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whojoedaddy
11-09-2003, 07:46 AM
I have an easy question (I think). When I am aiming and I am about to stroke should I be looking at the object ball or cue ball (what is the last thing I should be looking at before I make contact). It doesn't really seem to make that much a difference in the short green, but on the long green it does...

JimS
11-09-2003, 07:58 AM
Oh Boy! You just opened an old can of worms.

My opinion; I can't hit anything looking at the cb last. I have to look at the target...the object ball.

Thats me. But if the right people see this thread you'll see that others have differing opinions /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Arx
11-09-2003, 09:21 AM
For me it's also the object ball... I use the ghostball aiming method.

NH_Steve
11-09-2003, 09:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JimS:</font><hr> Oh Boy! You just opened an old can of worms.

My opinion; I can't hit anything looking at the cb last. I have to look at the target...the object ball.

Thats me. But if the right people see this thread you'll see that others have differing opinions /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>I think nearly all accomplished pool players agree it's object ball last -- it's only when you are "playing the cue ball" in games like 3 cushion -- or certain cue ball oriented safety plays, etc, when a pool player might look at the cue ball last. Of course there are exceptions to every rule!

Now, what you aim at -- that's a different story!

I'd group aiming theory into four basic groups (and let others explain them /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif :

1. Ghost ball method

2. Contact point aiming (done properly it requires a parallel aiming line through the cue ball and ob contact points -- not directly down the line of your cue stick)

3. Fractional target lines (variations on the Hal Houle method)

4. Hit and hope /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

All except the last rely on looking at the object ball last...

Tom_In_Cincy
11-09-2003, 11:20 AM
The important part of this question is NOT what you look at last, but that you go through the routine of checking your alignment (aim path) from the cue ball to the intended target. IMO this is the process that provides the final tuning to the aim and feel of the expected results.

I've been to a lot of Pro tournaments and have made a point of watching the pros, especially the eye movement action during their warmup strokes. On long shots, it seems to be the OB last, on short shots (less than 4 feet) it's cue ball last.

But, like I said, they all look at the cue ball and object ball repeatedly. To me, this is the key. The repitition of the eye movement back and forth.

whojoedaddy
11-09-2003, 04:02 PM
Thanks everybody, I've always been looking at the cb and I'm not too successful on the long shots. I'll have to try looking at the ob and check out some of those techniques.

pooltchr
11-09-2003, 04:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> The important part of this question is NOT what you look at last, but that you go through the routine of checking your alignment (aim path) from the cue ball to the intended target. IMO this is the process that provides the final tuning to the aim and feel of the expected results.

I've been to a lot of Pro tournaments and have made a point of watching the pros, especially the eye movement action during their warmup strokes. On long shots, it seems to be the OB last, on short shots (less than 4 feet) it's cue ball last.

But, like I said, they all look at the cue ball and object ball repeatedly. To me, this is the key. The repitition of the eye movement back and forth. <hr /></blockquote>

Good Points, Tom. That being said, my answer to the original post would be to ask if you were shooting a rifle, would your focus be on the end of the barrel, or on the target? Quite simply, in MOST cases, you gotta be looking where you are going.

JimS
11-09-2003, 05:00 PM
Well put Tom.

I had a helluva time understanding that virtually all of the aiming is done while standing behind the shot....STANDING...that is before getting down into shooting position.

I mean....it's easy to say "ok...aim while I'm standing" and then do things pretty much the same old way...look at the shot and bend over and then start really thinking and aiming. When it "clicked",,,,when I really began to understand what aiming while up or standing really meant...well that's when my play really began to change.

Now I realize that when I'm standing and I'm looking the shot over I'm actually aiming it...I see the line from the ob to the point in the pocket that I want to hit and then I "see" the line from the cb to the ob and I see the ob going into the hole and I see the cb going where it needs to go next. After I've "seen" all this THEN I get into shooting position and fine tune it all and stroke using the tried-and-true techniques that I've been taught and which have been burnt into my neurons through countless repetitive drills.

