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jt10ball
06-09-2005, 02:50 PM
I would like to continue this conversation in hopes of finally getting some fact based, concrete answers. As long as Iíve been playing pool the advice given is this area of our game has always been pretty vague as well as controversial and I would like to see if we can gather some technical experts or information in order to come up with some very sound advice for us and future players.

I do agree that you can place the cue stick in any position you choose and just get use to shooting like that but I also think that if we knew more about how the eyes and brain act and perceive pool shots that weíll find a more beneficial way to initially sight shots and advise others.

I have been studying this area for a little while myself and have actually come up with a training aid that we'll all see soon but even with the help of this training aid I am unable to confidently advise players about proper eye, chin and stick location based on dominant eyes or how the eyes work.

I know a few professional players (that will remain nameless cuz I don't want to cut into their teachings) that do some unusual things with their eyes, like switch eyes for different shots that cut from L to R or R to L and not only sighting down the left when cutting to the left but sometimes just the opposite, I know some that not only shift their eyes from CB to OB during the shot but also shift their eyes to the intended pocket (this could play into the area Jude was talking(different forum) about when he said look to the left and the left eye takes over and vice versa) I didn't know that and they may have accidentally stumbled into a way of using the eyes properly but I still want to know why.

I can straighten myself and my students out pretty well but there seems to be one problem that bugs me. Every time I line up a player or myself perfectly on a straight in shot,
IT NEVER LOOKS CORRECT TO ME OR THEM!
I can explain this But I can't explain it.

The part I can explain is that most of us actually line up at least a little wrong in the first place. I've seen it many, many times and most of the time. A player lines up either a little off center on the cue ball or center on the cue ball but their aim is off to the L or R on the object ball and then on the last stroke they all make a final last second mid stroke correction in the needed direction (obviously subconsciously and proof that the other senses are definitely partaking in the shot but this is not a preplanned correction and is not something we want in our pool game).

So I explain it like this, we're so use to approaching and initially looking at the shot incorrectly (but looks correct to our eyes) that when we do get lined up properly it has to look different and for most of us that will look incorrect and weíll have a tough time accepting that. After all we go thru every day of our life trusting our eyes, so to go against them simply isnít natural.

What I can't explain is why doesn't it look correct and can we ever get it to look perfect while using two eyes to sight a shot? I believe that there has been and are a great many one eyed shooters in this sport that have a slight advantage of seeing only 1 picture and have a tendency to be great shot makers. I know Niels came up in one topic but nobody mentioned he is blind in his left eye, at least thatís what Bert says while with Niels on one of his training videos. I know they may suffer from depth perception but their one good eye must develop or adjust for them or they would be missing the doorknobs all day long. By one eye I mean they are either blind in one eye or one eye is what I believe they call a lazy eye that looks off to the side and I believe this lazy eye syndrome can vary.

Hereís what I know about myself. I can shoot and adjust with the cue stick in just about any reasonable position. But you have to know which mistakes your eyes are most likely to make in certain positions.
Example; When placing the cue stick under my left dominant eye which Iíve always favored slightly (due to past advice) I must make my tip position on the cue ball appear so that itís favoring the left side of the CB and also make a straight in shot look as though Iím cutting it a tad to the left. And itís just the opposite while placing the cue stick under my right non dominant eye. I must favor the right slightly on the cue ball and the object ball. The thing I like about doing either of those is that I get a lot less of the double vision problems that many of us encounter. (Seeing 2 cue sticks while looking at the CB or 2 CBís while looking at the cue tip) which most eye doctors will tell us is completely normal but that doesnít really help us sight or aim the shot. Thanks doc, Iíve been to 2 different ones and an eye therapist but none have provided the information I need.
What is the best way to use your eyes while looking at a cue ball, cue tip and object ball?

Back to my perception, I can center the cue stick under my chin and use both eyes but as mentioned will sometimes get a lot of double vision (especially if Iím not free stroking), which sucks and can definitely knock down your confidence a few notches. Iíve played like that most of my pool career and learned the hard way that it caused a great amount of inconsistency for me in a couple of different ways, the worst being while using both eyes I would line up unknowingly favoring the right side of the cue ball which caused me to make that last second stroke correction to the left that Iíve found to be very common among other players. Some days the timing of the correction was perfect and I had a good day but other days it was either too much or too little to late. This was probably due to my dominant left eye providing more information to the brain.

