A reality check on aiming systems of all kinds

Low500

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
And in fact I do credit Hal Houle and Stan and everyone working on objective aiming for keeping me interested in playing. That's one reason I can't stand the really shitty comments denigrating them and their students.
I didn't go looking for any magic system, objective aiming was gifted to me and I was blown away. Looking at me for validation of aiming systems is silly. Look at players coming up who are learning them along with dedication to proper form.
None of us can say whether there will come a time when most great players are openly using aiming systems and turning in world class results. What i can say for sure is that I have witnessed an explosion of interest and development in this area in the past 20 years.
It's like with jump cues. Some people still call them gimmicks but in fact the players who master that tool are using them effectively to win more. I wasn't really a person who used jump cues that much and my jump cue consisted of a dowel that I installed a pin into for my shaft. It wasn't until I saw an opportunity to sell jump cues that I started to learn how to use them and be able to effectively demonstrate how they expanded the range of possible shots. Now there are thousands of people who are expert in their use and hundreds of thousands who are decent.
Aiming systems are tools just like chalk, leather tips and jump cues. A good tool is beneficial even when not used to the full potential.
I really liked Grady Matthews even though we had serious differences about spiritual matters.
I was at a tournament long ago where Grady was "running the book" and he sat down next to me and we, naturally, got into cutting up jackpots about the old days of Billy Johnson, The Squirrel , The Tennessee Tarzan, Danny Jones, etc. etc.
The conversation drifted into jump cues and Grady was adamant about they should be banned and all that.
I was of the opposite opinion...that they were just another tool to bring excitement to the game.
We went back and forth, back and forth, and old Mizerak came wandering over.....He said, "If I could get one of those things in position around this gut of mine, I'd use one in a New Jersey minute".
We all broke up with laughter at that.
Jumping the ball is here to stay. Players who think they can dodge those "jump shot safeties" coming at them will never finish in the money...trying to make it by kicking only. The percentages are against them.
Just my opinion, of course.
Regards, Lowenstein
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I can only say this about pros and aiming. When I started asking them about it many pros told me that they use some form of systematic aiming. Some of them preferred not to talk about it in too much detail as they felt it gives them some advantage. So it wouldn't surprise me if they had some method that they used which they felt was highly reliable instead of just winging it.
Can you tell me an aiming system that does?

What doesn't? An aiming system? No, they don't just like no system does. Center to Edge aiming is for getting to the shot line that would be right in perfect conditions. If conditions are imperfect enough to warrant an adjustment from that line then the shooter should hopefully have enough experience to know why and how to adjust accordingly.

A player should get familiar enough with the table to be able to adjust whatever might need adjusting as needed. CTE as an aiming method is perfectly fine to use for any pool table and any conditions. I would contend that if one of the variables is that the player is having an LSD trip that CTE could be especially helpful there since it has more than one line to use when aiming.

I think the pros want you to think they have a “system”. I would prefer to think they have hit thousands of balls and may subconsciously have a “system” along with visualization.
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
Imagine if I really wanted to practice and wasn't fighting physical issues? I often wonder what things might have been like in the years when I would spend 4-8 hours a day practicing and playing if I had learned about objective aiming then. I am sitting here writing this and am in pain from the hour video I made earlier today.

As it was I would estimate that in the 90s, based on fargo ratings now, I was likely around a 650+. Now I just feel helpless and out of control of my body most of the time. Eyes are going, back is gone, we don't need to talk about the obvious mental issues.....

It sucks when you clearly know what to do, have done it in your life many times and now you just get frustrated at the unforced errors.
See you are still in denial of the truth I posted in the OP of this thread. You believe if you had just learned objective aiming (CTE) in your formative years etc. If only you had learned proper fundamentals back then is what you should be saying.

You and me both.
 

Mirza

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Amazing. We have very little dedicated disciplined deep practice like this in America. I have seen Chinese girls doing the same type of drills for hours. Watch the three players. This video is an EXCELLENT guide to three different approaches to the shot and the resulting differences in results. The middle player stands back and looks at the shot in much the same way that well skilled aiming systems users do. NOT SAYING SHE IS USING ANY AIMING SYSTEM. Just saying that she was totally consistent in how she was looking at the shot and stepping into it. The other two were quite inconsistent in their approach and their results were reflective of that.

I just did an hour long video on this subject. After watching my video and this video I am fully clear that I am VERY inconsistent in how I approach shots. In other words it is my opinion that all inconsistencies, starting with how one is visually approaching the shot, work against stable results. Duh, right?

But here is the point. The player in the middle is clearly SUPER CONSISTENT in her approach. The other two PROBABLY feel that they are as well. But not seeing themselves in comparison they can't see the bird's eye view of just how consistent she is contrasted to them.

This video is probably the MOST important one in this thread.

That said, I will throw up on the forum my contribution so that people see my performance and perspective to analyze as they wish to.


