View Full Version : need help aiming cue ball

09-15-2003, 11:29 PM
In search of the golden grail, the yellow brick road, a miracle.
Canít seem to develop my ability to pocket object balls, to aim the cue ball correctly
No matter how hard I may try. I tried most the aiming systems
Ghost ball (one day I can picture the correct angle and spacing and the next I could not pocket a ball if the pocket is ten feet wide. As the angle between the cue ball and object becomes more acute the difficulty to picture the correct alignment becomes harder to detect)
Monk clicks (have problems guesstamateing the correct numbers of clicks and shooting from side of cue ball)
Contact to contact method, (keep losing the contact point as the distance between balls increases and have problem sighting for side of cue ball as instead of center of ball)
Imaginary pocket (not that accurate)
Is there some method or system that works best in all situations, thatís very accurate.
Are there any training aids that really work, tried ghost ball trainer without much luck.
Is there any way to practice to help develop a good eye for pocketing balls?
I donít want to carve up my cue stick yet into toothpicks but getting close to it.
Getting frustrated trying to learn, what good is position play when you canít pocket a object ball 20 inches from a corner pocket.
How did you develop the skill to pocket balls successfully?

Thank you
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09-16-2003, 10:50 AM
Are you sure it's an aiming problem. There are actually only two ways to miss a shot. One is faulty aiming and the other is a problem with the stroke. Since you can see the correct spot some days, I suspect you know how to determine where you should be aiming. It may be that you are not sending the cue ball to the spot you think you are sending it to. Find someone (a professional instructor would be your best choice) to observe your stroke and allignment. I have found with the majority of my students, once they are using the proper stroke consistantly, their percentage of shots made improves dramatically.

09-16-2003, 03:36 PM
I believe that pooltchr is on the correct path, in advising you to get your stroke checked out. The only thing that I really wanted to add, since you express concern about playing the position, is that you pay close attention to the "final" stroke.

I've witnessed many people, myself included, miss shots that were most likely caused to fail by "trying something". That is, if you are shooting a (relatively) easy shot, but you complicate it by attempting a particular position, then the delivery stroke is likely to suffer. I usually refer to this as "changing-up"--the pre-delivery strokes may be perfect, but then there is a "change-up" in stroke mechanics.

The change in mechanics is usually symptomized by a tensing of the body and grip, and normally degrades an otherwise satisfactory stroke into a 'punch' or 'poke'.

There are some other things to pay attention to, such as using a pause, to settle and re-check yourself midshot, but I will leave that alone for now.

Basically, "follow through".

Oh yeah, and "don't forget to breathe".


09-16-2003, 07:26 PM
i went back to trying contact to contact method of aiming,
as lease i have a firm target to aim at, even though i am using the side of the cue ball instead of the center. seem to be getting better results, just have to get use to aiming this way. with the ghost ball method, i am shooting at empty space trying to visualize a non existent cue ball
one day i can picture it perfect the next day forget it.
especially as the angle increases it becomes very hard for me to get it right. i realize stroke is important i been practicing with the coke bottle method of strokeing my cue
in and out of the bottle opening to develope a straight hit.
thank you for response, if there are any ideas on aiming methods which are better and easier i would like to hear about them, what method do most of the player use?

may the stoke be with you

09-17-2003, 04:56 PM
Aiming systems and styles is one of the topics that rears it's head a lot on the forum. You will find plenty of folks who will tell you that a system will do nothing for you without the stroke to back it up, which is true enough, but I think it helps you to learn to aim, and then you will develop the proverbial "feel" for aiming well. --Note, I didn't say "correctly", as aiming is actually something that I feel is an inherent ability with all of us, and their are several ways to 'tune in'.

I have a few things posted on my tripod site: http://heater451.tripod.com . However, I pretty much just look at the contact point, and make the cue ball go there. . . .I suppose this is similar or the same to what you mean by using the outside of the ball. I relate it somewhat to how you aim a bowling ball at a pin, in that you "just put it **there**".

Here's something to do: go shoot out a few racks, using one way of aiming. Note whether you have a tendency to under- or over-cut (most likely, the former). Then, try compensating your aim. After that, do the same thing again, except start paying very close attention to your stroke and hit on the cueball--don't worry about position at all. The focus should be on using the same pre-shot routine and the same speed for each stroke (warm-ups and follow-through), and pay attention to hitting, with the cue tip, EXACTLY where you think you should. It may help to use a bit of top, to try and stay on the vertical center of the cue ball, and just kind of 'slow-motion' strike the ball. However, if you do hit harder, focus even harder on where you're hitting, and remember whether you tend to under- or over-cut. Make adjustments as needed, until you have a consistency of hit.

