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03-02-2003, 09:51 PM
Hello all,

New to the board, been lurking for a few days though. I have been searching through threads new and archive for aiming info and techniques. I would just like to know if what I'm doing is proper or not. I've been playing for a little over a year now and made a change in aiming a few months back, since then I'm playing much better.

Here is how I aim a cut shot. I draw a imaginary line through center of pocket through center of ob, then with cb I aim edge of cb to spot on ball where line comes through. I hope this makes sense because I would like to know if I should stick to this or modify my technique now before it becomes harder to change. I have also tried the ghostball method and I didnt like it.

The more I read about and think about aiming the more confused I get. Thanks for any input.


BigBlue

L.S. Dennis
03-02-2003, 10:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigBlue:</font><hr> Hello all,

New to the board, been lurking for a few days though. I have been searching through threads new and archive for aiming info and techniques. I would just like to know if what I'm doing is proper or not. I've been playing for a little over a year now and made a change in aiming a few months back, since then I'm playing much better.

Here is how I aim a cut shot. I draw a imaginary line through center of pocket through center of ob, then with cb I aim edge of cb to spot on ball where line comes through. I hope this makes sense because I would like to know if I should stick to this or modify my technique now before it becomes harder to change. I have also tried the ghostball method and I didnt like it.

The more I read about and think about aiming the more confused I get. Thanks for any input.


BigBlue <hr /></blockquote>

Don't feel alone in this. This aiming question is the one thing that has screwed up my game for years now. I grew up simply putting the cue shaft directly under my chin, that is until I saw a tape in which Jim Rempe said that you should only have the shaft under your Dominent Eye! Ever since then I've been switch back and forth from one system to the other and it's left my game in a mess!

Bottom line I guess is do whatever feels what's right for you! I just wish I could take my own advice! /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

qSHAFT
03-02-2003, 10:37 PM
Hi BigBlue,

Something seems a little flawed with your theory if I understand it correctly. Specifically the bit about aiming the edge of the cb to the contact point on the ball. This doesn't make sense to me as it isn't the edge of the cb that will be the contact point with the ob, but a point in between the middle and the edge depending on the degree of cut.

I would suggest trying the ghost ball again. It is a little tricky at first to estimate the placement of the ghost ball but that will come with experience.

Also in your aiming system, I would replace the term "centre of the pocket", with "middle of the widest pocket opening" as there is a big difference.

Cheers - qSHAFT

mark wilson
03-03-2003, 06:25 AM
I agree with the ghost ball concept and when the ball is straight on it works perfect. When shooting a cut shot the ghost ball will need to be adjusted slightly to account for friction that causes most missed cut shots to be struck to "heavy or thick". This will occur on shots some distance from the pocket with a smaller margin of error based on the distance to the pocket. This may also explain the reason for the aiming adjustment with aiming the edge of the cueball at the contact point.

bluewolf
03-03-2003, 06:37 AM
I am a little stubborn and was looking for the 'perfect' system to shorten the time it would take me to be good.

I tried many ones in search of the 'holy aiming grail' of pool. All of them were fine but did not replace hours of practice.None of them took me but so far and upon reaching a plateau was faced with the reality that nothing can replace time on the table. So, I now think, it is not the system that is important, but rather that the good player has shot the same shot so many thousands of times that they can just look at it and tell how to hit it.

So for now it is just practice practice practice until it starts to become second nature.

Laura

wolfsburg2
03-03-2003, 08:04 AM
i have never used an aiming system, just what i feel. in burns volume1 he talks about the ghost ball method, and it is pretty simple to understand i guess, but you still need to make the shots, and most difficult shots, are made because of a good stroke, and practice. my .02

bluewolf
03-03-2003, 08:09 AM
Sounds right.
1. Stroke
2. Practice

WaltVA
03-03-2003, 09:06 AM
Welcome, Big Blue - Your technique for finding the ob contact point sounds correct; however, aiming at it with the edge of the cb will result in overcutting the shot most of the time. The cb contact point can be anywhere in a 90 degree quadrant, depending on the angle of cut.

The ghost ball concept is helpful in learning to visualize the cb contact point, but the way many of us learned was to shoot short cut shots by the hour,until we got a feel and an eye for the angles, then move back a little and shoot some more.