For your stroke, if you want to improve fast, I'd recommend you do what I found to help me a lot, and that is to use a bit longer bridge than you did in this video, with a lot longer backstroke, like you're pulling your tip all the way to your bridge V or to your thumb (like Chris Melling, Niels Feijen, Jasmin and Albin Ouschan etc.) and a pronounced pause at the end of that long backstroke, this helped me in having a lot better timing, I stopped jerking my cue, poking the CB, getting up etc. SVB also has a long backstroke which on most shots makes the tip go all the way to the bridge V, he just doesn't have that much pronounced pause at the end of it, look at his practice videos on FB, this is the last one:
Also I'd recommend you to get lower on the CB with your head and body, adjust your stance if needed, your cue is angled up too much, you might be even masseing the CB like that, if you don't hit CCB, especially if you use carbon shafts that have much more energy transfer, so get lower to have your cue level as possible.

These three things are easy fixes that can help you a lot with your fundamentals and are not hard to implement with a bit of everyday practice.
 
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Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
For your stroke, if you want to improve fast, I'd recommend you do what I found to help me a lot, and that is to use a bit longer bridge than you did in this video, with a lot longer backstroke, like you're pulling your tip all the way to your bridge V or to your thumb (like Chris Melling, Niels Feijen, Jasmin and Albin Ouschan etc.) and a pronounced pause at the end of that long backstroke, this helped me in having a lot better timing, I stopped jerking my cue, poking the CB, getting up etc. SVB also has a long backstroke which on most shots makes the tip go all the way to the bridge V, he just doesn't have that much pronounced pause at the end of it, look at his practice videos on FB, this is the last one:
Also I'd recommend you to get lower on the CB with your head and body, adjust your stance if needed, your cue is angled up too much, you might be even masseing the CB like that, if you don't hit CCB, especially if you use carbon shafts that have much more energy transfer, so get lower to have your cue level as possible.

These three things are easy fixes that can help you a lot with your fundamentals and are not hard to implement with a bit of everyday practice.
Shane is a great player, but he kind of snaps his backstroke a bit here....He even does in on a couple of soft shots, and decellerates to make the shot the desired speed. It works for him because his stroke is so grooved and straight, and his decades of intensive practise. A lot of great players snap their backstrokes back fast on their maximum power shots to "load" up their arm, but for the other 99.9% they have a slow backswing.

The problem JB has is that he does it on every shot, and his stroke is kind of all over the place (relatively speaking to a pro). The outcome is a lot more random depending on where in the sideways arc he comes forward. Keep in mind that I'm not doing this analysis to put JB down or anything like that. We're not so far off from eachother in ratings as far as pool is concerned. We're both amateurs in this game, I certainly can't make a living doing it, that's for damned sure and I do have some "experience" in similar stroke issues, which had to be fixed when I became more serious about snooker and blackball. Having said that, lets continue with the analysis, and why maybe SVB is not the ideal candidate for JB to emulate, given his stroke issues.

JBs transition between back and forward is bad, and it seems to happen at random times too.

It's hard to explain why this is so bad when your stroke is not straight, but imagine seeing the player from above and watching his tip do a big C on the way to the ball (exaggerated ofc). The stroke always makes this C (though shape can be varied by length of backswing). He can still make the ball if the forward swing always starts from the same spot every time or, if not, at least the spot that he imagined before the shot. If he starts from a different spot than he envisioned the impact point will be different. The subconscious will then start with erroneous data and often won't be able to correct the stroke (which is needed when its not straight). You will then see the wild, flying elbow after the shot. He instinctively knows that the cueball strike was not at the proper point in the C-arc. This is nothing unique to JB. It's quite common and some players even manage to play at quite high levels this way, but they're very few and far between. I'd probably say that the majority of players of all cuesports have some sort of imperfection in their strokes.

If you have these timing problems, you should start with an exaggerated pause and a very slow backswing in practise. You can gradually lose the pause, as long as you nail the transition and the slow backswing. It can also be easier with a consistent length of backswing. It's going to be a struggle to beat such bad habits, so give yourself every advantage. A smooth forward transition will help EVERY part of your game. Potting, position, even nerves. If you can trust your stroke, the game becomes more relaxing and rewarding.

Obviously, the best course of action is then to continue to straighten the stroke. Other than very bad neurological issues, there are no excuses for a choppy and crooked stroke. If your back is messed up, stand up higher and build a smooth, straight stroke from there, it can be done. Building a straight stroke from an unorthodox stance is a challenge. I'd focus on the grip and the backswing. Straighten the backswing, and the forward swing will also be straight if you managed to fix the grip. It's easier to see and correct the backswing.
 
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JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
Until you experience the type of pain I have you won't understand the issues I have. As I said, a very very good coach fixed me a couple months ago and I have, through lack of time and effort, slipped back into pain filled approaches.

I will absolutely read every word you all wrote and endeavor to act upon them. But please understand that you are not talking to or about a person who is not aware of his issues.

You can tell me all day long about your opinions of what I should do but you will never ever know the agony of trying to enjoy the game and having pain shoot through your body on what should be fairly simple shots unless you have similar issues to what I have. Couple that with rapidly deteriorating eyesight and you would experience what I am experiencing.

