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View Full Version : Aiming - an age old question



Karatemom
08-19-2002, 12:59 PM
It seems as though this is my weakest link. Aiming on the object ball is the hardest thing for me to accomplish. There are lots of systems out there, but I think practice is what will help me the most.

I've tried the ghost ball method, contact point, and other ways of aiming, and just can't seem to find that spot. I don't know if I'm trying too much all at once and not giving any one enough time for me to grasp it, or just completely out of my league.

I know I've posted on this subject in the past, and feel I'm a little more comfortable with the game now.

Chris uses the contact point method and that method makes sense to me, but I have such a hard time finding that one particular point on the ob.

When I do practice drills and miss, I come close to the pocket. So the next shot, I move the contact point over just a little until I finally find it. Then once I've found it, I practice it for a few racks.

Where you once at the same point I am? Having trouble with a particular part of the game? I don't know if I'm asking a question here, but opinions would be nice. There is no better way to learn than from someone better than myself, and damn near everyone is that, LOL.

Just needed to ramble a little, thanks!!

Heide

08-19-2002, 01:08 PM

bluewolf
08-19-2002, 01:19 PM
'practice doesnt make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect'

here is what i am currently using but it is a beginners tool.i dont aim at the center of the pocket. i aim at the side of the pocket further from the cue ball. i line up a line from that place through the object ball and through where the cb should be placed. when i miss it, it isnt a problem with my aim, it is a problem with focus.

see i have trained myself to not see things around the pool table. but i do still have problems with keeping my eye on the shot and not being distracted by the rest of the green. if my focus on the shot is off even a little, i will miss the shot and i know why. i still need work on focus

bluewolf

Kato
08-19-2002, 02:02 PM
Heide, slow down, relax, enjoy the game. Let the game come to you. This may sound stupid but "use the force". Let your game flow.

I suppose if I use an aiming system it would be a ghost ball system. Voodoo once told me he played by sense of smell. I'm not that advanced. I am using C.C. eye movement, a stripped down version of his 4 stroke pattern, scrapped his alignment system and went back mine, use Voodoo's bank system, an adapted Voodoo bridge position, blah, blah, blah. These advancements in my game have come using trial and error for the last year!!!!!! 4 things that other people may pick up in 5 minutes!!!!!!!

All I'm saying is that you don't need to force it so much. Feel your game and let it come to you. You're pressing very hard these days. Your goals are very high, you will reach them eventually. Take your time though.

Kato

socrates
08-19-2002, 02:13 PM
Heide good advice from all of the above especially Kato.

You are taking the right step by "observing" your results. Detach the emotion from them - they are neiter good nor bad make the adjustments and eventually you will see it.

Enjoy the journey to improvement. From the highs to the lows to the end of the show its a great game.

There is a great scene from the movie "Searching for Bobby Fisher." The instructor teaching a young chess prodigy tells him there is a mate in five moves and then recites the line "Don't move until you see it."

I think this line applies in pool as well - sense the shot is on - Don't take that final stroke until you see it. "Don't shoot until you see it" Then deliver your best stroke through the cue ball to a fluid finish.

Good luck. Endeavor to persevere.

08-19-2002, 02:14 PM

Kato
08-19-2002, 02:24 PM
Actually Whitewolf I've been all about trial and error for the last 7 years. Only in the last year or so have Voodoo and C.C. come into my life. I also believe maturity has helped in becoming a better listener.

I know Heide has many more attributes than I have. She is a better learner and better listener. She does however put entirely too much pressure on herself. Now is a very good time to take a step back, detatch, and see where you are heading. You have a great teacher, great work ethic, and great heart. You will not win a World Championship this year so take it easy on yourself.

Kato~~~cares.

heater451
08-19-2002, 03:14 PM
I finally uploaded a diagram to my geocities site:

http://heater451.tripod.com/aiming.htm

The diagram is basically a combination of part of Hal Houle's system, the "equal distance" system, and a representation of a "ghostball" is in there as well. --It's also basically another version of an aiming graphic that I believe TomBrooklyn put up a long time ago.

You can see that they are all pretty much different means to the same end--finding the "perfect line" spot to the pocket. You don't necessarily need to know the degree marks, but they may help someone.

My goal with the diagram is to show the similarities of the systems, and hopefully aid in the 2-dimensional aspect of the aiming. You will have to make the transition to 3D by practice.

Note: If you imagine the cueball rotating around the center of the object ball, you will (hopefully) will begin to see why so few of angles are required, in order to pocket balls--The angles/routes of object ball rotate with the cueball position, plus there is a certain "margin of error" area, in which you can strike the ball, and still make it. (I will try and clear this up later.)

I think Phil in FLA is the most recent 'convert', to using the Hal Houle concepts, so you can run a search for his "3 cuts" posts, or I'm sure you can ask him about it through PM.

Please PM me with feedback, if I screwed something up, or need to add clarification--as explanation text is pretty minimal (such as my failure to label "TOP" and "FACING" view). . . .


=========================

Karatemom
08-19-2002, 03:54 PM
You obviously haven't known me for very long. I tried to tell you I was impatient but you just wouldn't believe me. I'm sick and tired of waiting for that damn light bulb to go on.

Seriously, I know I am pushing myself awfully hard, but I've always been that way. I won't stop til I've got it. Seeing as how I go back to work tomorrow though, I'll have to slow down.

Heide ~ wishing she had the fall, winter, and spring off as well!!!

Karatemom
08-19-2002, 03:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> You will not win a World Championship this year so take it easy on yourself.

Kato~~~cares. <hr></blockquote>

Maybe not this year, but there's always next, LOL.

Heide ~ trying for Vegas next year

Karatemom
08-19-2002, 04:01 PM
That's the bad part about it. I know exactly what you're saying, however, when I aim, get down, line up, stroke, and shoot, I think I've picked the right spot, and it usually turns up that I have not. That is what is so aggravating. I know there is no quick solution and that it will take time. If I waited to shoot the ob until I was absolutely certain I was aiming at the exact spot, it would be 30 minutes before I took my next shot, LOL. And even then, I'm not so sure I would be absolutely correct!

Heide ~ should have paid more attention in geometry class

TonyM
08-19-2002, 04:10 PM
I must be missing something (and it ain't due to bad aim!). When I click on the link it's blank!

What's up?

Tony

heater451
08-19-2002, 04:16 PM
Try going to the main index page first, and then click on the hotlink:

http://heater451.tripod.com/

If that doesn't work, then you may have to install the Flash Plug-in. Other than that, you shouldn't have any problems.

PQQLK9
08-19-2002, 04:19 PM
Thanks Heater...

Karatemom
08-19-2002, 04:38 PM
Hi Heater. I tried the same thing and got a blank screen both times. I appreciate the help though. Will try installing the Flash Plug-In and see what happens.

Heide

TomBrooklyn
08-19-2002, 04:50 PM
I used the ghost ball trainer when I started learning to aim. You can buy it at some of the on line stores for about $10.00. It helped me. After a little while I didn't need it anymore. -Tom

socrates
08-19-2002, 06:09 PM
Something for you to think about. I believe the game of golf should be taught from the hole backwords. That is you start by putting one footers then two, three, etc. Then move just off the green and learn to chip. Then 10 yards out, etc. till you work your way back to the tee. Most people don't have the patience to do this so they step up to the practice range with the driver and fire away and can't figure out why their scores never dip below 90 or 100. Enough of the preamble.

