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View Full Version : A "Vastly" Superior Sighting Technique



1Time
12-11-2004, 10:33 AM
I've successfully been using this sighting technique for a few years (often in combination with other methods) and I wanted to share it here just in case someone may be looking for something to try. I picked it up by watching some other guy shooting, who at the time was playing about a ball better than me. By using this technique along with some other fine tuning I've brought my game to a "next level" and am very satisfied with it.

I'm hoping a few of you may recognize my description of this sighting technique as it doesn't seem to be commonly used (or maybe it is and I don't know it). I suppose it may have a name but I don't know what it is. However, I've found it simple to use and surprisingly effective.

First, start with the premise that shooting pool involves using your imagination. For example, while addressing the shot you imagine (not think these words) "if I stroke like this, the ball will respond like that".

Second, align the tip as if you were to use a full tip's width of side English, whichever side works best for a particular shot. Often on one shot I may sight at least once with each side of the cue. Here's a diagram of the cue ball to show this (+| ). The left and right parenthesis represent the imagined left and right sides of the cue ball (obviously the CB is spherical). The vertical line is the imagined vertical center of the cue ball. The + represents where your cue tip would be if you were to use a full tip of left side English. The right edge of the cue tip would be aligned with the vertical center line of the CB.

Third, imagine a straight, razor thin line or laser beam running along the side of your cue from the butt to the tip. Obviously the edge of the cue is not straight so again you use your imagination. To get an idea of this you need only to hold the cue stick up like it's a rifle with the butt against your shoulder and aim at something across the room.

Fourth, use this imaginary line from the butt to the tip as a foundation then to imagine this line extending through the vertical center line of the cue ball to the contact point or aiming point on the object ball (or wherever).

Of course many already imagine a point on the object ball or even a line from the cue ball to the object ball. However, my guess is a few of you who try this sighting technique may find it "vastly" superior to what you've been using. Have fun with it!

1Time

Sid_Vicious
12-11-2004, 10:51 AM
"Third, imagine a straight, razor thin line or laser beam running along the side of your cue from the butt to the tip."

Is this line on the inside or outside of your off center CB/tip placement???sid

1Time
12-11-2004, 11:01 AM
The imagined line is on the side of the cue stick that runs through the vertical center line of the CB. So, I would say it's on the inside since an imagined line running along the other side of the cue stick would intersect closer to the "side" of the CB.

Thanks for pointing this out Sid. I failed to clarify this in my original post.

PQQLK9
12-11-2004, 11:06 AM
I have a tape of this system called The Missing Link "The Ultimate Aiming System" by Dave Mullen (1996). Hey, it works!
However after learning any system it then becomes a matter of feel.

Cueless Joey
12-11-2004, 11:18 AM
That system does not work.
Hal Mix's tangent line "aiming" system does imo.

1Time
12-11-2004, 11:31 AM
Thanks PQQLK9 for identifying this. I was nearly certain someone had already incorporated this into a marketable product.

To clarify a bit further, what I've described is "only" a sighting technique, not to be confused with a way to use English or to stroke the ball. It is, however, a valuable "part" of my overall sighting of a shot, the imagination used before the stroke.

Sid_Vicious
12-11-2004, 11:33 AM
I have to ask another question, what about pure center ball hits, no english? Is there a razor thin line down the top of the cue in that case???sid

1Time
12-11-2004, 11:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> I have to ask another question, what about pure center ball hits, no english? Is there a razor thin line down the top of the cue in that case???sid <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks for another good question Sid.

There's no imaginary line through the cue stick. The line is imagined along the side of the cue stick. This is done while addressing the shot. Once the line is imagined to extend to the object ball, practice strokes then may be taken normally and the cue ball struck in any fashion. You just retain the imagined line of sight while practice stroking and throughout the stroke. So, once the line of sight is acquired, you remember it while you then move your cue anywhere you want to apply English, center ball or whatever. Thus, once the line of sight is established it remians constant and independent of any subsequent movement of your cue as you may then move your cue to perhaps use additional sighting techniques or just practice stroke and then stroke the shot.

I believe it will help to think of this as two separate actions. One to imagine the line and the other to remember it. For example, it's like tapping a hammer on the head of the nail to get a feel for where it is (one action), and then remembering where it is while you pull the hammer back to bang the nail (second action).