These are not excuses not to pursue fixing what I can. They are valid reasons, among a few others, that contribute to a diminished capacity at present. Two years ago when I was putting in more time practicing at my shop I was much smoother.

In November when I was in Charlotte I was much smoother because a great coach took the time to help me get my balance right. At that time I was experiencing a lot of knee pain when playing. It is freaking exasperating to want to play and be plagued by pain issues.
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
I think the pros want you to think they have a “system”. I would prefer to think they have hit thousands of balls and may subconsciously have a “system” along with visualization.
No, the ones I spoke with who described what they do are clear about it. You can prefer to think what you want to. My position is from actual conversations with top players that I have been fortunate to be around and whom I know well enough to talk about this subject with.
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well that is exactly what has been talked about, a spot shot with fixed aimpoint (like center-to-edge for example) and a question of how many one could do in a row to check his fundamentals (mostly they talked about stroke, but I think there is more to it, as for example vision/parallax/looking acros lines/stance etc.), so that is why I posted this link since BC21 said he has done 49 in a row with fixed aimpoint (CTE).

Exactly. But even with excellent fundamentals and a consistent stroke, there is always that looming possibility of a mental hiccup occurring.

No one plays at peak performance 100% of the time. We basically have 3 systems that must work perfectly together in order for us to play our best pool, and none are "aiming" systems. I'm talking about the central nervous system, muscular system, and endocrine/emotional system. When we're playing at our best, these things are working together like well-oiled parts of smooth-running machine.

Any distraction can be like thowing a monkey wrench into the mix. It can mess with our emotions. It can take up residence in the working area of the brain, which interferes with our ability to focus or pay full attention to the task at hand. The distraction could be something you hear or see or feel, or something as simple as a thought, like... "I'm playing great today!" And if we bend down to shoot a shot without first dealing with that distraction (removing the monkey wrench), we are not going to perform at our best.

So as nice and wonderful and useful as various aiming systems/methods can be, they certainly aren't the magic that leads to peak performance. That type of magic is found in the mental, physical, and emotional parts of the game, a combination of solid knowledge and solid thinking, solid fundamentals, and solid control of emotions. Our performance every day relies on how well these things are working, both individually and as a whole.

That's my 2 cents.😊
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
Until you experience the type of pain I have you won't understand the issues I have. As I said, a very very good coach fixed me a couple months ago and I have, through lack of time and effort, slipped back into pain filled approaches.

I will absolutely read every word you all wrote and endeavor to act upon them. But please understand that you are not talking to or about a person who is not aware of his issues.

You can tell me all day long about your opinions of what I should do but you will never ever know the agony of trying to enjoy the game and having pain shoot through your body on what should be fairly simple shots unless you have similar issues to what I have. Couple that with rapidly deteriorating eyesight and you would experience what I am experiencing.

These are not excuses not to pursue fixing what I can. They are valid reasons, among a few others, that contribute to a diminished capacity at present. Two years ago when I was putting in more time practicing at my shop I was much smoother.

In November when I was in Charlotte I was much smoother because a great coach took the time to help me get my balance right. At that time I was experiencing a lot of knee pain when playing. It is freaking exasperating to want to play and be plagued by pain issues.
Sorry to hear about your health issues

I wish you good luck with your pool game and your health in the future. Your video was interesting to analyze and it was nice of you to put it out there.
 
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JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
See you are still in denial of the truth I posted in the OP of this thread. You believe if you had just learned objective aiming (CTE) in your formative years etc. If only you had learned proper fundamentals back then is what you should be saying.

You and me both.
First you cannot say that I didn't learn proper fundamentals. Did you see me playing in the 90s? No you didn't.

You have zero idea what I did in 1985, 1989, 1993....etc

Secondly, you cannot possibly know what effect it might have had if I had learned some good objective aiming method in the formative years.

The only guide you have on that is to look at the few works class that we know of players who have now learned objective aiming in their formative years.

You cannot say with any authority what sort of extra positive structural attributes might have emerged from an approach where the aiming and fundamentals were equally pursued with discipline. You can't say it because neither you, nor I, had that opportunity in our formative years when we had the time and the vigor and enthusiasm.

By the time I was introduced to objective aiming I was already waning as a player. I had serious business issues happening, I had family and relationship stuff going on, I had desire to play but seriously little true free time. As a result I played at playing and didn't seriously practice. I took lessons from decent instructors and occasionally top players but I never seriously dedicated myself due to the myriad of shit.

It became far easier and more comfortable to talk about pool rather than to stay on top of my game.

In the mid 80s and 90s all I wanted to do was be on a pool table playing, practicing, learning. Don't tell me what you think I did and didn't learn. I didn't take weight, I gave it. I outran the nuts more times than I can count.