Try this. Start with the object ball closer to the corner pocket say one to two balls off the rail no further than one diamond from the pocket. Shoot progressive cut shots from say the cue ball one foot away from ob then two then three. Then move the object ball out 1&amp;1/2 diamonds from the pocket and repeat. Eventually move to a coner pocket shot with the object ball on the first diamond intersections, etc. The more you see the ob go in the hole the higher your confidence and the shot and shooter can become one. For what its worth you might want to give this a shot. (Pun intended) Good luck.

TomBrooklyn
08-19-2002, 06:49 PM
When I practice I hardly ever shoot a hard shot. I only practice easy shots. As I get warmed up, more shots become easy. The better I get, the more shots are easy. I want to shoot and make, shoot and make, not shoot and miss. I will practice some shots I'm not too sure of and try them a few times to get grooved on them if I have to. But I don't shoot a lot of hard shots because if I miss a lot of shots I'll feel bad. Before a match I especially only shoot easy shots. I don't want to think about missing anything before a match.

Ryan
08-19-2002, 07:31 PM
I hate to say this, but I downloaded the Flash 6 plug-in, and it still doesn't work.

Is there something else that we can try?

Fran Crimi
08-19-2002, 07:32 PM
Heide, at this early stage of your game, I'd venture to guess that the problem isn't in your aiming but in your arm swing. Actually, that's where most players' problems lie. I bet if you get your arm to swing consistently straight, you'd suddenly find yourself 'aiming better.'

Try this exercise, it's very simple but very effective. Set up a straight-in shot into the side pocket; the kind you just can't miss. Then shoot it over and over, pocketing the ball dead center and stopping the cue ball. Do this at least 20 times. Then set up a slight cut into the same pocket and shoot it with the same stroke you just used for the past 20 shots. If you are successful, continue to increase the difficulty of the cut until you start missing. Then go back to your straight-in shot for another 10 times to remind yourself of the straight stroke. Then go back to where you left off.

I'll bet you a steak dinner you'll start to feel like you're finally getting that 'aiming thing'.

It's just a little trick I use with my students. Works very well if I must say so myself. LOL!

Happy Stroking!

Fran

08-19-2002, 07:34 PM
There have been hundreds of articles written about aiming, there are probably that many web sites containing information about aiming. The two most popular systems seem to be "Ghost-ball Method" and "Fractional Ball Aiming". Check out these sites about "Fractional Ball Aiming":

www.bcbilliards.com/aimingsystem.htm (http://www.bcbilliards.com/aimingsystem.htm)

and

www.omniscium.com/artsy/ShotArchive/Tips.asp (http://www.omniscium.com/artsy/ShotArchive/Tips.asp)

(you'll have to cut and paste the addresses to your web browser. The first one kind of explains how and why this system could work. In Wille Hoppe's "Billiards as it should be played",he shows 8 shots each side of straight in. This would seem to me to be twice as accurate. Billie Billings in her 1992 book "Pool Pointers" shows a paper device she calls "The Wiz Wheel". It basically shows these 8 reference lines for each shot. Hal Houle came up with a more accurate way to aim fractions of a ball. I hope this helps. Jim R.

Barbara
08-19-2002, 07:36 PM
Glad to see you got that picture working!!

Barbara~~~loves birds, but is terrified of them...

Kato
08-19-2002, 09:19 PM
Nobody will ever discount your abilities or heart. You just can't be so hard on yourself. Remember, it's a game, game's are fun.

Kato

08-19-2002, 09:29 PM
Karatemom, I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you but there is no magical aiming system or method that's going to shorten your learning curve and cause a rapid improvement in your shotmaking consistency. Paying your dues with practice and table time, combined with having proper alignment, fundamentals and a repetitive and level stroke will gradually improve your shotmaking / aiming consistency and confidence. Of course there are rare exceptions of extremely naturally talented players who can advance quite quickly to the upper levels in this game with far more ease than the rest of us.

For myself, I guess the fractional object ball aiming method/system is the closest to what I may imagine in my brain when I am aiming - and may still utilize from time to time particularly in a pressure situation or when struggling. The three main aiming reference points to recognize are the center-to-center full ball hit, the center-to-edge half ball hit, and the edge to edge maximum cut hit. Of course, very few shots fall exactly on these locations, but they serve as starting reference points, and then you make the necessary adjustments from there.

Interesting and necessary to understand and comprehend in using this method is the concept that the full-ball hit is a 0 degree cut shot and the maximum edge-to-edge hit is virtually a 90 degree cut shot, however the half-ball hit (which one would logically think to be exactly halfway between the two extremes) is not a 45 degree cut shot, but more like 30 degrees. Proof of that is that when you place the object ball on the foot spot and the cue ball on the head spot (which requires virtually a 45 degree cut to pocket it in the center of the corner pocket), if using the center-to-edge half ball hit you will hit the object ball way too thick - sending the object ball in to the end rail nearly a full diamond from the corner pocket. The half-ball hit can be used on a spot shot only if the cue-ball is placed on the headstring exactly at one diamond from the corner pocket.

Personally when I'm playing an opponent who has to resort to lining up with the tip of his/her cue where they need to hit a cut shot to make it, I know that this player is in trouble - as they do not yet have the confidence to "feel" the shot without picking out a spot on the ball to aim for - a rather useless and desperate practice IMO for anything other than a beginner/novice player. Some players do this simply as a habit and a crutch when facing a pressure shot - but IMO it has little real benefit other than being an unnecessary (and possibly even destructive) habit in one's pre-shot routine - due to the principle of the progressive difference between the point of aim and the point of contact for all shots other than dead straight-in shots. I'm sure others may disagree with my opinion on this. - Chris in NC

Karatemom
08-19-2002, 10:26 PM
Hi ya Fran! I don't believe my problem is my stroke. Steve, a friend of Chris', and a BCA instructor, was watching me shoot the other day. I missed quite a few and he asked me, "Do you think you're missing due to your stroke?" Or at least something to that effect. I said, "No, I can't pinpoint the contact point." He nodded like I was right. My stroke does seem to be straight and when I drill, that is one thing I do practice. I'll set up a straight in shot in the side and either stop the ball dead, or draw it back straight into the other side. I also practice long straight-ins. That was one of the first things that Chris worked with me on.

I'm not saying my stroke is perfect, and I'm sure that there are times when the problem is my stroke, but it seems as though the majority of the time it is my aim. Thanks for the tip though.

Heide ~ good luck in Peoria

Karatemom
08-19-2002, 10:33 PM
Well, I love all the different concepts presented here. And I thank everyone who posted their opinions and advice. I realize that I will eventually find what works best for me and although I would like it to be tomorrow, I know that won't happen. Be assured though, that I will find it and have no intention of giving up no matter how frustrated I become. I will try what I can, when I can, and will improve sometime in the future. Thank you all again.