DickLeonard
12-11-2004, 01:04 PM
1Time back in the early 70s the Golf Magazine ran an article on using your imagination to Hit your Shot, Seeing it hook,slice or straight. It ran for two months, I thought that the theory would also work with pool. The next time I went to the poolroom I ran 212 balls using what I had gleaned from the articles.

The city workers were digging up a water main in front of the room and I was inside running 212 balls. The room owner thought it was such a fete that he had a placque made and hung it on the wall. When his room closed he gave me the placque.

I know I mailed the articles to Fran Crimi, some where I have them. ####

1Time
12-11-2004, 01:51 PM
DickLeonard, that is pretty amazing. I can imagine your previous best run was probably under 50 balls. I was an avid golfer in the late 70's and read Golf Magazine regularly. I seem to recall many of the articles on golf technique involved explaining the use of imagination. However, I also played pool back then (poorly) but never applied a thing from my golfing interests.

dr_dave
12-12-2004, 01:39 PM
Online video demonstrations NV 3.1-3.11 at:
www.engr.colostate.edu/pool/normal_videos (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/normal_videos/index.html)

illustrate several techniques that help with basic shot aiming and visualization.

Fred Agnir
12-12-2004, 02:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr> DickLeonard, that is pretty amazing. I can imagine your previous best run was probably under 50 balls. <hr /></blockquote>Why would you imagine that?

Fred

1Time
12-12-2004, 07:01 PM
Hi Fred. Care to comment on the thread's topic? I'd be interested in hearing your opinion. Thanks

DickLeonard
12-13-2004, 07:12 AM
ITime you don't jump from 50 to 212 but running 212 when you haven't played in months was an accomplishment. Steve Lipsky told me Ira from CaromBilliards told him I was the only person he had seen that could run 100 any time I wanted and from any side right or left.

When I was running rooms I would run over 2 hundred most days. This lead to me saying if I had the choice of running 200 balls or making love to the most beautiful women in the world I would take the 200 it was a greater high. Sorry Women.####

Fred Agnir
12-13-2004, 07:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr> Hi Fred. Care to comment on the thread's topic? I'd be interested in hearing your opinion. Thanks <hr /></blockquote>I have no opinion /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif It looks like a sighting technique in place of using the top or bottom of the cueball. I can see benefit.

I was simply commenting on what Dick Leonard has already replied. You don't go from running 50 to 212 with just a change to imagination.

Fred

dtomasi
12-13-2004, 07:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> This lead to me saying if I had the choice of running 200 balls or making love to the most beautiful women in the world I would take the 200 it was a greater high. Sorry Women.#### <hr /></blockquote>

Now here's a decision that I will never be in a position to make. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Qtec
12-13-2004, 08:57 AM
Dick, what is your favourite break shot ?

If you are in this position after your opponent makes a foul, what shot would you play?

Thanks

Qtec.


START(
%AO1O5%BM2Q2%CJ1O1%DL8M7%EN0P1%FL4R1%GK6N8%HM7N8%I H5R7%JL4L9
%KJ2P2%LI7M8%MH5Q6%NF1T7%OE3S5%Pr0O3
)END

wei (http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/%7Ewei/pool/pooltable2.html)

wolfdancer
12-13-2004, 09:18 AM
I'd say that "vastly superior" is questionable, if you mean it's so much better than what all these good players that post here are using. Maybe you contend, it's v.s. to what you were using???
I'm always looking for the "Holy Grail" method of aiming/sighting, but every really good player that I ask,seems to use a "rote" system.
The method I use now has kicked up my game a notch,or two..and I sometimes sight along the edge of the shaft...but might not help the next guy.
I imagined once, that I ran a hundred balls....

SPetty
12-13-2004, 09:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> ...if I had the choice of running 200 balls or making love to the most beautiful women in the world I would take the 200 it was a greater high. Sorry Women.#### <hr /></blockquote>Howdy ####,

I giggle every time you write this, because my response is "Well, you must not be doing it right!" /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

1Time
12-13-2004, 09:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> ITime you don't jump from 50 to 212 but running 212 when you haven't played in months was an accomplishment. Steve Lipsky told me Ira from CaromBilliards told him I was the only person he had seen that could run 100 any time I wanted and from any side right or left.

