Experiments in looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke.

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
In the thread Shot / stroke problem a poster put forth the proposition that looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke was "fundamentally wrong". I had already provided evidence that Willie Hoppe considered looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke as fundamentally basic. I had read Willie Hoppies book Billiards As It Should Be Played well over 20 years ago. At the time I was content with my aiming process and just chalked up the cue ball last as a 3 cushion thing. Kind of the way I considered his more upright stance an "Old School" thing compared to the chin on the cue of the top snooker players and shot makers. Anyway the discussion led me to experiment with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke.

I started experimenting with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke around 01-04-2013, and am pleasantly surprised with the result.

The first thing I noticed was expected. I was able to much more precisely place the cue ball.

The next noticable improvement was shooting off of the rail. My make percentage improved looking at the cueball.

The break shot was next, I was hitting the rack more squarely and more consistenly controling whitey.

Then I starting improving my make percentage on the long backward angle shots that I have always struggled with.

Now practicing with a new technique and competing are two different things. The first time I put it to the test in competition, it was a leap of faith. My percentage was so low on this shot that I figured what the heck what to lose, might as well try it looking at the cue ball. Length of the table and straight in married to the rail, make it and I get the same shot on the eight ball. It worked perfectly!

Now I am two weeks into this experiment and feeling really comfortable with looking at the cueball. So I go to an old cut shot drill that I know what my percentages of make miss looking at the object ball are and am able to make a higher percentage looking at the cueball last.

So after a couple of weeks my cueball control has improved, my shot making has improved and my confidence has improved with no downside. Could some of this improvement be due to the "New" effect? Certainly, but regardless of why I am thrilled with the improvement in my game.:thumbup:

Looking at the cueball when delivering the stroke has also given me new insight into the TOI and what CJ meant when he spoke of "pining"(sp) the cueball.:cool:
Further discussion on this topic can be found in this thread in the Ask The Instructor forum as well.
Why Object Ball Last?

Update-9/7/2015:
This thread has grown to 305 posts. There is a lot of background noise. I am going to consolidate some of the replies and linked information, that I find relevant.

From post #19; TAR interview with Johnny Archer.
From post #26; DrCue'sProtege Quotes from the linked interview.
At about the 45:38 mark Archer says...."Really, the #1 thing you have to concentrate on is the CB cause thats all you will ever hit"

He goes on to say a few seconds later..."Amateurs dont get any better because they dont focus on the CB"

Common sense - CB or OB - its personal preference.

DCP

From post #61 by Taco; "Rodney Morris also looks at CB last. He explicitly says so on the Break & Run DVD set. It gives him better CB control. He says Efren and Parica do the same. But what do they know compared to a keyboard banger?"

In post #361 marikian provides a link to a youtube video titled, "Advanced Fundamentals R Morris".(Edit: Video has been taken down.)
Cue ball last portion.(Video no longer exists.)
The statement that Efren looks at the cue ball last is proven false in this TAR interview. Justin asked Efren on my behalf and his reply indicated he does not. His body language indicate he would find it ........well he puts his finger to his head and makes a scratching motion.

In post #65 CJ Wiley says; "You have discovered for yourself "the cue ball is the target".....we're aware of the object ball on the last stroke, however the real "aiming" is done at the cue ball. The cue ball is where you get your direct feel and is your direct connection to the game. Connection is one of the keys to Consistency in pocket billiards. "

More CJ from post #69; "Just remember, we "aim" at the cue ball because it's the primary target (we actually contact it), and we "connect" to the object ball (because it's the secondary target, we hit it indirectly). This should answer some questions about what's really happening."

When asked by Okie in post #72, what he looked at last. CJ replies in post #76, "I aim at the cue ball last, and shift to the connection {with my eyes} of the object ball {last} as I hit the cue ball. Read this carefully and you'll "real eyes" why there's some confusion, everybody is correct, in a manner of speaking."

Upon further inquiry by Okie;

Do you shift focus before, during or after the last backstroke?

Thank you for sharing!

Ken

CJ responds in post#80;
Basically simultaneously...you go from primary focus cue ball to primary focus object ball.....and this MUST be done subconsciously. DO NOT try to think about this, just connect to the shot and allow it to happen. Any other way can be dangerous and I know a few pros that got really messed up trying to tinker with this.

In post #95, I try to give 3andstop an estimate of my level of play.

Poolmanis posts in #238; "Ronnie(O'Sullivan) said on some shots he watch cueball last even "they say it´s wrong"
It was some episode on his show at Eurosport."
From post #256; I found the episode;Episode 2 at 6:20
Question; "When you're, um, when you're down on this shot.... Are you, is the last the last ball you look at the cue ball? Or the object ball?"
Ronnie; "Uh I don't even know, to be honest with you."
Question; "No?"
Ronnie; "No, I don't even know. I suppose, it's meant to be the object ball, but I sometimes I find myself looking at the white."

