Aiming systems
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Aiming systems - 11-26-2007, 12:53 PM

I mostly lurk on this forum and I read countless threads on the pros and cons of the various aiming systems. One of the things that strikes me as odd about these posts, as they discuss personal preferences, is that it seems as though most people only use one of the various systems. When I aim, it only takes a couple of seconds to double check my initial choice with two or more of the other aiming techniques (contact point, ghost ball, point on the rail, clock syestem etc.). I have my preferences like anyone else, but it seems silly to rely on only one technique when each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each breaks down somewhat under certain conditions. Am I alone in this? Does anyone else use multiple aiming systems on a single shot other than in critical situations?
  
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11-26-2007, 12:54 PM

I'm with you......SPF=randyg
  
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ghost ball - 11-26-2007, 01:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
When I aim, it only takes a couple of seconds to double check my initial choice with two or more of the other aiming techniques (contact point, ghost ball, point on the rail, clock syestem etc.). I have my preferences like anyone else, but it seems silly to rely on only one technique when each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each breaks down somewhat under certain conditions.

I use the ghost ball system only. I am not aware that it ever broke down under any conditions.

I am openminded, however, and am interested in knowing what its weaknesses are. Maybe I subconciously compensate with another system after all.
  
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11-26-2007, 01:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyg
I'm with you......SPF=randyg
What percentage of shots do you use SAM??.

TommyT
  
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11-26-2007, 01:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Man
I use the ghost ball system only. I am not aware that it ever broke down under any conditions.

I am openminded, however, and am interested in knowing what its weaknesses are. Maybe I subconciously compensate with another system after all.
The ghost ball system is exact only when it's adjusted for throw, which many people are likely doing subconsciously.
  
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11-26-2007, 01:46 PM

I often double check my aim using more than one system especially critical shots. It really helps my confidence and allows me to fully commit to the shot.
  
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11-26-2007, 02:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyT
What percentage of shots do you use SAM??.

TommyT

100% of the time. Remember S.A.M. is a combination of 3-4 different systems.....SPF=randyg
  
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11-26-2007, 03:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyg
100% of the time. Remember S.A.M. is a combination of 3-4 different systems.....SPF=randyg
I heard it described as more or less one system (like fractional ball). What other systems are involved?


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11-26-2007, 05:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Jewett
I heard it described as more or less one system (like fractional ball). What other systems are involved?

Hi Bob: Ghost Ball-Contact Point-Fractional-Math & Feel, not in any order...SPF=randyg
  
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11-26-2007, 05:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
I mostly lurk on this forum and I read countless threads on the pros and cons of the various aiming systems. One of the things that strikes me as odd about these posts, as they discuss personal preferences, is that it seems as though most people only use one of the various systems. When I aim, it only takes a couple of seconds to double check my initial choice with two or more of the other aiming techniques (contact point, ghost ball, point on the rail, clock syestem etc.). I have my preferences like anyone else, but it seems silly to rely on only one technique when each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each breaks down somewhat under certain conditions. Am I alone in this? Does anyone else use multiple aiming systems on a single shot other than in critical situations?
I think you are correct.
I believe that most everyone uses some sort of system. I do believe that there are savants out there that, from the 1st day, simply fire away, seeing everything perfectly. They are the exception, not the rule.
It is my belief that most people use something or some combination of things to assist in aiming. I also believe that as a player improves over time, the less reliant they are on a “system”. They use whatever system to get themselves into the proper position and then let their “feel” take over. That feel has been acquired through years of shooting that particular shot from that particular position.
I think it comes down to semantics, whether or not they are using a system. Shooting at a specific contact constitutes a system. Any mental gymnastics used by the shooter to complete a shot could be classified as some sort of system if they took the time to effectively communicate their thought process leading up to the actual stroke.


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11-26-2007, 05:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Man
I use the ghost ball system only. I am not aware that it ever broke down under any conditions.

I am openminded, however, and am interested in knowing what its weaknesses are. Maybe I subconciously compensate with another system after all.
When I get time, I will post a "system" that IMHO both refines and most importantly simplifies any other system that works.

But, in the meantime...just do this for fun. WHATEVER your aiming system...once you've got it locked in imagine that the cue tip is a laser gun that will point to the EXACT SPOT on the CB that the tip is pointed at.

I can (almost) assure you that your "laser gun" will point to one of the following places on the CB: (and for sake of example, I will refer only to shots at one of the corner pockets)

1. Dead center for straight in (obviously)
2. 1/2 tip off center (on the appropriate side) for a SLIGHT cut.
3. 1 tip off center (on the obvious side) if a line drawn between the centers of the CB and OB falls 1 diamond or less from the pocket.
4. Left edge of tip points at left edge of CB if the line of centers points at the 1st diamond from the pocket.
5. The tip points half on the CB and half off the CB if the line of centers mentioned above falls between the 1st and 2nd diamond on the foot rail. (in other words...the PIN POINT laser from the center of the tip would point exactly at the edge of the CB)
6. Right edge of tip points at left edge of CB (for a cut to the right and vice versa for a cut to the left) if the line of centers points to the middle diamond on the foot rail.

The above assumes a center ball hit and must, like any other system, be adjusted for cueing variables.

Finally, there are exceptions that I won't go into until I post the entire system...one of which is that this system guides the OB to the center of the ACTUAL pocket...not necessarily the AVAILABLE pocket...i.e. the available pocket MOVES due to the intrusion of one of the points as you move left or right of a line perpendicular to the line between the points. So, in cases where the CB is fairly near a side rail , for example you CANNOT shoot the OB to the center of the actual pocket so the system must be adjusted...but by an EXACT amount...so the "system" remains in tact.

