PDA

View Full Version : How do you aim at the rail?



JoeW
08-18-2008, 07:27 AM
It is known that power and English have major influences on the rebound of a CB shot at the rail. However, this is not the current issue. It seems there should be some basic or beginning point for aiming a kick shot and then adjustments are made for power and English.

Given that the center of the CB is 3/16 of an inh below the rail (at least on my GC III) how do you aim at the rail for a kick shot?

Some people aim at the diamond.

Some people constuct a 90 degree angle from the diamond and aim at the rail in front of the diamond.

Should one aim 3/16 of an inch under the rail?

How can a player establish the angles when the CB does not hit the rail on its center?

SpiderMan
08-18-2008, 09:04 AM
When aiming many kick shots, especially those where the OB to be hit is near the rail, I first sight the ideal geometrically-correct aim point and then adjust for variables such as speed and english.

My sighting point is the spot where the ball touches the table. This is the point directly below the center of the ball. At rail contact, this is marked by the "dirt trail" that can be seen running along the bed near the rails on all but the newest and cleanest of cloth.

This trail, which represents the resting point of the ball when it hits the rail, is itself subject to adjustment for speed - it's deeper into the rail when hit harder. That's why the "dirt trail" has a finite width rather than being a thin line.

This technique works particularly well for those shots which are nearly straight-in along the rail, when you choose to play a shallow rail-first kick for position. In order to make these consistently, you must adjust not only for speed and english, but also follow and draw.

If the cloth is so new/clean that no trail is apparent, I visualize where it should be, and thereby retain the same aiming procedures.

Of course, there are "rote" and "system" kicks where I instead shoot through the rail diamonds, because that is an easy reference, and these shots do not require additional calculations when they come up in a game.

SpiderMan

DeadCrab
08-18-2008, 09:21 AM
You have just brought up a critical issue in banking and kicking that the experts always seem to fail to mention.

The exact aim point varies with angle of incidence. If you have a bank point 5 diamonds up, your bank will be way short if you don't figure this into your aim.

If you are doing a short rail bank, and the bank point is about one diamond up from the pocket, the correction is about 0.3 inch (7.5mm). Two diamonds is about 0.6 inch, three diamonds 0.9 inch, five diamonds... you get the picture... about 0.3 inch per diamond.

The geometry can easily be worked out exactly, but these corrections are generally good enough.

It does not, however,obviate the need for proper english.





<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It is known that power and English have major influences on the rebound of a CB shot at the rail. However, this is not the current issue. It seems there should be some basic or beginning point for aiming a kick shot and then adjustments are made for power and English.

Given that the center of the CB is 3/16 of an inh below the rail (at least on my GC III) how do you aim at the rail for a kick shot?

Some people aim at the diamond.

Some people constuct a 90 degree angle from the diamond and aim at the rail in front of the diamond.

Should one aim 3/16 of an inch under the rail?

How can a player establish the angles when the CB does not hit the rail on its center?

</div></div>

wolfdancer
08-18-2008, 09:21 AM
How can a player establish the angles when the CB does not hit the rail on its center?
Joe,I often came up short on bank shots...and blamed it on the cushions. It wasn't until I read the Beard's book, that I realized what the actual cause was.
I still won't scare anybody with my banking skills, but while my execution might be weak, I have a better idea on how to aim.
I can't answer your question as posed, as the "cut" angle also comes into play, and both English and speed will affect the shot.
I think banking is as much feel as it is "science"...and you need to hit them XXX number of shots to become a skilled bank shot player.
So, my answer is a non-answer, I guess??

1Time
08-18-2008, 09:29 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How can a player establish the angles when the CB does not hit the rail on its center?</div></div>I'm sure Spiderman covered some vital points, so my reply may be a duplication to some extent.

JoeW,

You already know that speed and spin affect the rebound angle. You want to get better at it? All you need is a piece of chalk laying on the playing surface of the table, a cue ball, and a cue stick. You want to get fancy with it? Then use a little side spin. If you're kicking hard, hit the cue on the bottom half so it stays on the table.

What many probably have not considered though is the effect a particular cue has on these shots as compared to another cue. Some cues are stiffer and some are more flexible. The stiffer ones will apply less unintended spin. And the more flexible ones will apply more unintended spin. You want to make it easier to kick shots? Get a stiffer cue. You can test this out easy enough by trying out some kick shots with a house cue versus a 2 piece cue.

JoeW
08-18-2008, 09:45 AM
That is a neat idea Spiderman. It provides real points for the CB and a place on the table to aim.

