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dr_dave
08-12-2008, 08:45 AM
Do you think you miss more shots due to aiming error or stroking error?

Regards,
Dave

SpiderWebComm
08-12-2008, 09:00 AM
For me, personally, definitely stroking error.

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 09:06 AM
I think aiming, or proper alignment is far more crucial for actually potting balls.

Here is a thread where I discussed this and an experiement I tried a couple of years ago.
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=26809

Unfortunately the image is now gone. It was a shot from near the baulk line to an OB about 2 diamonds from the corner pocket at 3/4 ball cut angle.

With balls replaced exacly on each shot, and a bridge set in place, I could replicate the shot with high accuracy even though my stroking position was uncomfortable, and even when I deliberately didn't stroke perfectly. Just hit about the center of the CB and the OB kept going in without touching a rail.

This shot is not extremely hard, but it is missable and hitting it in center pocket every time is very hard to do.

Colin

GMAC
08-12-2008, 09:06 AM
Do you think you miss more shots due to aiming error or stroking error?

Regards,
Dave


I feel that if you think you miss more shots because of your aim than your stroke you haven't come to terms with the fact that your stroke isn't as repeatable as it needs to be.

If you think about it every shot you miss in a tourney or gambling you have probably made a thousand times, so why did you miss it. obviously you know how to aim it ,so your stroke failed you. A solid repeatable stroke under pressure is the perfect aiming system.

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 09:12 AM
Another relevant question for those who have trouble with stroking is:

Do you stroke poorly on some shots due to poor mechanics / ability to stroke through a line?

Or do you stroke poorly more often due to second guessing, not trusting the line? Such as trying to swoop a little to make the shot go a little thicker or thinner.

Colin

Patrick Johnson
08-12-2008, 09:18 AM
If you think about it every shot you miss in a tourney or gambling you have probably made a thousand times, so why did you miss it. obviously you know how to aim it ,so your stroke failed you.

Aiming isn't a science, despite what some system users think. It involves many kinds of estimation:

- estimating where the OB contact point is by aligning it with the pocket, from a distance and an angle

- estimating how to adjust the OB contact point for throw

- estimating where the CB contact point is by imagining where it is on the "dark side" of the CB (this is part 1 of the subject of aiming systems)

- estimating how to align the CB and OB so the two contact points come together (this is part 2 of the subject of aiming systems)

- estimating how to position your head and eyes so all the above things are visualized correctly (this is part 2A of the subject of aiming systems)

This is only a partial list of the estimations required just for aiming (not stroking), and only for shots without sidespin (don't get me started).

Even with a perfect stroke aiming isn't a simple, mechanically repeatable process. It's probably impossible to really know how much of your pocketing problem is related to aim vs. stroke. I didn't vote in this poll, even though I think it's an interesting one, because I just don't know how to tell.

pj
chgo

whitewolf
08-12-2008, 09:20 AM
I think aiming, or proper alignment is far more crucial for actually potting balls.

Colin

I personally think that proper alignment problems relate more to stroke problems, don't you?

To me, alignment means:

Where are your feet? Do you have an open or closed stance? Is your head directly over the cue or is your dominant eye?

You can aim perfectly but if your alignment is off then your stroke will surely suffer.

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 09:23 AM
If you think about it every shot you miss in a tourney or gambling you have probably made a thousand times, so why did you miss it. obviously you know how to aim it ,so your stroke failed you. A solid repeatable stroke under pressure is the perfect aiming system.
I've watched many state level players in our game that uses much smaller pockets. I can guarantee you that they don't know how to aim consistently. Sometimes they get their eyes in, other times they struggle. I can clearly see it has nothing to do with their stroke, as I can tell when I miss because of poor alignment when I make a perfectly straight stroke.

This problem is harder to recognize on big pocket tables coz players are aiming at much wider targets.

Many players aim and pot better when they aren't thinking about it, but get them under the pressure tournament conditions and they often lose touch with their feel for the aim. They start trying to use their brains to line up with points, doing things they usually don't worry about when they are in the zone.

Colin

Scott Lee
08-12-2008, 09:27 AM
just about a...tap, tap, tap! What a perfect answer! :thumbup:

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

A solid repeatable stroke under pressure is the perfect aiming system.

Pete
08-12-2008, 09:30 AM
just about a...tap, tap, tap! What a perfect answer! :thumbup:

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Double that.

Pete

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 09:32 AM
I personally think that proper alignment problems relate more to stroke problems, don't you?

To me, alignment means:

Where are your feet? Do you have an open or closed stance? Is your head directly over the cue or is your dominant eye?

You can aim perfectly but if your alignment is off then your stroke will surely suffer.
No I don't. When I align my bridge to a shot, I have no thought about my stroke. Though occasionally feathering, to see the line is a method I use. If you can't feather the cue along a straight line, that makes that type of alignment method more difficult.

I know alignment is sometimes used to describe feet, body and head positions relative to the shot. I am using alignment in the sense of lining up to the aim point. The critical factor being the alignment of the bridge.

I don't find it too hard to stroke straight even if my body position is out of whack a bit, but I do find it hard to see the alignment if my head / eyes are in a different position relative to the aim line.