In some ways I wish I had never met Hal. The enthusiasm that I conveyed to the RSB forum after my day with him was because of my love for the game and a player's recognition of having been introduced to something of real value. But it meant rethinking the visual approach to aiming. That and the other issues mentioned above kind of derailed me and getting effing attacked mercilessly over just sharing my impressions also didn't help.

Just stop. You're being cruel for no other reason than you personally don't like cte or Stan. We all agree that fundamentals are super important and that no system fixes deficiency in that area. But your approach is that aiming systems are not useful to the person who isn't picture perfect and that's simply not true at all.
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
First you cannot say that I didn't learn proper fundamentals. Did you see me playing in the 90s? No you didn't.

You have zero idea what I did in 1985, 1989, 1993....etc

Secondly, you cannot possibly know what effect it might have had if I had learned some good objective aiming method in the formative years.

The only guide you have on that is to look at the few works class that we know of players who have now learned objective aiming in their formative years.

You cannot say with any authority what sort of extra positive structural attributes might have emerged from an approach where the aiming and fundamentals were equally pursued with discipline. You can't say it because neither you, nor I, had that opportunity in our formative years when we had the time and the vigor and enthusiasm.

By the time I was introduced to objective aiming I was already waning as a player. I had serious business issues happening, I had family and relationship stuff going on, I had desire to play but seriously little true free time. As a result I played at playing and didn't seriously practice. I took lessons from decent instructors and occasionally top players but I never seriously dedicated myself due to the myriad of shit.

It became far easier and more comfortable to talk about pool rather than to stay on top of my game.

In the mid 80s and 90s all I wanted to do was be on a pool table playing, practicing, learning. Don't tell me what you think I did and didn't learn. I didn't take weight, I gave it. I outran the nuts more times than I can count.

In some ways I wish I had never met Hal. The enthusiasm that I conveyed to the RSB forum after my day with him was because of my love for the game and a player's recognition of having been introduced to something of real value. But it meant rethinking the visual approach to aiming. That and the other issues mentioned above kind of derailed me and getting effing attacked mercilessly over just sharing my impressions also didn't help.

Just stop. You're being cruel for no other reason than you personally don't like cte or Stan. We all agree that fundamentals are super important and that no system fixes deficiency in that area. But your approach is that aiming systems are not useful to the person who isn't picture perfect and that's simply not true at all.
It's not difficult to imagine what your basics looked like way back when John. Pool is a game of habits. Maybe due to lack of video availability back then you imagine your fundamentals were better but I can assure you that they were not.

Robin Dreyer showed me a shot using maximum inside english where if the cut is less than about 45 degrees you don't need to see the pocket or even know where it is. I could pocket balls through a curtain all day long with this but it's not a break through in my game. Fundamentals provided every one of those I've ever made.

I am not trying to be cruel but at some point a person has to face reality or be forever stuck.
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
I am not trying to be cruel but at some point a person has to face reality or be forever stuck.

So true. I remember giving this one kid a couple of guitar lessons years ago. He wanted me to show or teach him how to play Crazy Train, by Ozzy Osbourne. He failed to understand that he first needed to learn how to play the guitar before he could actually be able to play any particular song.

I see the same thing in pool all the time. I'll play a certain shot and someone will say, "Show me how you did that." And I'll show them exactly how to aim the shot and where to strike the cb, but if they have weak or faulty or inconsistent fundamentals the shot is not easy for them to pull off. I can show the same shot to a stronger player and they'll nail it every time, once they grasp the concept of what I'm showing them.

When a player develops bad habits, like raising up or twisting the wrist or steering the cue, or not following through or not stepping into the shot line, etc... they are setting themselves up to be stuck forever, stuck at whatever level of play they're fortunate enough to reach.
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
It's not difficult to imagine what your basics looked like way back when John. Pool is a game of habits. Maybe due to lack of video availability back then you imagine your fundamentals were better but I can assure you that they were not.

Robin Dreyer showed me a shot using maximum inside english where if the cut is less than about 45 degrees you don't need to see the pocket or even know where it is. I could pocket balls through a curtain all day long with this but it's not a break through in my game. Fundamentals provided every one of those I've ever made.

I am not trying to be cruel but at some point a person has to face reality or be forever stuck.
Ok. You can imagine whatever you want. I know who I am and what I have done in my life.

You are trying to be cruel. But that aside your premise is wrong. You wrap it in mock concern because you recently glommed into Niels magic pill comment and think he is right and that Stan is wrong.

I was playing in the Netherlands and better than Niels in the early 90s. I have a fifth place trophy from an all-around, 14.1, 9 ball and 8 ball event. My traveling buddy for that event, the German national 8 ball champion at the time, took second.

So don't presume to tell me about my own history. Now you're pissing me off. You don't have the slightest freaking clue what my life was like back in the day other than what I choose to share.

I am pretty sure that I have played more pool in more places for more money than most people at my level. I took fourth in a national level 14.1 tournament one month after deciding to start practicing straight pool.

I played in the oberliga in Germany which is two levels below the Bundesliga, which is the national league. I was paid to play pool by the teams that recruited me. In Germany you don't get to be in the top teams unless your can play at the expected level. And you have to defend your spot because players are constantly training and looking to replace you. We trained all the time and pushed each other.