If you just keep knocking in the same shots until they're burned into memory, you come to realize that you've "programmed" yourself with the info needed to make the cuts. That's the only system that's really worked for me.


Good luck,

Walt in VA

heater451
03-03-2003, 09:44 AM
I've got some information on aiming systems on my Tripod site, if you want to take a look:

http://heater451.tripod.com


Disclaimer: I've brought these up before, but am posting the URL again, for the sake of those who have never seen them.


And, while I am in agreement with everyone who advocates practice and repetition, I think it helps to have some method of aiming to figure a 'baseline' from for shooting. You can't really tell if your stroke is good without clarifying your aiming style, but you also can't tell if your aim is working if your stroke is out. . . .

BTW, the use of the "edge" as the cueball striking point will only work for some shots (paraphrasing the other posts). If you mean that you are using the outer-edge (the equator) of the cue ball, then that is more correct. (You might also come to realize that most aiming systems actually fall back to the "ghostball" to some degree, so don't be too eager to overlook the important aspects of the concept.)



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

landshark1002000
03-03-2003, 09:59 AM
Hi Bigblue:
You are a lucky pool player. Many of us have played for years only to realize we have practiced poor technique until it's become "natural".

You are lucky because you can avoid this right now.

Let me suggest that you find a qualified pool instructor and have your first lesson right away. If they videotape your lesson -- so much the better. You'll develop a great stroke and an eye for playing this wonderful game.

--Good luck, Ted from Phoenix

TomBrooklyn
03-03-2003, 11:40 AM
As Heater said, if by the "edge of the cueball", you mean the point on the equator of the CB that will contact the point on the OB you found, then you will make the shot. What that describes, however, is the ghostball system that you say you don't like. If you are aiming the left or right edge of the CB at the contact point you must be missing an awful lot of shots. You will be overcutting them, and the straighter the shot, the more you will be overcutting them if you hit the contact point with the left or right edge of the cueball.

Another aiming method is the equal-opposite method. After finding the contact point as you describe, and then viewing the shot from a position from the CB to the OB, note how far in from the edge of the OB the contact point is. You then aim so that an equal distance in from the opposite edge of the CB hits the OB at that same distance in from the edge. I find this system works particularly well on very thin cuts where the overlap is less than 1/4" and especially when it's 1/8" or less. I find it easier to aim visualizing the desired overlap than to aim at a point in space a la' ghost ball on very thin cuts. It works like a charm when you get close to 90 degree cuts.

I make no allowance for throw, unless I am doing it unconsiously. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't exist or it's insignificant. I'm just a beginner though, maybe I'm not good enough to notice it. But if I started allowing for it, it would only screw me up.

bigbro6060
03-03-2003, 01:50 PM
for a beginner, an aiming system has some merits because it gets you in the ballpark but as you develop and practice more, you learn to just see the shot

i have never used an aiming system and when i have recently tried some out, they made things way worse ! because they ended up making me second guess my 'learned through experience' instincts

bluewolf
03-03-2003, 01:52 PM
I started with the ghostball. Even when I knew that my aim was right and I hit the ob where I wanted, I still often missed. Then I learned about throw and started consciously compensating for that. I pocketed more balls but was still off by over or undercompensating for throw on some shots. Somewhere along the line, an amazing thing was happening. I would be lined up for the shot, having decided exactly where to place the cueball in contact with the ob, then my minds eye would move that aim over a tip and say 'no here'. If I shot the way I had consciously figured out, then I missed. If I shot it the way that the minds eye was saying 'no here', it went in a large % of the time. This did not happen on all of the shots but enough to know that there was something marvelous going on.

So now I just go to the table, look at the angle and shoot. So I am not in a hurry anymore, I figure I will get to be a good shooter as soon as I have sunk enough balls.

Laura

qSHAFT
03-03-2003, 03:44 PM
Hi Mark,

I should have mentioned compensating for throw in my post but didn't want to complicate things for someone just starting out, but I usually deal with it by putting a minute amount of outside english on shots that are likely to throw (&gt;30 degrees).

To everyone about to post "but what if you have to make the shot with no english or inside english?" here is my pre-emptive answers:

1) with no english - unless hit hard to avoid contact friction the cue ball will pick up the same amount of outside english anyway from the collision, thus it will react the same as hitting it with OE.