Also, I can struggle to get alignment and to see the aim line when my eyes are not warmed up, tired or haven't played for a while.

Colin

BRKNRUN
08-12-2008, 09:34 AM
I have missed due to poor aim
I have missed due to poor stroke
I have missed due to both at the same time.

All of the above are usually due to lazyness or rushing or nerves....usually "lazy rushingness" on my shot.

You know....right after you make those two or three difficult shots and get to the faily easy routine shot...

Scott Lee
08-12-2008, 09:34 AM
Do you think you miss more shots due to aiming error or stroking error?

Regards,
Dave

We teach it in pool school all the time...there are ONLY two ways to miss a shot...misalignment or mistroke! I've said this many times before. The huge majority of students who come to us with perceived 'aiming' problems, cannot deliver the cuestick accurately and repeatably through the CB. Once we correct those errors, aiming problems almost always go away.

All errors in pool come from one of three sources: Recognition, Alignment, or Delivery. In pool school, we first correct the delivery errors, to help the student create an accurate repeatable process, using their Personal Shooting Template. Then we help them to find the alignment position that best suits their body, and how they "see" the shot properly. Recognition comes after those two things have been corrected, and practiced, until they become an unconscious routine.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 09:45 AM
just about a...tap, tap, tap! What a perfect answer! :thumbup:

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com
Scott,

I'd like to see you tackle some real difficult to aim shots on the snooker table and then see how well your stroke knocks them in.

IMHO, the biggest mistake I made in the first 20+ years of pool was assuming I had aimed correctly. And I think that is a mistake that most players will make their entire pool lives.

I did so many thousands of cueing drills in the mirror, with various equipment to ensure straightness, including a laser attached to my cue that I became very familiar with the straightness of my stroke. That did little to improve my aim.

That said, I aimed pretty good, but not as well as pro snooker players. And they too often miss due to incorrect aim on long and difficult shots.

Colin

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 10:07 AM
I think beginners can actually soon see the aim lines nearly as well and sometimes even better than experienced players. So in their cases it makes sense to focus on the stroke.

Experienced players have developed a solid repeatable stroke, and hence aiming becomes a more important aspect of being able to play at higher levels.

There are obviously a lot of beginners who require training, and experienced players looking for advanced insights.

Just as there are Driving Instructors for learning to drive, there are also Nascar and F1 Driving Trainers.

What is relevant to beginners is not necessarily relevant to players trying to obtain elite levels of play.

Colin

Jal
08-12-2008, 10:08 AM
Do you think you miss more shots due to aiming error or stroking error?

Regards,
DaveSince you ask what we 'think' as opposed to what we 'know', I would say that I probably miss more moderately paced shots because of aiming errors, while more high speed shots from stroking problems.

Before reading these forums, I never knew it was so difficult to get the cueball to go where you wanted it to go...now I'm all messed up about that too.

I think a lot of people wrongly attribute misses caused by an incorrect adjustment for squirt/swerve/throw to stroke - with perhaps throw being at the top of the list since it occurs in the absence of any applied english, and can vary considerably from shot to shot.

Jim

Scott Lee
08-12-2008, 10:55 AM
Colin...I'd be more than happy to. Please send 2 ROUNDTRIP airline tickets to down under (because, of course, my wife always travels with me)! Oh...first class, if you don't mind! I'll take care of the hotel accomdations! :D

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Scott,I'd like to see you tackle some real difficult to aim shots on the snooker table and then see how well your stroke knocks them in.

Colin

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 11:08 AM
Colin...I'd be more than happy to. Please send 2 ROUNDTRIP airline tickets to down under (because, of course, my wife always travels with me)! Oh...first class, if you don't mind! I'll take care of the hotel accomdations! :D

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com
haha, I promise I'd find the tightest table in Australia for you :p

I don't mean to seem grumpy or condescending, but I've put a lot of thought and testing into aiming v stroking and honestly believe it is a key issue in allowing players to get to an advanced potting accuracy. That is, by actually being able to work out why they missed particular shots and hence focus on improving the true fault.

It's a little irritating when such an idea gets dismissed very readily (I should be used to that ;) ), but I thought about where you're coming from, re the needs of stroke development as a priority for newer players.

I do hope you would consider my opinion from the point of view of players who have a pretty repeatable / accurate stroke.

Colin

Scott Lee
08-12-2008, 11:31 AM
Colin...That'd be just fine! Send the tickets! :D

I do consider your opinion, and from the point of an experienced professional instructor, I can tell you that in 35 years I have YET to see an accurate, repeatable stroke, among anyone but the top pros (who are mostly unconventional, but successful, due to longevity, persistance, and moving their cue the exact same way 100's of 1000's of times)! Of course, I've only seen tens of thousands of peoples' strokes personally, over my lifetime, as an instructor.

You can certainly practice bad habits long enough to make them successful for you (case in point: Allen Hopkins, Keith McCready, and Mike Davis...to name three top players, with very unconventional, but successful, ways of delivering their cue). I wouldn't want to try and teach any of their methods, but they certainly work well for THEM! What I'm talking about is the 50,000,000 other players, around the world, who don't have the time, energy, or stamina, to wait 20 years, for it to "kick in"! Our methods have helped countless pros and expert players, as well as beginners, to achieve a more accurate and repeatable stroke...which is the cornerstone to fast, permanent improvement of your overall game.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

haha, I promise I'd find the tightest table in Australia for you :p

I do hope you would consider my opinion from the point of view of players who have a pretty repeatable / accurate stroke.

