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shakeybake
11-25-2005, 12:32 PM
I have always contended that difference between my game, and that of a pro, is that whwn they strike the cb, they hit it exactly where they desire. Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this topic?

Cane
11-25-2005, 02:24 PM
Yes, that's part of it.... there are more things in my opinion.

1. your thought... they know exactly where they're hitting the cue ball and hit it there every time.

2. They use exactly the same stroke every time.

3. They know exactly where the cue ball is going every time after it hits the object ball, whether it's a technical knowledge or a database just built on experience.

4. They know exactly how far the CB And OB are going to travel every time. Did you ever notice that a lot of great players will play postion for approximate half ball hits? There's a reason for that! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The professional players are artists at controlling Angle, Speed and Spin. They do this because their game is exactly the same every time. By that I mean their mechanics don't change from game to game, or month to month, or year to year. They find a good comfortable place (in their mechanics) and they stay there.

Just my 2c,
Bob

Scott Lee
11-25-2005, 03:43 PM
Bob...Now that's what I call covering your A.S.S.! LOL Good post!

Scott

pooltchr
11-25-2005, 06:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> Just my 2c,
Bob <hr /></blockquote>

That post was worth a lot more than two cents!!!!!!!

(just my 2c) /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Good Job!
Steve

Stretch
11-25-2005, 06:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote shakeybake:</font><hr> I have always contended that difference between my game, and that of a pro, is that whwn they strike the cb, they hit it exactly where they desire. Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this topic? <hr /></blockquote>

hitting the cue ball where u want is easy. It's as basic as it getts, but it's only one note in the music. It's "how" you play that note in relation to the other notes that qualifies it as a tune worth listening too /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

All i'm saying is we can all play the tune. But we're thinking of the notes as we play, this stilts the performance. A pro is like a virtuoso. They own thier music. St.

Alfie
11-25-2005, 07:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> 4. They know exactly how far the CB And OB are going to travel every time. Did you ever notice that a lot of great players will play postion for approximate half ball hits? There's a reason for that! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif<hr /></blockquote>What is the reason?

Cane
11-25-2005, 08:15 PM
Alfie,

Set up a half ball hit on a table so that neither the object ball nor the cue ball will be pocketed. Now, just hit the ball, stroke speed and watch both balls. They will travel the same distance and stop at the same rolling at the same time... so, the cue ball and object ball travel distance are VERY predictable at a half ball hit (or something very close to it). Now, if you have that knowledge and can consistently pocket half ball hits, then would this not make your cue ball control MUCH more predictable? Now, this is extremely predictable with same mass CB and OB. The heavy CB's you find on a bar box will roll just a shade farther, but not that much. On stroke speed, maybe a couple of balls farther.

One of my teachers calls it the "Golden Angle".

Later,
Bob

Billy_Bob
11-25-2005, 09:37 PM
I don't know where you are at in your game, but anyway a good way to start learning how to hit the cue ball in "one" exact spot is to shoot just the cue ball to the far rail and get it to come straight back.

Do this 5 times in a row, then you will have learned where a center ball hit is on the cue ball. This is actually quite difficult. Hit CB slightly to left or right and it will place spin on the ball and not come straight back.

Cane
11-25-2005, 10:15 PM
Billy Bob, good drill, but let's even take it a step farther. When you can do that one consistently, then freeze a ball on the center daimond short rail, shoot the cue ball at it from the headspot, double kissback and make the cue ball come back and hit your cue tip. Now if they can do that one 5 times in a row, I don't want to play them! I figure if you get 2 or 3 out of five with the rest within a couple of inches of your cue, THEN you are quantifying Cue Ball center pretty well.

Later,
Bob

nhp
11-26-2005, 06:40 AM
Pros try not to end up too flat on a shot that they needed more angle for, and not too much angle when they need to be flat. The reason why is because when they end up too flat on a shot they needed angle for, they have to hit the shot much harder than normal, and their percentages go down. When they end up with too much angle when they needed a flat angle, they are at risk of losing the cueball. Basically it depends on what the situation calls for.