BTW, I will make the obligatory remark about posting in the "Newbie" forum as well. This area was created more for people who have questions about the functions/features of the board itself. If you want more answers to your question, post in the main pool forum.

09-20-2003, 09:50 PM

09-28-2003, 08:01 AM
You don't state how long you have been playing.

People claim a person needs a good aiming point while others claim you need a good stroke, stance and fundamentals.

To me it seems you need all of tht working together and that takes a good instructor and a LOT of practice.

What good is the best aiming principle if your stroke does not allow you to hit it? Or what good is the best stroke but you do not have a good aiming point? Without all of that working in harmony you are just being lucky when the balls go in.

Start by putting the CB on the spot and shoot it directly across to the side rail so that the CB comes back to the tip of your cue. In order to do this repeatedly you have to have good aim along with good form. The tip of the cue stays on the table and you do not jump up. Do this over and over until you can do it successfully 10 times in a row. Then shoot the ball the length of the table and do it until you can do it 20 times in a row. And I don't mean that the CB almost touches the tip of the cue. The center of the CB must touch the tip.

After you accomplish this task then you will be ready to START to learn how to play pool.

Failure to accomplish this task will put you with the rest of us ball bangers who play in the APA.

Have fun.


09-29-2003, 08:31 AM
Still trying to learn to aim, and working on stroke also,
Purchase a little device to help with this, a sort of stroke trainer, itís a plastic tube, which you stoke into.
Much like the coke bottle method. Just been playing pool
4 months, but do not have my own pool table. So playing time
Is restricted. To only a few hours a week. Upon reading instructions books on pool there is a split upon methods used in aiming itís between the ghost ball, and contact-to-contact method. The prefer method is the contact-to-contact method. So giving that a try. Difficulty with that method appears twofold, finding the exact spot to hit and remembering the spot when you move back behind the cue ball, the tip on my cue stick is 13mm, and it covers a good portion of the object ball when I am trying to find the exact spot to hit. The second problem I am having with this method is lining up contact-to-contact points.
Since I am hitting center ball, I find myself sighting down the center of cue ball, while at the same time looking out of the corner of my eye trying the line up contact points the two do not seem to go together. The must a trick or way to accomplish this better. Any advice on how to do this better. Would you just divide the just divide the object ball in sections here? Full ball hit, 1/8 ball hit, 1/4-quarter ball hit, 1/2 ball hit, 3/4-ball hit, thin cut edge of ball. Instead of hitting contact to contact, just aim to center of cue ball to hit these fractions. Donít know
This game can be very difficult the truth hits home when you miss an easy shot just a few inches from the pocket, when you are trying the best to sink that ball. Not giving up yet. Still open to any tips or help anyone can give me,

Thank you

10-23-2003, 05:13 PM
One way I like to aim for a shot when I go back to the basics or teach a friend to help his game it to set up in a sorta ghost ball set up, but instead if trying to aim to replace that ghost ball with the cue ball, try placing a small chalk mark half the width of the ball behind the objet ball, and in turn aim for that chalk mark on the table. You can get away with this in game play by lining up your shot with you cue, and leaving a small trace of chalk behind the object ball your intending to shoot in. if your having troubles seeing the chulk spot, then i would look through the shot on to the wall or something further in the distance in witch to aim to. I hope this helps you find a better way of aiming. There is a tip method out there, it goes by tip widths too, the more sharp the angle the further off center you hit the cue-ball, while aiming that cue-ball directly at the object ball. I don't have any way of posting a picture. If you would like to learn more of these two methods let me know.


10-23-2003, 05:15 PM
One way I like to aim for a shot when I go back to the basics or teach a friend to help his game it to set up in a sorta ghost ball set up, but instead if trying to aim to replace that ghost ball with the cue ball, try placing a small chalk mark half the width of the ball behind the objet ball, and in turn aim for that chalk mark on the table. You can get away with this in game play by lining up your shot with you cue, and leaving a small trace of chalk behind the object ball your intending to shoot in. if your having troubles seeing the chulk spot, then i would look through the shot on to the wall or something further in the distance in witch to aim to. I hope this helps you find a better way of aiming.

Keith Talent
02-14-2004, 03:53 PM
Another thing you might think about ... helped me when I was in the same stage you seem to be in. If you can see one day, but not another ... perhaps, in addition to stroke problems, your confidence in your aiming might be fluctuating, causing you to constantly readjust.

I used to have that problem ... then one day, I had an hour or so of dead stroke and just about anything would fall, long cross-table cuts, you name it. What helped my confidence some was to keep in mind that you don't have to be absolutely exact to pocket most shots. The pocket, in most cases, is more than twice the width of the ball, and there's a zone of forgiveness, particularly down the rails, that gives you a sizable margin for error, so long as you don't overhit the shot.