Colin

bluepepper
08-12-2008, 11:55 AM
I think I miss for both reasons in addition to misalignment, but mainly because of aim.

But there's another thing that has to be considered. Visualizing the Ghost Ball (or a spot on the cloth where it would rest) and keeping your gaze on its center is the only way you can actually stroke directly to the point on which you're focused. All other methods force you to stroke away from your gaze.
So complications have to arise with all other methods, because you essentially must split yourself into three machines -- the aimer, the stroker, and the coordinator.

Edit: Actually if you can visualize a point on the object ball for cuts 30 degrees or so and under or just beyond, you can stroke right at them as well.

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 12:07 PM
I'd like to see the following test trialled.

Have a relatively difficult pot set up with bridge in place and balls on exact markers. Have the vision of the OB blocked so that the player can only see the bridge and the CB.

Have players of various abilities make 10-20 attempts at hitting the CB dead center. Measure their pot accuracy. A measure of their stroke accuracy.

Then have the same players line up the shot. A dot on the shaft at the bridge point determines their bridge position and hence aim line. (Wouldn't matter much if the dot was not exactly at their bridge point, so long as the shaft was lined up relatively close to the CB center). That position is compared to the set bridge line through the center of the CB. An overhead camera with a gridded glass plate could be used to establish the dot position with considerable accuracy.
A bit of simple math and we can determine how accurately these players can actually align to the shot.

This kind of test could provide a lot of information about the relative accuracies of aiming and stroking and how that might change according to player levels.

Colin

av84fun
08-12-2008, 12:31 PM
Another relevant question for those who have trouble with stroking is:

Do you stroke poorly on some shots due to poor mechanics / ability to stroke through a line?

Or do you stroke poorly more often due to second guessing, not trusting the line? Such as trying to swoop a little to make the shot go a little thicker or thinner.

Colin

Excellent point Colin. I think LOTS of players who have should strokes will, from time to time, "guide" the stroke at the last second.

IMHO, that is largely due to a mistrust of the decided upon aim line and a last second "correction" which turns out to be a miscorrection.

The other reason for swooping is shooting hard and "snatching" the grip so that the swoop is forced, not intentional.

Regards,
Jim

av84fun
08-12-2008, 12:41 PM
Dave, I didn't vote because I think you need a 3rd category..."the same"

In addition, there are subtle sub-categories to "raw aim."

Imbedded in the aim category are the issues you have so informatively written about...sqwerve, CIT, SIT.

So "raw aim" i.e. seeing the correct CP...is only part of the battle. SENDING the CB to the correct place involves correct compensations for the issues mentioned above.

IMHO, the largest single cause of misses...at least at the B level, is the improper compensation for side. So, I guess I was tempted to vote "aim"
but my true feeling is that aim and stroke errors are about equal for the "average" player.

Regards,
Jim

dr_dave
08-12-2008, 12:42 PM
I agree. Accurate aiming (including any necessary compensation) is a big challenge of pool, as is developing a perfect stroke and perfect speed control.

Regards,
Dave

Aiming isn't a science, despite what some system users think. It involves many kinds of estimation:

- estimating where the OB contact point is by aligning it with the pocket, from a distance and an angle

- estimating how to adjust the OB contact point for throw

- estimating where the CB contact point is by imagining where it is on the "dark side" of the CB (this is part 1 of the subject of aiming systems)

- estimating how to align the CB and OB so the two contact points come together (this is part 2 of the subject of aiming systems)

- estimating how to position your head and eyes so all the above things are visualized correctly (this is part 2A of the subject of aiming systems)

This is only a partial list of the estimations required just for aiming (not stroking), and only for shots without sidespin (don't get me started).

Even with a perfect stroke aiming isn't a simple, mechanically repeatable process. It's probably impossible to really know how much of your pocketing problem is related to aim vs. stroke. I didn't vote in this poll, even though I think it's an interesting one, because I just don't know how to tell.

pj
chgo

dr_dave
08-12-2008, 12:52 PM
I wanted to keep things simple. In the poll, I mean "aim" to be everything that happens (e.g., alignment, adjustments, pivots, etc.) before the final "stroke." If somebody compensates aim or alignment during the final "stroke" (e.g., with a "swoop" stroke), consciously or otherwise, then I consider that part of the stroke.

Regards,
Dave

Dave, I didn't vote because I think you need a 3rd category..."the same"

In addition, there are subtle sub-categories to "raw aim."

Imbedded in the aim category are the issues you have so informatively written about...sqwerve, CIT, SIT.

So "raw aim" i.e. seeing the correct CP...is only part of the battle. SENDING the CB to the correct place involves correct compensations for the issues mentioned above.

IMHO, the largest single cause of misses...at least at the B level, is the improper compensation for side. So, I guess I was tempted to vote "aim"
but my true feeling is that aim and stroke errors are about equal for the "average" player.