Fran Crimi
11-26-2005, 09:53 AM
Bob, I guess I'm not grasping your concept of half-ball hits. Wouldn't that be like driving neck and neck with the car next to you where you know you're going as fast as he is, but you don't know how fast you're going until you look at your speedometer? How does that help your speed control?

Can you name some great players who intentionally setup for half-ball hits? I'd like to study them and ask them about it if I can.

Thanks,
Fran

Fran Crimi
11-26-2005, 10:02 AM
I think you're on the right track in that the pros strike the ball better than the others. But I think it's more of an all-encompassing thing that involves timing, accuracy, knowledge, confidence, mechanics and consistency. I like Stretch's analogy---like a well-orchestrated piece of music.

Fran

Cane
11-26-2005, 10:30 AM
Fran,

Gabe Owen, David Matlock, Buddy Hall, Fransisco Bustamante, John Schmidt, Nick Varner, Jim Rempe, Mike Sigel... if you'll watch tapes of them playing, they shoot a LOT of half ball hits or thereabouts. I hope these guys play well enough that they're doing this on purpose and not just accepting the lay of the land, so to speak. There are many more.

As for speed control, well, if the player doesn't have good speed control to begin with, then it really doesn't matter whether they're hitting all straight in shots, or half ball hits, or just feathering in every shot! When it matters is when they have mastered speed control and can predict their cue ball path and cue ball travel distance accurately.

Of course there are many times that a 30 degree shot just isn't feasible, but, and I won't say the majority of the time, but a great part of the time, I'll elect to set up for an approximate half ball hit because it's much easier to get the cue ball anywhere on the table I want. The cue ball loses less speed than on a more full hit (simple conservation of energy) and you don't have to force the shots. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone, including the players I named above, that play PERFECT pool, so they end up too straight and having to power a shot when they don't have enough angle, or too thin and having to finesse so as not to "let the cue ball go".

In the dreamland of "Perfect Pool", we'd all like a layout where we could shoot straight in stop shots and run the rack every time without worrying about angle or spin, but those are as rare as hen's teeth. IMO, our next best option is a predictable hit where it's easy to move the cue ball on, behind or ahead of the tangent line with ease and surity to get it wherever we want it... but like I said, this requires excellent speed control and if the player doesn't have that, then it doesn't really matter which angle they're shooting on, does it.

Apparently it's not only my opinion. The players I named above all shoot a lot of half ball shots (I am, of course, approximating here, and not saying a pure 30 shot, but one reasonably close to that range of angle). And like I said, I don't think, considering their talent and ability, that's it's by accident.

Later,
Bob

recoveryjones
11-26-2005, 11:11 AM
Striking the cue ball accuratley can be attributed to two things, mechanical and visual.

Visual:

Some people actually don't see center ball where center ball in fact really is.Sometimes it's because they have their eyes lined up improperly and other times it's just their eyes period.

Tony Robles claims to have an eye problem.He says compensates by moving his tip over a smidge to straighten things out,because he doesn't see center ball where center ball really is. If you've ever watched him play, he has sound mechanics.An excellent training device to find center ball is Joe Tuckers Third eye.

Mechanical:

All kinds of things can come into play here including line up,a sloppy bridge, grip pressure etc etc etc.I once had a friend watch me shoot and he told me everything looked good except my bridge hand moved during the stroke slightly.Since I have firmed my bridge hand up, it's made a world of difference.

I hate to beat the same drum that's been pounded here over and over again, however, go get yourself an instructor. If an unqualified friend can make an obsevation that's helped my game....just think what a qualified instructor can do.

RJ

ps. Bob, Scott, Randy and Steve you can all send me my commision cheques......LOL...PM me for my address. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

DebraLiStarr
11-26-2005, 01:04 PM
Stroke = A series of to and fro movements.

Hit = A directed collision between 2 objects.

Stroke - such as stroking the strings of a violin with a bow

Hit - Such as hitting a baseball with a baseball bat.

