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deraltefritz
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05-29-2019, 11:35 AM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
Sounds like you try to have CB/OB/stick/target "in view" all at once like I do.
I guess that could be what I mean with peripheral vision, but I haven't really thought about it that way.
Starting with the final backswing, I focus mostly on the intended impact at the object ball and my grip hand pressure though.

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You can judge by whether or not the shot picture improves ("move your head to the left until your alignment looks straight").
Yes, you hit the nail. Until it looks straight. If all the information on dominant eye and vision center stopped there, I wouldn't have started this thread.

What I have tried to debunk is that the solution to alignment problems (unwanted spin and/or deviation from the shot line) is to gradually move your head to a particular side until the problem is fixed.

This is attempting to fix something without knowing what caused it.
The vision center could be on the shot line, while the cue is slightly off. Or the other way around. Or both. It could be technical issues, wrist, elbow, shoulder movement.

How can we even attempt to find the source of this problem if we start by questioning what we see. We must trust what we see while making sure we're looking from the right direction.
Then we can focus on the technical side.

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05-29-2019, 04:22 PM

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Originally Posted by deraltefritz View Post
If lining up half a tip left of the cue ball looks like lining up at the center of the cue ball for someone, how do they see the relation between cue ball and object ball? Are they aligned well there, and their dominant eye only deceives them w.r.t. the cue in relation to the cue ball? This cannot happen optically. Maybe the brain can do some weird stuff to one's perception, but it doesn't sound plausible.

Let's use a stop shot example again. Everything aligned perfectly, vision center on the line of the shot. Both from the shooter's point of view as well as from the instructor's. Where the shooter and the instructor want to end up, with a perfect setup.

Now to make it look like you describe from the instructor's point of view, the shooter would have to someway move the cue tip half a tip to the left.

It will now look wrong to the shooter of course. In order for them to perceive this situation as center ball without undoing the cue movement, the head must go to the left until the tip overlaps with or points directly at the center of the cue ball.

(Note that neither pivoting nor parallel shifts away from the initial perfect alignment will make the line of the cue ever point through the center of the cue ball. Only pivoting around the center of the cue ball can do that)

Now after moving the head, the cue ball and object ball can no longer be aligned as they were before.

I would assume, if the cue appeared to go towards the center of the cue ball for the shooter, but for an observer it appeared half a tip to the left, then they were aiming right of the intended target in the first place and just didn't realize it.


Sorry, I don't mean to annoy anyone, or question the authority and knowledge of instructors. Least of all you Fran.
But the dominant eye / vision center thing, and especially what to do about it, sounds a little unscientific to me. But maybe my "scientific" approach to it is flawed in a way I can't see. Please enlighten me, anyone.
First of all, I know you didn't create it, but the term 'vision center' is a rename of a term that is much more appropriate. The term is 'line of sight.' How about we don't rename what already exists?

As for your comments and questions, they are all legitimate and you make good points. As far as my perspective, it's actually first as a player and second as an instructor.

So back to the half-tip adjustment --- There is of course, going to be a re-viewing of the line of the shot after the tip placement adjustment. This is a trial and error period for players who are in the process of learning their tendencies and how to adjust for errors in perception.

So how does one calculate all of that, from the adjusted tip placement to the possible shot re-alignment? They can't. Not without losing any sense of flow and rhythm.

So as a teacher, I may throw out a phrase like, 'Try a hair to the left," and observe what that phrase means to the player. And through that type of communication and the player's interpretation of my suggestions, we gradually find the series of steps tailored to them that places them in correct alignment under their most comfortable place under their dominant eye.

I also did this with myself as a player with a severely dominant eye. The only time I have to think about it is when I haven't played in awhile. Other than that, the adjustment steps I take are second nature and the cue placement under my dominant eye is natural and consistent.
  
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Target line principles - 05-29-2019, 05:27 PM

The first in depth book on cueing I read was by Joe Davis on how he played snooker. Joe was left eye dominant eye and so was I. Joe was short and I was 5’11". He appeared to position his cue nearly across his body with his left arm fully extended and he turned his head to the left which placed the left eye over the cue. With longer arms I ran out of cue. My compromise was to bend my left arm. That worked for me until it didn’t. One day after long sessions I was missing everything and a check showed my right eye had taken over for a tired left. Suddenly uncertainty crept into my setup. Putting my head in the same place with the cue on a certain spot on my chin could be wrong.

