Do you aim the cueball or the cuestick?

What do you aim?

  • I aim the cueball

    Votes: 39 50.6%
  • I aim the cuestick

    Votes: 24 31.2%
  • I'm a pinball wizard

    Votes: 14 18.2%

  • Total voters
    77

JimS

Grandpa & his grand boys.
Silver Member
I aim to put the cueball into a position where it will knock the object into the spot where I've determined I want it to go or where the cueball will go to a spot I want it to be.

I put the cue tip on one spot or another on the cue ball, depending on the spin I desire.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
unknownpro said:
Do you aim the cueball or the cuestick?
In some sense you don't aim with either one -- you aim with your bridge hand. Some players never catch on to this. You can tell who they are by how their bridge hands move during the shot.
 

halhoule

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool

JimS said:
I aim to put the cueball into a position where it will knock the object into the spot where I've determined I want it to go or where the cueball will go to a spot I want it to be.

I put the cue tip on one spot or another on the cue ball, depending on the spin I desire.[/QUOTE WE DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING THAT YOU DO
SUCH AS PUT A CUE TIP ON ONE SPOT OR ANOTHER ON A CUEBALL.
WE ALSO DO NOT NEED TO PUT ANY SPIN ON THE BALL IN ORDER TO PUT OUR BALL IN ANY POSITION WE DESIRE. WE ALSO DO NOT HAVE TO SEE THE CUE BALL STRIKE THE OBJECT BALL, EVER.

NEXT
 

Andrew Manning

Aspiring know-it-all
Silver Member
unknownpro said:
You are quite right of course, what I said is not true. I should have said it is impossible if you are using side english. It doesn't have to be straight in, but you can't use side english and aim the cueball and the cuestick on one line.

I feel I must be missing something here, but...

The CB is round. It doesn't aim anywhere. The cue stick is pointy. It aims in whatever direction it's pointing.

So I don't understand what "aim the CB" could mean, being that a sphere has no "aim", as I understand the meaning of the word.

If you're asking how I conceptualize the aiming of a shot, I don't consciously point the cue stick at anything. I focus on the object ball while getting my body in position behind the shot, and get down on the ball for a center ball hit. Then I move my tip to the desired english, and "adjust" (rotate my hips/shoulders and slide my bridge hand minutely), while focusing on the point of aim on the OB, until it feels like I'm going to make the shot. Then I take practice strokes and shoot.

So what I'm thinking about and focusing on the whole time, in terms of aim, is where the CB is going to contact the OB. If that's what "aim the CB" means, then that's what I do. I don't consciously align the stick itself, although obviously the stick has to end up pointing in exactly the right direction for the shot to work.

-Andrew
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
WE DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING THAT YOU DO SUCH AS PUT A CUE TIP ON ONE SPOT OR ANOTHER ON A CUEBALL. WE ALSO DO NOT NEED TO PUT ANY SPIN ON THE BALL IN ORDER TO PUT OUR BALL IN ANY POSITION WE DESIRE. WE ALSO DO NOT HAVE TO SEE THE CUE BALL STRIKE THE OBJECT BALL, EVER.

Hal "We are Borg" Houle

How nice for you, but the rest of us have to play pool on Earth.

pj
chgo
 

CueAndMe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think the original question is a good one. I think you have to aim the cueball before the stick comes into play.

The CB is spherical, but I don't think shape has anything to do with sending an object along a path, which is what you're initially concerned with. You are basically sending an object, in this case a spherical white one, directly away from where you stand. If the place you stand sends that object in a direction that causes a collision with another object, in this case a spherical colored one, and results in that other object going somewhere other than you'd like it to go, then you stand a little to the right or left and reevaluate.

Once you're happy with the path of the cueball, the stick comes into play, being the only device that's allowed to send it on that path.
 

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
I didn't think anyone else would say it, but Bob Jewett did above.

Basically I consider by bridge as my aiming crux.

The cue is a sighting guide. The center of the CB one of my references, the line to pocket of the OB another. The OB or a specific point on it is the other major reference.

As for english, I use the exact same aim, I just alter the pivot point and make slight throw aim adjustments e.g. left edge of pocket as necessary.

Colin
 

BRKNRUN

Showin some A$$
Silver Member
Nobody aims the OB???