Two different things. Two different results. If you listen closely, you can actually hear the difference between a player that strokes through the cue ball, as opposed to a player that hits it. When the cue ball is "hit" you can actually hear a thud which I would think is caused by an unlevel cue sending the cue ball down into the slate. When a player "strokes" the cue ball, you simply hear the tip contact the cue ball. When you "hit" the cue ball, it causes you to flinch and it also eliminates your follow through and your accuracy. Hope that helps you out.

Sid_Vicious
11-26-2005, 10:13 PM
More to it. Timing, pre-established knowledge via practice, and the thing that seperates the great...TIMING, coupled with fearless confidence in the stroke, and instinct. Players live a lifetime and never get to their potential because of a lack of even exploring the timing on stroke. That one thing floats the champions to the top above all of the rest of us. Accuracy is important but fails without the aspect of a fluidly timed stroke...sid

Fran Crimi
11-26-2005, 10:39 PM
Bob, I'm seriously skeptical that the answer to optimal cue ball control lies in half-ball hits. Maybe you should go back to your source and find out more about how he or she came up with this idea. Did it come from testimony of the pros? Did it come from your source's own theory based on the premise of both balls traveling at the same speed?

I just wouldn't be too quick to accept this at face value if I were you without further investigation.

I'll see what I can find out on my end. It's a very creative theory, though...but my initial reaction is that it's highly unlikely.

Fran

recoveryjones
11-26-2005, 11:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Bob, I'm seriously skeptical that the answer to optimal cue ball control lies in half-ball hits. Maybe you should go back to your source and find out more about how he or she came up with this idea. Did it come from testimony of the pros? Did it come from your source's own theory based on the premise of both balls traveling at the same speed?

I just wouldn't be too quick to accept this at face value if I were you without further investigation.

I'll see what I can find out on my end. It's a very creative theory, though...but my initial reaction is it's highly unlikely.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

I'm not saying Bob's 100% right , however, there are some obvious benefits to leaving yourself a half ball hit.First of all its a reasonably easy pot to make as you just aim the center of the cue ball to the outside edge of the object ball.(THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO HAL HOULE)

Secondly, it's a very easy shot to use a large variety of different english applications and still succesfully make the pot.It also offers you angle(imperitive in 9 ball) to play with, whereas straight in styles pots can be more limiting.You are contacting a fairly large(object ball) surface so getting to a large variety of table locations(with english) is more easily accessible.In contrast how many fewer options are avalable on finer(45 degree and higher) cuts with smaller object ball surface contact, let alone succesfully making a much more difficult pot.Half ball hits are almost automatic at the pro level.

Thirdly:

BECAUSE HAL HOULE TOLD ME A HALF BALL HIT IS THE ULTIMATE SHAPE POSISTION THAT A POOL PLAYER SHOULD STRIVE FOR!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

RJ

ps. Sorry Fran, didn't mean to stir it up with references to H.H, however, he did personally tell me about the merits of a half ball hit (in a personal phone call) and you were asking Bob for some references.

Cane
11-27-2005, 01:41 AM
Fran, I can understand skepticizm, however, I've come to believe this after watching and playing against many great players (watching was both in person and on tapes). The plain simple fact is that it does help with cue ball control, if for no other reason than you don't have to shoot hard to get position anywhere on the table and you don't have to let the cue ball fly as you would on a thin cut, or a cut less than half ball. I started stiving to go for half ball hit position on the majority of my shots, especially playing 9-Ball and my game absolutely soared. I don't mean it came up a little bit, I mean it went through the roof!!! I win most of my matches now... I play the ghost daily and get pi$$ed if I lose a 6 ahead set... Now, I didn't play bad before, and have been in matches with at least 4 of the players I mentioned on the list above. Did I win? Nope, but I played them hard and I learned a LOT from watching what they were doing... those four were Gabe, Buddy, Walden and Dave. The best I got was a 9-6 loss to one of them, except in a short race where I lost 7-5 to jw, but I learned so much more than the win would have been worth. One of the things I learned was that I was approaching the object ball too straight and that I needed more angle on most of my shots. Half ball hit does it for me and it does it for MANY great players. Ralph Greenleaf I was once told (indirect source of course, since he was dead before I was born) said that he would prefer to have every shot except the last one be a half ball hit. Well, I gotta tell you, if it's good enough for a multi-time 14.1 World Champion, then it's good enough for me.

