Experiments in looking at the cueball while delivering the stroke.

evergruven

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I'm sure I USUALLY look at the cue ball last.

If you are lined up right with the cue ball and the object and have a straight stroke, then the cue ball is your only target.

If you hit it "correctly", all the other things should fall into place.

well said and agree
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
makes sense

January 21, 2013 Was my opening post.

Today there is no doubt that it works for me. It is one part of the overall routine. Finding the shot line then establish a solid shooting platform that gives mechanical advantage to the delivery system, is first. Focusing on point of contact and path through the ball goes with a precision delivery system. Getting it all makes for FUN!

I am all about looking for every way to improve. Lessons not only accelerated my improvements but gave me something I may never have accomplished on my own.
I noticed improvements in three students of John Schmidt after only a few lessons. They all said that John teaches cue ball last. Hmm could be a good time to hit him up for lessons.


It makes a lot more sense to take lessons from someone with a similar game. It would be silly for me to take lessons from a typical nine ball player, I play a totally different style most of the time.

These days I live a long ways out on a farm and only get on a pool table occasionally. Looking for a back porch table now. However, I have decided that other than slight things my race has been ran. I'm not trying to improve anymore, just hold onto a little that I have.

One temptation, a REVO shaft. I need it about like an extra hole in my head but I have shot with a friend's 11.8mm REVO a few times and much to my surprise I like it. I'm more inclined to ignore such things. Tried the layered tips, went back to a dud. Started using them in the early eighties. Of course they were a mystery tip a couple friends recommended. I lived fairly close to Jensen Cues back then.

Hu
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I "lifted" this from a page concerning bowling, but the concept applies to pool, as well:

"If you use a 3-point targeting system, line up your shot using the distant focal point for a couple of seconds, and then back to your closer target for a second, then deliver the bowling ball. (in the case of pool, the 3-points are the cue ball, the object ball, and the pocket or where you want the object ball to go once you have hit it).

Whether you target the dots, arrows, a board, pins, or any other place on the lane you need to focus on your target until you are comfortable and prepared to begin your approach. Once you are in your stance, you should focus on your intended target for a couple of seconds until your internal focus tension relaxes.

If you use a 3-point targeting system, line up your shot using the distant focal point for a couple of seconds, and then back to your closer target for a second, then deliver the bowling ball.

Once you're set up and ready to go, focus your eyes on your target and block out all external distractions. Don't think about the mechanics of your physical game, just bowl reflexively and react to the target as you release the ball (stroke in the case of pool).

When you’re a beginner, it’s most likely you will be looking at the pins when you throw the ball. After all, they are your ultimate target so it makes sense to look at them when you’re making your shot.

This is known as pin bowling, and although it can be effective, there are actually better ways to do it. Instead of looking all the way down at the pins, you should keep your focus closer to you.

Spot bowling is the preferred method, and this means aiming at the target arrows spread across the lane about 15 feet down from the foul line. If you aim your ball according to these seven arrows, you will have a much better chance of consistently hitting your target.

The reasoning behind this makes sense if you think about it. The pins are 60 feet away from you, while the arrows are much closer to you.

It is much easier to hit a target that’s closer rather than farther, and if you can hit the right arrow, your ball will most likely continue down that path and hit the right pin"

In my case, I use the cue ball as my "closer target" and the "distant target" is the contact point on the object ball or rail I'm trying to hit with the cue ball.
 
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Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
If I look at the OB last I might not hit the CB precisely where I want to.

If I look at the CB last I might not hit the OB precisely where I want to.

Unless the specific shot demands one or the other, I try to keep both in view (one of the reasons it's important for me to get as low as possible over the cue).

pj
chgo
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
I consider Barry Stark an excellent instructor and coach. He has a whole series of videos on YouTube that I find very helpful. However he considers cue ball last a flaw. He states as much in this video on flaws. https://youtu.be/gSDo2dJiGoo
He gets to cue ball last at around 5:45. I don’t find his explanation of why object ball last is better to be very compelling. He has obviously been involved debating this subject. He emphasizes that you need to have your stroke so grooved and have confidence you will strike the cue ball as intended without having to look at. I get that and agree that a student of Barry will get to that in short order. His justification of object ball last seems to boil down to; Because it is the right thing to do.

While striking the object ball correctly is the objective, striking the cue ball precisely is necessary to accomplish that. Barry teaches how to accomplish that. I find it easier to accomplish when I focus my attention on where and how I strike the cue ball.

Establishing a stable shooting platform and grooving the mechanics will allow a player to hit where they are aiming regardless of where they are looking. Check out Mark Williams no look shots.:thumbup:
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I consider Barry Stark an excellent instructor and coach. He has a whole series of videos on YouTube that I find very helpful. However he considers cue ball last a flaw. He states as much in this video on flaws. https://youtu.be/gSDo2dJiGoo
He gets to cue ball last at around 5:45. I don’t find his explanation of why object ball last is better to be very compelling. He has obviously been involved debating this subject. He emphasizes that you need to have your stroke so grooved and have confidence you will strike the cue ball as intended without having to look at. I get that and agree that a student of Barry will get to that in short order. His justification of object ball last seems to boil down to; Because it is the right thing to do.