I have not heard of this before. I also note that my table and some of the other tables I play on do not have a dirt trail. But if one looks closely there is something like this trail on some table. If a dirt trail is not available it is a matter of projecting the vertical line to the table.

I tried to diagram the rail and the CB angles using different aim points. Using the dirt trail it would appear that this aim point closely follows the center ball angle in - angle out vectors than using the place where the CB strike the rail. The latter yields a "short" or more closed angle.

In my thinking using the correct angles and then modifying is better than using "short" sighting method and then adjusting because the amount the CB come up short also varies.

Now it is a matter of setting up a few shots with known angles and ball markers to see if I can make the system work consistently. The next step would be to see how it changes for different approaches to the rail.

Thanks, I have been struggling in my attempts to find a good method.

JoeW
08-18-2008, 09:56 AM
I agree that there are many variables that effect a kick shot including the stiffness of the cue and one's stroke. None-the-less, there should be a place to begin one's aiming for the simple shot. Just like using the Ghost Ball with a beginner.

I think that there is a real need to have a particular place to aim as a basis for all variations that follow. This will lead to consistency in one's ability to estimate (feel) the shot.

Apparently Spiderman has one such approach that is a statement for the basis of all other shots.

Just because I have never found a method to use as the basis for kick shots does not mean that such a method does not exist or that such a method cannot be created.

Because those who have excellent kicking skills cannot tell me what they do, it does not mean that their brain / mind does not have a method.

And so the search goes on.

On one DVD the author uses a 1:30 smooth stroke on all three rail kicks and nearly always aims at the cushion in front of the diamond. That is about as clear as he can be. I suspect that his instructions are limited by his ability to observe his own behavior. I have not given his name because he sells his DVD and makes good money with his teaching. However I suppose I could plug Joe Villqalpando's work and the work of Freddy the Beard. They do have excellent instructional materials that teach a great deal about kicking.

Scott Lee
08-18-2008, 10:19 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> If you're kicking hard, hit the cue on the bottom half so it stays on the table. </div></div>

1Time...Apparently you don't know that shooting a kick shot with draw on the CB, causes the CB to CURVE. It will not rebound off the cushion at anywhere near the same angle. Whether or not it stays on the table, is strictly related to stroke speed (or angle of the cuestick).

Scott Lee

1Time
08-18-2008, 10:23 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Because those who have excellent kicking skills cannot tell me what they do, it does not mean that their brain / mind does not have a method.</div></div>Yes, of course. I assumed you would find a system, and so I thought it best to give you the rest of the information that would make it work.

Scott Lee
08-18-2008, 10:26 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think that there is a real need to have a particular place to aim as a basis for all variations that follow. This will lead to consistency in one's ability to estimate (feel) the shot.

Just because I have never found a method to use as the basis for kick shots does not mean that such a method does not exist or that such a method cannot be created.

And so the search goes on. </div></div>

Search no more...it is available right here! There is a very clear, easy to understand system of learning banks and kicks, including 1, 2 & 3 rails.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_d?url=...level&x=17&y=20 (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_d?url=search-alias%3Ddvd&field-keywords=Play+better+pool%2C+taking+your+game+to+t he+next+level&x=17&y=20)

Although this shows as 'out of stock' on Amazon.com, both dvds (Vol. 1 & 2) are available from either Randyg or myself, right now.

p.s....Anyone interested needs to email me, as my PM function here is overloaded (email: poolology@aol.com).

Scott Lee

JoeW
08-18-2008, 10:36 AM
Yes 1Time, and I appreciate the information from you, from Scott and from everyone else. It will all get factored in at some point.

JoeW
08-18-2008, 10:38 AM
Thanks Scott, I have seen the ads and also noted it was out of stock. I will email you.

Chopstick
08-18-2008, 10:39 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How can a player establish the angles when the CB does not hit the rail on its center?
</div></div>

We use The Force. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

If the force is not strong in you, then go get Grady Matthew's "Only Kicks" video. Practice each shot about 500 times and the force will be with you too.

I wish I'd never shown it to Spidey. He "frog kicked" me in the middle of a one pocket game.

1Time
08-18-2008, 10:49 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Scott Lee</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> If you're kicking hard, hit the cue on the bottom half so it stays on the table. </div></div>

1Time...Apparently you don't know that shooting a kick shot with draw on the CB, causes the CB to CURVE. It will not rebound off the cushion at anywhere near the same angle. Whether or not it stays on the table, is strictly related to stroke speed (or angle of the cuestick).</div></div>
Scott Lee,

There's nothing in my post that addresses whether the cue ball curves or does not when kicking with draw, and so your initial observation is unfounded.

