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Quesports
11-19-2006, 06:29 AM
Here is a copy of an article on the eyes and focusing I found pretty darned interesting. Hope you all enjoy it.

PHOTO AVAILABLE

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- When it comes to games such as pool and darts, people with the quietest eyes will play the best, a University of Florida researcher has concluded.

Robert Singer, chairman of UF's department of exercise and sport sciences, and former graduate student Shane Frehlich said a player's key to success lies in the "quiet eye phenomenon," that is, how frequently and for how long a player is able to fixate on a specific location.

The strategy also is useful in golf putting, archery and basketball free throws -- anything that involves focusing on a target and lining up a shot, Singer said.

In their tests, Singer and Frehlich found pool players who had the longest quiet eye duration -- those who focused the longest on meaningful objects such as a cue ball and the target ball -- before shooting were the most successful with their shots, Singer said.

Singer also found that the more experienced and highly skilled players made fewer fixations on the cue ball and target ball than novice players, but each fixation lasted longer.

"The really good pool shooters have learned to focus longer on what they needed to do," Singer said. "They've learned more economical and efficient visual search strategies."

Singer and Frehlich performed their tests with 24 pool players, half of whom were highly skilled and half of whom were casual players. Each was fitted with an infrared eye-tracking system that monitored eye-movement patterns while a player was in the shot-preparation phase -- when the players were positioned over the cue ball until the just-observable movement toward striking the cue ball, when the backswing began.

"People who are attempting to master a target task need to fixate on a relevant cue or cues for a long enough duration," Singer said. "Those who have the ability to control their eye movements by focusing on a certain location are the ones who have the most success."

Bruce Baker, the league and program assistant of the Billiard Congress of America and a head referee for that organization since 1995, said Singer's research may have a big effect on the sport.

"It's just real exciting," Baker said. "Anything we get in these kinds of studies is going to be real significant. We've really never had anybody who's done this before."

The use of a five-step strategy that Singer developed also should improve success rates among pool players, Singer said. The steps, which Singer said can be used with most sports, are: readying, imaging, focusing, executing and evaluating.

The readying, or preparatory, state puts the player in the optimal mental/emotional condition. Imaging involves creating an internal picture of the intended act and accomplishment. Focusing attention calls for blocking out internal and external distractions and focusing on the most relevant cue. Executing is the performance of the task with a quiet mind -- "letting it go," and evaluating calls for a player to assess how everything went in order to make improvements in the future, if necessary.

"The five-step strategy for stationary targets emphasizes the focus on a meaningful external cue," Singer said. "The better a player can focus, the fewer the distractions, the better he or she will perform."

have a great day!
Dan

randyg
11-19-2006, 07:37 AM
Thanks Dan. Great articule. We have been teaching this for about 25 years at CUE TECH Pool School. Second most important thing we teach.....SPF=randyg

sde
11-19-2006, 07:43 AM
Very interesting article. It makes sense that focusing longer on the target will produce more consistent results, but I find the results their study to be somewhat flawed in that they do not give the skilled players any credit for their superior stroke. imo

PoolSharkAllen
11-19-2006, 07:50 AM
Interesting article. There's a variable in this article that wasn't included that might be relevant to shooting success: Aiming. Those who aim better might make a higher percentage of shots.

One can fixate on the target longer but if the aim is inaccurate, they may not make the shot.

curlyscues
11-19-2006, 08:26 AM
i look at the balls, but they always stare me down.
M.C.

Williebetmore
11-19-2006, 09:47 AM
When Mark Wilson introduced me to his drill for training my eye movements I had no great expectations; but MUCH to my surprise the eye movement exercises launched a major improvement in my game. The eye movement principles he teaches can be incorporated into your pre-shot routine; and they become automatic after a short time - definitely a help.

claymont
11-19-2006, 09:54 AM
Here's a video on 'quiet eye'

http://www.pbs.org/saf/1206/video/watchonline.htm

PoolSharkAllen
11-19-2006, 10:24 AM
When Mark Wilson introduced me to his drill for training my eye movements I had no great expectations; but MUCH to my surprise the eye movement exercises launched a major improvement in my game. The eye movement principles he teaches can be incorporated into your pre-shot routine; and they become automatic after a short time - definitely a help.
This concept of eye movement drills is unclear. :eek: Are you suggesting that your eyes shift from the target and these exercises help you fixate on the target?

What about aiming? If you're not fixated on the right contact point, you're more likely to miss.

Klopek
11-19-2006, 02:31 PM
Very interesting article. It makes sense that focusing longer on the target will produce more consistent results, but I find the results their study to be somewhat flawed in that they do not give the skilled players any credit for their superior stroke. imo
Not only does the article make sense, but it seems rather obvious. One of those things we seem to just understand without discussing, but when a professor writes a thesis on it we all scratch our heads and say hmmmm.

I agree with you on the stroke mechanics factor. I don't care how quiet your eyes are, if you suffer from banana stroke the cueball will never arrive as intended.:)

Gregg
11-19-2006, 07:34 PM
How does one acquire "quiet eye"?

TX Poolnut
11-19-2006, 08:03 PM
How does one acquire "quiet eye"?

Ancient Chinese Secret!:)

DougT
11-22-2006, 11:28 AM
Thanks to OP Quedup (dan) and Claymont (ernie) for these links and posts. Good reps to you both. Very helpful for me, I've been working on this in my game this season.

SCCues
11-22-2006, 11:47 AM
When Mark Wilson introduced me to his drill for training my eye movements I had no great expectations; but MUCH to my surprise the eye movement exercises launched a major improvement in my game. The eye movement principles he teaches can be incorporated into your pre-shot routine; and they become automatic after a short time - definitely a help.
Is there a description of this drill on the internet or could you give us a idea of how it works?

Brian in VA
11-22-2006, 12:17 PM
At first I thought this was inaccurate because I've always felt I was playing my best when I kept a "quiet head." By that I mean that my head remains absolutely still. (It's the secret to my being an excellent putter in golf no matter how bad the rest of my game gets!:o )

Upon further reflection, I'm thinking this has some merit. When I get home I'm going to test this and try to determine which it is. I've noticed after my last lesson with Scott Lee, that I'm keeping my eyes focused longer and that may be what is improving my ball pocketing.

Great post!

bsmutz
11-22-2006, 01:19 PM
How does one acquire "quiet eye"?
The quickest way I've found is to poke a toothpick through your upper eyelid, through the eyeball, and anchor it solidly into the upper cheekbone (tap with a small hammer if necessary). Your eyes will no longer stray from your intended focus (plus it's a great way to relax and feel good, similar to hanging yourself from the ceiling with fish hooks embedded in your back muscles). A squirt of WD-40 will fix "squeaky eye", too. :D

Sometimes I have a lot of erratic eye movement when I am trying to focus on the aim point. I will wait until this stops and I am able to fix on the point I want to hit before pulling the trigger. It does seem to help quite a bit.

Skeezicks
11-22-2006, 09:50 PM
How does one acquire "quiet eye"? I would like to know also.

I find that with age comes noisier eyes. True for anyone else?

sde
11-23-2006, 05:24 AM
I would like to know also.

I find that with age comes noisier eyes. True for anyone else?

Yes. My eyes squeak when I rub them!:eek:

Steve

Terry Erdman
11-23-2006, 10:47 AM
Great video and explanations of the eye movements and focus to have such a profound effect on performance! I am a good putter and that is what I do naturally and when playing pool I notice that when I focus longer on the object ball my pocketing goes up dramatically. Why don't pro baketball teams get these people to teach Shaq and others how to make more free throws? Thanks for the link, Ernie!!

sonia
12-13-2006, 04:16 AM
This concept of eye movement drills is unclear. :eek: Are you suggesting that your eyes shift from the target and these exercises help you fixate on the target?

What about aiming? If you're not fixated on the right contact point, you're more likely to miss.

PROS DO NOT USE CONTACT POINTS. THEY USE AIM POINTS ON EVERY SHOT. CONTACT POINTS ARE ALWAYS TOTALLY INVISIBLE.

sonia
12-13-2006, 04:23 AM
Pros Focus On The Cue Ball, Not The Object Ball. Once They Line Up The Aim From Cue Ball To Object Ball, They No Longer Focus On The Object Ball Or The Pocket.