This may not fit every players style, but it fits mine, and it fits many others. It damn sure fits Dave Matlock... he's the one that beat me 9-1 in a bar box tournament and he shot a LOT of half ball hits in that miserable set... I know, because I got to sit down and do a LOT of watching in that set! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Later,
Bob

pooltchr
11-27-2005, 06:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> =.Sometimes it's because they have their eyes lined up improperly and other times it's just their eyes period.

RJ

ps. Bob, Scott, Randy and Steve you can all send me my commision cheques......LOL...PM me for my address. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

You are quite right. I had a student yesterday who didn't understand why all his jump shots ended up with side spin. Turns out when he lined up for a jump shot, his head was off to the side rather than over the cue. His visual reference was different and he was hitting the cue ball left of center every time. We used a training ball to determine how far off he was. Once he realized that, it was a simple adjustment to move the tip a bit to the right. You see things differently from different angles.

Oh yeah, the check's in the mail!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Steve

Stretch
11-27-2005, 07:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> Fran, I can understand skepticizm, however, I've come to believe this after watching and playing against many great players (watching was both in person and on tapes). The plain simple fact is that it does help with cue ball control, if for no other reason than you don't have to shoot hard to get position anywhere on the table and you don't have to let the cue ball fly as you would on a thin cut, or a cut less than half ball. I started stiving to go for half ball hit position on the majority of my shots, especially playing 9-Ball and my game absolutely soared. I don't mean it came up a little bit, I mean it went through the roof!!! I win most of my matches now... I play the ghost daily and get pi$$ed if I lose a 6 ahead set... Now, I didn't play bad before, and have been in matches with at least 4 of the players I mentioned on the list above. Did I win? Nope, but I played them hard and I learned a LOT from watching what they were doing... those four were Gabe, Buddy, Walden and Dave. The best I got was a 9-6 loss to one of them, except in a short race where I lost 7-5 to jw, but I learned so much more than the win would have been worth. One of the things I learned was that I was approaching the object ball too straight and that I needed more angle on most of my shots. Half ball hit does it for me and it does it for MANY great players. Ralph Greenleaf I was once told (indirect source of course, since he was dead before I was born) said that he would prefer to have every shot except the last one be a half ball hit. Well, I gotta tell you, if it's good enough for a multi-time 14.1 World Champion, then it's good enough for me.

This may not fit every players style, but it fits mine, and it fits many others. It damn sure fits Dave Matlock... he's the one that beat me 9-1 in a bar box tournament and he shot a LOT of half ball hits in that miserable set... I know, because I got to sit down and do a LOT of watching in that set! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Later,
Bob
<hr /></blockquote>

I have no doughts about the versatility and forgiving nature of the half ball hit, but it's just silly to think that a general "plan" is used to exclusivily clear a rack with it. Wut happens is that in trying to gain an angle (where one makes your job easier) you end up with something between 15 and 30 deg. I think your mistaking the desire to gain a workable angle and saying see? They are "intending" to leave half ball hits.

To my way of thinking, of more importance is being on the right side of my next shot. This will always give u a path to your next ball. Any angle is a workable angle if it's on the right side. If i had my way every shot would be a stop shot, connect the dots, all the way out with as little movement by the cb as possible. Half ball hits will invariably send u to a rail. Why use rails when u don't have to? St.

