The Eyes Have It

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thinking about technique instead of focusing on achieving a result is only for practice sessions.
If getting draw is the objective, turn that outcome over to the subconscious and avoid conscious intervention.
If the mind feels the elbow drop is right it should understand driving down and through to maintain a draw plane.
As Brian noted everyone has a preparatory phase in which the whole of your being is readying to produce a result.
Where every body part from eyes to feet to hands and the extended self of the cue, are located is determined by what the body decides based on what it needs.
It’s a marshaling of resources, not a preprogrammed list from a control obsessed conscious mind.
Your comment “ When I try a draw shot without dropping my elbow, I notice that even though the contact point is not necessarily really low, I tend to miscue.” is a description of what happens when the conscious and not the subconscious is driving the bus.
I kinda have to disagree with your first sentence there a bit. Many times when I was under extreme pressure in a tournament match --- what got me through was taking it one shot at a time and focusing on my technique.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I kinda have to disagree with your first sentence there a bit. Many times when I was under extreme pressure in a tournament match --- what got me through was taking it one shot at a time and focusing on my technique.
Under the glare of pressure adrenaline sharpens our senses.
Recognizing the shot keys on particular shots keeps you in the present, focused on the shot not a racing pulse.
The response I wrote was concerning bringing a stroke change in mid game, not accessing a learned skill.
I look at your focus on technique as more of an internal reminder of how to achieve an outer objective.
Just like a reminder to stay down on the game ball.
 
Last edited:

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
I kinda have to disagree with your first sentence there a bit. Many times when I was under extreme pressure in a tournament match --- what got me through was taking it one shot at a time and focusing on my technique.

I like this. I've told a lot of newer players that running out an open rack of 8ball is only difficult if you think about running all 8 balls. But if you focus on one shot at a time, and split the balls up into small groups, like two or three balls per group, running 8 open balls gets pretty easy. All you have to do is pocket 2 or 3 balls (one group), and leave the cb in a position to work the next group, one shot at a time.

I think a lot of players get intimidated when they step up to the table and see all the balls out there.
And they tend to overthink what needs to happen. I like the idea of slowing down, narrowing your focus to one task at a time.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
I kinda have to disagree with your first sentence there a bit. Many times when I was under extreme pressure in a tournament match --- what got me through was taking it one shot at a time and focusing on my technique.
A very good book about the mental game, Pleasures of Small Motions, recommends focusing on the shot rather than the match score. I agree with it and you, and believe that's a good way keep your head in the game. I think Imac might be talking about the kind of conscious thinking that can interrupt that.

pj
chgo
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A very good book about the mental game, Pleasures of Small Motions, recommends focusing on the shot rather than the match score. I agree with it and you, and believe that's a good way keep your head in the game. I think Imac might be talking about the kind of conscious thinking that can interrupt that.

pj
chgo
Yeah. I know Fancher. I trained him to be an instructor and he assisted me in one of my workshops.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
A very good book about the mental game, Pleasures of Small Motions, recommends focusing on the shot rather than the match score. I agree with it and you, and believe that's a good way keep your head in the game. I think Imac might be talking about the kind of conscious thinking that can interrupt that.

pj
chgo

Yes, I think Imac is talking about the negative effects of micromanaging the playing process with too many conscious thoughts.
This disrupts performance, because our best performance stems from a subconscious level, rather than through conscious effort and control.

Sure, we consciously gather information through our senses, and we consciously analyze and work with this information in order to formulate strategy and shot selection, but the actual performance of the shot is best handled by the synaptic pathways that have been developed. Trying to consciously micromanage the performance robs the subconscious from doing what it has been trained/wired to do.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes, I think Imac is talking about the negative effects of micromanaging the playing process with too many conscious thoughts.
This disrupts performance, because our best performance stems from a subconscious level, rather than through conscious effort and control.