I owned a pool room in Crailsheim and we regularly had clinics and training with top pros. So don't tell me about my history. All that you know about me is only what you see here and your assumptions about anything else are wrong.

You might think that in me you have found the perfect patsy to advance your vendetta against aiming systems but in fact you have found someone who has very likely had more high level pool experience than you have possibly dared to wish for.

You people just totally don't get it and you never will. Hal Houle, Stan Shuffett, Brian Crist, Ekkes Schneider-Lombardo, Ron Vitello, and many others who have created/refined/discovered alternative ways to aim are not interested in holding anyone back. They have taken one part of the game and invested their time and effort trying to help people improve that aspect of their game.

You and others like you revel in knocking that. It's terrible. As you can clearly see I have no issue with showing myself and my thoughts and my current form to further the discussion.

But you're completely on the wrong track if you think that you get to use me to claim that you have proven your incorrect assertions.

What my video actually shows is that even a F*****ing idiot with a terrible stroke can make a lot of shots when using a good aiming system. And this idiot would do even better when the form gets back to or better than previous levels.

That's the reality you need to accept.
 
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JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
So true. I remember giving this one kid a couple of guitar lessons years ago. He wanted me to show or teach him how to play Crazy Train, by Ozzy Osbourne. He failed to understand that he first needed to learn how to play the guitar before he could actually be able to play any particular song.

I see the same thing in pool all the time. I'll play a certain shot and someone will say, "Show me how you did that." And I'll show them exactly how to aim the shot and where to strike the cb, but if they have weak or faulty or inconsistent fundamentals the shot is not easy for them to pull off. I can show the same shot to a stronger player and they'll nail it every time, once they grasp the concept of what I'm showing them.

When a player develops bad habits, like raising up or twisting the wrist or steering the cue, or not following through or not stepping into the shot line, etc... they are setting themselves up to be stuck forever, stuck at whatever level of play they're fortunate enough to reach.
Not the same. All of you THINK that you know the "best" way to do whatever it is that you can do.

The fact is that there is no one way.

Bustamante came to Germany and freaking destroyed some of the best players giving up stupid weight. I sat there one night watching him give up five on the wire to 11 against a national league player and the group I was with was horrified at his form. They could not believe it was possible to run balls the way Busty was addressing the cueball and with the seemingly wonky stroke.

I do agree about higher level players being able to execute new shots faster and with more consistency. I was fortunate enough to be asked to help Kelly Fisher learn more about 9 ball. Every thing I showed her she could execute better than I ever could within a few minutes of learning it.

I am currently playing the worst pool of my life. It's not even close. You folks think you understand but you don't. I paid for that hour video yesterday with a pain-filled night. Maybe you were better back in the day than you are now but I absolutely was and I would not have hesitated to play either of you for as much as I could put up. Point being for me that I absolutely feel that I could have been even better and that had I learned a good objective aiming method even better still.

There is one more thing I haven't shared. I was once at a crossroads with pool and had to make a choice to pursue higher levels by going all in or choosing a career path. Because I was in Florida and saw many champion level players broke and busted I decided that I didn't want that life. I loved pool and gave every minute that I could but I didn't choose to give it my life. That's why I can sit here in my Benz and post without being on anyone else's clock. There are many like me whose games are not perfect because they didn't choose to make them perfect at the expense of everything else.

And, there are many like me who work but do more than me to keep their game as sharp as it can be. Making inferences from small slices of a person's life can easily lead you to wrong conclusions. I know myself and where I am at. If, as you say, I am above average then consider where I was at to fall to this level.
 

Low500

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Exactly. But even with excellent fundamentals and a consistent stroke, there is always that looming possibility of a mental hiccup occurring.

No one plays at peak performance 100% of the time. We basically have 3 systems that must work perfectly together in order for us to play our best pool, and none are "aiming" systems. I'm talking about the central nervous system, muscular system, and endocrine/emotional system. When we're playing at our best, these things are working together like well-oiled parts of smooth-running machine.

Any distraction can be like thowing a monkey wrench into the mix. It can mess with our emotions. It can take up residence in the working area of the brain, which interferes with our ability to focus or pay full attention to the task at hand. The distraction could be something you hear or see or feel, or something as simple as a thought, like... "I'm playing great today!" And if we bend down to shoot a shot without first dealing with that distraction (removing the monkey wrench), we are not going to perform at our best.

So as nice and wonderful and useful as various aiming systems/methods can be, they certainly aren't the magic that leads to peak performance. That type of magic is found in the mental, physical, and emotional parts of the game, a combination of solid knowledge and solid thinking, solid fundamentals, and solid control of emotions. Our performance every day relies on how well these things are working, both individually and as a whole.

