Quck Poll ... what do you look at last CB or OB

Do you look at CB or OB last when you shoot

  • I look at the Cue Ball last

    Votes: 33 15.0%
  • I look at the Object Ball last

    Votes: 187 85.0%

  • Total voters
    220

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
3andstop -- you have given your opinion on this in the past. So I'll just repeat something I have posted previously on this subject.


For one large set of sports actions, let's call it Category I, the competitor is holding or is attached to a piece of equipment and desires to direct that piece of equipment elsewhere:
  • Throwing a baseball;
  • Throwing a football;
  • Throwing/shooting a basketball;
  • Throwing a dart;
  • Rolling a bowling ball;
  • Shooting an arrow;
  • Shooting a gun;
  • Driving a race car;
  • Riding a race horse.
In all of these, and many more, the competitor's "last look" is at the target for the ball or dart or car, etc. -- not at the ball (or steering wheel).

For another large set of sports actions, let's call it Category II, the competitor holds one piece of equipment and desires to hit another piece of equipment and direct that second piece of equipment to a desired target or with a certain degree of accuracy:
  • Hitting a baseball;
  • Kicking a football;
  • Hitting a tennis ball;
  • Hitting a golf ball;
  • Hitting a ping pong ball;
  • Hitting a badminton shuttlecock;
  • Striking a volley ball.
In all of these, and many more, the competitor's "last look" is at the ball -- not at the target for that ball and not at the piece of equipment he is holding.

So how about pool/billiards? Isn't it logically a Category II action? We hold one piece of equipment (the cue stick), desiring to strike a second piece of equipment (the cue ball), and send that second piece of equipment to a desired target (a proper hit on the object ball or rail). We are throwing the cue stick in an underhand motion at the cue ball. So "cue ball last" is appropriate, right?

But I am quite sure that the majority (but by no means all) of the top pool players look at the object ball last. If my analogies above are correct, why does "OB last" work so well for so many players? I believe it is because the cue ball is at rest and we can place our cue stick and bridge hand precisely behind it and thereby treat the combination of cue stick and cue ball as almost one piece of equipment instead of two. Then the cuing action becomes similar to a Category I action -- we are throwing the cue stick/ball at the object ball. So "object ball last" works just fine if the cue stick is always precisely delivered to the cue ball.

So either way -- CB last or OB last -- can work well in pool. I believe analogies with other sports argue more closely for CB last (my Category II above), but just a slightly different way of viewing what's happening can create a good Category I argument.​
 

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
3andstop -- you have given your opinion on this in the past. So I'll just repeat something I have posted previously on this subject.


For one large set of sports actions, let's call it Category I, the competitor is holding or is attached to a piece of equipment and desires to direct that piece of equipment elsewhere:
  • Throwing a baseball;
  • Throwing a football;
  • Throwing/shooting a basketball;
  • Throwing a dart;
  • Rolling a bowling ball;
  • Shooting an arrow;
  • Shooting a gun;
  • Driving a race car;
  • Riding a race horse.
In all of these, and many more, the competitor's "last look" is at the target for the ball or dart or car, etc. -- not at the ball (or steering wheel).

For another large set of sports actions, let's call it Category II, the competitor holds one piece of equipment and desires to hit another piece of equipment and direct that second piece of equipment to a desired target or with a certain degree of accuracy:
  • Hitting a baseball;
  • Kicking a football;
  • Hitting a tennis ball;
  • Hitting a golf ball;
  • Hitting a ping pong ball;
  • Hitting a badminton shuttlecock;
  • Striking a volley ball.
In all of these, and many more, the competitor's "last look" is at the ball -- not at the target for that ball and not at the piece of equipment he is holding.

So how about pool/billiards? Isn't it logically a Category II action? We hold one piece of equipment (the cue stick), desiring to strike a second piece of equipment (the cue ball), and send that second piece of equipment to a desired target (a proper hit on the object ball or rail). We are throwing the cue stick in an underhand motion at the cue ball. So "cue ball last" is appropriate, right?

But I am quite sure that the majority (but by no means all) of the top pool players look at the object ball last. If my analogies above are correct, why does "OB last" work so well for so many players? I believe it is because the cue ball is at rest and we can place our cue stick and bridge hand precisely behind it and thereby treat the combination of cue stick and cue ball as almost one piece of equipment instead of two. Then the cuing action becomes similar to a Category I action -- we are throwing the cue stick/ball at the object ball. So "object ball last" works just fine if the cue stick is always precisely delivered to the cue ball.