With regard to using draw, I only addressed this as a way to keep the cue ball from flying off the table when kicking hard. You apparently don't realize this is how it's done, since you seem to think otherwise.

Fire a cue ball straight into a rail pretty hard without draw and be sure to duck or catch it or it may hit you. Hit it with a little less speed and the cue ball will hop after contacting the rail. Hit the cue ball with draw and it will stay closer to the table. How much this effect may be realized depends in part on the cue ball used and the characteristics of the rails, but the dynamics are the same anywhere.

Rail Rat
08-18-2008, 11:46 AM
Joe, Dr Dave has some good videos, and there are some good books on finding the line for kick shots using diamonds, its the best way. But the following, may help you in practice.

The most important thing you will realize in kick shots is to use NO side spin! Hit the Qb dead centerline with a slight amount of top... never vary from this in practice so that your rebounds will aways be consistant which will help keep your learning curve accurate.

Once you have got the diamonds down pat and can get the ball within the area you are going, you can then experiment with using side which you will occasionally need in a game situation to rebound past blocking balls. This is something you can only learn from constant practice. You learn how much spin to use and its results coming off the rail from other shots where you used no spin. This becomes your measure.

Also hitting the QB too hard will change the rebound, so you need too learn running outside english to give you more pace when going 3 rails or more.

Thats the key, consistant QB hit, consistant pace and diamond reference for aiming.

-brad

PRQL8R
08-18-2008, 12:20 PM
Hi Joe... certainly lots of different systems out there to choose from and you're certainly not going to go wrong with any advice from Sott Lee. My approach to banks/kicks is for the most part fairly straight forward. Obviously as soon as you're imparting any spin on the cueball or multiple rails, you're getting into another totally different can of worms, best understood if you keep it simple in the first place. Just for the sake of understanding what happens to the cueball with banks/kicks when first practicing I think it's important to stay on the vertical axis perhaps just a half tip above centre. All balls hit into the rail will lose a little angle relative to the speed of contact. I if you can visualize a mirrored image of the ball you wish to contact out beyond the rail your shooting into and then aim at that imagined mirrored ball... taking into consideration some loss of angle, you should soon start being able to make relatively consistent contact. As you develop more confidence you can then approach your kicks/banks with more control. Factoring in other variables such as multiple rails (again losing a little angle on each rail contact)and the effects of spin... probably better explained by someone more knowledgeable than I :), will mosly come through experience & trial and error. hope this helps... Bob

Deeman3
08-18-2008, 01:23 PM
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

wolfdancer
08-18-2008, 02:12 PM
Chop, I once had all of Grady's videos...they kind of repeat themselves, however....and he never did put out a better one then his first "Pool for intermediate and advanced..."
Problem there was...poor editing, and a cheap camera.

JoeW
08-18-2008, 03:03 PM
The interesting thing about this thread is that no one (except Spiderman) has a place they aim for a simple kick shot. By a place to aim I mean as in the way that a beginner learns to use the Ghost ball technique. We all know to play center ball and to line up the centers on a shot. However, no one seems to know how to line up the center of the CB for a simple kick shot. Perhaps this is why they are so difficult to make. There simply is nothing to shoot at!

I understand that the angle of incidence should equal the angle of return (within the margin of errors for rail compression, different kick angles, etc, etc). To play these angles one needs to aim at the point where the two lines intersect on, below or behind the cushion.

The center of the CB cannot be aimed at the top of the cushion rail because of the offset between the height differences leads to a “short” angle of return. Perhaps when the distance between the CB and the rail is sufficient, say three feet, the height difference is not crucial. With less distance to the rail the difference would contribute to error. In the long run it seems “better” to aim a rolling CB at a point inside (or in front) of and below the rail, perhaps projected from diamonds for reference angles.

Spiderman’s method of shooting the bottom of the CB at the base of a line projected down from the rail (or the dirt track) seems to be one way that could add consistency to estimating the aim point.

Apparently, some players (I am one) use the diamonds to estimate ball return angles and apparently, the diamond position is projected to the cushion rail at a 90 degree angle to the rail.

BTW I can make kick shots with some low (poor) degree of consistency. I understand and use the concept of “feel” after making a few thousand kick and banks. But I do not know how I do it any more than anyone else seems to know.

None-the-less we should be able to state what we do. If we can state what specific point is used for aiming with this type of shot then one can work with techniques to improve one’s consistency.

The mirror banking system stated by PRQL8R does not require an aim point on the rail but does assume the ability to project the line to the accurate distance beyond the rail. An aim line is used. I have a mirror designed to be used in practice. Perhaps it would be worth while to set up a mirror image shot and the attempt to determine where the CB is aimed on the rail when the shot is made. This technique does lead to a better degree of consistency but for me it is no where near the consistency of making a cut shot.