That's my 2 cents.😊
Not the same. All of you THINK that you know the "best" way to do whatever it is that you can do.
The fact is that there is no one way.
Bustamante came to Germany and freaking destroyed some of the best players giving up stupid weight. I sat there one night watching him give up five on the wire to 11 against a national league player and the group I was with was horrified at his form. They could not believe it was possible to run balls the way Busty was addressing the cueball and with the seemingly wonky stroke.
I do agree about higher level players being able to execute new shots faster and with more consistency. I was fortunate enough to be asked to help Kelly Fisher learn more about 9 ball. Every thing I showed her she could execute better than I ever could within a few minutes of learning it.
I am currently playing the worst pool of my life. It's not even close. You folks think you understand but you don't. I paid for that hour video yesterday with a pain-filled night. Maybe you were better back in the day than you are now but I absolutely was and I would not have hesitated to play either of you for as much as I could put up. Point being for me that I absolutely feel that I could have been even better and that had I learned a good objective aiming method even better still.
There is one more thing I haven't shared. I was once at a crossroads with pool and had to make a choice to pursue higher levels by going all in or choosing a career path. Because I was in Florida and saw many champion level players broke and busted I decided that I didn't want that life. I loved pool and gave every minute that I could but I didn't choose to give it my life. That's why I can sit here in my Benz and post without being on anyone else's clock. There are many like me whose games are not perfect because they didn't choose to make them perfect at the expense of everything else.
And, there are many like me who work but do more than me to keep their game as sharp as it can be. Making inferences from small slices of a person's life can easily lead you to wrong conclusions. I know myself and where I am at. If, as you say, I am above average then consider where I was at to fall to this level.
That "crossroads" of which you speak can be a dangerous thing.
I remember seeing Danny Jones, my boyhood hero and a winner at a Johnston City event, sleeping in an old car outside York's Pool Room in Atlanta because he couldn't pay the rent.
I remember hearing about David Sizemore being shot in the head.
I remember Don Watson drinking himself to death.
You took the correct fork at the "crossroads", in my opinion.
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
Not the same. All of you THINK that you know the "best" way to do whatever it is that you can do.

The fact is that there is no one way.

Bustamante came to Germany and freaking destroyed some of the best players giving up stupid weight. I sat there one night watching him give up five on the wire to 11 against a national league player and the group I was with was horrified at his form. They could not believe it was possible to run balls the way Busty was addressing the cueball and with the seemingly wonky stroke.

I do agree about higher level players being able to execute new shots faster and with more consistency. I was fortunate enough to be asked to help Kelly Fisher learn more about 9 ball. Every thing I showed her she could execute better than I ever could within a few minutes of learning it.

I am currently playing the worst pool of my life. It's not even close. You folks think you understand but you don't. I paid for that hour video yesterday with a pain-filled night. Maybe you were better back in the day than you are now but I absolutely was and I would not have hesitated to play either of you for as much as I could put up. Point being for me that I absolutely feel that I could have been even better and that had I learned a good objective aiming method even better still.

There is one more thing I haven't shared. I was once at a crossroads with pool and had to make a choice to pursue higher levels by going all in or choosing a career path. Because I was in Florida and saw many champion level players broke and busted I decided that I didn't want that life. I loved pool and gave every minute that I could but I didn't choose to give it my life. That's why I can sit here in my Benz and post without being on anyone else's clock. There are many like me whose games are not perfect because they didn't choose to make them perfect at the expense of everything else.

And, there are many like me who work but do more than me to keep their game as sharp as it can be. Making inferences from small slices of a person's life can easily lead you to wrong conclusions. I know myself and where I am at. If, as you say, I am above average then consider where I was at to fall to this level.

My point was that no aiming system is going to fix inconsistent flaws in fundamentals, and it wasn't directed toward you. I was just agreeing with JC about how players get "stuck" and wonder why they can't improve. It doesn't matter what aiming method they use, if they struggle with faulty mechanics and an inconsistent stroke, no aiming system will magically fix that and get them unstuck.

It's like that kid with the guitar lesson... He wanted to know how to play certain songs, but he didn't want to spend any time learning fundamentals and developing the skills needed to really play those songs.

Sometimes pool players are like this guitar kid -- we want to be great players, but many of us simply don't do the things that we should do in order to get better. We think aiming systems and $500 shafts and the hottest tips will get us there, but the problem isn't in the tools we use. It's in way we use them.

And then there are the players that were once very good, but due to the often conflicting choices and responsibilities that comes with life, they quit playing as often, which sounds like you, JB. They might even start developing a few bad habits when they do happen to play, because they just aren't into anymore. I have friends like this. One guy was a top notch player 25 years ago and then just disappeared. I hadn't seen him in 20yrs, then a couple of years ago he started coming around and I didn't recognize him. The fat man had gone slim. And along with losing all that weight, he lost his game too.
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
Once again JB arrived in a thread guns a blazing and managed to make it all about him and his CTE crusade.

And then you wonder why people ride you like a rented mule.