Sure, we consciously gather information through our senses, and we consciously analyze and work with this information in order to formulate strategy and shot selection, but the actual performance of the shot is best handled by the synaptic pathways that have been developed. Trying to consciously micromanage the performance robs the subconscious from doing what it has been trained/wired to do.
Actually the best case scenario in performance is a proper back and forth between conscious and subconscious thoughts. If it was all subconscious, you wouldn't have remembered anything at all from the match. Just because a thought is subconscious, it doesn't mean it's correct. It's simply coming from habit. That's why practice and training is so important. The player needs to find the correct balance between the two and when the thought is subconscious, it has to be the right thought and in the right order.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
Actually the best case scenario in performance is a proper back and forth between conscious and subconscious thoughts. If it was all subconscious, you wouldn't have remembered anything at all from the match. Just because a thought is subconscious, it doesn't mean it's correct. It's simply coming from habit. That's why practice and training is so important. The player needs to find the correct balance between the two and when the thought is subconscious, it has to be the right thought and in the right order.

I surely didn't say it was all subconscious. The actual stroke execution/performance, like swinging a golf club or a tennis racket in a match, or playing a guitar or a piano in concert, or simply riding a bike after 20yrs of riding bikes....the actual execution or performance of the action is best handled by the synaptic pathways created in the mind.

The creation and paving of the pathways first requires conscious thought and repetition. However, once those pathways are paved or wired, the performance should no longer be micromanaged by conscious thought. A better way to think of it is that our conscious thoughts orchestrate the performance, rather than try to control it or deliberately make the performance happen. When we do any mind-body performance where fine motorskills are involved, conscious thoughts can interfere with peak performance if those thoughts actually involve changing, managing, or modifying what our subconscious has already been wired to do.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Actually the best case scenario in performance is a proper back and forth between conscious and subconscious thoughts. If it was all subconscious, you wouldn't have remembered anything at all from the match. Just because a thought is subconscious, it doesn't mean it's correct. It's simply coming from habit. That's why practice and training is so important. The player needs to find the correct balance between the two and when the thought is subconscious, it has to be the right thought and in the right order.
Just as we have a handedness profile and a dominant eye way of experiencing, our consciousness has a profile.
The preference for thinking about a skill right handed or seeing from a similar viewpoint doesn’t mean you can leave the other hand or eye out of the equation.
If your natural tendency is to process visual content subconsciously, the other senses like feeling and auditory input don’t go away.
It just translates into what sense is predominant in the foreground focus and how the remainder become background or peripheral in nature.
Stress changes the shape and experience in attention as well.
As stress increases we go first to a comfort zone, to escape, and that may or may not match the task at hand.
As it increases even more, focus tends to narrow and recede, eventually internalizing.
Our way to counter stress, is to stop, regroup, broaden our focus and fill our foreground focus, with task relevant sensory details.
 
Last edited:

dquarasr

Registered
This is what I love about this section of AZB Forums. Conversations about a specific topic are rife with other valuable related content.

Update #3:
OK, I had been concentrating on making alignment more repeatable. I had gotten to the point where I could reliably walk up to a shot, line up, get down on it, and shoot it without protracted aim-check-aim-check. As had been pointed out, aim and alignment start (and finish?) while standing up, and then addressing the ball in the stance. Making corrections to the cue path at this point is, er, pointless.

For a while it worked. Then it stopped working. Then it worked again.

Then during the last week, I'd miss *every* *damn* *shot* just a little bit, CB left (OB miss right). WTH?!?!?

So, being the analytical nerd I tend to be, there had to be a root cause. Thinking about it, I realized I had slowly, over the days of my practice sessions, began addressing the CB with my right foot to the right of the shot line. And my left foot even with my right foot, very open, a la snooker player.

My misses were universally consistent. *Just barely* missing CB left.