Stretch
11-27-2005, 07:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Stretch:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> Fran, I can understand skepticizm, however, I've come to believe this after watching and playing against many great players (watching was both in person and on tapes). The plain simple fact is that it does help with cue ball control, if for no other reason than you don't have to shoot hard to get position anywhere on the table and you don't have to let the cue ball fly as you would on a thin cut, or a cut less than half ball. I started stiving to go for half ball hit position on the majority of my shots, especially playing 9-Ball and my game absolutely soared. I don't mean it came up a little bit, I mean it went through the roof!!! I win most of my matches now... I play the ghost daily and get pi$$ed if I lose a 6 ahead set... Now, I didn't play bad before, and have been in matches with at least 4 of the players I mentioned on the list above. Did I win? Nope, but I played them hard and I learned a LOT from watching what they were doing... those four were Gabe, Buddy, Walden and Dave. The best I got was a 9-6 loss to one of them, except in a short race where I lost 7-5 to jw, but I learned so much more than the win would have been worth. One of the things I learned was that I was approaching the object ball too straight and that I needed more angle on most of my shots. Half ball hit does it for me and it does it for MANY great players. Ralph Greenleaf I was once told (indirect source of course, since he was dead before I was born) said that he would prefer to have every shot except the last one be a half ball hit. Well, I gotta tell you, if it's good enough for a multi-time 14.1 World Champion, then it's good enough for me.

This may not fit every players style, but it fits mine, and it fits many others. It damn sure fits Dave Matlock... he's the one that beat me 9-1 in a bar box tournament and he shot a LOT of half ball hits in that miserable set... I know, because I got to sit down and do a LOT of watching in that set! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Later,
Bob
<hr /></blockquote>

I have no doughts about the versatility and forgiving nature of the half ball hit, but it's just silly to think that a general "plan" is used to exclusivily clear a rack with it. Wut happens is that in trying to gain an angle (where one makes your job easier) you end up with something between 15 and 30 deg. I think your mistaking the desire to gain a workable angle and saying see? They are "intending" to leave half ball hits.

To my way of thinking, of more importance is being on the right side of my next shot. This will always give u a path to your next ball. Any angle is a workable angle if it's on the right side. If i had my way every shot would be a stop shot, connect the dots, all the way out with as little movement by the cb as possible. Half ball hits will invariably send u to a rail. Why use rails when u don't have to? St. <hr /></blockquote>

LOL after reviewing my post i just thought of a good reason for useing a rail when u don't have too. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif It it not generaly advised to "cross" the ideal position zone for your next shot. In this instance it's better to use a rail to run out along the length of the ideal position zone by either entering at the narrow end, or the wide end. Much bigger margin for error that way. St.~~flexabilty and creativity is rewarded in this game, i hate "rules"~~

Fran Crimi
11-27-2005, 09:19 AM
Stretch, I'm thinking more along the lines as yourself. I've spent a whole lot of time talking to a whole lot of top pros about position play and no one ever mentioned trying to get position for half-ball hits. They did say that they tried to get on the right side of the ball and that they looked to be either thin, full, or in-between on their shots, depending on their position needs.

If some players are more comfortable striving for half-ball hits, that's their perogative, but to back it up by saying that the great players do it intentionally, without questioning them, doesn't make it true. There are plenty of 'alive' great players out there that could be questioned. Why not ask them, rather than assume? Right?


Fran

Fran Crimi
11-27-2005, 09:34 AM
Bob, why not just ask some of the top players? It's a simple question. "Do you strive for position on half-ball hits?" Wouldn't that be better than hoping that's what they do?

Fran

wolfdancer
11-27-2005, 10:04 AM
Fran, while no one will ever mistake me for a pool player...
the half-ball hit concept, moved my game up a few notches. The shot seems to show up a lot in games...and many other shots are small adjustments from that aiming point (for me).
My understanding is that billiard players try to use the half ball hit, as often as practical....don't know about the top pool players....since they all seem to avoid playing me.
It seems logical though.....predictable carom angles, easy projection lines, etc.
I'll let you two pros hash it out though....
I also thought that was a great line from stretch:
"---like a well-orchestrated piece of music."

Cane
11-27-2005, 10:18 AM
First let me quantify what I'm describing as a half ball hit. For purposes of this discussion, I'm calling it anything thicker than a 1/4 ball hit and thinner than a 3/4 ball hit.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran:</font><hr>I have no doughts about the versatility and forgiving nature of the half ball hit, but it's just silly to think that a general "plan" is used to exclusivily clear a rack with it. <hr /></blockquote>

Fran, I NEVER said it was used or should be used exclusively to clear a rack. To even think of striving for the same angle on every shot is absolutely ludicrous. What I said, and still maintain is that if a player has a good command of speed control and a good knowledge of Tangent Lines and how to deviate from them predictably, then a half ball hit makes playing position easier in many instances. I'll read back, but I don't think I ever indicated anywhere in this thread that half ball hits should be used exclusively to clear a rack. Conversely, I dream of the rack where all I have is straight in stop shots to clear the entire rack, but that's only going to happen a few times in a lifetime.