From post #286; I link several shots of John Higgins eyes as he shoots.
John Higgins appears to look at the cue ball last:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ9Jf8OYqBo&t=5991
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ9Jf8OYqBo&t=5433
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ9Jf8OYqBo&t=1291
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ9Jf8OYqBo&t=918

From post 287; I link Earl Strickland break shot showing eyes.
There has been anecdotal information that Earl looks at the cue ball last. Well I finally found a clip that shows his eyes while shooting. It is a break shot however and not necessarily how he shoots all shots. It does appear that his eyes are on the cue ball.
https://youtu.be/w1KGY3Xt6pw?t=9220

From post #288; I link to Paul Potier site.

I see Paul Potier added this on his site some time ago. Some very interesting insight from a knowledgeable instructor.
http://paulpotier.com/cue-ball-last-...ect-ball-last/

One last quote from Paul's article: "I had a very good friend who was a great Snooker player. We will just call him Bill. Bill and I played a lot of Snooker together, sometimes running back to back centuries against each other. One day I noticed him looking at the cue ball last during a shot. I asked him why he did that. He said he always looks at the cue ball last. I was shocked! Bill was one of the best Snooker players in Manitoba .......".
 
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In the thread Shot / stroke problem a poster put forth the proposition that looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke was "fundamentally wrong". I had already provided evidence that Willie Hoppie considered looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke as fundamentally basic. I had read Willie Hoppies book Billiards As It Should Be Played well over 20 years ago. At the time I was content with my aiming process and just chalked up the cue ball last as a 3 cushion thing. Kind of the way I considered his more upright stance an "Old School" thing compared to the chin on the cue of the top snooker players and shot makers. Anyway the discussion led me to experiment with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke.

I started experimenting with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke around 01-04-2013, and am pleasantly surprised with the result.

The first thing I noticed was expected. I was able to much more precisely place the cue ball.

The next noticable improvement was shooting off of the rail. My make percentage improved looking at the cueball.

The break shot was next, I was hitting the rack more squarely and more consistenly controling whitey.

Then I starting improving my make percentage on the long backward angle shots that I have always struggled with.

Now practicing with a new technique and competing are two different things. The first time I put it to the test in competition, it was a leap of faith. My percentage was so low on this shot that I figured what the heck what to lose, might as well try it looking at the cue ball. Length of the table and straight in married to the rail, make it and I get the same shot on the eight ball. It worked perfectly!

Now I am two weeks into this experiment and feeling really comfortable with looking at the cueball. So I go to an old cut shot drill that I know what my percentages of make miss looking at the object ball are and am able to make a higher percentage looking at the cueball last.

So after a couple of weeks my cueball control has improved, my shot making has improved and my confidence has improved with no downside. Could some of this improvement be due to the "New" effect? Certainly, but regardless of why I am thrilled with the improvement in my game.:thumbup:

Looking at the cueball when delivering the stroke has also given me new insight into the TOI and what CJ meant when he spoke of "pining"(sp) the cueball.:cool:

Is this a joke?
 

ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
Great! Congratulations!

If it has improved your game that is ALL that should matter to you & anyone else.

Whatever works best for each individual is what is 'correct'.

May it never end & keep getting better.

Regards to You &
 

Slasher

KE = 0.5 • m • v2
Silver Member
Your welcome anytime to come up and try to perform your miracles on my 6x12 :thumbup:
 
No Chris.

You're the one that seems to be turning more & more into a joke.

I take that back. You're not funny. Yours seems to be a sad situation.

Best Wishes to You &

If this turns out to be true, that looking at the cueball is more advisable than looking at the object ball, this could turn the pool universe upsidedown.

It would prove all the instructors wrong. All the instructors on this site would lose their credibility.

It would prove every professional player wrong. It would prove every snooker player wrong. Every player in every cue sport. It would be a new beginning in pool.

So you will understand why at the present I am unsure if it is a joke or not. I am not saying it is out of the realm of possibility.
 

naji

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the thread

I agree looking last at CB is important, but only to shots that requires precision tip contact point on CB, such as break shot, extreme draw shots, high top..etc.

But also helpful to look at CB last so your focus does not shift when you about to release the trigger to the aim point at OB that is not the peripheral vision contact point, and end up under cutting.


Truthfully, no matter where you look, as long as your aim is 100% accurate, and stroke is straight and followed through chance of missing is slim.
 

One Pocket John

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the thread Shot / stroke problem a poster put forth the proposition that looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke was "fundamentally wrong". I had already provided evidence that Willie Hoppie considered looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke as fundamentally basic. I had read Willie Hoppies book Billiards As It Should Be Played well over 20 years ago. At the time I was content with my aiming process and just chalked up the cue ball last as a 3 cushion thing. Kind of the way I considered his more upright stance an "Old School" thing compared to the chin on the cue of the top snooker players and shot makers. Anyway the discussion led me to experiment with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke.