2) with a small amount of inside english - this essentially does the same job as outside to nullify contact induced throw (minimise contact time). Its when you get into large amounts of english that things get tricky and that is best to avoid through positional play unless really necessary.

Cheers

03-03-2003, 04:16 PM
Thanks for all the responses, reading everything here caused me to bolt out of work early and head straight to the table. What I found is that I did not explain myself well. When aiming I'm using the corner of the cb, I guess you could say between 9-12 or 3-12 or the front 1/4 portion of the cb. One person explained it as the 90 degree quadrant, I think thats what I'm doing.

Whatever I changed in my aiming about 6-8 weeks ago has made a remarkable change in my game for the better. I'm definately going to look into a lesson and probably purchase some instructional videos.

I purchased a 8 ft. table in December and I also shoot in a local 8 &amp; 9 ball leagues. Having the table seems to be a great advantage so I can practice daily and experiment with different things.

My biggest concern is building a solid foundation to build on, thats what brought me too the aiming question. I'm still going to try the ghostball method.

Thanks again for all the replies.


BigBlue

Cueless Joey
03-03-2003, 05:51 PM
Place the gb and when you're down, envision the cue ball going PAST the gb. Looking at the line while you are down helps. Try it.

03-03-2003, 10:38 PM
How to cut in a ball, you wont get it out of a book, or a tape, a teaching pro is your first step, but the true answer is I dont have a pill to sell you, nor can you get it from me or any other teacher in a lesson or 10 lessons. You have to practice, practice, practice, after you have potted one million balls, you will under stand &amp; stop asking the question. Fast Larry

bluewolf
03-04-2003, 06:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fast Larry:</font><hr> How to cut in a ball, you wont get it out of a book, or a tape, a teaching pro is your first step, but the true answer is I dont have a pill to sell you, nor can you get it from me or any other teacher in a lesson or 10 lessons. You have to practice, practice, practice, after you have potted one million balls, you will under stand &amp; stop asking the question. Fast Larry <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks Larry. In one book I read which describes the cut shot and then it did say something like that there is no way around it 'sink balls, sink balls'. In my search for 'the holy aiming grail', this was not what I wanted to hear at the time. And my apa7 hubbie saying, forget all of that stuff, play by feel. So it took 6 mo of my trying out different things and realizing there is no quick fix, while one can shorten the learning curve, one cannot do in one year what it took most people 20-30 years to accomplish.

For so long I thought that when I got to the point that I could sink 95% of the cuts at 80% and mod banks at 80% I would be good. As I am getting better and realizing that that may not be an unattainable goal in a reasonable amount of time, I am also realizing that even when I can do that I will still be a beginner, considering how much MORE there is to learn. So perhaps it is good to always be a beginner, after all.I have heard it said that a black belt in karate is a 'master of the basics'.

One thing though, aside from sinking balls, it seems there are basic fundamentals that can interfere with a person's aim namely stroke problems, alignment, eye movement during the preshot and follow,staying down on ball and not looking up,and a few other things. Having gotten good instruction on the stroke and having learned to observe my follow through to help to diagnose problems, helped to factor out some variables. That way, if I know that my stroke etc are pretty good and I know that I am lining up the shot correctly, it comes down to the experience factor imo.

My take on a really good pool player is..It is like they have shot the shot so many times that when they step up to the shot they just s\'see'where the cb needs to go and intuitively know where to put the tip on the cb and what kind of hit etc.Because they have also seen where the cb needs to go next and they no longer need to think about which rails they need to come off of, at what angle, how much english 1 tip to the left, i tip low etc...they just do it.

This is the point where the pool player has learned all the mechanics and it is in their brain where it can be accessed automatically without conscious thought.

So that is what is exciting about this game. It is knowing that if I practice, do drills and relax then one day my brain will have all of the knowlege it needs to play pool.

Laura

03-04-2003, 06:52 AM
I think you need to have someone watch you while you aim. A few years ago I would go down for a shot and everything would look straight. Then a friend of mine came over to me and said that from his angle I looked off to the right. It made sense, since everything kept missing a little to the left. That was when I knew I needed to make an adjustment, but just a slight adjustment.

My advice is to have someone watch you shoot by standing behind you. They can also tell if you move your elbow at the last second in a bad direction. If the elbow moves poorly that it doesn't really matter how straight the cue is when lining up.

nRackn
http://www.tableskills.com
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