Riley cues a British maker sell a device called SightRight. When your head is positioned so that you are looking directly down the cue two lines align and appear as one. The idea is about learning to aim from the right perspective. You don’t need an aid though, if you know what to look for. The cue is a rounded surface. If you are looking at it from one side, you see more of that side than the other. If when over the cue you sense you are seeing equal parts of each side from an estimated center, you are looking directly down the cue. In addition, if you address the cue ball and lower your shaft to point at the spot where the ball touches the table, that is the center. Now look closely and you will see the shaft reflected in the bottom half of the ball. If the cue shaft and its reflection are aligned you are looking directly down the shaft. If not you are not.

Of course all of these images are cognitive compositions. Regardless of where your head or vision center is positioned and how things look to you at a particular place and time, the key is that if the situational cues say you are lined up, you are.

That said, your point about giving it too much importance and taking focus away from other things in the process is true, about ANY element you are working on. When it comes to finding the cue line and aligning to a target, perspective is paramount. Everything revolves around the target line. It’s where your stance starts. The head finds the line. The foot steps on it while the head stays on line. The line is the organizing reference. The cue, the bridge hand and eventually the whole body moves to the line.

Problem is for many players the cue ends up at a particular place in relationship to the body. It just feels right and when they are shooting good likely the cue gets put in place and the body aligns to the cue. Other times they move the cue into position near the body. It feels the same but when the cue moves to the body rather than the other way round, the cue gets pulled off line. The cue line needs to have prominence and the initial head perspective sets it. Sighting while standing is based on horizon thinking.

When you learn how to drive a vehicle, it’s common for drivers to get fixated on the road just over the hood. The result is oversteering. Once the driver starts focusing well down the road to the horizon, the steering reflects it by holding a straight course to the distant target. Starting from well behind the shot and having everything move to the line to the horizon stops players from getting ball or shaft bound. The line to the horizon is a better guide.

Quiet eye research shows that experts make a smoother scan of the line to the target. Their eyes don’t jump back and forth as much as poorer aimers. Finding the target once aligned with a steady gaze just before shooting, allows for a calm focused state of mind to emerge. It sees the shot and predicts the outcome. On successful shots, brain scans show that the part of the brain associated with prediction lights up.

Ask yourself where you feel your sense of certainty. Prediction is certainty in a future time frame. Listen to your body. Your body senses success, not your eyes, but they have their place. It’s about balance. Remember your eyes don’t shoot the shot. Awareness has to be on the outcome, not technique.

Getting fixated on something close like the cue, shouldn’t be happening to players if they do most of their aiming before they get down. Find the horizon and ditch the over the hood element to aiming.

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Feedback accuracy - 05-31-2019, 03:21 PM

Learning the angles requires starting from the same perspective each time and stroking through straight. Only then can you reproduce a shot consistently. Alignment is only one part. We all have learned to stick a key in a keyhole and don’t need visual alignment most of the time. Same thing with putting a fork or spoon in your mouth. We have parts of our somatic visual system dedicated to tracking, muscles and neurology. We are capable of detecting, tracking and intersecting with moving objects accurately. Location awareness neurology self corrects continually when you and an object are in motion.

Getting frozen over a ball interrupts that self correcting process. Sweeps and other movements of the cue, trigger internal mechanisms that sense angles and speed dynamics. But only after a certain level of competence is realized. If the shot feels like it will go in a particular direction it likely will. That amounts to prediction. You may not still be aligned center ball or directly over the cue, after a pivot. It’s like your key in the lock. Add distance between balls or try to feed a stiff object through a hole 6 feet away and the keyholing isn’t automatic. Pistols are less accurate than rifles at distance. A loop bridge turns your shaft into a pistol, an open bridge more a rifle. At close distances alignment is less critical. That said during the learning phase of aiming, alignment perspective is critical. When you first put a key in a hole both hand and eye need to align. Experience allows us to have more dexterity. We can remove constraints needed when in learning mode and react creatively, as we gain experience.

This is more about the stage of learning of the player. Every context is different.

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06-02-2019, 01:26 PM

That's true...however the dominant eye receives visual information 10/1000th's of a second before the recessive eye...far too fast for the eyes not to work together. Once your vision moves beyond 30", or hands reach, the eyes triangulate...so we "see" with both eyes.

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Here's the thing about a physically dominant eye: It will always grab the information sooner than the recessive eye. Not once in awhile. Always, because the nerves that lead from the eye to the brain are configured that way.


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06-03-2019, 12:00 PM

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Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
That's true...however the dominant eye receives visual information 10/1000th's of a second before the recessive eye...far too fast for the eyes not to work together. Once your vision moves beyond 30", or hands reach, the eyes triangulate...so we "see" with both eyes.