Ya can't miss!

Godzilla
11-09-2003, 05:50 PM
I had no idea there were "methods" to aiming. I am a fairly accomplished player, I practise regularly and win more than I probably should considering my lack of knowledge (as proven in my first statement). I also look at the O/B last before I shoot and make some pretty fantastic shots ... sometimes. Then I'll also miss a small cut shot into a corner pocket when I am just not seeing the angle or feeling "on". Is there an aiming method that should be used to focus my shots or should I just stick with what's working pretty well and try to make my natural aiming method better?

Candyman
11-09-2003, 06:21 PM
Quote Poolchar:

Good Points, Tom. That being said, my answer to the original post would be to ask if you were shooting a rifle, would your focus be on the end of the barrel, or on the target? Quite simply, in MOST cases, you gotta be looking where you are going.

---------------------------------------------------------
The one big difference between the end of the rifle barrel and the Q-ball, is the ball doesn't move. I know most players look at the ob last and if that works for you better, that is method I would use. That is the method I started with. I changed methods about 5 months ago and my game suffered for a couple of months, but I was committed. Since then, I am playing better than ever. Once I do my pre-shot routine and get my final aim adjustments determined, I focus on exactly where I want to hit the cb, my stroke speed, and finishing the shot. Missing where you want to hit the cb by 1/32in. can mean a missed shot on long shots. That being said, I am just glad that I started playing pool. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Gayle in MD
11-09-2003, 08:40 PM
HI there,
Just my 2 cents. I think knowing exactly where and how hard you want to hit both balls, CB and OB are equally important, and that your own particular eye demands have a great deal to do with which method you will prefer, CB last or OB last. What I notice is that many people don't look long enough before they fire off a shot.

Sometimes I don't really know which ball I look at last, but I think on short shots, where the OB and CB are close together, I use more CB last, and on long ones, I line up where I intend to strike the CB first, and then look at the OB last. I know I look at the OB last on thin cut shots, but even then it is important for me to make sure I know exactly where I want to hit the whitey before I line up the OB.
One thing that I feel is more important than anything else, is that when you are not absolutely sure of your shot, stop, walk down to where you can see the line from the OB into the pocket, take a line up with your cue into that spot, then go back and take your aim on the CB to that spot.

I know personally, and shoot against a lot of people who don't like the way that looks, they think that they look too amaturish I guess, but I also notice, ah hem, I beat them a lot, LOL.

Have fun ...
Gayle in Md. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
11-10-2003, 08:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr>
.....stop, walk down to where you can see the line from the OB into the pocket, take a line up with your cue into that spot, then go back and take your aim on the CB to that spot.

I know personally, and shoot against a lot of people who don't like the way that looks, they think that they look too amaturish I guess, ....<hr /></blockquote>

screw 'em /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif they'll get over it.

I've seen pros do that so it should be perfectly acceptable in an amateur setting.

Buzzsaw
11-10-2003, 10:47 AM
I've been playing for about 30 years and always looked at the OB last. However, within the last 2-3 months I've started concentrating on looking at the CB last and my game has improved greatly. I think what I've been doing is, what I would call "goosing" the CB, adding extra english as I make contact. Now I have a tendency to stay down and follow through with the shot.

I was taught by an elderly gentleman that was literally blind. It amazed me that he could barely see the OB but rarely missed a shot. When I asked him about that he would say "I don't need to see the OB because I can see the CB". He instinctively knew where to hit the OB so as long as he hit the CB where he needed to the ball would be pocketed.

11-10-2003, 11:19 AM

AuntyDan
11-10-2003, 11:45 AM
It is interesting how many great pro players through the years have had what would for most players be glaring technical faults in their mechanics. Many are players who started shooting at a very young age and develop some very odd looking strokes to accomodate the problem of the reach of a child.

However their time spent playing and skill has enabled them to play at a pro level despite their apparent faults, and I would not personally describe Earl's stroke as anything but confident.

