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TomBrooklyn
04-27-2002, 03:28 PM
When taking warm-up strokes with the cue stick leading up to striking the cue ball, one shifts their focus between the cue ball and the object ball.

Focusing on the cue ball on the forward stroke and then shifting focus to the object ball on the rearward stroke seems like the logical way. I was recently concentrating on practicing with this pattern and it seemed to work well for me.

I used as many strokes as it took to become satisfied with the contact point on the cue ball and the aim on the object ball. It usually took more strokes on the harder shots than the easy ones. On the final backstroke, I steady focus on the object ball with a little pause and pull the trigger.

Is this the most common way of coordinating looking back and forth with the stroke of the cue stick? Is there a standard way? Do you use a different pattern, no particular pattern, or always use a set number of strokes, etcetera?

Tom_In_Cincy
04-27-2002, 04:31 PM
Different pattern? Not really.. sometimes I take longer even on the simple shots..

Its just as important for all shots.

Doctor_D
04-27-2002, 05:12 PM
Good evening:

I have been taught to use the same routine. Focus on the cue ball contact point on the forward warm up stroke and then on the target point of the object ball on the back stroke. Then, as I pause on the back stroke and prepare to shoot, I focus exclusively on the target point of the object ball.

Dr. D.

Jay M
04-27-2002, 09:49 PM
First I line up the shot, then focus on the cue ball and take a couple of full warm up strokes making sure my stroke is straight. If it's not, I'll just stay right there until it straightens out (it rarely takes any more than 4 or 5 strokes on the worst day)

Once my stroke is straight, I'll shift my focus to the object ball. From that point on, my eyes never leave the object ball. I'll take one or two more warm ups and then follow through.

Personal opinion, it hurts your shot to try to move your eyes back and forth with each stroke, find your focus and then stay there and try to drill a hole in the object ball with your eyes.

Bottom line, if it works for you, don't change it (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)

Jay M

Rod
04-27-2002, 11:37 PM
Everyone does this a little different. Everyone should have their standard routine, but it can vary depending on the shot. After my initial set up I look more at the o/b and less at the c/b. The c/b is in my peripheral vision. I have a "definite" pause at the c/b before my back stroke and a slight pause in the change of direction. I forgot to mention that my tip gets very close to touching the c/b during the pause. I like to be real close to the actual contact point, instead of 1/2" or more away as I see many players do. It might give a better feeling for where impact really is, just a thought. I don't do it for that reason, I do it for a more precise hit on the c/b. Try to have a basic routine it's good for the rythm of your game, but don't be afraid to vary that from the basic when needed. Some shots just take a little more time.

04-28-2002, 12:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Jay M:</font><hr> First I line up the shot, then focus on the cue ball and take a couple of full warm up strokes making sure my stroke is straight. If it's not, I'll just stay right there until it straightens out (it rarely takes any more than 4 or 5 strokes on the worst day)

Once my stroke is straight, I'll shift my focus to the object ball. From that point on, my eyes never leave the object ball. I'll take one or two more warm ups and then follow through.

Personal opinion, it hurts your shot to try to move your eyes back and forth with each stroke, find your focus and then stay there and try to drill a hole in the object ball with your eyes.

Bottom line, if it works for you, don't change it (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)

Jay M <hr></blockquote>

all valuable.

i've been about this issue a bit lately and i do know that there are some shots every evening that i know i would have made had i looked at the c.b. more closely and set that tighter. i think i've gotten to the point in my game that i'm asking a lot of the cue ball.

dan

Rich R.
04-28-2002, 07:25 AM
I always found myself looking at the cue ball last on some shots and the object ball on others, with the object ball being my last look on the majority of shots. In posts on this board, Scott Lee has mentioned a number of times, that he recommends looking at the cue ball last. In my recent lesson with Scott, he demonstrated how hitting just slightly off target on the cue ball will make your shot miss the pocket by a large margin. Before his demonstration, I guess I never thought about how accurate you have to be when you contact the cue ball. It has only been a short time since my lesson, but I have been trying to look at the cue ball last and as I become more comfortable with it, I believe I am becomming more accurate,especially on longer shots.
Although I have not made a final determination yet, I certainly believe it is worth a little experimentation by any player.
Rich R.

TonyM
04-28-2002, 11:44 PM
Tom writes:
"Focusing on the cue ball on the forward stroke and then shifting focus to the object ball on the rearward stroke seems like the logical way."

It does to me too Tom, but it is by no means an obvious conclusion!