While striking the object ball correctly is the objective, striking the cue ball precisely is necessary to accomplish that. Barry teaches how to accomplish that. I find it easier to accomplish when I focus my attention on where and how I strike the cue ball.

Establishing a stable shooting platform and grooving the mechanics will allow a player to hit where they are aiming regardless of where they are looking. Check out Mark Williams no look shots.:thumbup:
Just curious, why is this so important to you? If you like CBL by all means go for it. This is almost like being in that asylum called the Aiming Forum. Last thing, i asked Buddy about looking at CB last and he looked at me like i was from Pluto. He said he used it sometimes if CB was really close to rail, other than that its OB last. Good enough for me. Been doin it that way for 30+ yrs.
 

DrCue'sProtege

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I consider Barry Stark an excellent instructor and coach. He has a whole series of videos on YouTube that I find very helpful. However he considers cue ball last a flaw. He states as much in this video on flaws. https://youtu.be/gSDo2dJiGoo
He gets to cue ball last at around 5:45. I don’t find his explanation of why object ball last is better to be very compelling. He has obviously been involved debating this subject. He emphasizes that you need to have your stroke so grooved and have confidence you will strike the cue ball as intended without having to look at. I get that and agree that a student of Barry will get to that in short order. His justification of object ball last seems to boil down to; Because it is the right thing to do.

While striking the object ball correctly is the objective, striking the cue ball precisely is necessary to accomplish that. Barry teaches how to accomplish that. I find it easier to accomplish when I focus my attention on where and how I strike the cue ball.

Establishing a stable shooting platform and grooving the mechanics will allow a player to hit where they are aiming regardless of where they are looking. Check out Mark Williams no look shots.:thumbup:

In the video Barry compares pool to darts. WHAT???????
Now what comparison is there to darts and pool?

Somebody also told me CB last is like looking at the basketball last when you shoot a free throw. WHAT??????

You cant compare those things to pool/billiards. Its an entirely different animal. People make comparisons all the time and you simply cant do it. It is totally unique in and of itself.

Perhaps the only thing you can compare to pool/billiards is putting in golf. And there what do you look at last? The golf ball or the hole? The golf ball, of course.

r/DCP
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I learned to concentrate on the cue ball and once I’ve made my decision on where I’m going to strike it with my cue tip I look up at the object ball and in the matter of a second or two I shoot. Of course I’ve studied the object ball before I get down behind the cue ball but once I’m down I’m not obsessed with the object ball. I am obsessed with the cue ball.
 

Boxcar

Banned
Actually, Boxcar, the outcome has already been decided before you pull the cuestick back, the last time, along with the proper PEP and other SPF variables. If not, chances of success are greatly reduced. If you haven't made your mind up, once your bridge hand hits the cloth, within 8-12 seconds, stand back up and decide what you're going to do, before you stand back down on the shotline.

Scott Lee
Director, SPF National Pool School Tour

Scott,

Thank you for your response to my statement. I have no reason to disagree with what you said. We're talking about two different things.

Best regards,

Boxcar
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
object ball last testing

I consider Barry Stark an excellent instructor and coach. He has a whole series of videos on YouTube that I find very helpful. However he considers cue ball last a flaw. He states as much in this video on flaws. https://youtu.be/gSDo2dJiGoo
He gets to cue ball last at around 5:45. I don’t find his explanation of why object ball last is better to be very compelling. He has obviously been involved debating this subject. He emphasizes that you need to have your stroke so grooved and have confidence you will strike the cue ball as intended without having to look at. I get that and agree that a student of Barry will get to that in short order. His justification of object ball last seems to boil down to; Because it is the right thing to do.

While striking the object ball correctly is the objective, striking the cue ball precisely is necessary to accomplish that. Barry teaches how to accomplish that. I find it easier to accomplish when I focus my attention on where and how I strike the cue ball.

Establishing a stable shooting platform and grooving the mechanics will allow a player to hit where they are aiming regardless of where they are looking. Check out Mark Williams no look shots.:thumbup:


Greg,

If I haven't been playing, I hit the cue ball about an eighth inch high and a sixteenth to the left of where I plan to. I do this with amazing consistency. A little tuning gets rid of it, a month or two away from the table and the flaw is back, exactly the same! I thought I would be inconsistent as to where I hit the cue ball after a layoff but I wasn't. I hit within the limits the eye can judge exactly the same place, high left!

Being the curious sort I went to a pool hall where I was fairly well known and started in roping victims passing by to try a shot for me. It wasn't a hard shot or real easy. Most of a nine foot table between cue ball and object ball and the ball sixteen or eighteen inches from the pocket and about a sixty degree cut. I didn't tell them what I was testing. Out of about a dozen players, only one hit the cue ball where intended. Most were about 3/16" off where they thought they were hitting the cue ball. Once told the object of the test most then hit the spot they were trying to on the cue ball. The players ranged from mostly high C to A players, a solid shortstop or two. One player hit exactly where he intended on the cue ball, first time and every time. If I gave you three guesses what he looked at last and the first two didn't count you would still get it right. One of the poorest players in the test but he looked at cue ball last.