There are also several pro players who appear to have a wild stroke (Lots of waggling of the cue whilst setting up, lots of arm movement, apparently shooting every shot with tons of draw etc.) but when they actually make contact with the cue ball they hit it in exactly the right spot every time.

Of couse you only ever see the pro players who have started with poor mechanics but overcome it to become really good. There are millions of players who will never be able to overcome non-orthodox techniques for whom a strictly regulated text-book style would doubtlessly benefit their game.

bluewolf
11-10-2003, 11:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote whitewolf:</font><hr> Well, the only pro players who look at the cue ball last are Earl, the Earthquake McCreedy, and Scott Lee.

It is only my opinion but these players could have been much better players if they looked at the object ball last. It is my opinion that Earl missed two crip shots, one in the Mosconi Cup, and one against Steve Davis in the WPC, because he looked at the object ball last. He didn't extend his eyesight to the object ball because he was frozen stiff.

<hr /></blockquote>

Could not this be a matter of 'style' for these players? Something that works for them, not convention, but style?

Laura

Fred Agnir
11-11-2003, 12:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Good Points, Tom. That being said, my answer to the original post would be to ask if you were shooting a rifle, would your focus be on the end of the barrel, or on the target? Quite simply, in MOST cases, you gotta be looking where you are going. <hr /></blockquote> I think this analogy needs refining. What if the person answers "the target"? Isn't the direct analogy then the "cueball." Afterall, if the shaft is the barrel, wouldn't the target be the cueball?

That's why rifle shooting should never be used as analogy to pool, IMO. Pool has three targets. Rifles shooting has one. That's why people are really asking "of the three targets , cueball, object ball, and pocket, which of the targets do you look at last?" And of course, if it's the ghost ball or certain relationship aiming methods, it might not be any of the three above.

I think I look somewhere in space. Probably out the window.

Fred

ChrisW
11-11-2003, 01:00 PM
<hr /></blockquote> I think this analogy needs refining. What if the person answers "the target"? Isn't the direct analogy then the "cueball." Afterall, if the shaft is the barrel, wouldn't the target be the cueball?
<hr /></blockquote>

The cue ball is the bullet.

Of course I do agree that shooting a rifle is very dirrerent than shoot pool.

JimS
11-11-2003, 06:47 PM
As a matter of fact Fred that is very close to what I experience when I aim and when my aim is at its best.

When I'm in stroke, I am aware of the cb, ob, and the point on the pocket I wish the ob to hit. I'm also acutely aware of the line from the ob to that point in the pocket and from the ob back to the rail in back of it....as well as being acutely aware of the angle at which the cb will intersect that line.

When I am aware of all these factors there is something in my head that "sees" or more accurately "feels" that the shot is on target and that it will without any doubt go into the hole if the stroke is true.

It's pretty cool to experience that "feeling" just prior to stroking forward. It's kinda like my whole body/mind/spirit/everything about me knows the shot is going in. It's kind of like triangulating a target for a cannon to shot at....there comes a moment in the aiming process where all the senses and the intellect agree and a feeling comes over all of me knowing that the shot is "ON".

Rick the stick
11-11-2003, 07:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote whojoedaddy:</font><hr> I have an easy question (I think). When I am aiming and I am about to stroke should I be looking at the object ball or cue ball (what is the last thing I should be looking at before I make contact). It doesn't really seem to make that much a difference in the short green, but on the long green it does... <hr /></blockquote>

With only a few exceptions, shooting off of the rail, over a ball, your eyes should be on the ob for at least a second or two or a couple of jab strokes before you pull the trigger. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

#### leonard
11-12-2003, 07:41 AM
I think playing with your eyes closed at delivery of the cue gives you confidence in your ability to pocket balls. Practicing this way improves ones ability to stay down on the cueball. Most fair to good players are moving off the cueball long before the hit. I always say pose for a picture after you hit the cueball. It will show you how straight your cue delivery is.