Regards,
Jim

jongreve
08-12-2008, 01:00 PM
I wanted to keep things simple. In the poll, I mean "aim" to be everything that happens (e.g., alignment, adjustments, pivots, etc.) before the final "stroke." If somebody compensates aim or alignment during the final "stroke" (e.g., with a "swoop" stroke), consciously or otherwise, then I consider that part of the stroke.

Regards,
Dave

I miss more shots due to a break down in fundamentals than I do because I chose the wrong contact point on the object ball.

I selected "stroke error"

I am now realizing that if the cue ball doesn't reach its desired location for whatever reason, some here would always consider that an aiming fault. Something to ponder I suppose.

klockdoc
08-12-2008, 01:06 PM
I'd like to see the following test trialled.

Have a relatively difficult pot set up with bridge in place and balls on exact markers. Have the vision of the OB blocked so that the player can only see the bridge and the CB.

Have players of various abilities make 10-20 attempts at hitting the CB dead center. Measure their pot accuracy. A measure of their stroke accuracy.

Then have the same players line up the shot. A dot on the shaft at the bridge point determines their bridge position and hence aim line. (Wouldn't matter much if the dot was not exactly at their bridge point, so long as the shaft was lined up relatively close to the CB center). That position is compared to the set bridge line through the center of the CB. An overhead camera with a gridded glass plate could be used to establish the dot position with considerable accuracy.
A bit of simple math and we can determine how accurately these players can actually align to the shot.

This kind of test could provide a lot of information about the relative accuracies of aiming and stroking and how that might change according to player levels.

Colin

Colin, In your test, do you think that using a bridge eliminates one of the functions that you have to concentrate on when making the shot?

Therefore addressing all your concentration on the stroke and allowing a more repeatable result for the aiming process?

I know for certain that it is my stroke that causes most of my misses. I miss some due to aim, but, my stroke repeatability well outweighs my aiming capabilities.

dr_dave
08-12-2008, 01:14 PM
Jal,

Excellent points. To me, the "aim" is much tougher than the "stroke" in general; although, I also seem to suffer more stroke flaws at faster speeds. "Aim" is tough because it includes 3D visualization, visual perception, and compensation for CIT (with no English) and/or squirt/swerve/throw with English. I probably should have specified "non English" shots in the poll to keep things more simple.

Regards,
Dave

Since you ask what we 'think' as opposed to what we 'know', I would say that I probably miss more moderately paced shots because of aiming errors, while more high speed shots from stroking problems.

Before reading these forums, I never knew it was so difficult to get the cueball to go where you wanted it to go...now I'm all messed up about that too.

I think a lot of people wrongly attribute misses caused by an incorrect adjustment for squirt/swerve/throw to stroke - with perhaps throw being at the top of the list since it occurs in the absence of any applied english, and can vary considerably from shot to shot.

Jim

frankncali
08-12-2008, 01:16 PM
While I think both are very important I think its pretty easy to see that
aiming has to be more important. The stroke comes after it.

You can have the straightest most pure stroke in the world yet be lined up wrong and you will miss.

If I can aim even 95% accurate on shots then you will pocket more balls.
If I line up incorrectly on 95% of balls I would miss almost every shot.

You need both.


For a few months now I have been thinking about something similiar and wondering how to do it. I would like methods that give 100% accurate
results to shooting at 1/8 inche targets.

In other words a way to practice where you can shoot at different angles to 1/8 inche spots. I would want to get results as accurate as possible.

I figure that in practice we are aiming at balls and holes. Far too much leeway. In practice we should aim at smaller targets.

I was a pitcher. During a pro tryout I once got the advice to change my practice to throwing to inch targets and then divide the plate into inch strips.
Until then I was extremely accurate in the strike zone and even to the corners but that was not enough to get to the next level.

av84fun
08-12-2008, 01:53 PM
Goctcha...but still, "equal" is as valid a choice as aim or stroke and I am sure whould change the results if it was present.


Regards,
Jim

I wanted to keep things simple. In the poll, I mean "aim" to be everything that happens (e.g., alignment, adjustments, pivots, etc.) before the final "stroke." If somebody compensates aim or alignment during the final "stroke" (e.g., with a "swoop" stroke), consciously or otherwise, then I consider that part of the stroke.

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
08-12-2008, 02:11 PM
Goctcha...but still, "equal" is as valid a choice as aim or stroke and I am sure whould change the results if it was present.I thought about including "equal" as an option, but I thought it might "dilute" the results too much. If a person thinks he or she truly misses shots equally frequently due to both, that person can just not vote; but I would think most people could choose one or the other after thinking about it a while.

Thanks,
Dave

pooltchr
08-12-2008, 06:30 PM
Even with a perfect stroke aiming isn't a simple, mechanically repeatable process. It's probably impossible to really know how much of your pocketing problem is related to aim vs. stroke. I didn't vote in this poll, even though I think it's an interesting one, because I just don't know how to tell.

pj
chgo

pj, we actually teach some things in pool school that will help anyone quickly identify the source of most problems. I no longer wonder why I missed a shot. When I miss, I am quite confident I know what went wrong. The feedback we get from the spf stroke will pretty much let you know if something went wrong physically. If it was a good stroke, then it's most likely I aimed at the wrong spot.

