Optimal balance is the key to the perfect shot when playing snooker. It’s imperative to strike a comfortable stance with perfect balance. As such, it’s the position of the feet that can aid in attaining spot-on balance.
When studying players and their stance, one can immediately notice the difference between a proper stance and an improper stance. As there are variations of the perfect stance, looking at those of professional players and those of an amateur will reveal which stance works best.
A snooker stance can certainly be individualistic as a player needs to find what works best for him. The meaningful aspects include balance, alignment, stroke clearance and of course comfort. Due to a player’s height, body shape and even comfort level, the ideal feet placement, knee bend, head height and overall body position can vary from each player to the next.
As with most stances comfort is a key consideration, as the purpose of a stance is creating a steady and strengthened body position as well as alignment to allow for an accurate aim. A steady stance also aids in a consistent stroke.
That said, there is a “classic” snooker stance which is a recommended stance based on those most used by top professionals:
- The right foot must be placed close to the shot and must be kept straight at all times
- The left foot must be placed in front (45 degree angle), with the knee bent at the joint, but still loose enough to allow for a hip swivel
- As always, the stance must be comfortable, because it must be held in position until the shot is actually taken
- For left-handed players, the stance would be in reverse
There are variations to the above which are as follows:
- Instead of a completely straight rear leg, both legs are bent slightly, almost like a squat.
- The forward leg is placed a little wider than the normal 45 degree angle, squaring the chest almost perpendicularly toward the OB.
- Various chin heights can be utilized. Most professionals keep their chins quite low.
A snooker stance is known as an open one, as more weight is put onto the foot closest to the cue grip hand, such as the left foot for a leftie. This open stance allows better visual accuracy as your head is in line and centre with the shot. It prevents neck twisting.
Such a position makes it easier to lower the head (low stance) while the chin is placed over the cue, allowing for better aim and accurate visual alignment. This position is very important when playing on a snooker table, due to the fact that the table is much bigger than the pockets it holds. A low stance allows for better visual accuracy, as the player can anticipate and effect the perfect cue tip position.
An open stance allows the use of a classic one if your body is brushed up against the snooker table, which may occur frequently as the table is so large. The open stance also has room to use the chest and the chin in guiding the cue by keeping it straight during a stroke.
Besides preferring an open stance, most snooker players also prefer an open bridge.