Learning to Aim - Child vs Adult
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Learning to Aim - Child vs Adult - 07-22-2019, 07:13 AM

I always had a pool table in the house. My earliest memory was standing at opposite sides of the table from my brothers. We would wing balls down the table at each other (on the table surface) trying to hit each other's hands. I also recall watching my father play while images from Vietnam were on the TV.

There seem to be two basic camps - those who go through a particular aiming process such as aiming the shaft a particular way and measuring certain offsets, and those who simply "see" the shot and hit it.

I've always been more of a "hit it when it looks right" player and I grew up around pool. I can't remember my earliest days of playing but the thought occurred to me that those who learn at a young age might be less prone to using well defined aiming methods, and less able to understand why people use them at all.

Am I in the woods on this one?
  
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07-22-2019, 09:09 AM

No...........
  
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07-22-2019, 09:41 AM

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Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
I always had a pool table in the house. My earliest memory was standing at opposite sides of the table from my brothers. We would wing balls down the table at each other (on the table surface) trying to hit each other's hands. I also recall watching my father play while images from Vietnam were on the TV.

There seem to be two basic camps - those who go through a particular aiming process such as aiming the shaft a particular way and measuring certain offsets, and those who simply "see" the shot and hit it.

I've always been more of a "hit it when it looks right" player and I grew up around pool. I can't remember my earliest days of playing but the thought occurred to me that those who learn at a young age might be less prone to using well defined aiming methods, and less able to understand why people use them at all.

Am I in the woods on this one?
I agree. When I look back to when I was 16 to 18 years old, there was no YouTube, there were no pool halls close by, and I didn't have any opportunity to obtain instruction via books, DVD's, or private lessons. I first got interested in pool by watching it on tv and watching my dad play at little hole in wall bar about a mile from the house. I'd drink coca cola and eat pistachios while he smoked camel cigarettes and drank whiskey.

When I was about 16 I started to play a couple nights a week at a girlfriend's house. Her dad a pool table. It was trial and error, shooting the cb to where it looked like it needed to be to make the ob go to the pocket. Within a couple of years I got pretty good, better than all my friends, and better than my dad and all of his friends.

I do believe if I'd had a dependable aiming system back then it could've shortened the rote learning process. I mean an aiming system like Poolology or any other method that allows you to develop shot recognition, a good feel for just seeing the shots and knowing them without relying on the system anymore.


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07-22-2019, 05:50 PM

if you learn a language as a child
you dont need to know the rules of grammar
it comes natural
when you learn it as an adult
knowing the rules helps to speak intelligently
i had to learn spanish as an adult
so that has been my experience
i think it transfers to all sports
jmho
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07-23-2019, 05:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
I always had a pool table in the house. My earliest memory was standing at opposite sides of the table from my brothers. We would wing balls down the table at each other (on the table surface) trying to hit each other's hands. I also recall watching my father play while images from Vietnam were on the TV.

There seem to be two basic camps - those who go through a particular aiming process such as aiming the shaft a particular way and measuring certain offsets, and those who simply "see" the shot and hit it.

I've always been more of a "hit it when it looks right" player and I grew up around pool. I can't remember my earliest days of playing but the thought occurred to me that those who learn at a young age might be less prone to using well defined aiming methods, and less able to understand why people use them at all.

Am I in the woods on this one?
You are not in the woods at all. However, instructors often give someone a more rigorous system, especially for adults who come to use and say, "I used to be able to cut anything when I was a kid, but now I struggle, and I'm having trouble pocketing shots".


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07-23-2019, 07:09 AM

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Originally Posted by bbb View Post
if you learn a language as a child
you dont need to know the rules of grammar
it comes natural
when you learn it as an adult
knowing the rules helps to speak intelligently
i had to learn spanish as an adult
so that has been my experience
i think it transfers to all sports
jmho
icbw
Good analogy!
  
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Dan White
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07-23-2019, 07:14 AM

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Originally Posted by BilliardsAbout View Post
You are not in the woods at all. However, instructors often give someone a more rigorous system, especially for adults who come to use and say, "I used to be able to cut anything when I was a kid, but now I struggle, and I'm having trouble pocketing shots".
Yes, of course, instruction is still key. I just see people getting all wrapped up into how they aim and I'm always thinking that it isn't that difficult. I used to say 95% of pocketing a ball is the proper delivery of the cue, not aiming. I've been talked down to maybe 80%.
  
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07-29-2019, 07:02 AM

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Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
Yes, of course, instruction is still key. I just see people getting all wrapped up into how they aim and I'm always thinking that it isn't that difficult. I used to say 95% of pocketing a ball is the proper delivery of the cue, not aiming. I've been talked down to maybe 80%.
80%? For an experienced player you are probably right with 80 to 95% being directly related to the stroke delivery. For beginners or less experienced players, I'd be willing to put it closer to 50%.

If you have poor/inconsistent cue delivery PLUS inconsistent aiming accuracy, then you will surely do worse than someone with poor cue delivery but knows exactly where the cb needs to be every time. Take a kid with excellent spacial skills, just naturally recognizes where the cb needs to be for every shot. Once he develops a consistent stroke he'll be pocketing balls in machine-like fashion. Lets say he has a friend that started playing at the same time, and they each play/practice equally as far as time goes, but the friend does not have the natural skill of simply recognizing cb-ob relationships needed to pocket balls. The friend will require more table time if he/she expects to reach the same level of play as the naturally gifted player. Consistency is the result of repetition. The more we can repeat positive results, the more consistent we become at positive results. The more we repeat negative results, the longer it takes to develop consistent positive results.

Remember the experiment I did with my wife? She was not a pool player. I had her shoot several shots multiple times using the ghostball method, just having her estimate where the cb needed to be in order to pocket the ball, focusing on this imagined cb location. Then I had her shoot the same shots multiple times again, but told her exactly where to aim the tip of the cue (through ccb) in relation to the ob itself, using fractional aim points. The results proved (without a doubt) that with or without a consistent cue delivery there is more success pocketing balls when the aim line is known and not guessed or estimated.

I can probably find the data for that experiment. But it sure proved that a beginner can learn to pocket balls much quicker when they know exactly where to aim, rather than estimating or guessing where to aim. The stroke will eventually develop, but in the meantime you are programming your brain to recognize cb-ob relationships in much quicker fashion than traditional rote learning.


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