View Full Version : aiming post - inspired by pause in stroke replies

07-03-2002, 04:36 AM
In many of the pause in stroke replies it was mentioned shiftling the eyes from the cue ball to the object ball. I remember going through various aiming styles. Mos of this is going back to what I think I remember from about 65 to 70.

I can remember when I would keep down very low near the cue stick. Every once in a while my chin would actually touch the stick. I remember aiming or sighting along the shaft. Sort of like what it probably would be like when shooting a rifle. And I couldn't ever play any good at all with any crooked sticks. If I had to use a house cue or crooked stick, I remember it would through me off so much I would completely change my aiming method. I would look from the object ball to the pocket. And I notice I'm shooting that way a lot now. Especially on longer shots and maybe longer cut shots. And I do much better this way now. I saw Helena clearly looking from the object ball to the pocket on one of her long cut shots in that last tv match I saw. And that is what I'm doing.

Basically I look at the shot. I walk to wherever I have to, to line up the shot with my eyes while standing. Then I try to maintain that lineup with my eyes while I walk to or position myself to get ready to shoot. Then I get down for the shot. I know I don't get down low like I use to. I try to keep my eyes lined up on the shot all this time. Then maybe I look at the cue briefly. Then I think I start warmup strokes switching my view from the object ball to the pocket.

I can also remember my eyes watching different things after the shot during various stages of my playing career. I can remember a time when I would shoot and my eyes would immediately follow the cues movement after the shot. I remember sometimes getting up quickly and heading towards the next shot. Then not hearing the object ball fall in the pocket I would stop and see it still on the table. Maybe this has to do with when I played 3 cushion. My eyes would follow the cue's movement. I've avoided playing on a 3 cushion table so far because I think I stroke differently when playing 3 cushion. I think I start using a lot more follow through. I think I start using more wrist snap to get more english. And I think at least at this point this would throw off my pocket pool. Any thoughts on this?

I also remember a period of time when my eyes would follow the object ball, hopefully into the pocket. I'm not sure what I watch now.

I also remember a time when my eyes would be watching the object when I hit the cue. And I think I remember a time when my eyes would watch the cue when I hit it. Maybe that's when I started out or when I was learning english. I'm not sure what I do now. Maybe I switch between all three methods. Look from the object ball to the pocket with my last look being at the pocket. Or maybe now I quickly switch to the pocket after I hit the cue. Do all of you use different aiming methods, with different final looking spots as you hit the cue ball, depending on the type of shot? I know currently if I look just at the object ball or switch from the cue to the object ball on long shots, I make a lot less then if I look from the object ball to the pocket.

Jay M
07-03-2002, 07:16 AM
This one is another one of those "do whatever works for you" posts. For me, when I am shooting well, I will line the shot up before I get down on the cue. If I get down on the shot and see that I am off, I will stand back up and move my whole body. My eyes look at the shaft of the cue for the first couple of warm-ups to make sure I'm not doing anything weird with my stroke, then I shift to the object ball and focus on where I need to hit it to make it. My eyes never move again for the rest of the shot. Even when I follow through, I don't move my eyes from where the object ball used to be. I just stay steady where I ended up for a couple of seconds before I move unless a ball is coming towards me. By deliberately staying in my final position, I reduce my natural tendency to jump up on the shot. I'm not really sure whether I pause in my stroke or not, I never pay attention to it or do it deliberately. If I do, it's not something that I put into my game consciously.

Jay M

07-03-2002, 08:42 AM
Hi Eddie,

As a beginner, or maybe someone that is starting to take the game seriously, I think the best advice would come from a qualified instructor. He/she can set up a good foundation for you to repeat over and over til it's second nature. Personnaly, I have a "pre-shot routine", like most people. It starts with visualizing the path of the object ball to the pocket, potential angles of cue ball carom of the OB and position I need to get for the next ball. Once I've answered those questions (pocketing OB, english if necessary to get position, speed of shot) I go back and focus 95% on making the OB. Determine how full/thin you need to hit the OB while standing behind the cueball. Then get down on the shot. Works for me.

Eric >not a BCA instructor, but slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night

07-03-2002, 09:37 AM
Great peice Eddie, (and i'm still crackin up over Eric's "I'm not a BCA instructor but I've stayed at the Holiday in") LOL Too funny!

About the aiming thing, i'm in complete agreement about not only scanning from object ball to cue ball, but from object ball to pocket as well. Especialy on long shots. Here's my worthless theory. At distance it's all about perspective. alignment is critical so you realy need that third element (the pocket) to provide that. Cliff Thorburn revealed that to me (although not personaly ha ha) but when he said to scan those three things untill it looked and felt that both events 'the CB to OB' and the 'OB to Pocket' seemed like one shot, you know what i mean? Like on a single string.

I've also seen plenty of tapes on Hendry "the Gretzki of Snooker" When shooting right into the Camera i saw his eyes moving from object ball to pocket...twice...before pulling the trigger. Hears the trick, only move your eyes, nothing else, if you move your head when you look, your in potential trouble. The best players never move they're heads they stay rock solid and down on the shot.

I'll throw one of my "aiming things" out there now. There realy is a million of them out there, but that's good! More to choose from for specialty shots, cause not all aiming systems are friendly to certain shots. Case in piont, if you like aiming OB last you might like to try CB last for jacked up shots. So it is with other shots as well.

One shot that comes to mind is when you want to load up the cue. The aiming technique (fancy word for nothing) i use are "the railway tracks". Just use the outside and inside edges of the cue ball as the width of the track and run it up to the OB with the contact piont dead centre. Then you just spin the cue ball down the track. LOL Of course i wouldn't want to be the engineer on EVERY shot LOL but it works pretty good for the funny stuff. St