There is also a system in which the player establishes a point on the wall for a three rail kick from head of table corner pocket to the other head of table corner pocket. This point can also be used when one is not on the corner aim line through some adjustments for parallel lines. However, here too there is no aim point on the rial.

Deeman3
08-18-2008, 03:15 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">None-the-less we should be able to state what we do. If we can state what specific point is used for aiming with this type of shot then one can work with techniques to improve one’s consistency.
</div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000"> Joe,

The obvious problem with this is that there is no specific point on a rail. As Chopstick said, It is, for many of us, a developed feel and experience. Without incremental markings on a table, it seems we are either forced to use our estimation skills developed from experience or imagine some distance from a diamond, for instance. I don't see how any hard and fast place on a rail can be identified unless you know the spin, speed and angle and that would seem to be an almost impossible task for anyone even with markings every milimeter. I think most of us, if we have to "calculate" a point are favorites to miss on most shots. Maybe its just me but I feel where the ball is supposed to hit condiering those varibles but don't often consider the exact point on the cushion more than a small part of the shot. </span>

JoeW
08-18-2008, 03:23 PM
I agree Deeman, calculations per se lead to error. However, we aim at a place for CB - OB contact on a cut shot and I am looking for something similar as the basis for kicking.

Where does one aim for the very simple kick? If I knew this point I could then bring in other variables for estimating as needed as we do in most other shots.

Deeman3
08-18-2008, 03:37 PM
Joe,

I base all my kicks off the kick and stick which is, of course, a geometric point I developed by feel. If I, for instance want to hit a different point to attempt to pocket a ball or create separation in the cue and object ball, I guess I just make an adjustment from that starting point. Certainly as an object ball gets further from a rail or as the angle of entry to a rail becomes more obtuese, I do lose accuracy. On two rail kicks I start with that line that disects the pocket and, again, by experience, make adjustments from there. I do remember many years ago, before Efren messed up our lives, I was mostly just happy to make contact. How different things are now? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

SpiderMan
08-18-2008, 04:30 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Chopstick</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How can a player establish the angles when the CB does not hit the rail on its center?
</div></div>

We use The Force. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

If the force is not strong in you, then go get Grady Matthew's "Only Kicks" video. Practice each shot about 500 times and the force will be with you too.

I wish I'd never shown it to Spidey. He "frog kicked" me in the middle of a one pocket game. </div></div>

Somehow, that wording makes it sound as if I gave you a boot toe into the shin under the table.

The thing I remember most about that night was the bill! I think Click's in Memphis pads the tab, expecting everyone to be too drunk to notice.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
08-18-2008, 04:46 PM
Joe, I also sometimes use the "mirror system" you mentioned, but I still use my imaginary rail-track as the centerline for the mirror inversion point.

The thing to remember when doing this is that everything is referenced to the center of the cueball. Since the rail track represents the aimpoint for the center of the cueball, it is essential to continue using the center of the cueball (the "touch point" on the cloth) for your desired cueball "destination". Obviously, this is not a point on your target, but rather a half-ball's width away from the target.

Once you get used to it, you'll find yourself now controlling which side and how much of the ball you hit. This allows you to chose whether to hide behind a target ball near the rail (as in 8-ball, when it's one of yours), or take the CB down-table for a distance safety (as in 9-ball, where your opponent is shooting at the same ball). You'll also find that you can now aim those cross-table kicks that once seemed to go all over the place.

Whenever I'm trying something with this level of finesse, I like to limit the variables by shooting it with natural roll and just the correct blend of english (for the chosen speed) to keep the cueball on the "geometric" path. As Deeman noted, this takes a feel that is gained only through a lot of repetition.

There are players who kick extremely well without using any obvious system. They just look at the lay of the table and fire away. I'll have to accept that they are blessed with a lot of natural talent and a lot of time to spend at the table. Having but a little of either, I'm not one of those guys. So, I like to simplify things down to a reference plus compensation.

SpiderMan

DeadCrab
08-18-2008, 05:28 PM
*************
I think most of us, if we have to "calculate" a point are favorites to miss on most shots.
*************

Speaking as one who calculates shots better than he feels them (and shoots them), I respectfully disagree.

Having viewed a bunch of the DCC banks games videos on YouTube, I come to the conclusion that the "feel" does not hold up all that well when there is a cushion in the equation. World-class 9-Ball rack runners suddenly cannot make three balls. Heck, they miss short rail banks within two diamonds, where there is plenty of room for error. They would rarely miss a shot of similar degree of difficulty in their primary game.