Now, it seems to me that you're assuming that I go play in these tournaments and never talk to the other players. Wrong. I play against them, cheer them on when they're playing others, talk to them before, between and after matches. I don't just sit there like a knot on a log and "see what I can see" and "Hope" I'm interpreting it well. Terminology may be different (my terminology "approximate half ball hit", his terminology "you need more angle"), but Dave told me last April after he drummed me in a bar box set that there was nothing wrong with my shotmaking, but that I left myself too straight on most of my shots and had to work the cue ball too hard. This is when I started paying attention to what other players were doing, and I'm not talking about minor league players... check out the roster on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour and you'll find there are GREAT players on it. I watched them in person and on tape and I came to the conclusion I did because it just plain happens.

Now, I agree with Stretch, absolutely when he says that he would rather just stop, stop, stop, out... but how often does that happen. Rarely! So, why not go with something that works for me, and seems to work for others.

Do I need to interview them? Well, that would be nice, but you have to understand, most of these guys won't even tell you how they plan a pattern, much less give you specifics on a game. Dave Matlock and I played in the same circles back in the 80's... in knowing him for a decade, the only piece of advice he ever gave me was a racking pattern to use in 9-Ball. He just doesn't SHARE information like some of the young players do. Getting detailed information out of most players is next to impossible, and as a matter of fact, I've had some that intentionally have lied to me about what they are or are not doing, because they guard their game like it's Top Secret. As much as I love poolplayers and the poolplaying community, I think it would be naive of me to think that these players were going to tell me things, just for the asking, that might make me more competitive when playing them.

So, until all of the greats are willing to open up and tell all, which I don't think will happen in our lifetime, then I'll leave the interviews to you and I'll continue to do what I do best, and that's 1. pick up a verbal tidbit here and there, and 2. analyze based on imperical data. In other words, I'll listen to those that will talk over a Jim Beam and Coke after the tournament and I'll watch and learn from those who won't tell. I'll scrutinize their games in person and on tape, and yes, even in the middle of matches with them. I'm not a "Tech Head" when it comes to pool, but I do know that if the plane is still in the air, it must be able to fly, even if it won't tell anyone how it flies.

As for asking them,

[ QUOTE ]
"Do you strive for position on half-ball hits?" <hr /></blockquote>

and...

[ QUOTE ]
...hoping that's what they do?
<hr /></blockquote>

See, in my eyes, I'm not HOPING that's what they do. I'm seeing it on the table, and no, they don't shoot even 70% half ball hits, although I've never counted, so I may be wrong. MY feeling is on this is that these are GREAT players, Hall of Famers and potential Hall of Famers, and I don't think they play pool so sloppily that they're ACCIDENTALLY leaving themselves this range of angles on a great percentage of their shots. I BELIEVE they're good enough at the game that they're doing it on purpose. Of course, I could be wrong, but the plain simple fact of the matter is that it works for me and it works well for me. I observe others doing it and I emulated it and it turned out to be a breakthrough for my game.

I guess we could discuss or debate this forever, but I'm going to continue to do this and I'm going to continue to do what works for me and what I've seen work when the Buddy Halls and Gabe Owens and James Waldens and David Matlocks have sent my big a$$ to the one loss side. If someone wants to try this, more power to them, if they're happy with leaving their shots more on the line between a 3/4 ball and full ball hit, then more power to them. This range of angles that I described in the first paragraph of this posting and loosely refer to as a Half Ball Hit works well for me.