And I think you're full of balogna too. Every pool room I've ever been in is full of old noisy mediocre players with tales of how good they used to be. I'm not one of them. I play as strong now than at any time prior. Which is what it is. Mostly because I took a conscious look in the mirror at what I was doing wrong for many years from the ground up when I was in my early fifties and took steps to try to fix some of it. All my physical skills are waning same as yours but not my game.
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
My point was that no aiming system is going to fix inconsistent flaws in fundamentals, and it wasn't directed toward you. I was just agreeing with JC about how players get "stuck" and wonder why they can't improve. It doesn't matter what aiming method they use, if they struggle with faulty mechanics and an inconsistent stroke, no aiming system will magically fix that and get them unstuck.

It's like that kid with the guitar lesson... He wanted to know how to play certain songs, but he didn't want to spend any time learning fundamentals and developing the skills needed to really play those songs.

Sometimes pool players are like this guitar kid -- we want to be great players, but many of us simply don't do the things that we should do in order to get better. We think aiming systems and $500 shafts and the hottest tips will get us there, but the problem isn't in the tools we use. It's in way we use them.

And then there are the players that were once very good, but due to the often conflicting choices and responsibilities that comes with life, they quit playing as often, which sounds like you, JB. They might even start developing a few bad habits when they do happen to play, because they just aren't into anymore. I have friends like this. One guy was a top notch player 25 years ago and then just disappeared. I hadn't seen him in 20yrs, then a couple of years ago he started coming around and I didn't recognize him. The fat man had gone slim. And along with losing all that weight, he lost his game too.
I understood you. But you were also agreeing with his premise which is that players with less than perfect form should not bother with aiming systems, which he derisively calls magic pills.

The guitar kid didn't want to be a great player. He wanted to play one song and thought he could learn enough to play that song without learning how to fundamentally play the guitar. People who WANT to become great players do what it takes to become great players. People who want some improvement in some aspects of their game will look for ways to improve those aspects.

Before I learned about objective aiming from Hal directly I would try to improve my aiming on a shot by shot basis. Literally the week before Hal sought me out I spent several hours on the table with my friend Chris McDaniel working on a specific shot that I had been having trouble with. In practice I got to the point where I could make it 70-80% of the time. Just brute force trial and error adjustments. But in game situations where I had an elevated tension, i.e. where missing hurt me then my success percentage dropped considerably. The variable there was not lack of practice. The variable was pressure.

Then, after learning that first system from Hal, that shot became way way way less stressful for me. My confidence with it in game situations improved tremendously. The reason my confidence went way up is because my success percentage in game situations went up. I no longer dreaded or avoided that shot and instead embraced it, played position for it even. And when my opponents started to see that that shot and similarly looking "hard" shots didn't produce anxiety and that I was making them more often it changed how they played me. When such shots were no longer somewhat of a safety because of the high chance of badly missing them they were forced to start playing actual safeties. I tried to explain this in near real time as it was unfolding and got nothing but ridicule from many of the same people giving out the ridicule today.

That whole dynamic, being told I was self-deluded, told that I was now a cult-member and a religious zealot, caused me to have more stress at a time when I just wanted to enjoy the benefits I was experiencing ON THE TABLE and share those experiences with others. And this same dynamic continues to this day on this forum. It doesn't happen this way on Facebook and Reddit and other discussion forums where the antagonists from 20 years ago are still doing the exact same thing that they were doing back then. JC's initial post has some merit to it but is built on the WRONG premise. You agreeing with that premise and agreeing with him that I am somehow deluded is exactly the type of sentiment that produces resentment and drama.

Have you ever seen me knock your poolology system? Ever seen me tell someone not to waste their time with it unless they have a perfect stroke? Would you ever require a customer to send you a video of them doing a specific test to determine whether their fundamentals are good enough to be allowed to purchase your book? I doubt that you would do that. And I think it is because you fundamentally understand that regardless of what a person's form is like having a way to calculate the right shot line is beneficial and that the better their form gets the more benefit they will get from your method.

JC could have made a post called the importance of form and made his point without denigrating a single person. Instead he deliberately chose to denigrate YOU and Stan and every aiming system teacher along with every aiming system student who does not possess the arbitrary level of form that he thinks is sufficient.

Let's go back to your example of showing someone a shot that their form is not ready to produce consistent results on. The fact is that by them experiencing it in real life they now know what's possible. And by having you explain to them that although you have shown them WHAT to do they need to improve their form to be able to to do it consistently you have opened a door for them. Whether they step through it is on them but that knowledge of the possible doesn't go away. They will either stay where they are and talk about the guy they met who could do this shot every time or they will become the guy that can do it every time. Either way your effort in taking the time to show an interested person the right way to do it was not wasted, nor was their interest misplaced.

Jose Parica gave me a lesson and he asked me to tell him what I wanted to learn. I said I wanted to learn how to feather a ball. He demonstrated it and I butchered it. Rinse and repeat. It wasn't until I was able to take the time to practice by myself and spend a good bit of time absorbing his advice that I finally got much better at that part of my game. I had tried to figure it out on my own and not been able to get consistent results. But his example and advice PLUS my dedicated practice was what I needed to figure it out.