Heide ~ appreciative and thankful

heater451
08-20-2002, 08:02 AM
I went back through Flash, and exported it "Flash 4" compatible, to see if that makes a difference.


---I'm having no problem with IE 5.0, or Netscape 4.73. I will see if I can find any other issues to tackle.


=====================

Fran Crimi
08-20-2002, 08:15 AM
OK, I get it now. If your stroke is straight or even reasonably straight, you're in great shape, Heide. No need to be concerned. It sounds to me that you just need to get over the mental barrier of thinking you can't aim. I've come across many many players who've experienced that (including myself). I had a student recently who insisted she couldn't draw the cue ball, and she was right. Every time she tried, she'd either miscue or nothing would happen. I told her, this time, I don't want you to draw the cue ball, just hit it low with a medium speed. She did that and it came back like an arrow! Ha!

Here's a suggestion: For now, stop trying to aim. Just send the object ball in the general direction of the pocket and focus on staying down and following through.

Don't fight the aiming thing. Just transform it into something else.

Fran

bluewolf
08-20-2002, 08:22 AM
beginners like me have to line up the shot to see where the cb is supposed to be in order to make the cut shot. experienced players can make the shots just on feel.

bluewolf

bluewolf
08-20-2002, 08:39 AM
i clicked on the link and it worked fine.

bluewolf

08-20-2002, 09:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> When I practice I hardly ever shoot a hard shot. I only practice easy shots. As I get warmed up, more shots become easy. The better I get, the more shots are easy. I want to shoot and make, shoot and make, not shoot and miss. I will practice some shots I'm not too sure of and try them a few times to get grooved on them if I have to. But I don't shoot a lot of hard shots because if I miss a lot of shots I'll feel bad. Before a match I especially only shoot easy shots. I don't want to think about missing anything before a match. <hr></blockquote>
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::

I just roll out all 15 balls on the table and start shooting the easiest shots first. And when you practice with other players maybe you can play games where you can practice easy shots. For example you could practice more easy shots in 8 ball then in 9 ball. In 9 ball you have to shoot only the lowest numbered ball. But in 8 ball you can just pick out the easiest shots first. Don't be concerned with winning. Just practice the easiest shots. I don't see straight pool played too often. But you can often pick the easiest shots in straight pool.

Chris Cass
08-20-2002, 09:23 AM
Hi Fran,

I've been to almost every avenue with Heide. Her stroke is straight and her follow through is good. Mechanics wise she's in the place where others want to be. Her problem is mainly aiming. She'll see the contact point on the ob and hit directly there. The problem is with most beginners as you know. She's not aiming her cue stick, one cue tip outside of that area. She's so analytical, totally deliberate, all left brain, won't just relax and let it go, bent on being a champion, wants to take off Vegas, beat Karen Coor, master the world games. hahahaa

She gets mighty frustrated. To me it's just not right. Someone that's only been playing 3 mths should be lucky to run 5 balls. She did so lastnight in tourney and ran out. That I thought was great. She was not impressed. Things take time as I keep on telling her. What she really needs is a practice partner. Someone close to her speed, just a little better. Then, she can just relax and play. She has only practice, tourneys, myself and my son.

My son on the other hand thinks he's a champion already. I put him on a chair next to the bar track and gave him a shaft. I set up balls in the jaws and he played for 2 hrs. He was 1 mth shy of 3 yrs old. I did this for a while then put him in karate.

When he was about 5, I'd play a game with him just rolling one ball around the table to see how many rails he could hit. We did this everytime I went to the ph. I'd just leave him there to roll this ball around. This taught him to see the lines, banks, and the natural roll of the table.

Later, I spun the ball with my hand like Mike Massey's finger pool. He liked and did this for a while. This taught him english. Now, after coming back to the game this kids was hooked 4 times in a 9ball match against a 6. He hit it everytime and sees the lines. He beat the 6, 3-2. If I would have made it into a lesson that young he wouldn't have the game he has now.

Heide, doesn't see the lines yet. I see her coming along very well. Better than most but these things take time. I think everyones learning curve is different. Some catch on right a way and others might never. I'm impressed with her performance and play. I can't understand why she doesn't? I think one doesn't have the right to get mad or upset under 1 yr of playing. Now, after 20 I'd say you have every right. hahahaha

Thanks Fran, your the best.

C.C.

08-20-2002, 09:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Karatemom:</font><hr> That's the bad part about it. I know exactly what you're saying, however, when I aim, get down, line up, stroke, and shoot, I think I've picked the right spot, and it usually turns up that I have not. That is what is so aggravating. I know there is no quick solution and that it will take time. If I waited to shoot the ob until I was absolutely certain I was aiming at the exact spot, it would be 30 minutes before I took my next shot, LOL. And even then, I'm not so sure I would be absolutely correct!

Heide ~ should have paid more attention in geometry class <hr></blockquote>
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::


""I know exactly what you're saying, however, when I aim, get down, line up, stroke, and shoot, I think I've picked the right spot, and it usually turns up that I have not.""

Hi Heide.
I could easily be "WRONG AGAIN" here. But I think it is easier to first line up the shot while you are still standing upright. At least that's how I've always done it. I think. I haven't been able to play since the start of July so I'm not sure. I look at the cue ball and the object ball until I can see the object ball being made. If I have to, I don't hesitate to circle around the table to look at the object ball to the pocket. Then I concentrate on that line while I walk back around the table to the cue ball. I try to keep that line in my mind. Then sort of by feel my body goes down or I get down for the shot. The I take some practice strokes and shoot.

On many or maybe most shots I find it difficult to line up a shot after I get down. I almost always line up my shots while standing upright. But this might be something I learned incorrectly when I first started playing back in the 60s.

One more thing. But you are probably way past this point in your game for this to be of any help. This is how most of the older guys would teach us younger guys or newbies to the pool room back in the 60s. They would tell us to look and the spot where the light shines on the ball. And aim there. And aiming that way most of the newer players would send the object ball in the general direction of the pocket most of the time. Then you learn to fine tune that aiming. I guess most of the fine tuning is done by feel or through practice and experience. I thought I'd mention this because it might be helpful to any newer players just starting out. Or maybe I never read this method on this board because it is a bad or harmful way to start out.

Tom_In_Cincy
08-20-2002, 10:02 AM
Scott Lee will show you the Ghost Ball aiming system. I will be willing to wager your game will be better after lessons with Scott.

Let us know how the lessons have helped you afterwards. Scott is famous for bringing his students level of play up a couple of notches after one lesson..

TonyM
08-20-2002, 10:20 AM
I'm not a big systems guy to begin with. I think that if you want to practice your aiming, then should focus on potting drills that test just that.

Set-up some progressive cut shot drills at various locations around the table. Start the first shot with a full ball, straight on pot. Then make the next pot a 3/4 ball, then a half ball, then a 1/4 ball, and finally a very thin cut (like an eight or thinner). Use hole reinforcers to mark the positions.

The idea is to see how many bals it takes to complete the sequence. If you miss a ball, you go back one position.

Start with some close to the pockets, and end with some that are farther from the pockets.

Stick with centerball hits for now.

