Snooker: Your Eyes Lead, Your Feet Should Follow?

Calling All Coaches: 

Go where the eyes go, NOT where your feet are told to go.

Here at SnookerZone, we’re not just about talking to coaches. We like to try things out and discover things that we have either read about or discovered for ourselves on the table that may or may not work. But, if they do or don’t, we still want to hear from the opinions of coaches.

We don’t all learn the same way and we don’t all see the shot the same way. So, here’s something that SnookerZone tried out last weekend.

Watch: This video below is a typical example of demoing the snooker textbook stance:


The Approach

Most coaches tell you to put your right foot on the line either by stepping in from the belly button or by having your right foot on the line already. However, over the weekend, SnookerZone decided to go one step further (no pun intended) and put his right foot outside of the line to the left of the cue ball. Hope that makes sense so far.

It looks awkward on the eyes, (and the hips) but the next step (again no pun intended) was to then bring with the cue down onto the line of the shot. Indeed, this somewhat unusual method/discovery led to a significant improvement in potting and indeed much more confidence in finding the line of the shot on approach. Not to mention “seeing” the shot from using the master eye. In this case, the right eye.

As a student of the game, SnookerZone has always struggled with the approach, as the dogma of knowing where to stand has always been an issue. And, to be honest – approaching from the belly button and then stepping in with the right foot has always felt uncomfortable and unnatural.

One coach, John Bastow, who SnookerZone came across while surfing the net, said this in a blog he wrote on the 10 things he had learned since being a Level 2 coach:

We all may have examples, in my case, the single worst piece of advice I have been given as a right-handed player is to “put your right foot on the line of aim”. Many professionals and coaches say this and whilst it may be a good guide, in my experience, this is not always appropriate. You don’t hit the cue ball with your feet. In my opinion and based on what I have seen through coaching, the only thing that matters is that the stance should ensure that the player is comfortable, well balanced, can stay still on the shot, is sufficiently low to the shot and can push the cue through in a straight line without moving.”

Exactly John. As John says, you don’t pot the ball with your feet, you pot the balls with your eyes. Initially. Then, it’s your body (or cue arm) that follows what your brain (eyes) have seen.

The main point to come from this is that I don’t think it matters where you put your feet. Go where your eyes take you in relation to the shot. Then get down and deliver the cue on the line. Trust your eyes…

Because they are a powerful set of organs!

After a brief email with John, he told me he was releasing a new book near Christmas, which would uncover all about the lines of aim!

Not much has been covered about the approach in snooker – apart from the textbook theory – only Roy Chisholm has attempted to debunk the textbook myth in Snooker Secrets, which you can read the review here in the SnookerZone Training Zone…

SnookerZone wants to know what you think. Leave a comment. 



Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!

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