Aiming and/or Mechanics
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Brookeland Bill
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Aiming and/or Mechanics - 12-02-2019, 08:15 AM

I wonder how many players read and attempt the “various” aiming techniques because they are not making shots when the real problem is with their mechanics. I’ve tried all of these aiming systems at lest once and find out that I keep going back to the way I started out playing, and playing competitive pool, in 1961 as a teenager. I just don’t find that any of the so called secrets to successful shotmaking hold up for any length of time and under pressure.

In golf we call a quick fix a WOO (I.e. Works Only Once). I have labeled a lot of the aiming techniques a WOO except for maybe the half ball hit.


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12-02-2019, 08:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookeland Bill View Post
I wonder how many players read and attempt the “various” aiming techniques because they are not making shots when the real problem is with their mechanics. I’ve tried all of these aiming systems at lest once and find out that I keep going back to the way I started out playing, and playing competitive pool, in 1961 as a teenager. I just don’t find that any of the so called secrets to successful shotmaking hold up for any length of time and under pressure.

In golf we call a quick fix a WOO (I.e. Works Only Once). I have labeled a lot of the aiming techniques a WOO except for maybe the half ball hit.
In bold, probably quite a few. But I do believe some techniques can actual help a player develop better/consistent mechanics. If you know exactly where/how to aim a certain shot, not using guesswork or trial and error, and you are not making the shot consistently, then there's obviously an issue with the stroke/mechanics.

Learning to play pool typically requires a lot of trial and error - inconsistent aiming, inconsistent stroke, inconsistent stance, etc... By sticking to a consistent and known line of aim you can at least eliminate one of these inconsistent elements (aiming). And this can allow better feedback to help pinpoint inconsistencies with stroke mechanics.


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12-02-2019, 10:38 AM

An aiming system is not magic.
Perfect stroke is though.


  
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12-02-2019, 10:59 AM

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12-02-2019, 01:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookeland Bill View Post
I wonder how many players read and attempt the “various” aiming techniques because they are not making shots when the real problem is with their mechanics.
Good aim doesn't work without good mechanics. Good mechanics don't work without good aim.

You need both.

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Aim is king - 12-02-2019, 02:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookeland Bill View Post
I wonder how many players read and attempt the “various” aiming techniques because they are not making shots when the real problem is with their mechanics. I’ve tried all of these aiming systems at lest once and find out that I keep going back to the way I started out playing, and playing competitive pool, in 1961 as a teenager. I just don’t find that any of the so called secrets to successful shotmaking hold up for any length of time and under pressure.

In golf we call a quick fix a WOO (I.e. Works Only Once). I have labeled a lot of the aiming techniques a WOO except for maybe the half ball hit.
In every context there are evaluation criteria. Those standards and values create a hierarchy of importance. On that list aim is #1. The second is alignment. The third is execution, which includes mechanics.

If your aim line is wrong the rest don’t matter.
You can align wrong and your unconscious, using less than perfect mechanics, can sometimes compensate.
That said, over distance, failure rates climb fast.
Conversely, if the aim is right and the player gets aligned correctly, the unconscious mind doesn’t feel the need to compensate.
The elbow is a unidirectional hinge. If aligned it can deliver a held cue on a straight line. The hand can and will remain passive if aim and alignment are right.
  
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12-02-2019, 03:06 PM

Wrong aiming is easy to fix.
Bad mechanics, not quite.


  
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12-02-2019, 04:40 PM

It's all about the mechanics.

You get into shooting position right and you will be able to see the whole shot play out in your mind's eye before you pull the trigger -- you will know you're going make the ball and how the CB will travel.

You set up poorly and who knows what will happen.

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12-02-2019, 08:41 PM

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Originally Posted by lfigueroa View Post
It's all about the mechanics.

You get into shooting position right and you will be able to see the whole shot play out in your mind's eye before you pull the trigger -- you will know you're going make the ball and how the CB will travel.

You set up poorly and who knows what will happen.

Lou Figueroa
I agree, but only for players that have already developed a good eye for pocketing balls, for knowing where the cb needs to be, and recognizing where it's going to go after it hits the ob.

For newbies, or for players that just can't seem to find consistency with pocketing balls, it can be very helpful to use a known shot for practice, like a halfball shot where the player doesn't have to rely on guesstimating a ghostball or line of aim. By having a known line of aim, you eliminate aiming error and aiming inconsistencies.
The results can then be soley attributed to the mechanics of alignment and cue delivery.

Reducing one inconsistent element, like aiming, can help a player get immediate feedback on their mechanics. If the player misses a shot where he wasn't sure about the aim, there's no way to know if the miss was due to aiming or mechanics. But if the player knows without a doubt exactly where to aim, where to send the cb in order to pocket the ob, then any missed shot can be narrowed down to faulty or inconsistent mechanics (alignment, stance, grip, cue delivery, ect....).


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12-02-2019, 09:48 PM

It's actually quite easy to prove it's mechanics making people miss over aim.
Place the OB close to the CB. People would make balls easily ( those who have played a while ).
Place the balls farther , people start missing a lot more .


  
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12-03-2019, 05:44 AM

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Originally Posted by JoeyInCali View Post
It's actually quite easy to prove it's mechanics making people miss over aim.
Place the OB close to the CB. People would make balls easily ( those who have played a while ).
Place the balls farther , people start missing a lot more .
This is what I did in an aiming experiment once. I setup a some shots and had my wife (a D player) shoot a few using traditional ghostball guesstimations, then had her shoot the same shots, which were 1/2 ball and 3/4 ball shots, telling her to aim straight through ccb to the ob edge or halfway between ob center and ob edge. We started with straight in shots just to make sure I had the cb close enough to the ob to minimize wonky stroke errors. The distance was about 8 to 10 inches. I think she shot a total of 130 shots. The results proved without a doubt that knowing exactly where to aim, compared to guessing or estimating where to aim, can drastically increase pocketing percentage.

If I had set the shots up with 2 or 3 feet between cb and ob, the results would've been inclusive because her inconsistent cue delivery/mechanics would have influenced the aiming experiment, and I wanted to minimize that element of her shooting in order to highlight the difference between aiming methods. The same theory can work to highlight inconsistent mechanics by simply increasing the distance between the balls and using a known aim point to pocket each shot.


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12-03-2019, 05:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookeland Bill View Post
I wonder how many players read and attempt the “various” aiming techniques because they are not making shots when the real problem is with their mechanics. I’ve tried all of these aiming systems at lest once and find out that I keep going back to the way I started out playing, and playing competitive pool, in 1961 as a teenager. I just don’t find that any of the so called secrets to successful shotmaking hold up for any length of time and under pressure.

In golf we call a quick fix a WOO (I.e. Works Only Once). I have labeled a lot of the aiming techniques a WOO except for maybe the half ball hit.
There are two parts to your statement:

Bad mechanics = Bad Shots
Aim Systems = Unhelpful

Separate them in your mind. You're right about one of them, but believe me, taking someone from one system to a new system can often increase their shot making IMMEDIATELY. For example, showing someone true pocket center for a baseline for all cuts, when they used to "adjust their cuts to different parts of the pocket based on approach angle".


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