Later,
Bob

recoveryjones
11-27-2005, 11:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> First let me quantify what I'm describing as a half ball hit. For purposes of this discussion, I'm calling it anything thicker than a 1/4 ball hit and thinner than a 3/4 ball hit.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran:</font><hr>I have no doughts about the versatility and forgiving nature of the half ball hit, but it's just silly to think that a general "plan" is used to exclusivily clear a rack with it. <hr /></blockquote>

Fran, I NEVER said it was used or should be used exclusively to clear a rack. To even think of striving for the same angle on every shot is absolutely ludicrous. What I said, and still maintain is that if a player has a good command of speed control and a good knowledge of Tangent Lines and how to deviate from them predictably, then a half ball hit makes playing position easier in many instances. I'll read back, but I don't think I ever indicated anywhere in this thread that half ball hits should be used exclusively to clear a rack. Conversely, I dream of the rack where all I have is straight in stop shots to clear the entire rack, but that's only going to happen a few times in a lifetime.

Now, it seems to me that you're assuming that I go play in these tournaments and never talk to the other players. Wrong. I play against them, cheer them on when they're playing others, talk to them before, between and after matches. I don't just sit there like a knot on a log and "see what I can see" and "Hope" I'm interpreting it well. Terminology may be different (my terminology "approximate half ball hit", his terminology "you need more angle"), but Dave told me last April after he drummed me in a bar box set that there was nothing wrong with my shotmaking, but that I left myself too straight on most of my shots and had to work the cue ball too hard. This is when I started paying attention to what other players were doing, and I'm not talking about minor league players... check out the roster on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour and you'll find there are GREAT players on it. I watched them in person and on tape and I came to the conclusion I did because it just plain happens.

Now, I agree with Stretch, absolutely when he says that he would rather just stop, stop, stop, out... but how often does that happen. Rarely! So, why not go with something that works for me, and seems to work for others.

Do I need to interview them? Well, that would be nice, but you have to understand, most of these guys won't even tell you how they plan a pattern, much less give you specifics on a game. Dave Matlock and I played in the same circles back in the 80's... in knowing him for a decade, the only piece of advice he ever gave me was a racking pattern to use in 9-Ball. He just doesn't SHARE information like some of the young players do. Getting detailed information out of most players is next to impossible, and as a matter of fact, I've had some that intentionally have lied to me about what they are or are not doing, because they guard their game like it's Top Secret. As much as I love poolplayers and the poolplaying community, I think it would be naive of me to think that these players were going to tell me things, just for the asking, that might make me more competitive when playing them.

So, until all of the greats are willing to open up and tell all, which I don't think will happen in our lifetime, then I'll leave the interviews to you and I'll continue to do what I do best, and that's 1. pick up a verbal tidbit here and there, and 2. analyze based on imperical data. In other words, I'll listen to those that will talk over a Jim Beam and Coke after the tournament and I'll watch and learn from those who won't tell. I'll scrutinize their games in person and on tape, and yes, even in the middle of matches with them. I'm not a "Tech Head" when it comes to pool, but I do know that if the plane is still in the air, it must be able to fly, even if it won't tell anyone how it flies.

As for asking them,

&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
"Do you strive for position on half-ball hits?" <hr /></blockquote>

and...

&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
...hoping that's what they do?
<hr /></blockquote>

See, in my eyes, I'm not HOPING that's what they do. I'm seeing it on the table, and no, they don't shoot even 70% half ball hits, although I've never counted, so I may be wrong. MY feeling is on this is that these are GREAT players, Hall of Famers and potential Hall of Famers, and I don't think they play pool so sloppily that they're ACCIDENTALLY leaving themselves this range of angles on a great percentage of their shots. I BELIEVE they're good enough at the game that they're doing it on purpose. Of course, I could be wrong, but the plain simple fact of the matter is that it works for me and it works well for me. I observe others doing it and I emulated it and it turned out to be a breakthrough for my game.

I guess we could discuss or debate this forever, but I'm going to continue to do this and I'm going to continue to do what works for me and what I've seen work when the Buddy Halls and Gabe Owens and James Waldens and David Matlocks have sent my big a$$ to the one loss side. If someone wants to try this, more power to them, if they're happy with leaving their shots more on the line between a 3/4 ball and full ball hit, then more power to them. This range of angles that I described in the first paragraph of this posting and loosely refer to as a Half Ball Hit works well for me.