So, first I closed my stance. I tried this in three-inch increments. I started missing CB right when I got to 3/4 of my left foot in front of my right foot. It was better, but sill would miss left sometimes (most of this experimentation was on a dead-straight shot to gauge my alignment and cueing). So I moved my right foot left in relation to the shot line. I now align my right foot *ever-so-slightly* right of the shot line, so the heel of my right foot is on the shot line, and my left foot 1/2 of my foot in front of my right foot. It's not Mark Wilson's orthodox stance, but it is working for me with my physique, vision center, and physical constraints.

I can say I am so much better off now than three weeks ago. Practice this week leading up to league was very fruitful. Last night I played 9-ball in league against an opponent with the same skill level. Crushed it. Played safeties extremely well, and pocketing was improved dramatically. And this morning I was able to replicate the success (after missing CB left when I first started, I was able to move my feet around again to get lined up; so I also have a way to correct when I things are starting to go south). I know it's a process, but so far, much better.

On the topic of draw: Yes, I was hitting CB too low. I'm limiting how low I go on the CB now, and focusing on deep follow through, relaxing my forearm and importantly, I moved my right hand back on the cue so that if I am dropping my elbow, it's after contact with CB. I'm also focusing on maintaining the cue tip path straight, including even allowing the tip to contact the cloth. And for the first time ever, I'm able to get that "delayed" reaction where the CB stops, is spinning, then rockets backward! (2 to 2.5 diamonds distance between CB and OB)

I can't thank all of you here enough for your input, advice, giving me wonderful food for thought. Thanks for reading long response.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So I moved my right foot left in relation to the shot line. I now align my right foot *ever-so-slightly* right of the shot line, so the heel of my right foot is on the shot line, and my left foot 1/2 of my foot in front of my right foot.
My alignment has changed since I let my upper cueing arm hang and got my cue moving straight down the line during setup.
Bringing the straight moving cue ahead with everything as I come down the shot line moved my right foot farther left.
My right leg can now be vertical as it braces back when I move my left knee ahead rotating my hip line so that bending from the hips folds me directly towards the cue ball.
I used to fixate a bit on having my left foot about a half my foot ahead of my right.
Awareness has since moved to the fact that the hip line determines how the body folds, and you can control that beyond foot placement.
Moving my left foot forward or moving the knee forward both change the hip angle.
My right foot is now pointed at the cue ball but that foot has moved so I am standing beside my cue line.
This seems to let me bring my cueing shoulder directly down on the cue line more easily.
 
Last edited:

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
I'm limiting how low I go on the CB now
In fact, to get maximum draw on longer shots you might need to hit a little higher than the miscue limit - to get the best tradeoff between CB speed and amount of back spin.

Lower hit = more spin/less speed
Higher hit = more speed/less spin - but less spin lost to friction (especially for longer shots)

According to Dr. Dave (ATDD), the most effective hit for maximum draw distance on a long shot is about 3/4 to 4/5 of maximum tip offset.

pj
chgo
 
Last edited:

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In fact, to get maximum draw on longer shots you might need to hit a little higher than the miscue limit - to get the best tradeoff between CB speed and amount of back spin.

Lower hit = more spin/less speed
Higher hit = more speed/less spin - but less spin lost to friction (especially for longer shots)

According to Dr. Dave (ATDD), the most effective hit for maximum draw distance on a long shot is about 3/4 to 4/5 of maximum tip offset.

pj
chgo
Appreciate the heads up on higher contact.
I know that 50% english give maximum throw.
It appears that a somewhat similar dynamic is in play here.
Of course, being aware that the top of the tip is the tip contact area, is a shot key.
Tried it out today and feel like it made my draw somewhat more consistent without needing to hit so low.
The higher contact seems to let me get more bite on the ball.
 
Last edited:

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Appreciate the heads up on higher contact.
I know that 50% english give maximum throw.
It appears that a somewhat similar dynamic is in play here.
Of course, being aware that the top of the tip is the tip contact area, is a shot key.
Tried it out today and feel like it made my draw somewhat more consistent without needing to hit so low.
The higher contact seems to let me get more bite on the ball.