I recently worked on this very issue with a student. His problem was that he sometimes accidentally hit the cueball on his warm-up strokes. Rather than give him a pat answer, I asked him to think of why this was happening, and a possible solution. He noticed that when this happened, he was looking at the object ball when he was bringing the tip close to the cueball. His solution was as you stated. He tried looking at the cueball when bringing the tip close, and at the object ball when on the backswing. Presto! Problem solved!

This is the same sort of eye timing that Allison Fisher uses (I've watched closely live and on video). On her last stroke especially, she looks at the cueball as the tip approaches for the final warm-up stroke, then she pulls the cue back, pauses, and her eyes move to the object ball during the pause (an excellent solution proposed by Frank Callan, as it creates an "automatic" pause without having to force it, or think about it).

Now rather than move my eyes on every stroke, I switch my eyes back and forth as you described for 3 long strokes, but on the last two short strokes, I continue to look at the cueball, as the short length of the strokes prevents enough time for my eyes to switch back and forth without a pause on the warm-ups. Then I pull the cue back, pause and switch my eyes to the object ball, and then go forward.

As an aside bit of interest, the same idea (of the switch during the pause) can be done to almost guarantee a slow back swing. You simply look at the cueball on the last warm-up stroke when the tip approaches the cueball, and then start the slow back swing, and switch your eyes to the object ball during the backswing. The length of time of the backswing will therefore be set by the amount of time that it takes you to focus in on the object ball (the "quiet eye" phenomena). This methods prevents the "jerk back" or jab stroke that some players get when they hurry their backswing.

Tony
-to pause or not to pause, that is the question....

04-29-2002, 01:33 AM
1- Align my body behind the shot. All aiming should have been done at this point.
2- Bend over, make two to three practice strokes looking only at the cue ball making sure to hit the right spot on the CB
3- Switch eyes to the OB and do about 2 small practice strokes, immagining that I am pocketing the object ball and immagining that it really tavels on its way to the pocket.
4- Switch back my eyes to the CB and make one small practice stroke.
5- Switch eyes to the OB, pull back, pause, shoot.

P.S. a very good advice I got from a top player is that once you bend over you stop aiming and you focus on the feel.Very good advice. Worked for me and I hope it works for you.

05-01-2002, 11:01 AM

05-01-2002, 04:47 PM
Actually, moving your eyes back and forth with the motion of your stick is not the way most players do their warm-up strokes. There is a small percentage that do, and by all means, if it works for you, go with it.

The most important thing to remember is this: 1) No matter what, your eyes must be locked on the object ball (or target point) prior to your stroke. How can you hit an object if you are not looking at it? Think of this in terms of darts. Are you going to hit the bull if you are looking at the tip of your dart while you shoot? And, no matter how many (or few) warm-up strokes you take, and how many times you look back and forth from the cueball to the object ball, make sure you are comfortable and consistant.

I personally take 4 warm-up strokes. With the first, I look at the object ball to make sure I am lined up correctly. The second and third are used to line up my English on the cue ball and determine speed. On the fourth, I reiterate my contact point with the object ball, and my eyes stay there through my backstroke, pause and finsh.

If you notice you are having a problem not hitting the cue ball where you aim during warm-up stroke, then your problem is going to be in your stroke, so please, don't try to correct the problem by looking at the cue ball while you shoot! That opens up a whole other can of worms!

Doctor_D
05-01-2002, 05:37 PM
Good evening:

One concern to keep in mind is whether or not you have a stigmatism. If you do, as I do, it does take an extra second to focus on the object ball after viewing your position on the cue ball.

Dr. D.

TomBrooklyn
05-02-2002, 05:48 PM
Well the extent of using the focus change with every back and forth of the stroke lasted one session with me; as the next time I went to practice I just couldn't stand to do it. I did like the way I was pocketing balls with it, but it makes the stroking so slooowwww that I didn't have the patience to continue with it, and it seemed too much like work and not enough fun.

I am still looking back and forth, but taking one or two full strokes between each change in focus, without a set pattern. As TonyM said elsewhere in this thread, I did notice that changing from focusing on the cue ball to the object ball on the last rearward stroke helped make that stroke come back more slowly and induce a natural pause prior to pulling the trigger. I'm going to keep that part in there, but postpone trying to develop a set pattern of looking back and forth.

Thanks for the comments.

TonyM
05-03-2002, 12:25 AM
I'll watch the video again, but I believe that you are incorrect. She shifts her eyes to the object ball during the pause phase. This is also what is described at Frank Callan's snooker instructional web-site, and he was her coach.

It also "makes sense" to do it that way.

Tony