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Not sure what you're trying to say. Are you denying that the shaft naturally wants to be under the dominant eye?
  
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06-03-2019, 02:05 PM

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Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
...we "see" with both eyes.
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Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
Are you denying that the shaft naturally wants to be under the dominant eye?
Not sure if either of you is saying otherwise, but...

Clearly both of these are true - we see a composite pic made from what both eyes see individually, but the image from the dominant eye dominates that pic.

This makes the shaft look more aligned with our line of sight when it's under the dominant eye (with strong dominance), closer to it (with moderate dominance) or centered between the eyes (with weak to no dominance).

I think the shaft tends to gravitate toward whichever of those positions applies to us individually.

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06-03-2019, 04:39 PM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
Not sure if either of you is saying otherwise, but...

Clearly both of these are true - we see a composite pic made from what both eyes see individually, but the image from the dominant eye dominates that pic.

This makes the shaft look more aligned with our line of sight when it's under the dominant eye (with strong dominance), closer to it (with moderate dominance) or centered between the eyes (with weak to no dominance).

I think the shaft tends to gravitate toward whichever of those positions applies to us individually.

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Agreed. Well put.
  
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06-04-2019, 02:31 AM

I agree with all that's been said since my last post.

The point I wanted to make initially was that aligning yourself is not something you should approach by a trial and error procedure.

If a player constantly applies unintentional left side to the cue ball, or has a tendency to bring the cue ball left of the target, the answer cannot be to move their head a little. The answer must come from investigation. Are these flaws already in the setup, or is the cue not delivered in a straight line. If you take the shortcut of just moving your head a little and see whether that corrects the issue, you may just compensate one flaw with another.

Aligning yourself is done by seeing whether your "line of sight" and the cue are on top of the line of the shot. That takes just as much practice, maybe even more. But that way you're letting your brain learn to recognize fine alignment details, which will be valuable in the long run.

If you take the shortcut, you will become obsessed that having your head in a certain way is the only way to go. If something goes wrong, you'll want to move your head a little to fix it. Time and time again.

I do not question that the brain compiles an image from both eyes, and each player's brain will weigh eyes differently to compute the individual line of sight. And to align your line of sight with the line of the shot is done by moving your head.

But there isn't a single way to hold your head for you to be on that line. Take a picture of yourself when aligned. Then, rotate your head as far to the left as you can while still seeing the shot with both eyes. Align yourself again and take another picture. Then do it with the head rotated to the right. You'll be "left eye dominant" when the head is rotated to the right, and vice-versa.
This example is of course extreme, but it shows that you cannot really make sure to be on the line except by seeing it. How do you make sure that you always hold the head exactly the same. Just checking where the cue touches your chin isn't enough.
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06-04-2019, 03:42 AM

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Originally Posted by deraltefritz View Post
...there isn't a single way to hold your head for you to be on that line.
There is for me. If my face isn’t square to the shot I can’t align my shaft, eyes and shot line.

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06-04-2019, 05:00 AM

I suppose those with dominant eye issues would also have trouble threading a needle. ?

This whole dominant eye topic is theoretical, and the issue could likely be related to proprioception and kinesthesia, the ability to accurately know where your body parts are and exactly how they are moving.

In other words, you look at the shot and then align your body accordingly. Regardless of dominant eye or no dominant eye, some players simple think they are aligned for the shot even though they aren't. It may feel like their grip hand/arm is positioned in a manner that has the cue stick lined up correctly in accordance with what they are seeing, but the lack of muscle memory or exact body placement makes this a faulty awareness.

I'm not saying there are no dominate-eye-related issues when looking down over the cue, but it seems like if that were the case it would also be an issue in other daily things, like writing, typing, walking through a narrow doorway, etc...


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06-04-2019, 06:06 AM

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Originally Posted by BC21 View Post
I suppose those with dominant eye issues would also have trouble threading a needle. ?
What's a dominant eye "issue"?

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This whole dominant eye topic is theoretical
Eye dominance is well researched.

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I'm not saying there are no dominate-eye-related issues when looking down over the cue, but it seems like if that were the case it would also be an issue in other daily things, like writing, typing, walking through a narrow doorway, etc...
Aiming a stick from above is nothing like writing, typing or walking through a narrow doorway. It's a lot like aiming a rifle or pointing a finger - guess which eye is used for that.

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06-04-2019, 07:06 AM

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What's a dominant eye "issue"?


Eye dominance is well researched.