After revisiting the height of contact I realized that since draw requires a downward cue slope, the dynamic of what is center ball and what is a tip below center needs revisiting.
The cue plane determines where center ball is.
Dead center enters and exits the full diameter of the ball in distance, the fattest part of the ball at contact, based on the plane.
The cue line on center ball passes through the ball core center.
Any draw should have a plane parallel to the center ball plane.
I was aiming low and exiting on a lower plane, whereas, when I lifted my tip to 50% the tip hardly rose but the rounded tip rotated creating a now parallel plane.
My tip was now driving into the surface rather than along it.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
To see that, use a striped ball as your cue ball, with the stripe horizontal but tilted to be parallel with your cue. The edges of the tilted stripe are the adjusted follow/draw miscue limits.

pj
chgo
I realized lately that the distance between the cue ball and object ball seems to have a subtle effect on the natural plane through the ball, my mind accesses.
For example, I was having difficulty getting more than about a foot of draw on some long draw shots yet I see guys like Jeffrey D send that long draw off multiple rails.
I started thinking about shots where I get max draw, closer together, and the plane I use there.
I now get down and align my shot but then mentally access the internal library version of the stronger draw stroke and plane.
Reminds me of when good players have trouble feeling the stun 90° line on cut shots.
I teach them to sense the straight on stop shot for that distance, then align the cut shot and use that stroke.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
I now get down and align my shot but then mentally access the internal library version of the stronger draw stroke and plane.
I wonder if the different stroke plane also results in a different tip/cb contact point - and which is more important?

pj
chgo
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wonder if the different stroke plane also results in a different tip/cb contact point - and which is more important?

pj
chgo
Of course my stronger draw shots are on balls closer together.
The insight that the plane was giving me more draw when the tip was able to experience more mass behind the ball combined with Dr Dave finding that along the horizontal axis maximum throw is achieved at 50% english, seem related.
We know that the flusher we hit an object the more energy is transmitted into the object.
In this case we are trying to get maximum spin effect balanced against a glancing blow effect.
I call it bite on the ball.
Resistance and the release from resistance are part of the power dynamic.
That is in play on jump shots and massè.
A downward cue angle meets resistance and exaggerates the spin/rebound/squirt effect.
Moving the cue angle to a slightly higher contact point on its already downward plane, increases resistance and I get more backspin.
This likely maximizes at about 50% relative to the parallel center of mass plane.
It might be more like 60% because initial vertical resistance is more than equatorial horizontal spin friction.
By letting my eye flatten the cue angle slightly resistance is decreased, regardless of height of contact.
It’s the combination of downward angle and height creating resistance that generates the extra spin.
We already use that concept when we use drag to increase side spin.
 
Last edited:

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Of course my stronger draw shots are on balls closer together.
The insight that the plane was giving me more draw when the tip was able to experience more mass behind the ball combined with Dr Dave finding that along the horizontal axis maximum throw is achieved at 50% english, seem related.
We know that the flusher we hit an object the more energy is transmitted into the object.
In this case we are trying to get maximum spin effect balanced against a glancing blow effect.
I call it bite on the ball.
Resistance and the release from resistance are part of the power dynamic.
That is in play on jump shots and massè.
A downward cue angle meets resistance and exaggerates the spin/rebound/squirt effect.
Moving the cue angle to a slightly higher contact point on its already downward plane, increases resistance and I get more backspin.
This likely maximizes at about 50% relative to the parallel center of mass plane.
It might be more like 60% because initial vertical resistance is more than equatorial horizontal spin friction.
By letting my eye flatten the cue angle slightly resistance is decreased, regardless of height of contact.
It’s the combination of downward angle and height creating resistance that generates the extra spin.
We already use that concept when we use drag to increase side spin.
hitting the ball "fatter" with spin and throwing it in
takes more "feel"/finesse"but the fatter hit gets you more draw
jmho
icbw
 
Top