So, when in doubt, worry less, get the ball in the neighborhood and good things should start to happen. In time, you should find it easier to get more and more exact, as well.

07-24-2004, 08:57 AM
you need to much to discus here Find a good instructor

07-24-2004, 11:37 PM
Here is the answer....

It is simple, but a lot of work and practice. Get those 3 ring binder "reinforcement" stickers at an office supply.

Then set up a shot you frequently miss. Place the stickers under the balls. Shoot the shot. Replace the balls on the stickers (same exact shot) shoot again. Shoot this same exact shot 50 times. It does not matter if you miss all of the shots at first. You are learning. Eventually you will figure out what to do to make the shot. That's all there is to it! (Then repeat this exercise with other shots, this will take months of practice, but you will slowly and surely get better and better.)

08-07-2004, 12:30 AM
The single most important thing in any sport is to have sound fundamentals. There is no substitute. As in any sport, there are coaches, and trainers. Their main job when you are just starting to play any sport is to make sure your stance, posture, alignment, and many other things are basically sound. This also means that you are maintaining these things on every play or shot (this is where practice, coaching, and drills come in). My advice to anyone starting out is to take some lessons from someone (like a local pro). If you cannot afford lessons, look for someone that you see making balls consistently, and ask them for some help. Not help on fancy stuff, just the basics. When just starting out, practice the easier shots first until you become confident, and then work up to the more difficult shots.
The other thing about this game is the mental part.
I truly believe that 80% of this game is mental. Survey the table, decide what you are going to do and how you are going to do it, decide where the contact point is on the object ball, get down on the cue ball and aim at the contact point, (and thinking of nothing but making the ball)stroke the cue ball. By the time you are down on the cue, nothing should be in your mind but making the shot (if you execute the shot as you planned before getting down, it will take care of itself). If a negative thought creeps into your mind while you are down on the cue, or if you think you might have the wrong contact point, GET UP, look at it again, and then get down again. When you get down on the cue ball, nothing should be in your mind but making the object ball. You cannot excecute if you have a million things running through you mind. Stay focused on the job at hand, and the job is making the object ball....because if you don't make the ball, you don't have to worry about anything else since you will be sitting down. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Above all don't get discorraged. No one learnd to play this game well over night. It takes practice, and I mean a lot of practice to become consistent. Good luck and hope this helped you some.

08-29-2004, 07:52 PM
I'll have a user name soon enough, but I can totally relate to the problem. I'm 17, and I've been playing for four years, give or take a few months. For the first year, I struggeled a lot with aiming, and most of it is your stroke. A good way of learning that you don't have to pay for is going to your local pool hal and watching people that are good. Just watch them for a few minutes...the way that they hold their cue and the exact movements of their arm. Don't try to mimic their style, just observe overall how people stroke the cue...I know that worked for me. I was able to make many shots after the six month period. I underwent shoulder surgery about a year and a half ago, and I'm having much difficulty picking my stroke back up. It's most important to know the fundamentals and to just keep practicing. For playing for 4 months, if you can make 30% of your shots, that's good enough. Many people are saying to get an instructor...don't do it unless you have kept practicing and not noticed ANY improvement. As I said,...I'll soon enough have a username so you can yell at me for all my bad advice! Good luck!

08-30-2004, 10:52 AM
I've just started doing a new thing. That is videotaping my playing, then watching what I am doing when I miss shots. Then compairing my video with a pro match video.

08-30-2004, 01:46 PM
That's actually what I do, and it's been working for me. Just remember that not everyone has the same stroke, so what you might be comparing yourself to may not be the best stroke for you.

03-05-2006, 11:12 AM

10-23-2006, 06:11 PM
have you heard of the new aiming system

10-23-2006, 07:10 PM
checkout POOL&amp;BILLIARD magazine page29

11-04-2006, 09:47 AM
Making Balls is the Fundamentalist string of Playing Pool. The Real way is to practice, practice, practice, and then when you are satisfied you made enough, practice some more. Alot of the systems (Ghost Ball, etc..) do not take into account certain things, that at this time you really should not worry about. Line up a shot, nearly straight in, and keep playing that shot until you are comforable with it. Move on my increasing the angle a few degrees, and repeat. Most importantly, when doing this, be sure to hit the cue ball in the CENTER, or if anything, just a hair below. Not to the Left of Center, or to the Right of Center, by all means, this can create some throw.

Aiming systems, in general do not account for things such as throw and cling. Throw is where you hit the cue ball to the left or right of center, and 2 things happen. The Cue strays slightly from it's path to the object ball, and if the spin is still in effect, the cue ball transfers it's spin, During the Cling (the time when the two balls connect and stay connected for a brief period of time), to the object ball. With either ball spinning left or right, this transfers to the felt, which grabs the ball slightly, taking it off it's intended course.

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