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Ohplayer
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Beginner question about aiming - 05-12-2006, 07:36 AM

OK, this is probably a dumb question, but a topic on beginners books confused me. Here's the question:
When shooting, do you look at the cue ball or object ball last? Also, do you try to hit the center of the "ghost ball" or just replace it?
  
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05-12-2006, 08:04 AM

You should be looking at the object ball when you pull the trigger but before you start doing this you want to make sure your stroke is perfect. Try putting a ring or something on the table just bigger than your tip. Practice stroking through it without hitting the ring than look up and try to keep stroking without hitting the ring. Maybe even close your eyes.

As far as the ghost ball just replace it but that also usually requires to aim in the middle of it.

P.S. On a long shot that requires alot of draw I am usually looking at the cueball when I hit it. I don't know if this is correct but...
  
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05-12-2006, 08:14 AM

People put too much emphasis on aiming and pocketing balls when they first start out.

#1 most important thing: be confident in your decision before you get down to stroke the ball
#2 most important thing: execute a good stroke and have a good follow through

The rest will come to you automatically as you improve over time. You will find yourself looking at the OB last and rarely at the CB (only to verify your cueing). If your stroke is good and straight with good timing, you won't need to focus on the CB. So you should be working on your stroke, not your aiming. Just pull the trigger when you feel like you're going to succeed. Try to be precise on the outcome of your shot, not the steps you take to generate that outcome. Your subconscious will fill those out.
  
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05-12-2006, 09:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoffen
You will find yourself looking at the OB last and rarely at the CB (only to verify your cueing). If your stroke is good and straight with good timing, you won't need to focus on the CB.
I disagree somewhat. I think it's important to look back and forth from the CB to OB quite a bit when preparing to shoot, and the reason is to make sure your alignment is correct. Here's something I catch myself doing when I'm lazy about alignment: I get into my stance looking at my point of aim (the OB), I take a practice stroke or two looking at the CB to get my tip placement right, and then I take a practice stroke or two looking at the OB to fine-tune my aim. All of this is good and it's my regular routine, but then I look back at the cue ball and discover that while looking at the OB, my tip drifted from center ball to right english. The culprit is that I placed my bridge hand too far to the right, and so stroking along the correct line means hitting the right side of the CB. I think a lot of people end up with poor tip placement because they look at the OB and don't realize they're stroking toward a different tip placement than they were when they were looking at the CB.

So Ohplayer, look back and forth frequently while aligning and taking your practice strokes. Only shoot when you're putting your tip in the right spot on the CB AND stroking along the correct line of aim. When you shoot, I find it easiest to look at the OB, but I've had quite a bit of success lately closing my eyes altogether, which goes to show you it's stroke and not eye contact that puts the ball in the hole

As for the "ghost ball" if you use it, visualize the ball, and visualize the cue ball rolling through the center of the ghost ball. If you've visualized it in the right spot, then this will cause the edge of the CB to hit the correct spot on the OB. Eventually though, you won't picture a ghost ball anymore. That's really just a tool to learn where to aim. Soon your experience will build up enough that you'll look at the shot and just know where to aim.

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05-12-2006, 09:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohplayer
... When shooting, do you look at the cue ball or object ball last?...
There is a special reason for beginners to look at the object ball last. You are trying to send the cue ball for a certain fullness of hit (to land where the ghost ball is, maybe). You have lined up to accomplish that. You shoot. You miss or make the shot. A critical piece of information is how full you hit the object ball. Without that info, you don't know whether your sighting or your alignment was faulty. Did you put the cue ball where you visualized the ghost ball? (or right fractional fullness, or right spot on the cloth, or however you aim.) If you got the cue ball to the spot intended, but the ball didn't go in, your alignment was fine but your aiming was off. It may also happen that the cue ball arrives at the "wrong" point but the object ball still goes in. Then your aiming and alignment were both off, and you got lucky.


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05-12-2006, 07:03 PM

If you are a beginner I think you should focus on the cue ball on the stroke to make sure that you are hitting the cue ball the way you intend to. I think in this way you will quickly develop a consistent stroke. Once you can trust your stroke you should start looking at the object ball during the follow through. This allow you to focus on stroking the cue rather than hitting the cue ball.

This is the same principal as in golf, swing the club don't focus on hitting the golf ball. Of course in golf you have to look at the ball because of the complexity of the swing.

Nevertheless take it as you will, this just the opinion of a pool hack.