So either way -- CB last or OB last -- can work well in pool. I believe analogies with other sports argue more closely for CB last (my Category II above), but just a slightly different way of viewing what's happening can create a good Category I argument.​

Very good analysis, all the way through.:cool:

Personally, I've always thrown my back hand toward the OB, with the cue and CB both going along for the ride. Lately I've been throwing my elbow toward the OB because of something the CJ Wiley said he heard that Ronnie O. does, so the hand, cue, and CB all get thrown toward the OB by the shoulder. Seems to straighten out the whole chain of motion for me. I don't even know for sure that Ronnie does this, but I tried it and it works pretty good.
 

Colin Colenso

<-- My Kids
Silver Member
Cue sports are different in 2 significant ways to the ball onto bat type sports.

1. It is cue onto ball onto another ball. (3 factors prior to final target).

2. It has a fixed (unless one moves it), pivot, meaning it is relatively easy to hit the CB, compared to say a golf swing. Putting in golf comes closer, as it is relatively hard to miss hit the golf ball.

I expect that if we played 1 handed without a rail pool (no bridge), most would be looking at the CB during the stroke.

Colin
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
Need a third option... sometimes I switch it up depending ont he shot, specifically the distance of it.

This is my approach...sometimes the shot demands one or the other.

But I think when you hit dead stroke, you see them both....
...it's like a wide angle total vision thing.

And part of seeing the shot is your inner vision
 

Icon of Sin

I can't fold, I need gold. I re-up and reload...
Silver Member
Not even close. The baseball is the target, and it's moving. The destination of the baseball is not determined. You are just trying to hit the baseball in a specific spot at a specific time, possibly aiming for an area of the field, not a specific spot. Obviously you have to keep your eye on the ball.



Again, way off. In golf, the target is usually far away, and it's a different method of aiming. In pool, you have your head in line with the shot, just like aiming a rifle. In golf, looking at your target 200 yards away doesn't accomplish anything, especially since your head isn't in line with the end of your club.

Darts, shooting a gun, throwing a baseball, shooting a basketball, all involve concentrating on the target, while trusting your alignment and fundamentals. Pool is no different.

His analogies were way better... especially golf... often in putting the golfer can be within just a few feet.

All of your analogies, with the exception of the gun also has the ball in motion and in your hand and your head will be moving with the ball if you were to look at it.
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The only time I look at the cue ball last is on a full rack or 10 ball break shot.
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good point, if I was going to throw the cueball at the object ball that would be where I looked while throwing it. I don't think most rules allow this form of play.

Alternatively, when I am trying to hit a nail with a hammer I don't focus on the final ending spot of the nail. I look at the head of it to insure it gets a good square hit.

The way I line up shots ends up with a picture of where I need to hit the cue ball (it is the only one I get to hit with the cue) so I find it easiest to watch what I am aiming to hit.

I understand that my vote in this poll is in the minority, so I am not expecting anyone to agree with my point of view. Just wanted to point out that the analogy about throwing a ball is somewhat irrelevant to pool, unless you were throwing your cue like a spear...

I understand where you're coming from, but no analogy is going to 100% encompass how pool is played. It's meant to drive home the point about hand-eye coordination.

Your analogy with the nail doesn't make any sense to me. because the nail is already touching the wood, so there is no aiming of the nail necessary once it's in place, and it's all about hitting the top of the nail. If I was hitting the nail across the room to hit some target, then there would be something to aim at.

The point is that when you've practiced your stroke enough for it to become second nature, you can think of your pool cue as an extension of your arm. Once you have everything lined up and you've done a few practice strokes, you can sort of think of it as throwing the cue ball to the object ball by delivering your cue straight through the shot.

When you stroke the same way every time you get down on a shot, you no longer have to look at the cue ball or your stick once you've checked where your tip is aligned during practice strokes, and thus you are free to concentrate on the target, just as you would when shooting a rifle, throwing a baseball, or reaching for milk in the fridge. Our built-in hand-eye coordination is the most accurate way to aim at any target.
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Quick poll: When hitting a baseball do you look at the ball on the bat or the place you want the ball to go?

Are you being serious right now? You think hitting a moving target, where your main goal is to just hit the baseball and not to aim the baseball to hit a specific point, has anything to do with aiming in pool?

In that analogy, the target is the baseball, not the fence, and your eye is on the target.
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well what works for Ronnie O'Sullivan?

Ronnie O'Sullivan admits to looking at the cue ball last, when asked about a particular shot:

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."