When I was running rooms I would run over 2 hundred most days. This lead to me saying if I had the choice of running 200 balls or making love to the most beautiful women in the world I would take the 200 it was a greater high. Sorry Women.#### <hr /></blockquote>

DickLeonard, absolutely 212 is is an accomplishment after months of not playing! And I find that you were considered capable of running 100 balls at any time nothing short of astounding.

To give some perspective, about 20 years ago my best run was 36 balls and at any given time I could be considered capable of running maybe 1 rack. And the thing is I haven't played much straight pool since. And so I'm certain I'd struggle even today getting to 50 balls. I believe that's what I was thinking when I made my 50 ball comment. Obviously I was completely off base to think the application of a new technique would lead to such an accomplishment.

However, more than anything I truly consider myself privelaged to have the opportunity to converse in this forum with such an accomplished player. My hat's off to you DickLeonard.

Qtec
12-13-2004, 09:47 AM
I use a tapered shaft. ie the outside lines of the shaft are not paralell. If i would extend the lines of both sides of the shaft, on a long shot, the right line of the cue would line up with the leftt side of the object ball and obviously vice-versa.
Wouldnt it be much easier to just site along the middle of the cue?

Qtec

1Time
12-13-2004, 09:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr>I have no opinion /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif It looks like a sighting technique in place of using the top or bottom of the cueball. I can see benefit.

I was simply commenting on what Dick Leonard has already replied. You don't go from running 50 to 212 with just a change to imagination.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks for chiming in Fred; I of course agree with you.

One
12-13-2004, 10:04 AM
There is a limit how good you can become with imaginary tricks. In the end you will always play a "true" or "clean" game without any aiming tricks.

The speed control trick that I used was to look at the deceleration/acceleration in the cueball in skid shots. This technique works much further than pro level.
You can read more about the technique here: http://poollogics.port5.com/articles/one/cueballcontrol.htm

DickLeonard
12-13-2004, 10:31 AM
SPetty I never thought of That, you might giggle reading my post but I got a hearty laugh out yours. Thanks for the belly laugh.####

1Time
12-13-2004, 10:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> I'd say that "vastly superior" is questionable, if you mean it's so much better than what all these good players that post here are using. Maybe you contend, it's v.s. to what you were using???
<hr /></blockquote>

Thanks wolfdancer for contributing to this thread. There's really nothing questionable about the claim I've made. I specifically compared the technique I described to imagining a spot on the object ball or even imagining a line between the CB and object ball. I never claimed nor did I intend to imply its superiority over any other technique. There are just too many techniques out there that I'm sure work very well for many folks.

Of course I did point out a couple of times that I often use this technique in conjuction with other methods. And in doing so I find it to be even more beneficial than if I were to use it without the use of any other technique on a particular shot.

I also claimed that a few who try this sighting technique may find it "vastly superior" to what they've been using. Again there's really nothing at all questionable about that. The sighting technique I described is just one of many available, one of a few that I use, and one that I've found easy to use and surprisingly effective.

A holy grail? No. If I've found a holy grail it would have to be in my use of a variety of techniques, often on a single shot, and my willingness and ability to continue to try different things to better my game.

DavidMorris
12-13-2004, 12:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote One:</font><hr> There is a limit how good you can become with imaginary tricks. In the end you will always play a "true" or "clean" game without any aiming tricks.

The speed control trick that I used was to look at the deceleration/acceleration in the cueball in skid shots. This technique works much further than pro level.
You can read more about the technique here: http://poollogics.port5.com/articles/one/cueballcontrol.htm
<hr /></blockquote>
Umm, I see. Is that you, Patrick? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Bob_Jewett
12-13-2004, 12:23 PM
&gt; There is a limit how good you can become with imaginary
&gt; tricks. In the end you will always play a "true" or
&gt; "clean" game without any aiming tricks.

I agree with this part.


&gt; The speed control trick that I used was to look at
&gt; the deceleration/acceleration in the cueball in skid
&gt; shots. This technique works much further than pro level.
&gt; You can read more about the technique here: http://poollogics.port5.com/articles/one/cueballcontrol.htm

I believe that much of what is written there is incorrect. Also, it uses terminology in a non-standard way, which is confusing.