I think you and JC have the wrong impression of what players think. I have never heard a single person say that a CF shaft, or a LD shaft, would turn them into a champion. I have heard them say that they noticed that they are performing better with better equipment. I once made a comment that I felt that I was three balls better after learning Hal's aiming system. Maybe three balls was just the exuberance talking but the feeling was genuine. And the improved results I was getting on the table were genuine. I am positive that when you discovered how to calculate the shot line you had a HOLY F moment where you thought you might never miss again. You clearly think that your method works accurately and is worth the asking price if not more.

I am certain that you don't see your system as a magic pill but JC does. JC thinks that I am a self-deluded hack who is chasing "magic pill" aiming systems which includes yours. So can I get my money back from you because I bought your book?

Kidding. Your information is part of my library and I don't see it as not worth the money or had any expectation that it would be a magic pill to improve my game substantially. When I tried it I found that it works but that I personally didn't find it as comfortable as other methods I know. However given that it works I am positive that some users are getting great benefit regardless of their stroke technique. Do you agree or disagree?
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
Once again JB arrived in a thread guns a blazing and managed to make it all about him and his CTE crusade.

And then you wonder why people ride you like a rented mule.

And I think you're full of balogna too. Every pool room I've ever been in is full of old noisy mediocre players with tales of how good they used to be. I'm not one of them. I play as strong now than at any time prior. Which is what it is. Mostly because I took a conscious look in the mirror at what I was doing wrong for many years from the ground up when I was in my early fifties and took steps to try to fix some of it. All my physical skills are waning same as yours but not my game.
Nah, you're just not wanting to see what you are actually doing. You don't know what I am going through physically and it doesn't matter. Whatever you have done to "fix" your game the fact is that you are no better than me and I am clearly in need of fixing. You are also full of crap because there is ZERO chance that you play as good as you ever did. That would presume that you started out as a 600 speed player.

I don't CARE if you believe me but I am a 600 speed player at this time when my form is clearly bad. So EITHER you think that I came UP to this level despite my bad form OR you think that I came down to this level because of my bad form.

That you THINK that I haven't paid attention to my game and form is just plain stupid. That you THINK that you are somehow smarter, better, more self-aware, more diligent or whatever is equally dumb BECAUSE when we are discussing what makes a player's skill level be whatever it is the fact is that if you and I played today it would be an even game no matter what you think of my form. So as Mike Page puts it a player's rating INCLUDES everything that they know and have experienced with some players being better at some aspects of the game and worse at other aspect. So MAYBE you are a great spot shot shooter compared to me but I am a way better banker. This is what you don't get.

By your denigrating "logic" I shouldn't be using any aiming system (magic pill as you derisively call them) and should ONLY be focusing on my form. If I did focus only on my form and given that we are the same speed, I think that I am a bit higher right, then I would DRILL you easily should I develop better form. Hard to understand why this is so hard for you to understand UNLESS your motivation is really only to knock aiming systems and in particular the ones you have decided to label as snake oil.

I respond to what you write. Not to make it "all about me" but to address the assertions you make. Look at my VERY FIRST POST in this thread. I was not in any way confrontational and said you have some merit to the post. THEN I saw the "magic pill" bullshit and I understood the TRUE PURPOSE of your post was to put down aiming systems and aiming systems users and teachers.

As for your comment about "beating me like a rented mule" on AZB. Nah, that's not what you are doing. You might THINK that is what you are doing but the fact is that your aim isn't good enough to actually do any damage to me. The cruelty and insincerity you display on this topic is a character defect on your end. If you want to see sincerity look at Straightpool 99s posts in this thread. He took the time to thoughtfully analyze my form and give me tips on ways to correct it. Because he understands the value of sincere discussion rather than disingenuous blanket denigration. Look at Mirza and several others who are posting truly thoughtful posts aimed at helping the readers.

As for stories of being "great". I never said I was great. I said I was better than than I am now. That is true no matter what you think. The more important thing is that you want to make some comparison between yourself and myself as if you have done something for your game that is far and above what I have done because you "looked in a mirror". As a player I am fairly sure you have not accomplished more than I have but more importantly you are currently not doing more for the game than I am doing. I am currently sponsoring a training center with three tables, equipment, a library of training materials, cameras and other stuff. So really this discussion is just a distraction from the larger picture of being part of creating ways for players to train in a structured way and log progress. It would be awesome if I felt like you were actually interested in that but at present all I see is you knocking.

My time as a player is probably nearing the end given the issues I deal with. However my time being part of growing this sport is really coming into tangible efforts that are measurable. That's far more important to me than your critique of my game. I honestly don't even really care what you happen to think about me and my game, my road stories, my experiences with professional players, all the pool rooms I have been to around the world, etc...you can imply that I am a liar or one of the railbirds telling war stories.....doesn't matter and doesn't make any of less true. The important thing is what are you doing for the game NOW. Knocking aiming systems and those who teach and use them isn't growing pool. Think about that.
 
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