BTW..I voted aiming. After teaching and demonstrating SPF to so many students over the years, it's actually a pretty solid habit for me.

And for the majority, who voted stroke flaws, I would like to invite you to attend one of our pool schools. We can offer a lot of help in that area. ;)

Steve

Jal
08-12-2008, 06:44 PM
Excellent point Colin. I think LOTS of players who have should strokes will, from time to time, "guide" the stroke at the last second.

IMHO, that is largely due to a mistrust of the decided upon aim line and a last second "correction" which turns out to be a miscorrection....Great point too, Jim. I think my "stroke" goes awry most often when I'm not completely comfortable with the chosen aim line.

Jim

Colin Colenso
08-12-2008, 09:01 PM
Colin, In your test, do you think that using a bridge eliminates one of the functions that you have to concentrate on when making the shot?

Therefore addressing all your concentration on the stroke and allowing a more repeatable result for the aiming process?

I know for certain that it is my stroke that causes most of my misses. I miss some due to aim, but, my stroke repeatability well outweighs my aiming capabilities.
Not sure I know exactly what your asking klocdoc but I'll try to answer.

Some people think that they aim by pointing the tip. On shots with English this partly true when not using BHE.

But to me, what determines aim (or alignment of shot) is the position that the cue sits on the fulcrum of the bridge. Draw line from that point through the center of the CB and that is your aim line.

If the bridge is at the effective pivot point for the shot, that remains your aim line no matter how much english is applied to the CB. The only thing that changes that is sideways swooping, which is generally only achieve deliberately or by second guessing for people with reasonable strokes.

Most people bridge pretty close to their effective pivot point, so being silghtly off on hitting the CB dead center cancels out most of the error. so long as the cue does not swoop significantly.

Hope that makes sense,
Colin

edit: In the test, the bridge has been preset to the perfect aim line. Hence, only a stroke requirement is needed to complete the shot. As for more advances shots with English, the stroke control becomes more important because it requires some control of offset and speed.

randyg
08-13-2008, 04:58 AM
Scott,

I'd like to see you tackle some real difficult to aim shots on the snooker table and then see how well your stroke knocks them in.

IMHO, the biggest mistake I made in the first 20+ years of pool was assuming I had aimed correctly. And I think that is a mistake that most players will make their entire pool lives.

I did so many thousands of cueing drills in the mirror, with various equipment to ensure straightness, including a laser attached to my cue that I became very familiar with the straightness of my stroke. That did little to improve my aim.

That said, I aimed pretty good, but not as well as pro snooker players. And they too often miss due to incorrect aim on long and difficult shots.

Colin

If Scott dosen't take that challange, I will...randyg

dr_dave
08-13-2008, 07:21 AM
Scott,

I'd like to see you tackle some real difficult to aim shots on the snooker table and then see how well your stroke knocks them in.If Scott dosen't take that challange, I will...randygWhat is the challenge, exactly? Is it to prove that somebody with a very good stroke (e.g., Scott or Randy) will still miss tough shots on a snooker table? I think the answer to this question is obviously yes. IMO, it is much easier to develop a good stroke than it is to develop perfect aiming. The complexities of 3D visualization, visual perception, and alignment make aiming tough.

Regards,
Dave

whitewolf
08-13-2008, 09:16 AM
Scott,

I'd like to see you tackle some real difficult to aim shots on the snooker table and then see how well your stroke knocks them in.

IMHO, the biggest mistake I made in the first 20+ years of pool was assuming I had aimed correctly. And I think that is a mistake that most players will make their entire pool lives.

I did so many thousands of cueing drills in the mirror, with various equipment to ensure straightness, including a laser attached to my cue that I became very familiar with the straightness of my stroke. That did little to improve my aim.

That said, I aimed pretty good, but not as well as pro snooker players. And they too often miss due to incorrect aim on long and difficult shots.

Colin

Colin, since you appear to be SUPER left brained, I can only imagine that for 20+ years you used screwed up aiming systems, like Dr. Dave and other left brainers might do. I can only imagine how tortured you mind must be :grin: with the laser beams and all.

Have you ever tried the 'Ghost Ball Method'? Or spinning the ball into the hole like Earl or Efren?

My home Diamond table has 4 1/4: pockets. I also used to practice with large balls on snooker tables, and it does improve you pocketing skills, FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY, because your level of concentration is hightened. Kind of like the law of supply and demand in economics. From my experience, since I aim the same ALL of the time, I find that I shoot best when my stroke is loose and glides. So you can give us your experience all day long, but there are others on my side also.

Ultimately, it is your stroke that makes the difference in potting balls. Scott and Randy and totally correct here.

JoeyA
08-13-2008, 10:00 AM
I think aiming, or proper alignment is far more crucial for actually potting balls.

Here is a thread where I discussed this and an experiement I tried a couple of years ago.
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=26809

Unfortunately the image is now gone. It was a shot from near the baulk line to an OB about 2 diamonds from the corner pocket at 3/4 ball cut angle.

With balls replaced exacly on each shot, and a bridge set in place, I could replicate the shot with high accuracy even though my stroking position was uncomfortable, and even when I deliberately didn't stroke perfectly. Just hit about the center of the CB and the OB kept going in without touching a rail.

This shot is not extremely hard, but it is missable and hitting it in center pocket every time is very hard to do.

Colin

I missed that thread back in 2006 but as always, I appreciate your efforts and perspective. I think alignment is the biggest problem of all, although I picked stroking as my choice in the poll.
Thanks!
JoeyA

Colin Colenso
08-13-2008, 10:32 AM
What is the challenge, exactly? Is it to prove that somebody with a very good stroke (e.g., Scott or Randy) will still miss tough shots on a snooker table? I think the answer to this question is obviously yes. IMO, it is much easier to develop a good stroke than it is to develop perfect aiming. The complexities of 3D visualization, visual perception, and alignment make aiming tough.

Regards,
Dave
Dave,
It was kind of said in jest but there is some substance to it. The point being, that when you have to pot long shots or difficult shots on a snooker table (that usually has much smaller pockets than US players are used to) that the player can execute his stroke as perfectly as he can imagine, yet miss shots the majority of the time due to not being able to aim the shots correctly.

My opinion is that US table players are more prone than snooker players to blame their stroke, rather than their aim, because they don't have to deal with as many shots that require very accurate aiming.

And hence I think they might change their opinions on aim v stroke errors when they had to play some really accurate pots. Because they could stroke the ball 50 times perfectly and never make the ball.

Colin

Colin Colenso
08-13-2008, 10:52 AM
Colin, since you appear to be SUPER left brained, I can only imagine that for 20+ years you used screwed up aiming systems, like Dr. Dave and other left brainers might do. I can only imagine how tortured you mind must be :grin: with the laser beams and all.

Have you ever tried the 'Ghost Ball Method'? Or spinning the ball into the hole like Earl or Efren?

My home Diamond table has 4 1/4: pockets. I also used to practice with large balls on snooker tables, and it does improve you pocketing skills, FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY, because your level of concentration is hightened. Kind of like the law of supply and demand in economics. From my experience, since I aim the same ALL of the time, I find that I shoot best when my stroke is loose and glides. So you can give us your experience all day long, but there are others on my side also.

Ultimately, it is your stroke that makes the difference in potting balls. Scott and Randy and totally correct here.
Hi Whitewolf,
I couldn't find a question in you post but I'll reply anyway:grin:

I don't buy the left v right brain stuff. I'm just mental full stop:eek:

I like to try everything, and to understand every system, method or shot. I can play very aggressively or very tactically. I think most left brained people prefer tactics and controlled shots. Maybe you can enlighten me?

I did a test that said I was 70% right brained, but go figure, half the questions I could have answered either way.

Does this video look like the work of a left brainer to you?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keznf66dSHE
Colin

Colin Colenso
08-13-2008, 11:03 AM
I missed that thread back in 2006 but as always, I appreciate your efforts and perspective. I think alignment is the biggest problem of all, although I picked stroking as my choice in the poll.
Thanks!
JoeyA
Joey,
You're one of a few guys I really respect and admire here.

For that reason, I ask you to start paying attention to your aim and start believing in your stroke. Just coz I want to see you making more balls. :smile:

And if that don't work, then blame the table! :eek:

Colin

dr_dave
08-13-2008, 11:03 AM
I think alignment is the biggest problem of all, although I picked stroking as my choice in the poll.Why did you do that? Don't you consider "alignment" part of aiming? :confused:

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
08-13-2008, 11:07 AM
Well stated. I agree. Precise aiming is difficult for a human without a laser gizmo.

Regards,
Dave

Dave,
It was kind of said in jest but there is some substance to it. The point being, that when you have to pot long shots or difficult shots on a snooker table (that usually has much smaller pockets than US players are used to) that the player can execute his stroke as perfectly as he can imagine, yet miss shots the majority of the time due to not being able to aim the shots correctly.

My opinion is that US table players are more prone than snooker players to blame their stroke, rather than their aim, because they don't have to deal with as many shots that require very accurate aiming.

And hence I think they might change their opinions on aim v stroke errors when they had to play some really accurate pots. Because they could stroke the ball 50 times perfectly and never make the ball.

Colin

Flex
08-13-2008, 11:13 AM
I personally think that proper alignment problems relate more to stroke problems, don't you?

To me, alignment means:

Where are your feet? Do you have an open or closed stance? Is your head directly over the cue or is your dominant eye?

You can aim perfectly but if your alignment is off then your stroke will surely suffer.


Alignment is a personal thing. By that I mean it varies from one person to the next. How one stands, where one's head is placed, how one sights and so on are all personal things.

Obviously, there are general principles that can be applied to each of those items. However, to think the holy grail in alignment has been articulated for each and every person, with their own personal physical constraints, is not at all certain.

IMHO, an individualized approach by a skilled player/instructor is the way to go. One person I highly recommend for that is Mark Wilson, while there are others, certainly.

As for the stroke itself, that is a controversial topic, to say the least. Not going there on this post.