1Time
12-13-2004, 12:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> I use a tapered shaft. ie the outside lines of the shaft are not paralell. If i would extend the lines of both sides of the shaft, on a long shot, the right line of the cue would line up with the leftt side of the object ball and obviously vice-versa.
Wouldnt it be much easier to just site along the middle of the cue?

Qtec

<hr /></blockquote>

Excellent question, Qtec. It really comes down to a matter of imagination and giving it a try. Without actually trying this technique at the table and with at least a few shots, it makes purfect sense this line would not go where it's suppose to since the "side" of the cue is not physically straight. However, if you have tried this technique and are imagining this line and it's not going where you want, simply pivot the butt of your cue slightly to the left or right so this imagined line goes where you want it.

This technique is simply to aid in the visualization of a straight, thin line. If you're already doing this through the center of the cue stick, you're already half there. Here's a rough analogy. Sighting down a rifle's barrel (without sights) is like sighting down a cue's shaft. Using a rifle's front and rear open sights is like imagining a line down the center of a cue's shaft, much more effective. However, imagining this thin, straight line down the side of the cue is even better, like sighting through the cross-hairs of a scope on a rifle, a better way of aiming than using open sights on a rifle or no sights at all.

Although I did not address this before, I now will say that of those who currently use the technique of imagining a line down the center of their cue that extends to the object ball, a few who try the technique I've described may find it easier to imagine this line and subsequently see an improvement in their game. Of course your milage may vary, that is, provided you give it a try.

1Time
12-13-2004, 01:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote One:</font><hr> There is a limit how good you can become with imaginary tricks. In the end you will always play a "true" or "clean" game without any aiming tricks. <hr /></blockquote>

Years ago I used to wow the average players in 8-ball on bar tables by using a fairly up-right stance and only looking at the table and balls with my peripheral vision. I basically just looked straight ahead or around at others smiling or talking as I played. Of course I didn't use much English and mostly just dinked the balls around as is often only required to win against the average Joe. I mostly did this just for kicks to get a response from the on-lookers who'd usually say, "how does he do that... he's not even looking at the balls?"

My point is I was using a visualization technique. I even use a visualization technique when I close my eyes and shoot a shot like in "The Color of Money". I'd sooner believe those who say they don't in any way visualize a shot, probably do so but simply are not aware of it. Of couse I could be wrong; I suppose there are those who don't aim when shooting pool (or at least it often seems so).

Edit: I should add this. Once warmed up and after breaking into a "zone" or "dead stroke", I more or less have "internalize" my sighting/visualization; it somehow becomes automatic and is not at all procedural. In fact, once I get going I routinely spend very little time over a shot and move from shot to shot without delay.

One
12-13-2004, 03:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> &gt; There is a limit how good you can become with imaginary
&gt; tricks. In the end you will always play a "true" or
&gt; "clean" game without any aiming tricks.

I agree with this part.


&gt; The speed control trick that I used was to look at
&gt; the deceleration/acceleration in the cueball in skid
&gt; shots. This technique works much further than pro level.
&gt; You can read more about the technique here: http://poollogics.port5.com/articles/one/cueballcontrol.htm

I believe that much of what is written there is incorrect. Also, it uses terminology in a non-standard way, which is confusing. <hr /></blockquote>
Have you read the whole article?
Explain why it is incorrect.

1Time
12-13-2004, 03:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote One:</font><hr>
Have you read the whole article?
Explain why it is incorrect.
<hr /></blockquote>

One, I agree with you; that article is worthy of discussion. It's just that it might be better in it's own thread. I know I'd be interested in discussing it there. Thanks

One
12-13-2004, 05:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote One:</font><hr>
Have you read the whole article?
Explain why it is incorrect.
<hr /></blockquote>

One, I agree with you; that article is worthy of discussion. It's just that it might be better in it's own thread. I know I'd be interested in discussing it there. Thanks <hr /></blockquote>

Ok.

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccb&amp;Number=169452&amp;page =0&amp;view=collapsed&amp;sb=5&amp;o=&amp;fpart=1

wolfdancer
12-13-2004, 05:37 PM
<font color="blue"> </font color> "There can be only one"

DickLeonard
12-14-2004, 06:16 AM
Qtec when I know how to use wei I will let you know, I had the post saved but I lost #### Leonard and the post. Sorry ####

PQQLK9
12-21-2004, 09:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr> That system does not work.<hr /></blockquote>

does too! Grrrrr /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif