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Aiming Theory
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ndakotan
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Aiming Theory - 04-27-2012, 04:00 PM

I'm not in to these long aiming thread arguments, but I want to make a few points.

1. I disagree strongly with people that knock "aiming before stroke". Granted, a poor stroke may not pocket balls. But I've watched people that aim at the wrong spot on the cue ball and object ball. They think they see the correct line, but they can be up to 1/2 ball off. What's the purpose of learing stroke with steerage? I'd rather be shown the correct aim, and corrected on my stroke. With a few simple body position comments it should be easy to show someone how to deliver the cue towards the cue ball if they are perceiving the correct alignment. The stroke is a simple forward-backward motion. Correct aiming with mis-perceptions is much more difficult.

2. Gene pretty much teaches people how to line up so they see the shots correctly and how to see the same alignment that they see from above as when they are down on the shot. This gets people to the point that they can make the balls given a manufactured stroke. Finalizing the stroke and getting the muscle memory is easy if it is a simple stroke that doesn't require steering.

3. Your brain will let you think you are lining up right, but if it subconsciously knows you are not lined up right, it will steer your stroke, often enough so that you make the ball. I like to try aiming my object ball to hit another ball when practicing to minimize the tendancy to aim for pockets. Think about how much people subconsciously steer strokes for caroms or combos. If there is a ball next to the pocket that I want to carom off of, I really have to concentrate on not steering the shot clean to the pocket.

4. Many operations people do require coordinated aiming prior to functional implementation. Think about driving a car on the highway or alongside a semi-truck. You don't look at the stripes or the truck or make big sweeping steering changes, that could goof you up. When you golf, you can look at your feet, think they are aligned downrange straight, but your buddy can wonder why you are aiming to the right side of the fairway. You don't look from toe-toe-flag, you set yourself up, check your aim, and swing. How about darts? That is a pretty nebulous aiming system, but the good players know how to do it subconsciously, the bar hacks don't. Give 20 guys a circular saw and a board and have them cut the board the long way. A carpenter can freehand because he knows how to line the saw up with the cut line. A newbie would be lucky to start on the right line, much less be straight. Don't concentrate on the saw, look about a foot ahead of the saw. Your arm will follow.

5. Having seen aiming imperfections in action, if I watch an instructional DVD that doesn't address aiming perception instruction, I wonder why they are teaching the stroke. I think the aiming is the horse and the execution is the cart.

My $0.02. I have no interest in forcing someone to agree with me, so flame on if you wish. I am interested in other peoples opinions if they are clearly stated with thought, not anger or malice.
  
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