Another good drill is equal offense. Throw out 15 balls on the table and try to run as many as you can (no order). When you miss, count how many balls you made. Set-up and start all over. Do ten sets and see how many you made (divide by ten for an average balls per inning). You will find all sorts of potting angles in this drill.

But the long term answer is to sink a trillion balls. You will get there!

Tony

TomBrooklyn
08-20-2002, 10:56 AM
Quote: Karatemom: If I waited to shoot the ob until I was absolutely certain I was aiming at the exact spot, it would be 30 minutes before I took my next shot, LOL. And even then, I'm not so sure I would be absolutely correct!


Sometimes when I want to work on a particular shot I'm not sure how to aim on I mark the table with a dab of chalk or a hole reinforcer where the OB and CB go and I shoot it over and over. I don't spend a long time aiming each repetition, if I miss I adjust and shoot it over until I start making it. I get better results trying the shot repeatedly than thinking about the aim for more than a nominal time.

Chess Analogy
I used to play chess slowly. I met a bunch of guys who played better than me, and I had a tendency to think even longer to find the best move. More than one of them told me to make a decision and move. They told me I was not going to find the best move no matter how long I thought, I could only see what my skill level would allow me to see anyway. They said they were usually going to beat me no matter what I did; and that I would get better practice by making a move, observing their countermove and learning from the result, play the game out, start again, and play another.

They were right. And not taking an unlimited time to think forced an increase in my focus and intensity. I see the same thing when I play weaker chess players. They'll think forever and then do something which I have the ability to see the weakness in anyway. They can only play at their level and get better gradually through practice and studying books etc. They can sit there and "think" forever and it won't help them. -Tom

08-20-2002, 10:58 AM
Others have discussed this in this thread as well, and I will add my input to it, as well.

Unfortunately for those of us who don't have 12 hours a day to play Pool, there is no magical trick to aiming and pocketing shots. Sure, there are different aiming systems that are of some (albeit limited) value. But, as I have said on this board many times, the real precise aiming that is required to be a great player come from just thousands of hours at the table.

I wish that weren't the case. I wish, for your sake, my sake, and the sake of everyone else who plays this game recreationally in their spare time, there were some magic aiming trick that would make a 10-time improvement to shotmaking ability overnight. But it just doesn't exist.

Experiment with the different aiming systems, and see what works the best for you. But don't expect it to be more than a rough guide. There is no way to become a great shotmaker other than countless hours at the table.

Just keep practicing and practicing and practicing. I know that sometimes it seems like progress is stalled. We all go through that. But just keep practicing and practicing and practicing, and you will improve. But first, find a good coach that will teach you how to practice properly. This will make a huge difference.

08-20-2002, 11:34 AM

Ryan
08-20-2002, 11:57 AM
It worked like a charm!

Thanks!

Ryan

08-20-2002, 12:05 PM
The problem with learning how to aim is that you may not have a good enough stroke yet to actually let you hit your contact point on a consistant basis.. this will send mixed signals to you. Sometimes you will look at a shot one way.. hit it and it goes smack n the middle of the pocket...the very next shot you might look at it the exact same way and miss.... did you miss because you aimed it wrong or because your stroke was bad?? did you make the first one because you hit it good or did you make it cause you aimed it wrong and hit it wrong enough to make it??? you will never know for sure what aiming system will work for you untill you are cueing very consistantly.. I would say at this point it is more important for you to be making long straight in shots then cut shots.

08-20-2002, 12:13 PM

TonyM
08-20-2002, 01:12 PM
"should have paid more attention in geometry class"

Heide, this may be part of your problem. There is no "geometry" in pool! None whatsoever! It's about feel. Instinct, and memory. The sooner you start forgetting about geometry and math and physics when PLAYING the game the better.

Yes, underneath the surface, the laws of physics and geometry can be used to analyze the game. But to play, you do not need to know any of it!

The way to learn fast is to start making mistakes in a controled enviroment (the practice table). Set-up some shots at various angles and start to learn to aim by feel. You need to miss when it doesn't matter. Then you can set-up the shot again and find out why you missed.

It is vitally important to miss. But it is also critical that you shoot the same shot again to find out why you missed. This is why it is hard to progress in a game situation. You can't get the shot back to find out why you missed!

Tony
-knows a lot of math, geometry and even physics, and it is of no use to me whatsoever when playing the game....

08-20-2002, 01:34 PM
ive never been a fan of doing that because you dont know it you are hitting the ball perfectly straight up and down unless you actually measure and mark the spot on the rail that you are going to hit...... just line up dead straight shots and pot them trying to do stop shots... later on try and follow the ob into the pocket with the cb using top

Karatemom
08-20-2002, 01:55 PM
It seems as though you've struck something with "mental barrier". I have been told that I think way too much. Now that I have started back to work after being off for 6 weeks, I don't expect too much out of my game as my practice time will decrease immensely. This is a perfect time to try out your idea. Just get down and shoot, not worrying about where I'm hitting or where I'm going. Chris has said this many times to me, but of course, it's a little easier to take when someone else says it. Must be a marriage thing, LOL. Thanks for your help Fran. I will work on not trying so hard.

Heide

Karatemom
08-20-2002, 01:58 PM
Heater, you are a genius!! Thanks!!

Heide

08-20-2002, 02:10 PM
When you set up a shot and hit it a few times, do you always miss on the same side of the pocket? If so, you may not be sighting along your cue properly, you may not be hitting the CB dead centre, or you may have a tendency to move your elbow to one side as you stroke.

If you set up a shot for practice, take a note of what side and by how far you miss. If you're missing on one side, consciously adjust your aim. When you see an even spread, it indicates that you are compensating, and eventually you will home in on the sweet spot.

Another good approach is to take a shot that you're missing. If the OB is 3 feet from the pocket, and the CB is 2 feet from the OB. Set up the OB on the same angle closer to the pocket, and the CB at the same angle from the OB. It's the same shot, in a smaller scale, with a larger margin for error. When you're making this consistently, move the balls further apart with the same angle, until you're back to the original shot. You'll find that this makes it much easier to hone in on the correct aim.

Are you hitting the ball too hard? Remember that the harder you hit the ball, the smaller the pocket target area becomes. Also, remember that the middle of the pocket isn't always in the middle. As the angle gets closer to the rail, the optimum aiming point moves away. If you can't reliably hit a shot, then place the CB where the OB is. Now, hit the ball with medium speed. Aim to left and right of centre, and you'll find the range of angles you can make the ball with. You want to aim in the middle of this range.

Aiming systems are really only a starting point. So don't be too concerned if the ball misses by a narrow margin. You always have to adjust. A good learning process uses reference points, then introduces small compensations through trial and error, until everything becomes automatic. Be patient, and it'll all fall into place.

bluewolf
08-20-2002, 02:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: d0wnt0wn:</font><hr> ive never been a fan of doing that because you dont know it you are hitting the ball perfectly straight up and down unless you actually measure and mark the spot on the rail that you are going to hit...... just line up dead straight shots and pot them trying to do stop shots... later on try and follow the ob into the pocket with the cb using top <hr></blockquote>

i line up dead straight long shots to check my stroke.

bluewolf

bluewolf
08-20-2002, 02:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> Scott Lee will show you the Ghost Ball aiming system. I will be willing to wager your game will be better after lessons with Scott.