A friend only played once or twice a year. Later I put him to the test. Bang! Spot on wherever I moved the contact point to. I already knew the answer before I asked him what he looked at last. Cue ball.

My testing strongly indicates that those that look at object ball last don't hit the cue ball nearly as accurately as they believe when viewed as a group. No doubt some exceptions but I suspect many could benefit from looking at the cue ball last.

Ralf Souquet struggles along with cue ball last including when he was ranked number one in the world. Over 500 tournament wins, seventy-five German and European championships. He seems to scrape along looking at the cue ball last.

Hu
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
Just curious, why is this so important to you?
If you read my opening post I tried to explain my motive in starting this thread. I have been trying to accurately document my experience and discoveries regarding other top players that do not find cue ball last to be flawed. I am not trying to convert anyone, just providing evidence that it’s a viable option.
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
I thought Barry’s use of darts for an analogy was telling. (Put this in bold font🥴) My wife and I had the opportunity to play darts with Steve Mizerak. Steve seemed to throw 3 in a bed at will. The latest help I got from Barry was with the hand and fingers.(I posted a link to an early lesson elsewhere) One of my final thoughts is to emulate my dart throw starting the stroke with my fingers. In darts my only chance is to make a mind connection between the eyes and hand then trust it. In pool my trust is that I have done the platform and aiming process right. I can then focus on immaculate delivery of the cue tip to and through the cue ball.

It darling works so well I well to quote Mike Dooly, “It works so good a nun would take her clothes off, no no no, it works so good a whole convent would take their clothes off.”
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
Guess it’s time to drag this thread up again.
I have always said that I like the game because I can always learn at it. I still enjoy learning at it 45 years since I started.

I would not call it cue ball last now. It is more focus on the path I want my cue to take through the cue ball. That is most easily accomplished looking at the cue ball.

There are multiple facets to my routine that are critical. I have learned them from several sources.
Barry Stark’s videos have helped me get my fingers under control with the ring finger as the trigger.
Shoot I am shooting so good it’s hard to guess what I will learn next.😉
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
Center ball and

Natural lines.



I have started devoting a portion of my practice to using my $70 jump/break cue with no chalk. Tip is shiny. The only times I have chalked this tip was on a jump shot.



Three ball is a good format for this experiment. Kind of fun with volume being the only variable. It has been an eye opener for me. I have proved that I am consistently more accurate. To the degree that at first I was surprised but then I thought of the time Cole Dickson gave me his theory on tips/ferrules/shaft flex. Then I remember how hard his water buffaloe tips were.(too hard for me at the time:wink: )



It also opened my eyes to how at times I have overlooked how easily I can float the cue ball on the natural angle just adjusting the volume.



Location velocity and trajectory. The trilogy of striking the cue ball.

Watching the cue tip strike the cue ball and pass through it gives me instant feedback. I can achieve the best accurate strike on the cueball by focusing on that point. Having the shooting platform stable and the mechanics of the delivery honed makes for another trilogy.



Practice, practice, practice. Three trilogies should be best for this post.😉



Oh crap 3 ball with a 3 piece cue and then tip/ferrule/shaft. I have a uh sickness?
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Shots break down into four sections:
1) Object ball to its destination
2) Cue ball to the intended "socket" and exit
3) Cue stick to the cueball
4) You
The first three need to be learned separately and thoroughly or the You will just invent something and pull the trigger.

Players have to do extensive observation of the socketing and caroming (2) early in their development because that's the body of shot making. Cue ball last at this stage will be a debilitating waste of time.

When shots can be executed consistently, the player can shift attention to (3) the cueball only. This is important. As others state, it IS the target. At this stage, it's all on (4) that bumbling You threatening to screw it up. All the more reason to prioritize.
I have no action lined up; no pressing matches. I have the time to learn precision stroking once and for all. Cue ball last.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Been around a lot of top players over the last 40yrs. Can't remember any looking a CB last. I'm sure a couple may have but all the TOP-TOP players were all OB last. I asked Buddy this and his response was the OB is your target and you look at it last. Whatever works is what you gotta go with.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Been around a lot of top players over the last 40yrs. Can't remember any looking a CB last. I'm sure a couple may have but all the TOP-TOP players were all OB last. I asked Buddy this and his response was the OB is your target and you look at it last. Whatever works is what you gotta go with.
Their income is derived from not missing. True to the TOI concept they they cinch everything they can and avoid anything that isn't right in front of them in black and white. Looking at the cue ball last is probably considered an unnecessary risk in that school and perfection is just plain unnecessary. They make/made a living not so much by great pool but by great (and possibly mostly lucky) navigation of the comedy of errors that is competition. Pool is magnitudes better than that.

The cue ball is the one you actually shoot. I believe performance can be improved by paying strict attention to how you shoot it.
 
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