I aim the OB to the pocket
I aim the CB to the OB VA Aim Line
I place the cue on an aim line that runs through the CB
I aim the front of my grip hand toward the VA Aim Line on the OB on the actual stroke.
 

unknownpro

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
SpiderWebComm said:
Not quite sure how you play, but there's no way you play at a top level doing that. You may have a good day, and then follow it up with a terrible day. You're guessing where the ghost ball is.... especially at a distance. You must aim at something TANGIBLE in order to constantly increase your ball pocketing and speed.

To disregard the object ball is to disregard the entire shot.

P.S. I'm not trying to be smart-sounding, I promise. You have to aim at the object ball every single time, on every single shot.... unless you wanna spend 25 years of trial and error to figure it out.

Why would you aim at something you are not shooting at? You cannot roll the cueball straight at an object ball contact point and make it unless it is straight in. By staring at that point (unless straight in), you cannot be totally aware of where the cueball is going or where your tip goes. It is impossible to even see if you hit the contact point on the object ball with the cueball if you are trying to look at it.

So to aim the cueball, you must aim where it is going and ignore the object ball contact point unless the shot is straight in.

Likewise to aim your stick you must ignore the cueball path unless you are hitting with no sidespin.

By not being aware of where your tip goes you cannot know how to swing it in the same direction again to repeat the same shot at the same speed consistently.
 

CueAndMe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
unknownpro said:
Why would you aim at something you are not shooting at? You cannot roll the cueball straight at an object ball contact point and make it unless it is straight in. By staring at that point (unless straight in), you cannot be totally aware of where the cueball is going or where your tip goes. It is impossible to even see if you hit the contact point on the object ball with the cueball if you are trying to look at it.

So to aim the cueball, you must aim where it is going and ignore the object ball contact point unless the shot is straight in.
.

I think Dave's talking about looking at the edge of the object ball. He pockets balls well with his technique which includes a pivot. I think it's a very common thing to have your eyes somewhere other than the center of the ghostball whether using a pivot technique or simply focusing on the contact point and trusting that you'll stroke away from it. There are also many people who seem to focus on the edge of the cueball striking a spot on the object ball (double overlap.)

I know it sounds as though the best way would be to line up the cue with the center of the ghost ball, but that may only be practical if:
1-you can visualize the ghost ball well, or
2-there's a spot on the cloth or a shadow that would correspond.

There's also the difficulty of lining up a single line with 2 eyes.

I happen to be using a swipe right now that's working well for me. I line up the center CB thick on the OB and swipe away from it slightly to the outside to pocket the shot. Many pros swipe. I don't know if I'll keep this method, but I'm open to anything. I don't think we should die by theory. There's a human element to account for.
 

CueAndMe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jimmy M. said:
I don't aim.

Seriously? No contact points, no ghost ball, just feel and shoot?

I've seen you play, and if you don't aim there's definitely something to be said for not aiming.
 

Jimmy M.

Insomniac
Silver Member
bluepepper said:
Seriously? No contact points, no ghost ball, just feel and shoot?

I've seen you play, and if you don't aim there's definitely something to be said for not aiming.

I was being sarcastic. :)

Honestly, I don't really think about it much unless I'm struggling. My system, if I have one, is really just to properly align my body to the shot (that is, the line that runs from the contact point of the object ball through the back of the cue ball). The fact that BHE even works should be some sort of testament to how important it is to be lined up correctly. After all, if you can pivot in any direction to apply English, and still make the ball (provided that you're lined up right to start with), being lined up correctly would seem to be the most important ingredient in shot making.

I do, from time to time, use different things just as a check point. For example, at times, I may use the system where you aim the equal (but opposite) part of the cue ball at the part of the object ball that you have to hit. I forget what everyone is calling that system, but I heard of it referred to as "equal parts" once years ago. But, again, I just use it as a reference point and I'm not really thinking about it when I'm in a competitive situation. While some might argue (and have) that "instinct" or "feel" doesn't exist in aiming, I tend to aim with what I perceive to be one of the two.

Some far better players than me have even more trouble putting their "aiming systems" into words, so I definitely believe there's something to not falling into the "paralysis by analysis" trap.
 