Flex

Flex
08-13-2008, 11:19 AM
We teach it in pool school all the time...there are ONLY two ways to miss a shot...misalignment or mistroke! I've said this many times before. The huge majority of students who come to us with perceived 'aiming' problems, cannot deliver the cuestick accurately and repeatably through the CB. Once we correct those errors, aiming problems almost always go away.

All errors in pool come from one of three sources: Recognition, Alignment, or Delivery. In pool school, we first correct the delivery errors, to help the student create an accurate repeatable process, using their Personal Shooting Template. Then we help them to find the alignment position that best suits their body, and how they "see" the shot properly. Recognition comes after those two things have been corrected, and practiced, until they become an unconscious routine.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Scott, that was a very thoughtful post.

Here's a question for you.

What do you do when someone's perception of where the balls lie in relation to the pocket is off, and when they consistently over cut by a very small amount in one direction, and slightly undercut when shooting in the opposite direction?

How do you view the effect of an incompletely dominant eye as affecting perception of the correct aim line, and how do you "fix" that?

Flex

Flex
08-13-2008, 11:29 AM
haha, I promise I'd find the tightest table in Australia for you :p

I don't mean to seem grumpy or condescending, but I've put a lot of thought and testing into aiming v stroking and honestly believe it is a key issue in allowing players to get to an advanced potting accuracy. That is, by actually being able to work out why they missed particular shots and hence focus on improving the true fault.

It's a little irritating when such an idea gets dismissed very readily (I should be used to that ;) ), but I thought about where you're coming from, re the needs of stroke development as a priority for newer players.

I do hope you would consider my opinion from the point of view of players who have a pretty repeatable / accurate stroke.

Colin

Quite a post.

A few months ago Blackjack Sapolis told me that it has happened on occasion that some people in pool halls (who don't know him) have come up to him and offered unsolicited "advice" that his bridge is wrong, or his stroke is off, or whatever.

Heck, if you watch some of Mike Sigel's videos teaching runout 8 ball and 9 ball and 100 ball runs in 14.1, it's possible to detect "flaws" in his stroke, or stance, or maybe he drops his elbow on a force follow shot, whatever.

Anybody want a piece of Sigel?

A pro player, who shall remain nameless, told me that some pool instructors are basically in the business of trying to force people to change their stroke, when their stroke is working just fine.

I'm really interested in the aiming of tougher shots and how to go about doing it consistently...

Flex

Colin Colenso
08-13-2008, 11:39 AM
If Scott dosen't take that challange, I will...randyg
Randy,
I'd also love to see you take the challenge, but I checked and all flights to Australia are booked for 12 months. :D

hehe, but seriously. Try potting the yellow ball into the long top corner with the CB sitting under the green spot 5 inches from the bottom rail. ( Not Canadian snooker tables, but real 12 footers with 3.5 inch pockets)

After you've made that shot 10 times, come back and tell me whether your aim was more crucial than your stroke in making that shot.

Videotape yourself making that shot 5 times in a row and I'll video myself making the same shot 10 times in a row on a 4.33 inch pocket sticky cloth (it's in a garage and wet winter here) US table using a broom handle. :thumbup:

Colin

av84fun
08-13-2008, 11:51 AM
Aiming isn't a science, despite what some system users think. It involves many kinds of estimation:

- estimating where the OB contact point is by aligning it with the pocket, from a distance and an angle

- estimating how to adjust the OB contact point for throw

- estimating where the CB contact point is by imagining where it is on the "dark side" of the CB (this is part 1 of the subject of aiming systems)

- estimating how to align the CB and OB so the two contact points come together (this is part 2 of the subject of aiming systems)

- estimating how to position your head and eyes so all the above things are visualized correctly (this is part 2A of the subject of aiming systems)

This is only a partial list of the estimations required just for aiming (not stroking), and only for shots without sidespin (don't get me started).

Even with a perfect stroke aiming isn't a simple, mechanically repeatable process. It's probably impossible to really know how much of your pocketing problem is related to aim vs. stroke. I didn't vote in this poll, even though I think it's an interesting one, because I just don't know how to tell.
pj
chgo

You should know how to tell. Take a lesson.

And in spite of you fundamental prejudice against systematic aiming, there are SEVERAL systems the are mechanically repeatable with centerball hits and within the KNOWN parameters/limitations of the system.

You seem inclined to dismiss systematic aiming entirely because they have certain limitations. That is short-sighted since it is true that MANY shots fall within the system's boundaries.

Moreover, most (all??) games are eventually won by a single shot whether it is the 8,9 or 10 ball or the 125th ball.

Regarding such shots, shape and therefore, the use of english is often irrelevent. So, when it COUNTS...when you're shooting for the cheese, aiming systems REALLY shine.

It borders on the silly to not learn and USE certain systems that highly respected instructors and a RAPIDLY growing number of top speed players are using.

Jim

frankncali
08-13-2008, 11:56 AM
Randy,
I'd also love to see you take the challenge, but I checked and all flights to Australia are booked for 12 months. :D

hehe, but seriously. Try potting the yellow ball into the long top corner with the CB sitting under the green spot 5 inches from the bottom rail. ( Not Canadian snooker tables, but real 12 footers with 3.5 inch pockets)

After you've made that shot 10 times, come back and tell me whether your aim was more crucial than your stroke in making that shot.