I started experimenting with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke around 01-04-2013, and am pleasantly surprised with the result.

The first thing I noticed was expected. I was able to much more precisely place the cue ball.

The next noticable improvement was shooting off of the rail. My make percentage improved looking at the cueball.

The break shot was next, I was hitting the rack more squarely and more consistenly controling whitey.

Then I starting improving my make percentage on the long backward angle shots that I have always struggled with.

Now practicing with a new technique and competing are two different things. The first time I put it to the test in competition, it was a leap of faith. My percentage was so low on this shot that I figured what the heck what to lose, might as well try it looking at the cue ball. Length of the table and straight in married to the rail, make it and I get the same shot on the eight ball. It worked perfectly!

Now I am two weeks into this experiment and feeling really comfortable with looking at the cueball. So I go to an old cut shot drill that I know what my percentages of make miss looking at the object ball are and am able to make a higher percentage looking at the cueball last.

So after a couple of weeks my cueball control has improved, my shot making has improved and my confidence has improved with no downside. Could some of this improvement be due to the "New" effect? Certainly, but regardless of why I am thrilled with the improvement in my game.:thumbup:

Looking at the cueball when delivering the stroke has also given me new insight into the TOI and what CJ meant when he spoke of "pining"(sp) the cueball.:cool:

It appears from your writings that in the standing position that you have lined up the shot perfectly. When this is done there is no need to look at the OB any further. Just shoot. As CJ has demonstrated in his DVD. You can shoot with your eyes closed.

I'm from the old school and always look at the target on the start of the back swing and during the forward stroke trusting that my standing position alignment and warm up strokes are correct. The reason I do this is I have to be able to feel the QB coming off of the OB for speed purposes.

Happy to hear you are having such success. I hope its not a placebo.

Later

John
 

ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
If this turns out to be true, that looking at the cueball is more advisable than looking at the object ball, this could turn the pool universe upsidedown.

It would prove all the instructors wrong. All the instructors on this site would lose their credibility.

It would prove every professional player wrong. It would prove every snooker player wrong. Every player in every cue sport. It would be a new beginning in pool.

So you will understand why at the present I am unsure if it is a joke or not. I am not saying it is out of the realm of possibility.

If you will note, Mr. Cantrall was only relaying the results of his recent experiment & he did not say that everyone should immediately drop what they do & adopt looking at the CB while executing the shot.

It has made an improvement for him in his current playing status.

That is not a joke.

Best Wishes to You &
 
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Slasher

KE = 0.5 • m • v2
Silver Member
No miracles, just unexpected results and welcome personal improvement.:grin:

What would concern me is that in order to be pocketing better with this method there must be an issue with your accuracy on the CB.

First thing that comes to mind is timing, timing is the movement of your vision from last look at the CB before moving back to the OB.
Somewhere in this transition your cue is not coming back to where it was intended.

If you have any amount of body/head/arm movement using the CB last method will cause you to lose accuracy.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the thread Shot / stroke problem a poster put forth the proposition that looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke was "fundamentally wrong". I had already provided evidence that Willie Hoppie considered looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke as fundamentally basic. I had read Willie Hoppies book Billiards As It Should Be Played well over 20 years ago. At the time I was content with my aiming process and just chalked up the cue ball last as a 3 cushion thing. Kind of the way I considered his more upright stance an "Old School" thing compared to the chin on the cue of the top snooker players and shot makers. Anyway the discussion led me to experiment with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke.

I started experimenting with looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke around 01-04-2013, and am pleasantly surprised with the result.

The first thing I noticed was expected. I was able to much more precisely place the cue ball.

The next noticable improvement was shooting off of the rail. My make percentage improved looking at the cueball.

The break shot was next, I was hitting the rack more squarely and more consistenly controling whitey.

Then I starting improving my make percentage on the long backward angle shots that I have always struggled with.

Now practicing with a new technique and competing are two different things. The first time I put it to the test in competition, it was a leap of faith. My percentage was so low on this shot that I figured what the heck what to lose, might as well try it looking at the cue ball. Length of the table and straight in married to the rail, make it and I get the same shot on the eight ball. It worked perfectly!

Now I am two weeks into this experiment and feeling really comfortable with looking at the cueball. So I go to an old cut shot drill that I know what my percentages of make miss looking at the object ball are and am able to make a higher percentage looking at the cueball last.

So after a couple of weeks my cueball control has improved, my shot making has improved and my confidence has improved with no downside. Could some of this improvement be due to the "New" effect? Certainly, but regardless of why I am thrilled with the improvement in my game.:thumbup:

Looking at the cueball when delivering the stroke has also given me new insight into the TOI and what CJ meant when he spoke of "pining"(sp) the cueball.:cool:


There is a gentleman here in St. Louis who is a very accomplished player -- he has a *very* high 9ball gear. And, he advocates looking at the CB last.