Again, there are other exceptions but each exception has an EXACT aim compensation so the entire system works OTHER THAN DUE TO THE APPLICATION OF CUEING VARIABLES as noted above.

But it is a GREAT baseline system and/or one that can be used to verify whatever other method you use.

Bottom line using the cue tip as an aiming device is like converting your cue stick into a rifle...with all the aiming precision that implies vs. using fractions of the CB or the ghost ball system that requires a "visually intuitive sense" rather than a "point the rifle" sense.

And trust me...I'm not trying to "convert" anyone. I am just suggesting that WHATEVER system you use will necessarily result in the cue tip pointing SOMEWHERE on the OB...so why not KNOW where that point is...because, absent cuing variables, A) that point will be exactly the same for every cut angle and B) I think it is self-evident that the aiming of any projectile except electronically, is best accomplished with the "rifle" method...and if that were not true, rifles would have some other form of aiming system...but they do not.

More later.

Regards,
Jim
  
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11-26-2007, 05:55 PM

av84fun:
Thanks for a short description of "your" system, I'm interested to hear more about it - especially the part about using the line of centers of the OB and CB to determine the cut angle. I'm not sure its valid to measure how many diamonds away from the pocket the line of centers is - but perhaps I am misunderstanding. I think that the distance between the CB and OB, as well as the distance from the OB to the pocket both effect this calculation dramatically.

In response to the original question: I find myself using a variety of aiming "systems" but not usually on the same shot. In other words, when I go down for a shot, I already know how I want to aim the shot. The main think I look for mentally, is a complete confidence that the aim is correct before I pull the trigger. I've found the most reliable way to miss a ball is to take the shot even though it "feels" off...
Jon
  
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11-26-2007, 05:58 PM

Thank you for the reference to older posts in the archive. I can see that this topic has already been discussed ad nauseam. I was simply unaware of the existing acronym.
  
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11-26-2007, 06:25 PM

I typically use two or three methods to aim with the most common being the ghost ball (using a forward and rear ghost ball), one of Hal's systems and feel of the angle. I miss a lot still.


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11-27-2007, 12:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrums
av84fun:
Thanks for a short description of "your" system, I'm interested to hear more about it - especially the part about using the line of centers of the OB and CB to determine the cut angle. I'm not sure its valid to measure how many diamonds away from the pocket the line of centers is - but perhaps I am misunderstanding. I think that the distance between the CB and OB, as well as the distance from the OB to the pocket both effect this calculation dramatically.

In response to the original question: I find myself using a variety of aiming "systems" but not usually on the same shot. In other words, when I go down for a shot, I already know how I want to aim the shot. The main think I look for mentally, is a complete confidence that the aim is correct before I pull the trigger. I've found the most reliable way to miss a ball is to take the shot even though it "feels" off...
Jon
"I'm not sure its valid to measure how many diamonds away from the pocket the line of centers is - but perhaps I am misunderstanding."

I will try to make it more clear when I post the entire system but just briefly,

A) everything having to do with pool is based on geometry. (although, as noted, the geometry can get screwed up due to cueing issues)>
B) When a shot is aimed correctly (assuming center ball)...regardless of the system used to achieve that correct aim.... then the cue tip IS POINTING TO ONE AND ONLY ONE SPOT ON THE OB. (within the tolerance of the width of the available pocket of course.)

C) It is simply geometry and no magic potion, that REQUIRES that the OB will go if the cue tip is pointed where I suggest AND the line of centers points to where I suggest.

But let me point out that ANY system that works MUST work due to the geometry involved and there are several "systems" often discussed such as ghost ball and ball fractions, for example that work (absent cueing issues) because they MUST work due to the operation of the geometry involved.

All I am saying is that FOR ME pointing the cue tip at the exactly correct spot on the CB is the most obvious and precise way to KNOW FOR A FACT that my aim is correct.

But as noted, there are some exceptions that must be recognized and when cueing issues come in to play as they do on a large number of shots, ANY system becomes a "baseline" from which certain adjustments must be made which IMHO can only be learned by rote practice or intuition or feel...whatever one might chose to call it.

As I said, whatever system one uses, I can guarantee that the tip is pointing to an exact spot on the OB and I suggest that knowing what that spot is provides an EXCEPTIONAL way to verify one's aim regardless of the primary aiming system.

FINALLY, not long ago, I demonstrated this system for the first time to another human being who happens to be a national champion 9 Ball player.

I showed her each of the diamond-related aiming zones and then picked the most difficult of them all....I placed the OB in the exact center of the table and the CB in the center of the table 1 diamond off the head rail and asked her to choose which corner pocket she wanted me to make the ball in.

She said "right" and I got over the shot...aimed as recommended and shot the OB into the EXACT CENTER of the right corner pocket...WITHOUT EVER LOOKING AT THE POCKET.

When the shot went down she simply said..."Awesome."

REALLY FINALLY...(-: this system cannot make a world champion out of anyone and certainly not me at age 63 because mechanical errors (of which I commit a LOT) will screw up even a perfect aiming system and because when english, throw, squirt etc. are introduced ANY system is reduced to no more than a baseline and it is only the champions who can adjust successfully often enough to be champions.

I merely suggest that if you START from an absolute known quantity, then the process of adjustment becomes easier to achieve more consistently.

Thanks for your interest.

Regards,

Jim
  
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