As for point of aim, my tip and ferrule measure 1 1/8 inches, all I have to do is place the cue under the object ball and my ghost ball point of aim is there. ####

Paul_Mon
11-12-2003, 10:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> Rifles shooting has one. Fred <hr /></blockquote>

When I'm shooting guns I always use the ghost bullet method of aiming. Most critters in the woods are safe.

Paul Mon~~~~~looking out the window past the pane.

Eric.
11-12-2003, 11:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Paul_Mon:</font><hr>
When I'm shooting guns I always use the ghost bullet method of aiming. Most critters in the woods are safe.

<hr /></blockquote>

Some might say that 'contact point bullet' might be more accurate than 'ghost bullet' /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif


Eric &gt;needs a bullet

griffith_d
11-12-2003, 10:06 PM
The way I look at it,...you look at the CB,...you aim at the OB.

Griff

Qtec
11-13-2003, 02:38 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I think this analogy needs refining <hr /></blockquote>

It does and I will have a go. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

If you change it to,"you have to hit the target[ OB ]by shooting through the center of the CB'.

I always say, "dont hit the CB, go through it".

IMO, the two most important points are the target and the bridge.
Imagine a straight shot; if your bridge is on the line of the shot, all you need to do is point the Q at the target and you will find the you are hitting the QB in the center. If you stroke through the QB aiming at the target, you will pot the ball. You cant miss.

JMO

Qtec

ras314
11-14-2003, 04:12 PM
That being said, my answer to the original post would be to ask if you were shooting a rifle, would your focus be on the end of the barrel, or on the target? Quite simply, in MOST cases, you gotta be looking where you are going. <hr /></blockquote>

As a somewhat poor competion rifle shooter I am puzzeled. If you are using open iron sights you focus on the front sight, not the barrel or the target. The effect is more pronounced with a pistol. Rear sight will be blurred a bit and the target quite blurred. This is sort of similar to three "aiming points". Young people with "fast eyes" can focus back and forth from sights to target quickly, us old farts can only focus where our glasses let us.

Or use a scope. Then the aiming problem is solved by having the cross hairs and target in the same focal plane.

WaltVA
11-14-2003, 04:59 PM
In competition with rifles and iron sights, you look THROUGH your sights, allowing them to blur, and focus on the target, which is sharp. With handguns, you focus on your sights (front primarily) and allow your target to blur.

I've gotten to the age where I restrict my shooting to scoped rifles or handguns - can't compete with the youngsters' eyesight in iron sight matches.

I tend to agree with Fred; aiming in pool is really not analagous to rifle shooting unless you are shooting only straight-ins.

Walt in VA

heater451
11-14-2003, 05:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Good Points, Tom. That being said, my answer to the original post would be to ask if you were shooting a rifle, would your focus be on the end of the barrel, or on the target? Quite simply, in MOST cases, you gotta be looking where you are going. <hr /></blockquote> I think this analogy needs refining. What if the person answers "the target"? Isn't the direct analogy then the "cueball." Afterall, if the shaft is the barrel, wouldn't the target be the cueball?

That's why rifle shooting should never be used as analogy to pool, IMO. Pool has three targets. Rifles shooting has one. That's why people are really asking "of the three targets , cueball, object ball, and pocket, which of the targets do you look at last?" And of course, if it's the ghost ball or certain relationship aiming methods, it might not be any of the three above.

I think I look somewhere in space. Probably out the window.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>One of the things about analogies--you must understand where they work, but have an idea of when they fail. ALL analogies fail at some point, which is why they are analogies, and not the actual definition. It's kind of a substitution.

The rifle aiming analogy, IMO, should only go as far as to show that sighting (aiming) down the cue to the cueball is more accurate, for tip-to-cueball-contact alignment.

Fred, I will briefly mention that you've changed the argument, "That's why people are really asking . . ." Well, I'll say maybe.

