an angle with her head now as compared to her usual style.
Take as much inventory as you can in order to memorize and improve the way you approach the shot. Be aware how the specific points from the different parts of your body feel as you strive to find the most comfortable position for you. Ask yourself if you are relaxed as you approach the shot. Are you staying relaxed as you go down? Do not rush these critical questions and steps while you try to learn new habits. It may take a while before you find what works for you. Think of this as building an important and worthwhile foundation to your game, because, after all, you will be doing this for every single shot and safety.
Strive to eliminate all unnecessary turning and twisting to prevent unwanted muscle stress and fatigue. The less you move; the easier it is for your body to remember! It will behoove you to monitor your subtle changes as your whole body bends into the shot. You want to strive for consistency as well as comfort. Try to learn as much as you can about your habits.
The more pool knowledge that you acquire and the more you learn about your particular tendencies, the better chance you will have of becoming a better player. The “easy to make” and overlooked mistake is to base your aim perception on one head alignment while having a slightly different one. Stay tuned because another initial Back Foot example is coming in the next Pool Prayers column.
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