SpiderWebComm

HelpImBeingOppressed
Silver Member
unknownpro said:
Why would you aim at something you are not shooting at? You cannot roll the cueball straight at an object ball contact point and make it unless it is straight in. By staring at that point (unless straight in), you cannot be totally aware of where the cueball is going or where your tip goes. It is impossible to even see if you hit the contact point on the object ball with the cueball if you are trying to look at it.

So to aim the cueball, you must aim where it is going and ignore the object ball contact point unless the shot is straight in.

Likewise to aim your stick you must ignore the cueball path unless you are hitting with no sidespin.

By not being aware of where your tip goes you cannot know how to swing it in the same direction again to repeat the same shot at the same speed consistently.

Nobody said anything about aiming at the contact point..hmmmm...and yet, you can still pocket any shot by aiming at the OB.
 

CueAndMe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jimmy M. said:
My system, if I have one, is really just to properly align my body to the shot (that is, the line that runs from the contact point of the object ball through the back of the cue ball).

Just to clarify:
By back of the cue ball do you mean that which is facing you? And where on it are you imagining?
The way you describe it, it sounds like you're aiming the center of the cue ball directly at the contact point of the object ball, which would be too thick on anything but straight in. Am I misinterpreting?
 

JoeW

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Aim:
1. To direct a course: to point a weapon
2. To direct to or toward a specified object

This is an interesting discussion. If you cannot state what you mean and what you are doing then you can not have a thorough comprehension of how to control the process. Apparently many people in this discussion do not know what they are doing when they pocket an object ball and obtain a specific positional result. Understanding the process and the variables involved leads to the ability to generalize from one situation to another and to use the primary variables to perform tasks that have not been performed before. This includes the infinite number of shots and positional results that are possible when playing pool.

Using Webster's definition, it seems to me that when making a pool "shot," one must aim several things and in this sense the word "aim" is misleading and probably inappropriate for playing pool because one is not trying to accomplish one objective as is implied in the definition of the word. The word is too simple for what actually occurs.

The OB must be aimed at the pocket.
The CB must be aimed at a specific point on the OB
The cue stick must be aimed at a specific place on the CB to obtain a positional result.

In fact a pool shot requires aiming at several things in a sequential manner.

To accomplish this and obtain the necessary CB position, the CB can be struck in different places to achieve the desired result. Thus, one must consider the effects of hitting off center to send a CB down a particular straight or curved line of travel.

The player is aiming several things sequentially. Apparently some people think that they simply look at a shot and know what to do. However the human brain is not a parallel processing machine when it comes to such things as aiming. There is a sequence of operations that result in an aim. If the player understand this sequence the player can intervene at the appropriate place to achieve a particular objective.

The player has to know the OB line of travel before they can decide where to hit the OB. Therefore the initial or starting point in aiming is with the OB line of travel.

When the OB contact point has been determined the player must determine the initial line of travel to strike the contact point. This line is then modified to obtain the desired position after the shot. The player must then aim at a specific point with specific power to accomplish this objective. Power and stroke type determination is a part of the aiming process if one aims for a desired CB resulting position.

To obtain the intended result the player must aim the cue stick down a particular line of travel so the CB will be moved along this line with a particular amount of spin. In this sense the cue stick is aimed.

With training the OB line of travel, contact point, and CB line of travel can be rapidly, and sequentially, determined. The most difficult part of the aiming process is the determination of the cue stick contact point and the needed stroke type and power.

I suspect that this is where players state that they develop a "feel" for the game. In reality the brain learns how to combine these variables to obtain a result. This type of learning is non-verbal. None-the-less it is a specific, sequential process that may go through several iterations to search for a result. I suspect that for some shots the primary concern is with power, on other shots the primary concern is with spin. None-the-less the combination of these variables is part of the aim result.

Aiming at a pool table is a complex process. I suspect that different people use different sequences when it comes to stroke determination. The same person may use different sequences for different shots. While one cannot know, without a more thorough study, it may well be that highly accomplished players have a process for determining what sequence they use for overall consistency.

I suspect that talking one's self through the aiming process might be quite revealing for many people who think they shoot by feel. But then pool appeals to many of us because it relies on non-verbal assessment.
 
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CueAndMe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
JoeW said:
The CB must be aimed at a specific point on the OB

Good post Joe. The above statement is the only thing I find issue with. I think it should be:
The CB must be aimed in a direction that allows for a collision that sends the OB along the OB aim line.
 
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