Videotape yourself making that shot 5 times in a row and I'll video myself making the same shot 10 times in a row on a 4.33 inch pocket sticky cloth (it's in a garage and wet winter here) US table using a broom handle. :thumbup:

Colin


How about rounding the pockets facings out while shooting with your broom handle!

Also how does one know that their stroke was DEAD Perfect. You are assuming that the only reason for the misses was that the Aim was off.
All factors that normally go into accounts for reasons why we miss still have to be listed and accounted for. Slide, chalk, ball weights different etc.
I just don't think that it can be determined if Aim was the only reason for missing a ball.

Also a true measure would be to take the pocket size of each table and make them the same in relation to the size ball. They also definitely need to have the same setup (facings - snooker or pool)

av84fun
08-13-2008, 12:15 PM
Scott,

I'd like to see you tackle some real difficult to aim shots on the snooker table and then see how well your stroke knocks them in.

IMHO, the biggest mistake I made in the first 20+ years of pool was assuming I had aimed correctly. And I think that is a mistake that most players will make their entire pool lives.

I did so many thousands of cueing drills in the mirror, with various equipment to ensure straightness, including a laser attached to my cue that I became very familiar with the straightness of my stroke. That did little to improve my aim.
That said, I aimed pretty good, but not as well as pro snooker players. And they too often miss due to incorrect aim on long and difficult shots.

Colin

Right....because aim and stroke are entirely different skills. As you point out, a perfect stroke can be achieved by practicing in a mirror or a laser cue without ever having pocketed a ball and without knowing the first thing about aiming.

The following are truisms.

Perfect strokes, in and of themselves, cannot lead to pocketing balls except by luck.

A faulty stroke can lead to a miss by a player who can aim perfectly every time.

Regards,
Jim

Buster8001
08-13-2008, 12:25 PM
I think my problems are in my stroke.

Any instructors in the DC area?


Josh

ne14tennis
08-13-2008, 12:38 PM
I personally think it's my aim. My stroke is preety steady, but on long shots my aim is terrible.

When I get to shoot the length of the table and the rock is covered or on a rail......my mind starts telling me "This is not going to have a good ending.

JoeyA
08-13-2008, 12:39 PM
Joey,
You're one of a few guys I really respect and admire here.

For that reason, I ask you to start paying attention to your aim and start believing in your stroke. Just coz I want to see you making more balls. :smile:

And if that don't work, then blame the table! :eek:

Colin

Is it OK to blame my opponent for sharking me?:grin:
JoeyA

JoeyA
08-13-2008, 01:03 PM
Why did you do that? Don't you consider "alignment" part of aiming? :confused:

Regards,
Dave

I know where to aim my cue ball to hit the object ball on EVERY SHOT. I just have a problem doing it EVERY TIME.

I guess I consider problems like head position, eye position, body position, stroke hand position and bridge hand placement, alignment problems, not aiming problems. I know where to aim. It is just that I do not always align myself to accomplish that.

Colin mentioned something in an older post of his from 2006 that stings of the truth, at least for me and it has been a problem that continues to plague me and others. http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=26809.

All of us could benefit from that post. I'm sorry I missed it. Some of the newer members of AZ Billiards could do well by clicking on Colin's name and reading many of his older posts. He uses some of the best forum etiquette around and he is as knowledgeable as any of our posters and maybe more so than most. :D

I have found that by using CTE, I am achieving more accurate alignment than ever and consider alignment my key obstacle to overcome in becoming a better player. The pivoting to the center of the cue ball has enable me to find greater accuracy in my shots as well. Most of the time I am pivoting in the air, although in practice I will experiment with both. I am still on the learning curve but CTE and Pro One has benefited my game. I use less energy focusing on the shot now and feel (know) I can play for longer periods of time although I still tire after several hours of continuous play. :D
JoeyA

dr_dave
08-13-2008, 02:47 PM
I know where to aim my cue ball to hit the object ball on EVERY SHOT. I just have a problem doing it EVERY TIME.

I guess I consider problems like head position, eye position, body position, stroke hand position and bridge hand placement, alignment problems, not aiming problems. I know where to aim. It is just that I do not always align myself to accomplish that.Good points. I should have been more clear in the statement of the poll question. I meant "aiming" to include everything before the "stroke." To me, alignment is part of the aiming process. Once the cue is set in the aiming line direction, all that remains is the stroke.

Regards,
Dave

randyg
08-13-2008, 02:56 PM
Randy,
I'd also love to see you take the challenge, but I checked and all flights to Australia are booked for 12 months. :D

hehe, but seriously. Try potting the yellow ball into the long top corner with the CB sitting under the green spot 5 inches from the bottom rail. ( Not Canadian snooker tables, but real 12 footers with 3.5 inch pockets)

After you've made that shot 10 times, come back and tell me whether your aim was more crucial than your stroke in making that shot.

Videotape yourself making that shot 5 times in a row and I'll video myself making the same shot 10 times in a row on a 4.33 inch pocket sticky cloth (it's in a garage and wet winter here) US table using a broom handle. :thumbup:

Colin

Darn!!! Then Scott beats me to it also. Not my day. I take your info very seriously!!!!SPF=randyg