Later,
Bob <hr /></blockquote>


Tap ! Tap! Tap!

That was a most excellent summarizing explanation. Clarifying the range(anything thicker than a 1/4 ball hit and thinner than a 3/4 ball hit) of the half ball hit and other variables certainly add credence to your(above) observations.
RJ

Fran Crimi
11-27-2005, 11:23 AM
Okay, I get where you're coming from, Bob.

First, the first quote you cited wasn't mine. I think it was Stretch.

Second, I guess I'm confused because first you were talking about both balls traveling the same speed, and then you were referring to the benefit of the edge-to-edge aim of the half-ball hit. Now you are saying that it's actually a range.

Now I'm leaning towards agreeing with you. A range works for me. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Most shots that come up can usually be negotiated by getting position in the 1/4 to 3/4 ball-hit range. That's a pretty big range, Bob. Exact half-ball hits? Nope, uh uh...not necessary. Maybe you could consider not calling it a half-ball hit? How about a mid-range hit?

Fran

DickLeonard
11-27-2005, 11:51 AM
AHHH SSSStttrrreeetttcccchhhhh. Now you have entered the mind and soul of the cue wielding virtuoso.####

Cane
11-27-2005, 11:57 AM
Fran, The confusion was my fault, not yours. After reading my original post on it, I realized that it came off like saying that I was speaking strictly of a center to edge hit... hell, I get so "zoned" when I'm playing that I don't even know where the edge or center of anything are! LOL I just hit the ball and it goes where I want it to go... does that make sense?

Next time, I'll try to be more clear on what I'm trying to say. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Not always easy for me, ya know! I think I had a flyrod in the heat treating cabinet when I was writing the original comments... the fly rods make me a LOT more money than pool ever has! /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif Wanna see what I do when I'm not playing pool... check out my "other life" R.L. Nunley, Rodmaker (http://www.caneflyrod.com)

Check out my page and you'll know why I go by the handle "CANE". If I was as good at pool as I am at making bamboo fly rods... oh, well, maybe someday! LOL

later,
Bob

Fran Crimi
11-27-2005, 12:47 PM
Very cool website!

I can't catch a fish to save my life. Nobody will take me fishing anymore because whenever I go, no one catches any fish. I've officially been declared a fisherman's worst nightmare.

You want to talk about confusion? I was born confused. Maybe we're related? One of my goals in life is to become unconfused.

Fran

SPetty
11-27-2005, 01:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr>...but I do know that if the plane is still in the air, it must be able to fly, even if it won't tell anyone how it flies.<hr /></blockquote>Although the plane won't tell anyone how it flies, I had a nice man tell me late one night - actually it was very early one morning - how a plane flies.

It's magic.

Hope that helps. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Bob_Jewett
11-27-2005, 10:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> ... A HALF BALL HIT IS THE ULTIMATE SHAPE POSISTION THAT A POOL PLAYER SHOULD STRIVE FOR!!! ... <hr /></blockquote>
Well, yes, if you are going to be moving the cue ball off cushions that's true, and it is a very, very old technique. Once you get better at speed control, you will begin to play for a lot more stop shots and nearly-full stuns to get position.

A classic place to try for a 30-degree cut is when you are trying to get a ball on the end cushion. Leaving a straight-in is, of course, a disaster. A 10-degree cut usually requires you to hit the ball significantly harder to maneuver the cue ball and 45-degrees starts to be a problem if you also need to use side spin or draw/follow. So, all other things being equal, and if you are on autopilot, a 30-degree cut is usually OK.

Qtec
11-28-2005, 06:42 AM
[ QUOTE ]
As for speed control, well, if the player doesn't have good speed control to begin with, then it really doesn't matter whether they're hitting all straight in shots, or half ball hits, or just feathering in every shot! When it matters is when they have mastered speed control and can predict their cue ball path and cue ball travel distance accurately. <hr /></blockquote>

If you have the speed control to give yourself a halfball hit everytime, I would say that you dont need the halfball shot to help you with your speed control. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Kinda Catch 22 situation.
Mostly you just need an angle. Being straight limits your options.

Qtec