Let us know how the lessons have helped you afterwards. Scott is famous for bringing his students level of play up a couple of notches after one lesson..

<hr></blockquote>

im the one that needs help!!!

bluewolf

Rod
08-20-2002, 04:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Karatemom:</font><hr> It seems as though you've struck something with "mental barrier". I have been told that I think way too much. Now that I have started back to work after being off for 6 weeks, I don't expect too much out of my game as my practice time will decrease immensely. This is a perfect time to try out your idea. Just get down and shoot, not worrying about where I'm hitting or where I'm going. Chris has said this many times to me, but of course, it's a little easier to take when someone else says it. Must be a marriage thing, LOL. Thanks for your help Fran. I will work on not trying so hard.

Heide <hr></blockquote>

Psst-Psst, Heide over here, yes come over here. I want to tell you a secret. Don't tell anyone else now ok? There are not any magical aiming systems. There only used as a reference to help the average, give or take, understand how much ball to hit to make a shot. Making the shot is the easy part, where you send the c/b is another story. Believe it or not many shots are missed because of this alone. In an attempt to make whitey go in uncharted territory, "various caverns in your mind". Get out of the caverns, no english, shoot the ball in. For now in part of your practice, forget about the c/b. If you don't "expect" or "worry" where whitey is going then it just takes one more element out of the mental game, plus it frees up your stroke. Never try to guide whitey somewhere or make the pocket bigger than it's measurement.

Speaking of stroke, I know you believe that it is near straight and true. Show me someone who misses balls and I'll find a defect in their stroke or setup or both./ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Take Frans advice and don't worry so much, over analyze etc. I call it anal-ize. lol In the beginning it sure takes a load off the mind, not to mention the later stages of learning.

Work on your fundamentals. Nice smooth stroke, light on the cue, no change in "grip pressure", "finish your backstroke", free "flowing" motion "thru" the c/b to a nice full finish, most shots. Breathe in breath out, isn't it wonderful? BTW you get that stuff if you don't worry or think at the table. One thing I am aware of during my setup is grip pressure. I don't think about it during the stroke only in pre-shot for a moment. After the shot, I know, especially if it is a poor shot what happened. Rushed the back stroke, increased my grip pressure ect. It is my only key thought to play well. As Jim Flick says, FYI brilliant a golf instructor, if your thinking about more than one thing your in deep trouble. He does admit even one thing could cause a problem, but not likely if it is part of your normal routine. Establish a routine and stick with it.

More about Golf, Bobby Locke an old time pro, does everything slow. Get ready well in advance. He eats slow, putting on you clothes, tying your shoes, no rushed swings, etc. In todays world with everyone going 29 directions, AT ONE TIME, it's no wonder some people get frustrated and lose focus, if they ever had it to begin with. Think about that and dice it however you want. If applied to pool, but there are so many ways, it doesen't mean you have to play slow, quite the opposite. You prepare your self for the shot at hand, thinking slower and more clear. It might take a few seconds longer, but the execution is flowing and fairly quick process. Instead of a quick approach and mental garbage that you don't need during a shot. The age old adage makes more sense, Do your thinking away from the table. Sorry for flapping my lips with my fingers on the keyboard, "I got in stroke". lol

HOWARD
08-20-2002, 04:29 PM
DEAR MRS. KARATE, I DO NOT KNOW OF ANY CLEAR AIMING SYSTEMS THAT WILL CURE YOUR PROBLEMS. YES PRACTICE, AND REMEMBER MAKE IT PERFECT PRACTICE - AS AIMLESS LEADS TO AIMLESS. I HAVE A TRICK OR TWO YOU MIGHT TRY. ONE IS TAKE CB AROUND THE HEADSTRING PLACE OB AROUND THE SECOND DIAMOND DOWN NEAR STRAIGHT IN AND USE THE CLOSEST POINT ON THE CB TO THE CONTACT POINT ON THE OB. THIS MOSTLY COMES TO INSIDE ENGLISH ABOUT A HALF TIP AND SEE IF THAT WILL HELP ON SOME OF YOUR LONG STRAIGHT ONES. ANOTHER LITTLE TRICK IS TAKE THE CB AT THE HEAD STRING ABOUT 1 1/2 DIAMOND OUT FROM RAIL AND PLACE OB STRAIGHT ON (SAME DIAMOND ALIGNMENT FROM LONG RAIL) SO IF YOU ARE HITTING THE OB STRAIGHT ON W/CENTER IT WOULD GO TO THE 1 1/2 DIAMOND ON THE SHORT RAIL AT THE OTHER END. NOW LINE UP - NEXT RE ALIGN USE TIP OF LOW RIGHT ASSUMING YOUR SHOOTING AT THE LEFT CORNER POCKET -THE OB SHOULD BE SIX TO TWELVE INCHES AHEAD OF CB. HIT STROKE MEDIUM FOLLOW THROUGHT - SHOULD GO STRAIGHT IN THE LEFT POCKET. AS FOR A STROKE DRILL TO KEEP IT NICE AND STRAIGHT I LIKE TO PLACE CB ON HEADSTRING SPOT AND SHOOT A CENTER STRAIGHT AT THE MIDDLE DIAMOND OVER THE OTHER SPOT - LEAVE CUE EXTENDED IF YOU HAVE GOOD HIT CB WILL COME BACK AND HIT YOUR TIP. HOWARD

Rod
08-20-2002, 06:53 PM
Hi Heater,
Nice diagram, and in living color. Equal distance is how I view shots, but I really don't give it any thought. I should say I do at times on bank shots. The degree and angle of cut should help some folks with more insite on o/b and c/b direction. I'm still working on my graphic skills or lack of them. I wonder if an 8 ball cuts as much for the same given angle as a 9 ball? More pigment in the ball = more grab less cut? /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Really I'm not an engineer.lol

08-20-2002, 07:24 PM
I used to use the ghost ball method for aiming, and now i actually use fractional aiming, which what i believe you are describing in what i've copied and pasted below.

What I do is i have a set of a few reference points for which i know the angle that the object ball will come off. A halfball hit, for example, is about 30 degrees, like what you said. To hit this, I flatten the image of the ball, seeing it as a circle, I aim at the horizon of the circle. For a 45 degree shot, I point the cuetip to the outside edge of the object ball circle.. for a shot about 20 degrees, one cuetip inside the edge.. 0 degrees is center ball, and about 7 degrees is one cuetip off center.

Here is what varies from player to player: size of the cuetip, and what each person thinks an angle is. my idea of 30 degrees is probably different from yours.

when I'm unsure of a shot, I will line up my cue behind the OB, with the tip where the center of the cueball should be. What i'm looking at is actually the angle the cue makes with the cueball. Depending on what the angle is, I narrow down the choices of spots to aim at on the object ball. (you'd be surprised how often 30 degrees comes up). Now, I'm pretty bad at judging angles, so what i actually look at is the ratio of lengths of the two legs of the triangle that this makes. For example, a 45 degree shot has a ratio of 1:1, where the distance from the cueball to its destination is the same as the distance of this point to the end of my line-up behind the object ball and the pocket (making a right triangle). a 30 degree cut is ~1:2 (its actually square-root 2, but its close enough in most cases), etc.. based on the difference of these two legs, I subconsciously extrapolate the angle, i choose my aiming point.