Ronnie is clearly saying that looking at the object ball last is best, and that he only sometimes finds himself looking at the cue ball last.
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
His analogies were way better... especially golf... often in putting the golfer can be within just a few feet.

All of your analogies, with the exception of the gun also has the ball in motion and in your hand and your head will be moving with the ball if you were to look at it.

If his golf analogy was so good, you, a golf pro, or maybe john schmidt (the best pro-pool golf player) should be able to get a putter out, stand on a pool table, and have great success putting the cue ball into an object ball into a pocket.

The precision that pool requires is just as much as is required by shooting a gun, or throwing a basketball into a small hoop, or pitching a baseball to an exact spot in a catcher's glove.

Golf is more about speed and direction, not hitting a very specific target. It's more about getting the ball within a certain amount of yards at a certain distance. If you could aim a golf ball at eye level, and look at the target, you would be much more precise as to exactly where the golf ball is going to hit.
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
3andstop -- you have given your opinion on this in the past. So I'll just repeat something I have posted previously on this subject.


For one large set of sports actions, let's call it Category I, the competitor is holding or is attached to a piece of equipment and desires to direct that piece of equipment elsewhere:
  • Throwing a baseball;
  • Throwing a football;
  • Throwing/shooting a basketball;
  • Throwing a dart;
  • Rolling a bowling ball;
  • Shooting an arrow;
  • Shooting a gun;
  • Driving a race car;
  • Riding a race horse.
In all of these, and many more, the competitor's "last look" is at the target for the ball or dart or car, etc. -- not at the ball (or steering wheel).

For another large set of sports actions, let's call it Category II, the competitor holds one piece of equipment and desires to hit another piece of equipment and direct that second piece of equipment to a desired target or with a certain degree of accuracy:
  • Hitting a baseball;
  • Kicking a football;
  • Hitting a tennis ball;
  • Hitting a golf ball;
  • Hitting a ping pong ball;
  • Hitting a badminton shuttlecock;
  • Striking a volley ball.
In all of these, and many more, the competitor's "last look" is at the ball -- not at the target for that ball and not at the piece of equipment he is holding.

So how about pool/billiards? Isn't it logically a Category II action? We hold one piece of equipment (the cue stick), desiring to strike a second piece of equipment (the cue ball), and send that second piece of equipment to a desired target (a proper hit on the object ball or rail). We are throwing the cue stick in an underhand motion at the cue ball. So "cue ball last" is appropriate, right?

But I am quite sure that the majority (but by no means all) of the top pool players look at the object ball last. If my analogies above are correct, why does "OB last" work so well for so many players? I believe it is because the cue ball is at rest and we can place our cue stick and bridge hand precisely behind it and thereby treat the combination of cue stick and cue ball as almost one piece of equipment instead of two. Then the cuing action becomes similar to a Category I action -- we are throwing the cue stick/ball at the object ball. So "object ball last" works just fine if the cue stick is always precisely delivered to the cue ball.

So either way -- CB last or OB last -- can work well in pool. I believe analogies with other sports argue more closely for CB last (my Category II above), but just a slightly different way of viewing what's happening can create a good Category I argument.​

First of all, most of your "Category II" sports don't really apply here because the ball is moving. You have to focus more on the ball in order to make contact accurately.

You do make a good point though. With all of the sports you mentioned where people tend to look at the ball last, how many of them require you to hit a target even close to as small as the contact point on an object ball in pool?

What all of those sports have in common is that they have margin for error. They have an area where the object ball can land and still be a success. The way they aim is not the best for being the most precise, but because of the nature of the game (moving balls) and because the equipment prevents them from being able to aim in their line of sight, it's more important to focus on the general speed and direction of the ball focusing on getting good contact with the ball.

The Category 1 sports, where you concentrate on the target last, all have stationary balls that you don't have to react to, and they also have a very small/specific target they are aiming for, much like pool.

So it makes more sense to treat pool as a Category 1 sport, given the pinpoint precision necessary, and the line of sight aiming that is available. It makes sense to treat the pool stick as an extension of your arm, and pretend that the cue ball is attached to the pool stick, so that you are directly throwing the cue ball or tip of your stick at the contact point.
 
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AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... It makes sense to treat the pool stick as an extension of your arm, and pretend that the cue ball is attached to the pool stick, so that you are directly throwing the cue ball or tip of your stick at the contact point.

You made some good points. Your conclusion is consistent with what I said in my second-to-last paragraph as to why "object ball last" can work well.
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
Are you being serious right now? You think hitting a moving target, where your main goal is to just hit the baseball and not to aim the baseball to hit a specific point, has anything to do with aiming in pool?