Aiming a stick from above is nothing like writing, typing or walking through a narrow doorway. It's a lot like aiming a rifle or pointing a finger - guess which eye is used for that.

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Dominant eye issue: When your cue stick is misaligned for the shot due to a slightly off perspective view of the shot as seen from the dominant eye.

Well researched: Of course eye dominance is well researched, scientifically proven. But exactly how it affects lining up a shot or shooting a rifle is not so thoroughly understood. It's a simple change in perspective. I mean, I can shoot with my left eye, my right eye, or both eyes, and do a fine job, playing pool or shooting a gun. But this involves subconsciously knowing (proprioception via propreoceptors in muscles) and consciously knowing (kinethesia via receptors in muscles, joints, and skin) that I have my cue, or my sights, lined up appropriately even though I cannot see my grip hand or shooting arm. If I shoot a particular shot with one eye or the other closed, or with both open, my cue stick will always be dead on the correct alignment. The only thing that changes is my body position (stance) and my head position (in order to get the correct perspective for the alignment). No adjustments are needed with the cue itself.

So this makes me think that pool players with an overly dominate eye probably align to shots just fine, according to what they see, but are slightly off in stroke delivery or some fundamental element with their stance or shooting arm or wrist, not a vision center problem.

I'm not saying eye dominance has no influence on lining up a shot correctly. But I do believe many times it is incorrectly diagnosed as the problem, which causes more issues for the struggling player.


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06-04-2019, 01:18 PM

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Dominant eye issue: When your cue stick is misaligned for the shot due to a slightly off perspective view of the shot as seen from the dominant eye.

Well researched: Of course eye dominance is well researched, scientifically proven. But exactly how it affects lining up a shot or shooting a rifle is not so thoroughly understood. It's a simple change in perspective. I mean, I can shoot with my left eye, my right eye, or both eyes, and do a fine job, playing pool or shooting a gun. But this involves subconsciously knowing (proprioception via propreoceptors in muscles) and consciously knowing (kinethesia via receptors in muscles, joints, and skin) that I have my cue, or my sights, lined up appropriately even though I cannot see my grip hand or shooting arm. If I shoot a particular shot with one eye or the other closed, or with both open, my cue stick will always be dead on the correct alignment. The only thing that changes is my body position (stance) and my head position (in order to get the correct perspective for the alignment). No adjustments are needed with the cue itself.

So this makes me think that pool players with an overly dominate eye probably align to shots just fine, according to what they see, but are slightly off in stroke delivery or some fundamental element with their stance or shooting arm or wrist, not a vision center problem.

I'm not saying eye dominance has no influence on lining up a shot correctly. But I do believe many times it is incorrectly diagnosed as the problem, which causes more issues for the struggling player.
Earl Strickland is a good example of a player with a severely dominant eye. We all know that his stroke is pretty deadly straight, even with his cue way out under the outer edge of his right eye. I can tell you from experience that in his case, it is common to see the left side of the cue ball as the center. He somehow made adjustments in his perception, possibly not consciously.
  
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06-04-2019, 02:17 PM

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Earl Strickland is a good example of a player with a severely dominant eye. We all know that his stroke is pretty deadly straight, even with his cue way out under the outer edge of his right eye. I can tell you from experience that in his case, it is common to see the left side of the cue ball as the center. He somehow made adjustments in his perception, possibly not consciously.
Very interesting. I play with a guy that turns his head at an odd angle, like he's using only one eye. I suppose we each do what we have to do in order to make the cue stick/shaft look properly aligned for the shot. But it seems like once you get that particular perspective, get your vision center in the correct position, despite having or not having a dominant eye, what you see as center cb is probably correct. I have no dominate eye, so I can't speak from experience.

I just laid a cue on the table and propped it up with a piece of chalk under the ferrule and a notebook under the butt cap. I lined up to shoot the cb straight into the center of the far corner pocket, using only my finger tips to move the butt end of the cue to what looked correctly aligned through ccb and to center pocket. Then I marked on the notebook paper where the center line of the cue was. I did the same thing with my left eye closed, and again with my right closed. Each time I simply lined the cue up to what looked like a ccb to center pocket shot, and each shot was pretty much dead on the first mark I had made. I had to shift my head and stance each time in order to get a perspective that looked like ccb to center pocket, but each time the cue stick ended up in the same place on the same line, and from each perspective the cue tip looked dead on center cb.

Wouldn't this be a simulated worse case scenario, where there is 100% left or right eye dominance? Yet it made no difference on where the cue stick ended up. Weird stuff.


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