You've made the argument of multiple targets for aiming before, and although there are multiple targets, they are addressed somewhat deferentially to each other. The important thing is, they can be taken in order, and with each successive 'aim', the previous one can be eliminated. For example, the pocket is the target for the OB, which allows the shooter to define a contact point on the OB. This contact point is the target for the (outside of the) CB, which eventually allows extrapolation of the tip-to-CB target. [Alternatively, the second target may actually be the spot on the cloth where a "ghostball" would sit--or one could take the whole ghostball as a target. We're still at target #2 here.]

To summarize the three targets: Pocket Object Ball Contact Point Tip-to-Cue Ball

Once the 2nd target is determined, knowing where the 1st target is becomes irrelevant. This is relative. Once the 3rd target is determined, the 2nd can be "forgotten".

This returns us to the rifle analogy. If you look down the "barrel" (the cue shaft), then you can line up to the target contact point on the cue ball. The analogy begins breaking down, if you try to bring a bullet into it.

Anyway, to get back to the "Look at the Cue Ball or Object Ball Last" question, I believe that it depends primarily on personal preference, but I also think that Tom_in_Cincy (Sactown?) is likely onto something with his observation of when this differs:<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_in_Cincy:</font><hr>On long shots, it seems to be the OB last, on short shots (less than 4 feet) it's cue ball last.<hr /></blockquote>

One thing that I feel is very important, however, is that the shooter should deliver the hit while 'aiming' at one ball or the other, and NOT be in the middle of an 'eye-shift'.


p.s.--I don't think anyone looks at the pocket last.
=========================

ras314
11-14-2003, 07:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote WaltVA:</font><hr> In competition with rifles and iron sights, you look THROUGH your sights, allowing them to blur, and focus on the target, which is sharp.
<hr /></blockquote>
I would agree, if you are using apature rear sights and have good eyesight. Only irons I can use will have an apature front also. Long since went to scopes and only shoot pistol with irons in local matches.

About the only similarity I see between rifles and pool is keeping everything "still" except the part of the body that has to move. For the rifle only the trigger finger, pool has at least the arm moving from the elbow down. Well maybe follow thru is somewhat similar in that the shot sorta has to finish on it's own.

I want to see the spot on the ob where the cb will hit. Somehow the cb is supposed to contack it there without having to think about it. Don't think that can be called an aiming system. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Fred Agnir
11-14-2003, 08:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> One of the things about analogies--you must understand where they work, but have an idea of when they fail. ALL analogies fail at some point, which is why they are analogies, and not the actual definition. <hr /></blockquote> Right-o! If analogies always worked, they'd be equalities, not analogies.


[ QUOTE ]
Anyway, to get back to the "Look at the Cue Ball or Object Ball Last" question, I believe that it depends primarily on personal preference, but I also think that Tom_in_Cincy (Sactown?) is likely onto something with his observation of when this differs:<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_in_Cincy:</font><hr>On long shots, it seems to be the OB last, on short shots (less than 4 feet) it's cue ball last.<hr /></blockquote><hr /></blockquote>I would add or modify this to say that there are other metrics to consider: the distance from the cueball to the cushion and the angle of stick elevation. For shots frozen to the cushion, the cueball may be best looked at last. For masse' shot or jump shots, the cueball must be looked at last.

The latter is an interesting situation. There's only one target in a masse' shot for all intents and purposes. So, you look at that target last (the cueball).

For the former (cueball frozen on the cushion), there are still essentially two important targets, but the closeness to the cushion and the importance of the hit on the cueball forces, IMO, the cueball to be the primary target.

Fred &lt;~~~ no answers, more food

Rod
11-15-2003, 02:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> One of the things about analogies--you must understand where they work, but have an idea of when they fail. ALL analogies fail at some point, which is why they are analogies, and not the actual definition. <hr /></blockquote> Right-o! If analogies always worked, they'd be equalities, not analogies.