A couple of years ago he said to me that he had heard that John Schmidt was of the same mind and also thought looking at the CB last was the way to go. Soooooo, I see John at the 14.1 Challenge at the DCC and go up up and ask him, "So, John, there's a guy in St. Louis that says you say players should look at the CB last." And John just kinda laughs and says, "Lou, you're a good enough player to know better."

Not saying it's not good for you, just sayin'.

Lou Figueroa
 
There is a gentleman here in St. Louis who is a very accomplished player -- he has a *very* high 9ball gear. And, he advocates looking at the CB last.

A couple of years ago he said to me that he had heard that John Schmidt was of the same mind and also thought looking at the CB last was the way to go. Soooooo, I see John at the 14.1 Challenge at the DCC and go up up and ask him, "So, John, there's a guy in St. Louis that says you say players should look at the CB last." And John just kinda laughs and says, "Lou, you're a good enough player to know better."

Not saying it's not good for you, just sayin'.

Lou Figueroa

Yet I am tarred and feathered for asking if this thread is a joke.
 

desertshark

Racks on racks on racks
Silver Member
I've tried both methods and have found depending on the shot is where I look when I stroke. If I'm jacked up off the rail or over another ball in an odd position, I find I look more at the cue ball to ensure I'm placing the tip where I need it to go. On longer shots where my stroke is more routine, I look at the object ball.

I was wondering what results people were having with eye position when releasing the cue ball on its merry way.

A word to ChrisBanks, if you can't tell the difference between one persons findings on their own game and your personal want to default everybody on almost every topic I've seen you comment on, kindly keep it to yourself.
 

3andstop

Focus
Silver Member
FWIW, It is my opinion that looking at the CB last is a dead end in terms of improvement. You may realize some short term band-aide fix for something, but in the long run, this will stymie you.

In the words of the great Danny D. "If you knew what you don't know, you wouldn't not know it."

You will need the perspective of looking at the OB last as you advance in the game. That is my opinion.

Since you probably don't realize what you won't be able to accomplish, you aren't missing anything.

If you're serious about getting better, I think you would be much better off seeing your shot while you are standing, walk into the shot aligned, look at only the CB while finding vertical center or desired english, stroke a few practice strokes looking up at the OB on your back stroke and CB on your forward stroke. Then pause at the CB to recheck your alignment, and from that point on dead focus on the OB, burning that contact point in your mind, and no longer let your eyes wander back and forth.

Stroke your shot and follow through while looking at the OB. Stay down looking at the OB until you loose sight of it in the pocket.
 

Cory in DC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I look at the OB last on most shots. But I will look at the CB last on shots where tip placement is at a premium. These include the break, masses, some shots off the rail, and shots where CB and OB are very close together).

About 5 years ago, I was 100% OB last, but when I wasn't controlling whitey well on the breaks, I switched to CB last and saw big improvement. That successfully carried over to the other shots I mentioned (masses, shots of the rails, etc.)

Cory
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
If you have any amount of body/head/arm movement using the CB last method will cause you to lose accuracy.
I concur ;)
As John said "When this is done there is no need to look at the OB any further. Just shoot. As CJ has demonstrated in his DVD. You can shoot with your eyes closed."
I used to practice shooting with my eyes closed to try and ferret out any flaws in my set up and stroke. The funny thing is I could do it better left handed than right. (I am right handed and shot primarily right handed) When I started shooting left handed I had Cole Dickson as an example and patterned my left handed set up and stroke after him as best I could.
Starting at 42:40; Listen to this TAR interview with Johnny Archer, on aiming.
 
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DrCue'sProtege

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If this turns out to be true, that looking at the cueball is more advisable than looking at the object ball, this could turn the pool universe upsidedown.

It would prove all the instructors wrong. All the instructors on this site would lose their credibility.

It would prove every professional player wrong. It would prove every snooker player wrong. Every player in every cue sport. It would be a new beginning in pool.

So you will understand why at the present I am unsure if it is a joke or not. I am not saying it is out of the realm of possibility.

Uh, what???

Is this a joke???

Whilst looking at the OB last seems to be what most advocate, looking at the CB last works well for others. Anybody that says you absolutely HAVE to look at the OB or CB last is 100% wrong. Its just personal preference.

If i recall, 3-4 years ago this was discussed and players like Archer and Souqet said they have been looking at the CB last.

As CJ said, you could be blindfolded and have success. And, for the 100th time, as Tom "Dr Cue" Rossman told me - "if you align properly, aim properly, and stroke straight you can be looking at the blonde in the 5th row and still have shot success".......

DCP
 
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