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05-12-2006, 11:16 PM

for a start it's impt to look at the cue ball to notice ur cue-ing..
once u're used to it then switch to looking at the object ball upon aiming..
it actually helps u to not mind so much abt other things..u're just totally focused on the shot itself
  
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05-13-2006, 01:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohplayer
OK, this is probably a dumb question, but a topic on beginners books confused me. Here's the question:
When shooting, do you look at the cue ball or object ball last? Also, do you try to hit the center of the "ghost ball" or just replace it?
Only time i look at the cueball last is jumping, and shooting over a ball (jacked up). For my aiming i use Hals Small Ball aiming system, but when did use the ghost ball system i use to try and replace it i would set up cut shots and place a ball frozen to it dead straight to the pocket and place the cueball where i wanted it and examine the balls to see where the ghostball's edges would be on the objectball then aim the cueballs edges to the objectball but now most shots are just familiar to me.


  
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aiming - 05-13-2006, 10:33 AM

I believe every exceptional player I've ever met looks at the object ball last. During your practice strokes is more of a "whatever is comfortable to you" sort of thing. With aiming systems, some players use them, some don't. I think every player has used an aiming system at one point in their development - though, in my case, and some others i've talked to, those aiming systems were discarded and your feel becomes more dependable.
hope this helps.
  
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05-13-2006, 10:56 AM

You should look at the object ball last, and keep your head down.
And if you practice some drills, like shooting the CB from head to end aiming at the center diamond and see which way the cue ball goes. Try to make it go back to the cue tip, this way you will know if your stroke is good and your aim will follow. Keep on shooting balls, its the only way you get good.


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05-14-2006, 01:28 AM

If I were to coach a beginner who had a hard work ethic to become a high level player, I would advise against looking at the OB during the shot execution.

The reason is that looking at the OB tends to encourage the player to make adjustments during the final stroke phase....swiping the CB left or right to make the pot.

I think there are important benefits in being more disciplined in pre-shot alignment, and trusting that alignment when making that final stroke, rather than second guessing.

That said, almost all great players honed their skills with such second guessing looking at the OB last. But then again. almost all good golfers learned to play lifting their heads quickly after their hit, trying to see where the ball was going. Point being, just cause it's a common and natural tendency, doesn't mean it's necessarily the best way to go.

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05-14-2006, 10:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Colenso
If I were to coach a beginner who had a hard work ethic to become a high level player, I would advise against looking at the OB during the shot execution.

The reason is that looking at the OB tends to encourage the player to make adjustments during the final stroke phase....swiping the CB left or right to make the pot.

I think there are important benefits in being more disciplined in pre-shot alignment, and trusting that alignment when making that final stroke, rather than second guessing.

That said, almost all great players honed their skills with such second guessing looking at the OB last. But then again. almost all good golfers learned to play lifting their heads quickly after their hit, trying to see where the ball was going. Point being, just cause it's a common and natural tendency, doesn't mean it's necessarily the best way to go.

Colin
Good post, I completely agree. For my first year of playing I focused on CB during my follow through, and I think that helped me develop straight consistent stroke. I then moved over to looking at the OB last because I found it made me less jumpy.


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05-14-2006, 10:48 AM

Object ball last.
Before delivering the final stroke, pause.
Look at the tip on the cueball, if it's in the right spot, then look at the contact point at the object ball, and if it looks like you are going to hit from you are, pull the cue, then a slight pause then deliver.
The pause before the final stroke should last at least 2 seconds.
I'm not going to argue with Buddy Hall and Allison Fisher so I'll follow the Set Pause Finish rule.
If you can't hit the cueball where you aimed at after pausing on it and delivering smoothly, then your stroke is off.


  
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05-14-2006, 04:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyInCali
Object ball last.
Before delivering the final stroke, pause.
Look at the tip on the cueball, if it's in the right spot, then look at the contact point at the object ball, and if it looks like you are going to hit from you are, pull the cue, then a slight pause then deliver.
The pause before the final stroke should last at least 2 seconds.
I'm not going to argue with Buddy Hall and Allison Fisher so I'll follow the Set Pause Finish rule.
If you can't hit the cueball where you aimed at after pausing on it and delivering smoothly, then your stroke is off.
Great Post, and i agree with Colin also. I always loved Allison's stroke for her pause, and i quote Mitch "That Little Hesitition Then A Deadly Stroke". So i put the pause in my stroke and everything else fall into place from there so i kept it but alot of players the pause messes them up so whatever is comfortable for you. And after reading Colins Post i realized that when i started out i would concentrate more on the cueball and did keep my eyes on it when i executed shots then later on i started focusing on the objectball last, But now any time i look at the cueball last is when jumping, or shooting over a ball where they are completely touching and you can only hit the very top of the cueball. The reason is to make shure i hit where i need to causee those situation a little english you easy miss the shot.


  
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05-14-2006, 04:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyInCali
The pause before the final stroke should last at least 2 seconds.
Two seconds is WAY too long. Fisher pauses for maybe .75 seconds or so before her final stroke.
  
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