&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Anyway, to get back to the "Look at the Cue Ball or Object Ball Last" question, I believe that it depends primarily on personal preference, but I also think that Tom_in_Cincy (Sactown?) is likely onto something with his observation of when this differs:<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_in_Cincy:</font><hr>On long shots, it seems to be the OB last, on short shots (less than 4 feet) it's cue ball last.<hr /></blockquote><hr /></blockquote>I would add or modify this to say that there are other metrics to consider: the distance from the cueball to the cushion and the angle of stick elevation. For shots frozen to the cushion, the cueball may be best looked at last. For masse' shot or jump shots, the cueball must be looked at last.

The latter is an interesting situation. There's only one target in a masse' shot for all intents and purposes. So, you look at that target last (the cueball).

For the former (cueball frozen on the cushion), there are still essentially two important targets, but the closeness to the cushion and the importance of the hit on the cueball forces, IMO, the cueball to be the primary target.

Fred &lt;~~~ no answers, more food <hr /></blockquote>


Man how was I to know? I didn't know you had to look at the c/b last on a jump shot. Looking at the c/b last on a short shot too? Wow where have I been? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif


Some shots it is best to look at the c/b last for me, but it won't include all jump shots, rarely a short shot or the c/b on a rail. I'll give the nod to the c/b when I think it is more important.

~~~ rod, always looks at the c/b shooting a masse'

Snyder1
11-21-2003, 07:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> The important part of this question is NOT what you look at last, but that you go through the routine of checking your alignment (aim path) from the cue ball to the intended target. IMO this is the process that provides the final tuning to the aim and feel of the expected results.

I've been to a lot of Pro tournaments and have made a point of watching the pros, especially the eye movement action during their warmup strokes. On long shots, it seems to be the OB last, on short shots (less than 4 feet) it's cue ball last.

But, like I said, they all look at the cue ball and object ball repeatedly. To me, this is the key. The repitition of the eye movement back and forth. <hr /></blockquote>

Good Points, Tom. That being said, my answer to the original post would be to ask if you were shooting a rifle, would your focus be on the end of the barrel, or on the target? Quite simply, in MOST cases, you gotta be looking where you are going. <hr /></blockquote>

I just wanted to clarify - I shoot competitive pistol &amp; am a much better shooter than pool player. The golden rule of shooting is this: Sight allignment is paramount - you MUST concentrate on your sights, and not the target (the human eye cannot focus on two points simultaneously, thus the target must look fuzzy). Any slight misalignment of the sights will result in a poor shot. This is fact. I don't think there is a good correlation regaring pool - I focus on the cue ball, and most experienced pool players do not ... maybe thats my problem ?

JS

Cueless Joey
11-21-2003, 10:42 AM
<hr /></blockquote>

I just wanted to clarify - I shoot competitive pistol &amp; am a much better shooter than pool player. The golden rule of shooting is this: Sight allignment is paramount - you MUST concentrate on your sights, and not the target (the human eye cannot focus on two points simultaneously, thus the target must look fuzzy). Any slight misalignment of the sights will result in a poor shot. This is fact. I don't think there is a good correlation regaring pool - I focus on the cue ball, and most experienced pool players do not ... maybe thats my problem ?

JS <hr /></blockquote>
I shoot handguns too. It's different since my peripheral vision can pick up the target while I'm focused on the front site.
I think body alignement is paramount in shooting pool.
I don't believe much in aiming in pool btw.
If you play cueball control, you HAVE to know how the balls react when they collide (tangent line).
So, the balls going in is the result of cueball control imo.

The Watchdog
11-22-2003, 03:44 PM
The age old question is flawed. It gives two choices for an answer, object ball or cue ball last? Herein lies the problem. The true answer is not one of the two choices...hence the "age old" ness. Find the third choice, and you have a secret of the game. Too valuable to disclose here and now...sorry.

Qtec
11-23-2003, 01:12 AM
Well I guess that if you told us your 'secret',it wouldnt be a secret anymore.

Qtec

Cueless Joey
11-23-2003, 02:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Well I guess that if you told us your 'secret',it wouldnt be a secret anymore.

Qtec <hr /></blockquote>
He's talkind of the tip I think.
Tip aiming only works on straight and semi-straight shots imo.