I believe this has a major advantage over the ghostball. First, this system gives you real points to aim at, whereas with ghostball, you need to imagine a point floating in the air. If you miss using the ghostball method, the reason why you missed could be that you imagined the wrong point. In other words, there is something wrong with *you,* the imaginer. I find no way of correcting this. Therefore this system is very much dependent on your mood that day; if you're confident and happen to have the ability to SEE the points, then you're fine.. otherwise you get mad at yourself for not being able to see it.. then you get into a bad mood and that screws up the rest of your pool day. at least for me.

With the system that i just described, you are picking real points on the object ball to aim at. if you over or undercut, you simply picked the wrong point (assuming your stroke is true), and so its easier to make a mental note to correct for this the next time a shot of a similar angle comes up. You begin to narrow down where your aiming point needs to be, and although you will still occasionally miss, you will miss by smaller and smaller amounts. this significantly reduces frustration, since a solution is immediate.

there are also some shots that just look tricky, because of where they are placed or whatever. This aiming method helps a lot in those situations.

where this method starts to break down: extremely thin cuts beyond 50 degrees, and when you have to cut an object ball that's like 8 feet away from a pocket. for these situations you have to rely on other methods.. but no one said that you have to stick to just one method. for these cases i just go back to ghostball. =P

anyway, i hope someone out there stuck through this and understands what i'm saying.



-----------
Interesting and necessary to understand and comprehend in using this method is the concept that the full-ball hit is a 0 degree cut shot and the maximum edge-to-edge hit is virtually a 90 degree cut shot, however the half-ball hit (which one would logically think to be exactly halfway between the two extremes) is not a 45 degree cut shot, but more like 30 degrees. Proof of that is that when you place the object ball on the foot spot and the cue ball on the head spot (which requires virtually a 45 degree cut to pocket it in the center of the corner pocket), if using the center-to-edge half ball hit

Fran Crimi
08-20-2002, 07:40 PM
Chris, I really like what you did with your son. Like you said, if he knew he was taking a lesson, he probably would have gotten bored in about 2 seconds and start looking around for something else to do.

Heide's situation reminds me of Annie Oakley who didn't know how well she shot, because she did all her learning without a frame of reference of other shooters. When she finally did get to compete, she couldn't believe how bad everyone else was! Ha!

I know you feel badly for Heide when she gets frustrated and you want her to feel all better, and if only she would see the reality of how far she's progressed compared to others at that stage. Well, on the flip side of that, I think that being somewhat isolated can help her continue to progress at rapid-fire rate, because without a frame of reference of the other players, she will keep her standards high and not get complacent. I really like her attitude in that she wants to push ahead and figure this stuff out.

If I were you, I might decide to hold back a little on the reality check and let her go for it. Make sure you duck her incoming fire from time to time though, if she's anything like me (yep, I think so). Haha! I think it'll be worth it in the end. What's a few battle scars here and there, right?

Fran

Karatemom
08-20-2002, 09:47 PM
It's late and I'm tired so I hope this makes sense.

When I miss, I am consistently overcutting or undercutting, depending on the day, LOL. During drills, I can compensate, but during match play, I have only one shot to make it, and usually overcut.

As for hitting the cb where I intend to, I have a set of elephant practice balls, and am pretty consistent about hitting the cb exactly where I aim to.

As for hitting too hard, absolutely not. Chris is always telling me to hit harder. About 11 years ago, I used to slam the balls, now, I just don't seem to hit them hard enough.

I have a lot to work on, and I do believe that the trial and error process is the only way to progress. I can read everything that I think will help, but nothing will do any good til I apply it to my table game. And that's not always easy to do. Thanks for your advice.

Heide ~ thankful for all her friends on the CCB

08-21-2002, 12:00 AM
i meant square-root 3, not square root 2.

SPetty
08-21-2002, 07:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Karatemom:</font><hr> When I miss, I am consistently overcutting or undercutting, depending on the day, LOL.

As for hitting the cb where I intend to, I have a set of elephant practice balls, and am pretty consistent about hitting the cb exactly where I aim to. <hr></blockquote>Hi Heide,

I guess it's time for me to step in and let you know that you're not the only one with this problem, just in case you think you're too unique. I will swear that on any particular practice shot, my stroke is good and that I hit the cue ball exactly where intended (for aiming purposes, right smack dab on the vertical line) and that the cue ball hits the object ball exactly where I intended it to hit. Absolutely everything is perfect - the only thing moving is your arm, you hit exactly what and where you wanted to hit. And the aim is wrong. I just wanted to let you know that I get it!

To those posters who have repeatedly said something along the line of: "Making the shot is the easy part, where you send the c/b is another story." They don't get it.

As for "not thinking" and just shooting - that helps sometimes, but not always. If I'm just shooting to stroke, not to pocket balls, I'm almost always not pocketing balls. However, I can attest to the one time that I got pretty darn lit after drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and I couldn't miss. Just knew where the balls should go and they went. Kinda like that "think the ball in" phase. But I've only done that that one time. I decided it would be a good idea to learn how to do that without the alcohol, but it's been an uphill struggle from there.

Anyway, if you figure anything out, please be sure to post back. I fully and completely understand your exasperation, and I feel it too. Even though those posters say that there is no magic bullet, there's just gotta be that small something that you and I are missing that would cause us to be able to better see the angle/cut/shot/stroke.

Keep the faith!

bluewolf
08-21-2002, 08:15 AM
i have heard several good aiming systems on this thread. then some people say practice and go by feel.hmmmm

guess iwill try them all and see what works.

bluewolf

heater451
08-21-2002, 09:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Raymond:</font><hr>. . .A halfball hit, for example, is about 30 degrees, like what you said. . . .when I'm unsure of a shot, I will line up my cue behind the OB, with the tip where the center of the cueball should be. What i'm looking at is actually the angle the cue makes with the cueball. Depending on what the angle is, I narrow down the choices of spots to aim at on the object ball. (you'd be surprised how often 30 degrees comes up).<hr></blockquote>After phil_in_sofla's experimentation with the Hal Houle style of aiming, I tried following the system a bit. I did notice that the 30-deg/half-ball hit aim worked quite often, making these shots almost 'no-brainers'. The hard part is making sure that you need the 30-degree line, and I seem to require a little outside english, to hit the correct spot--This coincides with what I've heard about the HH system, that you need to use 'backhand english', although, if all systems yield the same aimpoints, then english would be necessary with all of them.



=========================

phil in sofla
08-21-2002, 04:05 PM
If I might point out the following thing you may already know, but maybe haven't considered doing in a while?

It's something that it seems Johnny Archer is doing a lot of recently, and he says that it has increased his pocketing accuracy to a significant degree.