Since they have perfect strokes, the decline in their games is most explicable by deficiencies in shot planning.

Perhaps they don't play banks enough to develop the feel. Well, if you don't feel, you better be calculating, or you don't have much going your way.

Rail Rat
08-18-2008, 08:47 PM
Deeman is correct.

Since the OB and the QB can be anywhere on the table you can't use ghost pockets. All you can do is applied geometry using the diamonds location. These will help to at least put the ball in the general area, its a matter of feel, coupled with experience that tells you where to hit it exactly, which sadly I am still struggling with coming from a snooker table. The rails are not as accurate as a snooker table and you have to allow more for rail enduced spin.

JoeW
08-19-2008, 06:27 AM
I began to study the search for a contact point on the rail last night and stumbled on an interesting idea. Because I was not feeling well I quit but will get back to it today.

I took four sheets of paper to make a 22 inch right angle or a 45 degree angle of return from the rail set at a diamond. Without realizing it I set the L shaped template on the table at what looked correct. After a few shots I found that I had not set the 45 degree angle on the side rail correctly. While I had the angle of approach equal to the angle of return, a crucial part of this determination is the 45 degree angle realtive to the rail.

Now I wonder how many times I have set angle in equal to angle out in my mind without consider the perpendicular alignment with the rail. This would of course defeat the equal angle assumption.

After many years of playing it has only now occurred to me that equal angles must be relative to a perpendicualr line to the rail. I would bet that that I am not the only one to make this mistake.

Tonight I will try to study how a billiard ball returns relative to a pool ball and attempt to determine a sighting point that allows a naturally rolling CB to return on the equal angle line

wolfdancer
08-19-2008, 06:50 AM
Joe, one of the best videos on banks and kicks is by Jimmy Reid. I even joined his "Diamond Club"
Jimmy has many methods for banks, kicks, that I have not seen anywhere else.
Last I heard of Jimmy, he was hopefully recovering from throat cancer surgery in Fla......(hope that he is doing well)
Tom Rossman also has a good video on the subject, and his own "secret systems".....
The method that you mention is the "spot on the wall" system, and it works pretty well for three rail kicks.
Seems to me there are so many variables in banks that systems will get you in the ball park, but feel will make the shot.

Deeman3
08-19-2008, 07:55 AM
Spiderman,

Jack Hunter used to leave a few small pieces of tape on the wall, that's the reason he liked the rear south table at Funland. I'd move the tape just a couple of inches on occasion until he caught me in the act! He rarely missed a three railer but would always at least leave them in his pocket. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

SpiderMan
08-19-2008, 09:09 AM
Another thing to consider in multiple-rail kicks and banks is that only the first-rail response can be controlled to be "equal-angle" in any practical scenario (not that you'd necessarily try to do this anyway). The CB picks up running english off the first rail, so on the second and third rails the angle of rebound is generally wider than the angle of incidence.

That's why folks who are good at these multiple-rail kicks typically utilize a "system" result for a starting point - you can't do it geometrically because the angles are opening up. So you learn some system kicks by rote, then learn how the result is affected by changes in speed, aim, and english. Then, when faced with a real-world situation, you note how close it is to a "system" setup in your memory, then use an appropriate correction to make the shot.

My personal opinion is that even those folks who seem to shoot multi-rail banks and kicks on "feel" alone are really making this mental comparison to known results - but their experience provides them with a much better lookup table that most of us, and their talent provides them with a quicker/better adjustment and execution.

I've never met anyone, or seen any published materials, that successfully calculated geometric results for multi-rail banks and kicks. I think these will always involve a known starting point plus adjustments.

SpiderMan

JoeW
08-19-2008, 11:50 AM
I agree that multi-rail kick must compensate for the type of roll and the english picked up from the rail. None-the-less, yours is a good place to start to gain control. As you know I am still in the walk before you run area.

Soflasnapper
08-19-2008, 02:37 PM
I set up an equilateral triangle using 'through the diamond' sighting (which is a little short of the true line because the banking ball is curved and strikes the rail before the center line), because I use outside draw (or follow) on the cue ball to induce rolling English on the object ball. The induced rolling English makes the object ball go long enough to overcome the shortened 'in' path. This works for a range of medium speeds of hit.

This is under the influence of a Grady Matthews' tape, in which he says it seems most natural and easiest to use draw when shooting banks. While he doesn't say so, it seems the advantage is to get the banking ball to 'turn' more readily off the rail to get the line correct.

One thing this apparently does is allow the same system to work when banking a ball that is touching the rail, even when you have to 'crossover' the ball to make the line work.