In that analogy, the target is the baseball, not the fence, and your eye is on the target.

Obviously you are not a hitter(in baseball). I have hit the cycle in high school baseball. I have hit slow pitch softballs to a target the size of the base. In fact I used to have a bet with other team mates as to who could hit first base with a line drive. Patience is the hardest part of slow pitch. If you can wait and hit a line drive to the opposite base line you can place a hit anywhere you want. That is if you look at the aspirin tablet in the middle of the ball.

In pool the primary target is the cue ball. The collision between the cue ball and object ball is secondary.
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Obviously you are not a hitter(in baseball). I have hit the cycle in high school baseball. I have hit slow pitch softballs to a target the size of the base. In fact I used to have a bet with other team mates as to who could hit first base with a line drive. Patience is the hardest part of slow pitch. If you can wait and hit a line drive to the opposite base line you can place a hit anywhere you want. That is if you look at the aspirin tablet in the middle of the ball.

In pool the primary target is the cue ball. The collision between the cue ball and object ball is secondary.

You just need to face that your analogy with hitting a baseball just doesn't apply to pool. You can't focus on the target where you want the baseball to go, because the baseball is moving. You would have no chance of hitting the baseball if you weren't focusing on it. You can't possibly compare that to pool, where the cue ball is stationary, thus you don't have to focus on it.
 

Banks

Banned
You just need to face that your analogy with hitting a baseball just doesn't apply to pool. You can't focus on the target where you want the baseball to go, because the baseball is moving. You would have no chance of hitting the baseball if you weren't focusing on it. You can't possibly compare that to pool, where the cue ball is stationary, thus you don't have to focus on it.

The OB is also stationary.

I think i focus most on where and how i want to hit the cb.
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The OB is also stationary.

I think i focus most on where and how i want to hit the cb.

Yes but the object ball is the one that is far away. Once you initially align your tip with the cue ball, you should be able to trust your stroke and not have to focus on the cue ball. Ideally you want to shoot at the contact point on the object ball just like you would if you were aiming at it with a rifle.

EDIT: I was responding to his analogy. His analogy doesn't work because the baseball is moving, not stationary.
 
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Okie

Seeker
Silver Member
I hold a piece of equipment and use it to strike the cue ball. The way I strike the cue ball determines the success or failure of my attempt.

Just as it is when striking a baseball, a golf ball, tennis ball, etc etc

I have studied this question with an open mind for over two years now. My journey started as yours did here on AZB (http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=304723).

So far my conclusions only allow me to commit to looking at the cue ball last during practice. In competition, I look at the object ball last in most cases. however, I am quite certain that looking at the cue ball last during practice has improved my ability to strike the cue ball accurately and consistently.

It is simply a preference in my opinion. Some look here and some look there. Most great players don't really think about it....and that to me is the key!

Ken
 

railbird99

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I hold a piece of equipment and use it to strike the cue ball. The way I strike the cue ball determines the success or failure of my attempt.

Just as it is when striking a baseball, a golf ball, tennis ball, etc etc

I have studied this question with an open mind for over two years now. My journey started as yours did here on AZB (http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=304723).

So far my conclusions only allow me to commit to looking at the cue ball last during practice. In competition, I look at the object ball last in most cases. however, I am quite certain that looking at the cue ball last during practice has improved my ability to strike the cue ball accurately and consistently.

It is simply a preference in my opinion. Some look here and some look there. Most great players don't really think about it....and that to me is the key!

Ken

I'm kinda confused because you start out saying it's obvious that you should look at the CB last, but then go on to say you look at the OB last in competition, which is when it counts.

I've already gone in to great detail in previous posts about the comparison to other sports, and why you don't have to focus on the cue ball even though that's what you are directly contacting. I won't repeat myself, but you can read post #52 in this thread, like 6 posts up.

If you look at the object ball last during competition, then you agree that's the correct thing to do. Sure you will do different things in practice, such as focus on your stroke and mechanics, but to actually perform the best when it counts, you aren't thinking about any of that stuff, and you're looking at the object ball last.

I hope you aren't looking at the cue ball last every time you practice, because then you are developing habits that are different than what you are doing in competition. You should only need to look at the cue ball last in practice when you are trying to correct something that's wrong with your stroke, or your contact with the cue ball.
 

Skippy27

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I will concentrate on the Cue ball when I have long straight shots but any other time I use the object ball.
 
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