What is it? The old beginners' method of pointing the cue tip at the point on the object ball furthest (or is it 'farthest'?) from the part of the pocket you intend to send the object ball into.

Yes, maybe it's a bad habit, maybe it holds you back from intuitively 'seeing' or 'feeling' the shot line. Or maybe it isn't. You don't have to be a weak player to use it. Many great players I've seen will do it whenever they have a tricky shot, hard cut, or something very particular (shooting into a half-pocket, partially blocked by another ball, e.g.).

If it is basically worthless, somebody tell Archer! LOL! It's not that he probably didn't have a way to 'see' or 'feel' the line during his previous outstanding pro career (and before he went pro), and he STILL has reverted back to this method.

If nothing else, if done properly, it could be the kind of training wheels thing that gets you enough quality successes so that this purported 'see' and 'feel' thing can happen sooner.

One thing that is a true criticism is that when you go to look the object ball in the pocket, and point to that line, by the time you get back to the cue ball, you may lose the line, or not be able to see that contact point. It does look very different from the vantage point of the cue ball address, compared to the head on look.

That is why when I use this method (which is most of the time), I'll leave the cue tip at the object ball contact point, on the table surface, and then return to the cue ball address area, to see exactly where that contact point is on the object ball as seen from where you'll be shooting it. Usually I can pick up a reference point from the ball's markings (I like Centennial balls for this, because of those little triangles in the middle number circle), OR I can see a straight up and down line fractional section of the ball.

Once you know where that point is exactly, as you are looking at it from the shooter's standpoint, you could use whatever method you'd like to get the cue ball to roll on a line so that it will contact the object ball there-- ghost ball, equal overlapping edges, tunnel to the pocket, which 1/8th fraction of the ball, whatever.

I used to get the overlapping edges 'equal and opposite' contact point on the cue ball to line that up with the contact point. Now, with a couple of million repetitions (it seems), I can focus almost exclusively on the object ball's contact point, and let my mind determine the corresponding contact point on the cue ball in the background, sort of subconsciously. I'll check it briefly, maybe two or more times, as I'm practice stroking, but almost in peripheral vision. Same with the 'which 1/8th of the ball' method. I'm getting my line first, and then briefly checking the ball fraction to see if it's obvious which it is, as a last check. (Still not always seeing that, but I've still got my contact point firmly in view).

The last thing to consider is that if you sight to the edge of the balls standing up, you are 'seeing' the 'equator' or horizontal midline axis of the balls, where the contact takes place, a little higher than it actually is, so the ball would look a little thinner in aiming that it is in reality. You'd hit the object ball a little fuller than you'd think, and therefore undercut the ball slightly. If you are consistent with a high standing up look at the lines, then you'll eventually make a subconscious adjustment to aim slightly thinner than you'd otherwise think. If you vary your height of looking at the lines, you'll have some variance that may be quite frustrating until you figure out what's going on.

SPetty
08-21-2002, 04:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> That is why when I use this method (which is most of the time), I'll leave the cue tip at the object ball contact point, on the table surface, and then return to the cue ball address area, to see exactly where that contact point is on the object ball as seen from where you'll be shooting it. Usually I can pick up a reference point from the ball's markings (I like Centennial balls for this, because of those little triangles in the middle number circle), OR I can see a straight up and down line fractional section of the ball.<hr></blockquote>Or, I just aim at that little dot of chalk I left there on the table...

/ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif just joshin' ya, Phil

Rod
08-21-2002, 05:23 PM
Quote SPetty, To those posters who have repeatedly said something along the line of: "Making the shot is the easy part, where you send the c/b is another story." They don't get it. "


Hi Susan,
I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers here. Hey I get it, it just so happens that is behind me to a large degree. I have put in a tons of time not without frustration, BTW. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif I still miss balls like you and others. It happens at times when I thought everything was perfect, but it obviously was not. Many of the replies favored time and shooting a kazillion balls, which is IMO true.

I also get the fact that most all of my spare time was spent at a pool room. That is something that over 95% of the pool playing population can not do. People have jobs family and other things to consider. I also get the fact that I never went to College which didn't help in years to come, just as one example. Things always come at a price/expense to you or others if not dealt with in moderation or the grand scheme of life, if you will.

So how much is one willing to pay? Even in moderation some people do become good players, it just takes time. So how many balls have you shot in or missed? Chances are it is only a fraction compared to the number that very good players or pros have. You will get it, from my end, to what extent I don't know. The magic bullet, not the silver bullet,LOL comes in very slow steps for most people. That directly relates to the amount of quality time spent. When you think you get it, it sometimes turns around and fires back, at you! Like you said to Heide, Keep the Faith. It's a life long game of learning and improving for everyone, not to mention having a little fun.
Sorry I thought the thread was== Aming, an old age question. Confused again

~~ BTW I drink Coors Light, hope this helps-- incoming--duck--Splat---thud

08-21-2002, 10:23 PM
It seems you have tried all the types of aiming methods and yet none did satisfy you.You are not alone.There are many many who feel the same.No aiming system can give us a CONCRETE idea about the most crucial part of the game..aiming.You may go through my post MORE ABOUT MY SURE SHOT AIMING SYSTEM [page 2 or 3 on this board].I am sure it will give you some hope.

dddd
08-22-2002, 12:41 AM
practice is practice and game play is game play.
by that i mean
one will surely have issues if one trys to use practice thoughts during game play time.
get used to playing with what you have at the time (as far as knowlegedge, stroke, etc...)
trust yourself and just play, if it doesnt work
go back to the practice table and work on it there.
too often players will take the practice table to the game with them instead.
remember trust yourself, let it happen

i know this seems simplistic , but to my way of thinking the simple is oftentimes the hardest to accomplish

bye
dddd

bluewolf
08-22-2002, 05:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Karatemom:</font><hr> It seems as though this is my weakest link. Aiming on the object ball is the hardest thing for me to accomplish. There are lots of systems out there, but I think practice is what will help me the most.

I've tried the ghost ball method, contact point, and other ways of aiming, and just can't seem to find that spot. I don't know if I'm trying too much all at once and not giving any one enough time for me to grasp it, or just completely out of my league.

I know I've posted on this subject in the past, and feel I'm a little more comfortable with the game now.

Chris uses the contact point method and that method makes sense to me, but I have such a hard time finding that one particular point on the ob.

When I do practice drills and miss, I come close to the pocket. So the next shot, I move the contact point over just a little until I finally find it. Then once I've found it, I practice it for a few racks.

Where you once at the same point I am? Having trouble with a particular part of the game? I don't know if I'm asking a question here, but opinions would be nice. There is no better way to learn than from someone better than myself, and damn near everyone is that, LOL.

Just needed to ramble a little, thanks!!

Heide <hr></blockquote>

heide,

i was using some of the systems too and decided it was too much like work. pool is a game and i want to have fun with it. so i tried my original method of cutting by feel. i really could not see a difference. in fact, i even made some difficult cut shots.i think practice and time on table will do the trick. i have put less than three months on the table and am already improving quite a bit, but it is unrealistic, even at a year to be as good as people who have played for 20 years. and i am having fun

bluewolf

cheesemouse
08-22-2002, 05:47 AM
Karatemom,
I've read all the advice given you and each and every poster has offered good advice. The only thing I could add is: just before you assume your stance put a little grin on your face..... /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

08-22-2002, 05:50 AM
Good suggestion, Phil. The system you describe gives one a concrete reference point, and that's very helpful--especially when you just can't "see" or "feel" a shot with confidence.