This is all based on straight in shots, on angled shots there are other ways Iíve found to look at shots that seem to help me and believe it or not it changes based on the severity of the angle. If I have a 30 degree cut from right to left I feel very confident using my left eye more and I think thatís because I can feel the contact point on the cue ball (which is to my left) a little easier. But if I have a 70-90 degree cut from R to L I feel more confident first aiming off the object ball completely then using my right eye to match up the contact points. If I use my left eye to do this as some other players do I will have a tremendous tendency to hit the shot too full.

Iím actually in the process of attempting to switch my stick position from favoring my left eye to favoring my right eye because of 3 reasons.

#1 My stroke seems to open up and feels more fluid and powerful
# 2 Itís closer to picture I see while jacking up on shots.
#3 I feel it helps me break a little better.

Iím not sure whatís going to happen but Iím experienced enough to make a sound decision down the road and besides that I donít have any events for about 2 months.

For those of you thinking Paralysis by analysis case, Donít. This is me studying the game in order to help myself, my students and other gain more knowledge. I like to free stroke as much as anyone. When I go to play I like to just flow to the music and simply trust myself to do that which Iíve trained myself to do. Practice is practice and playing is playing. If I miss I miss but Iíll do so with confidence.

The reason Iím writing this long post is not only do I want some of you to research this topic but I want many of you to experiment with it and maybe weíll come up with a common denominator that will also help us to find the best ways to use our eyes.

Hereís one great site that has many useful links that Iíve wondered off to hoping to find a more complete explanation as to how we should approach shots and either Iím not smart enough to see the answer when itís there or I havenít come across it yet. Maybe one of you will. http://www.yorku.ca/eye/thejoy.htm

I know many have the opinion just shoot and donít even think about it but the fact is, most people that have that opinion often tend not to have the problems many of us do, double vision, donít see center cue ball accurately or always unknowingly aimed off to one side or the other.

So letís try to stay on topic and report back any new or past knowledge you think may help us all when it comes to training and trusting your eyes.

Joe T

SPetty
06-10-2005, 06:20 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jt10ball:</font><hr> I know many have the opinion just shoot and donít even think about it but the fact is, most people that have that opinion often tend not to have the problems many of us do, double vision, donít see center cue ball accurately or always unknowingly aimed off to one side or the other.<hr /></blockquote>Good luck, Joe. I'd love to hear what you come up with on this research.

On that one point above, it's my opinion, with no proof at all, that those people mentioned above have never their entire lives "struggled with" shifting and changing vision, and have a strongly dominant eye. My vision has changed almost every year since I was ten years old. Getting worse, then getting better, then getting worse, then getting better, then dominance shifting... not to mention those damned "floaters"... Plays havoc when your "seeing" is constantly changing your entire life.

jt10ball
06-10-2005, 01:14 PM
Well I'm a little more educated already. I had never heard of or considered the problems of sight changing and dominance changing. I could actually have a similar problem. Whenever I have in the past taken the old self eye dominance tests I have always come up with my left eye being stronger. But the last week or so I've been focusing on using my right eye while shooting and now taking the self eye tests as honestly as possible I'm getting more right eye results. My eyes could be so closely balanced that they too may have been switching from day to day, month to month or year to year without me knowing it. Could explain a little of the " I just can't see'em today" syndrome?
Thanks Sp

Eric.
06-10-2005, 02:15 PM
Ya know, Joe? Even though this has been discussed many times before, I think there is alot of merit in the Dominant eye thing. I can't speak for everybody, butmy personal game took a big step up when I shifted my cue slightly towards my dominant right eye(I'm righty) and stayed with it til it felt comfortable. I became more consistant due to the fact that I "saw" the whole shot more consistantly. Also, my slumps became much less frequent and my low game didn't fall as much as it did before. Granted this didn't happen overnight, there was an adjustment period (about 2 months).

One thing I found is that when I did fall into my low game, I didn't get into the "I know I aimed right and hit it there, but why did I miss?".


Eric