Your aiming technique differs from mine in two ways. (1) You place the tip of your cue "at the object ball contact," while I place the tip of my cue at the point on which the ghost ball rests. (2) You locate the contact point carefully, focus your attention on it, and then shoot away from that point at a horizontal angle, while I focus on and shoot at the point on which the ghost ball rests.

I believe that my system is less complicated than yours, but I happen to know that you pocket balls better than I do, so simplicity may not be the key to success here.

Man, I wish I had a really high IQ, so I could analyze all of this technical stuff better and play really good pool!

D.M.

bluewolf
08-22-2002, 06:02 AM
I look at the pocket to the ob, then i get in my stance and shoot where i want to cb to be to pocket the ball. i do not aim at a spot on the ball. i aim at where i wish to place the cb.

i am very relaxed, my grip is light and if some of the balls dont go in, so what? as long as i am improving i am happy.

btw, i have a slight handicap. i have a hand tremor which is sometimes worse than others. i have had this since i was a child. this does interfere with my stroke somewhat so i have to compensate. when i have this tremor pretty bad i have to really loosen my stroke and if i see my stroke coming crooked to the cb on my practice shots or it is not coming to the same place on my cb, then my stroke is a little off. i have to relax my hold on the cue and take a few more practice shots. this doesnt work all of the time, but i imagine in time i will compensate.in fact, it would be easier if this tremor were consistent. it isnt. so i am constantly having to readjust.

i accept this handicap. i believe i can rise above it and shoot good pool.it is just part of life. nobody is perfect.

bluewolf

MikeM
08-22-2002, 07:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: bluewolf:</font><hr>
it is just part of life. nobody is perfect.

bluewolf <hr></blockquote>

Except Patrick!

MM

TomBrooklyn
08-22-2002, 07:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: bluewolf:</font><hr> i have heard several good aiming systems on this thread. then some people say practice and go by feel.hmmm<hr></blockquote>On shots I am comfortable with I just know where to hit the ball. I don't need an aiming system, and it would just be a distraction and waste of time for me to start thinking about it. On shots which I don't have that 'feel' for, I use an aiming system. The more I practice, and mainly through repetition, the more shots I feel and the less shots I use the aiming system for.

Sometimes I guage the shot with an aiming system, but if it 'feels' a little off, I usually give preference to the 'feel'.

TonyM
08-22-2002, 09:45 AM
"Man, I wish I had a really high IQ, so I could analyze all of this technical stuff better and play really good pool!"

Truthfully, you don't need a high IQ to play pool well! Who knows, it might even be a detriment! (I've seen some awfully good players that were as dumb as stumps...)

And as for analyzing all the technical stuff....well to actually "play" the game, it isn't a requirement.

Knowledge is useful to be sure, but at the most basic level, the game is about feel.

Tony

SPetty
08-22-2002, 11:53 AM
Excellent post, Rod. I didn't mean to pick on you even though it would seem like it because I picked a line from one of your previous posts... But, you're not the only one who's said things like "Making the shot is easy, it's the position that's tough". I, like many of us, will get just fine position on the next ball after having missed the object ball. (You do know the difference between shape and leave, right? /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif ) (I learned it here...)

Your comments about "life long game of learning" and "it just takes time" and "very slow steps", etc. all sound well and good to assuage the exasperation, but it doesn't explain the 16 year old kid we played in league last night who not only didn't miss, but did amazing things. Um, it didn't take him a lot of long slow timely steps, and there are a lot of players like him...

Anyway, again, great post. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I believe you - you do get it.

SPetty~~~can drink silver tequila when the gold runs out!

phil in sofla
08-22-2002, 12:04 PM
This pointing on the cloth method became controversial in our league, with the rule about not marking the cloth in any way for aiming emphasized. When it was brought up to me, regarding my putting the tip of the cue on the cloth, my answer was that I was not marking the cloth in any way, that unless I chalked the sidewall of the tip, or touched the cloth with a near-vertical cue, there wouldn't be any chalk touching the table to even possibly mark the table. That point seemed to carry the day, and now it isn't questioned. (Interestingly, the same guys who were asking if what I was doing was a foul did the same thing on harder cuts themselves, that same match).

phil in sofla
08-22-2002, 12:12 PM
Duke, I don't know how you know I pocket better than you do, and I'm not at all sure that would be true. (Although I am a good shotmaker, eat up very thin long cuts, etc.)

Actually setting up the shot as you say you do, pointing to the ghost ball position, makes a lot of sense to me, ALTHOUGH once the cut is great enough, that line of your cue ball center to the ghost ball center will be off the object ball, in space somewhere, without any obvious reference point (which is the principle criticism of the ghost ball aiming method). I think one answer there is once you've gotten that line your way, to look beyond the contact area to a rail or off table target, so that you are actually aiming AT something you can see.

What I have discovered is that a lot of correct cut lines look wrong, if I were just to guess, and getting the exact contact point saves me otherwise under- or over-cuting the ball, based on what it appears should be the contact point. This is especially true with off-angle combo shots, but many other direct cuts as well.

Rod
08-22-2002, 03:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: SPetty:</font><hr> I, like many of us, will get just fine position on the next ball after having missed the object ball. (You do know the difference between shape and leave, right? /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif ) (I learned it here...)

Hi Susan,
He He, Well yes the mind is amazing isn't it? Subconsciously your mind knows from experience, in order to play position you can't hit the ball where you consciously intended to aim. So it plays a little trick on you and hits the amount of ball to play position. However in this case it is leave as you know, because the ball never went in or may not have scared the pocket. That's my explanation and I'm sticking to it!

Your comments about "life long game of learning" and "it just takes time" and "very slow steps", etc. all sound well and good to assuage the exasperation, but it doesn't explain the 16 year old kid we played in league last night who not only didn't miss, but did amazing things. Um, it didn't take him a lot of long slow timely steps, and there are a lot of players like him...

Quote Rod,The magic bullet, not the silver bullet,LOL comes in very slow steps for most people.

Note the word "most", but not all. Most players are not gifted with the mind to play this game at a high level, or if they are they simply don't have the time. It certainly is not about IQ though, I'm living proof. Ask the young man how long he has been playing. Maybe he started by age 6. 10 years is more than enough time to be very good. Not tooting my horn but after 5 years I had my first 100+ ball run. I'm certanly not alone, there is so many good players now it boggles the mind.

08-22-2002, 05:53 PM
I believe Hal said, if you need English, to use back-hand English. I don't believe he said to use English on every shot. Jim R.

08-22-2002, 06:27 PM
Chris, Sorry but I have to disagree with you. I've watched Archer, Strickland, Reid and other, point at the shot at times. If thiy find it necessary to do that at certain times, it can't be all bad. If they still need a crutch, then I need a wheelchair. Jim R.