Why Is There So Much Interest With Systems In Pool?

Pidge

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There are systems for everything, it seems. Aiming, kicking, banking, position... You name it pool has it. I understand the use of systems for amateurs but what I find odd is the professional players that use systems. Aiming, kicking and banking especially. I'm used to the world of snooker where kicking for example is something that the professionals are extremely accurate at. Not just the simple ones, but the ones where they go 3 rails and rest up behind a ball. No systems of this kind are used by any professional I know of but I can name plenty in pool that you can see are counting the diamonds and working out there system. I don't for a second think that someone who has hit as many balls as X professional can't work out in 5 seconds the line to get out of a kick. But yet I see plenty taking 3 minutes to figure out a diamond system.

Aiming is by far the weirdest thing to have a system for IMO. So many things make a huge difference to making a ball that I don't think a system will ever cover everything. And yet I hear of professionals using aiming systems. Even professionals that make it to the top without systems then decide to start using an aiming system. Why? I just don't get it. If you made it to the top how is an aiming system going to make you better? I'm a firm believer that if you make it to the top... Or close to the top an aiming system isn't going to help one bit. You've already established you can aim... After all the balls don't miraculously find a pocket... You send them there. I feel once you get to that level of play there are only two aspects of your game that can limit you from improving from then on... Fundamentals and mental. Both those two are what I feel set say, Steve Davis in his prime from Jimmy White in his prime. Steve had better fundamentals and had a better mental game and didn't bottle it when it mattered. Both could accurately aim any shot on the table.

So, why are there so many systems in pool? Is it people out to make a quick buck, is it to better understand what you are actually doing and giving you confidence in your choice when the pressure is on? If someone can give me an answer I would be very grateful.
 

Neil

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which equals consistency.

2. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which means no going "brain dead" in the heat of the battle.

3. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which often means a much more solid PSR. Which also equals consistency.

4. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which means no more guessing, which equates to more confidence, which then equates to a smoother and more accurate delivery.

5. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which means you aren't scared or timid about those pesky angles that you really aren't used to shooting.
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
There are systems for everything, it seems. Aiming, kicking, banking, position... You name it pool has it. I understand the use of systems for amateurs but what I find odd is the professional players that use systems. Aiming, kicking and banking especially. I'm used to the world of snooker where kicking for example is something that the professionals are extremely accurate at. Not just the simple ones, but the ones where they go 3 rails and rest up behind a ball. No systems of this kind are used by any professional I know of but I can name plenty in pool that you can see are counting the diamonds and working out there system. I don't for a second think that someone who has hit as many balls as X professional can't work out in 5 seconds the line to get out of a kick. But yet I see plenty taking 3 minutes to figure out a diamond system.

Aiming is by far the weirdest thing to have a system for IMO. So many things make a huge difference to making a ball that I don't think a system will ever cover everything. And yet I hear of professionals using aiming systems. Even professionals that make it to the top without systems then decide to start using an aiming system. Why? I just don't get it. If you made it to the top how is an aiming system going to make you better? I'm a firm believer that if you make it to the top... Or close to the top an aiming system isn't going to help one bit. You've already established you can aim... After all the balls don't miraculously find a pocket... You send them there. I feel once you get to that level of play there are only two aspects of your game that can limit you from improving from then on... Fundamentals and mental. Both those two are what I feel set say, Steve Davis in his prime from Jimmy White in his prime. Steve had better fundamentals and had a better mental game and didn't bottle it when it mattered. Both could accurately aim any shot on the table.

So, why are there so many systems in pool? Is it people out to make a quick buck, is it to better understand what you are actually doing and giving you confidence in your choice when the pressure is on? If someone can give me an answer I would be very grateful.

Well, people want to have more success when they play. They want to make more shots, make more banks, and make more kicks.

Systems work. For what's required in pool systems work better than feeling your way through it.

Most of them can be learned for free.

As for players at the top....you'd have to ask them. David Matlock, widely regarded as the best bar table player of his era with the big cue ball, knew every system known to man I think.

One time we hired him to do challenge matches for three days. My wife said don't play safe, just try to run out every time. For three days he put on the most amazing display of pool I have ever seen. He ran out so many racks from crazy positions it was truly unreal. At the time I didn't know that he was using kicking and banking systems. After a cross-country car trip where he explained a lot of them it was clear what the power of systems was.

I think snooker is a lot different. More pocketing precision is required in general but also playing safe is much easier since distance is fairly safe and leaving balls on the rail is generally safe. Also with no requirement to contact a rail after contact playing out of safes is often much easier than in pool. Probably kicking systems could be helpful in snooker but you all probably just play enough to feel your way to the right angles.

Anyway, for me, systems opened my eyes to a new level of playing. It opened my eyes to the idea that pool doesn't only have to be a feel game. It can be be both feel and careful deliberate calculation and be highly satisfying to get the outcome desired.
 

Pidge

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which equals consistency.

2. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which means no going "brain dead" in the heat of the battle.

3. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which often means a much more solid PSR. Which also equals consistency.

4. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which means no more guessing, which equates to more confidence, which then equates to a smoother and more accurate delivery.

5. You are now following the same steps on each shot. Which means you aren't scared or timid about those pesky angles that you really aren't used to shooting.
I don't know of any system where a player follows the same steps for each shot. The SEE system for example... Different steps for different angles. Different steps for different spins. The mirror system for kicking and banking... Different steps depending on speed and spin.

I don't think at the highest level players guess. Kicks or aiming. They know the angles and know how the balls will react. They have all played enough to have a sound PSR that holds up under pressure... Well most, some will always bottle it regardless of the use of a system or not.

I am a huge fan of repetition. I feel it breeds consistency more so than any system can. Just hitting shot after shot and paying attention to how balls react. Systems such as the fractions can help to shorten the learning curve but again, only if the user pays attention to what's going on around them.
PSR. Accurate delivery, confidence. They can all be taught without the use of a system.

I feel players pool seek an easy way out and are afraid to admit that they just can't do the fundamental things well enough so go out looking for a quick fix instead of putting in the time and forgetting their ego for a minute.
 

GoldenFlash

Banned
I don't know of any system where a player follows the same steps for each shot. The SEE system for example... Different steps for different angles. Different steps for different spins. The mirror system for kicking and banking... Different steps depending on speed and spin.
I don't think at the highest level players guess. Kicks or aiming. They know the angles and know how the balls will react. They have all played enough to have a sound PSR that holds up under pressure... Well most, some will always bottle it regardless of the use of a system or not.
I am a huge fan of repetition. I feel it breeds consistency more so than any system can. Just hitting shot after shot and paying attention to how balls react. Systems such as the fractions can help to shorten the learning curve but again, only if the user pays attention to what's going on around them.
PSR. Accurate delivery, confidence. They can all be taught without the use of a system.
I feel players pool seek an easy way out and are afraid to admit that they just can't do the fundamental things well enough so go out looking for a quick fix instead of putting in the time and forgetting their ego for a minute.
A system, when properly understood and worked with, accomplishes everything you talk about.
Above all, it is a disciplinary tool.
Without discipline, a player will unknowingly drift off into some things that are of minor importance rather than be focused on the things that are of major importance.
As for pressure....great athletic coaches state that "the only time I player feels pressure is when he is not totally prepared to do the job".
Way back inside, down deep in the mind of many players is a little voice saying "you cannot win this...you cannot win this".
A player cannot concentrate on two things at the same time....so, by concentrating on the system, that little voice is compartmentalized into a small distant little mental box while the player marches on.
 

Pidge

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A system, when properly understood and worked with, accomplishes everything you talk about.
Above all, it is a disciplinary tool.
Without discipline, a player will unknowingly drift off into some things that are of minor importance rather than be focused on the things that are of major importance.
As for pressure....great athletic coaches state that "the only time I player feels pressure is when he is not totally prepared to do the job".
Way back inside, down deep in the mind of many players is a little voice saying "you cannot win this...you cannot win this".
A player cannot concentrate on two things at the same time....so, by concentrating on the system, that little voice is compartmentalized into a small distant little mental box while the player marches on.
But why do people need a sysyem? Countless professionals have proven you don't need systems to make it as one of the best. Not all have a God given talent for the game. It shows there are no shortcuts and enough hard work will get you there.
 

cookie man

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
But why do people need a sysyem? Countless professionals have proven you don't need systems to make it as one of the best. Not all have a God given talent for the game. It shows there are no shortcuts and enough hard work will get you there.

Ok, but what if you not a pro. A system's approach could easily make you better if you don't have the time to play every day for hours.
 

Pidge

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ok, but what if you not a pro. A system's approach could easily make you better if you don't have the time to play every day for hours.
This is very true. All a system is I think is a systematic approach to a given task. If a player can pick apart why they are successful into steps so to speak then they can fall back on those steps in times of need. It could be how they walk into the shot, how the grip rests in their hand. But I don't understand buying systems from others. A system should be your own, not someone else's that makes you change how you naturally approach shots and such.
 

mohrt

Student of the Game
Silver Member
Why would you need blueprints to build a house? I mean anyone with enough time and a pile of wood and concrete could figure it all out after awhile (years). Eventually they will become a "professional" and could build any house from his imagination, because he has exhausted nearly every trial and error. However, the guy that started with blueprints had a plan. He learned a lot along the way, but drastically shortened his journey to become the "professional". And as a professional he will still use much of what he learned from the blueprints.

I know thats not a perfect analogy because materials cost real money. But its the premise of starting with a plan, with structure, to get you where you are going more efficiently. At some point the systems become unconscious, or even secondary as familiarity kicks in with experience.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
i find billiard systems have helped me tremendously in kicking
yes they need adjustments for how the table is playing etc
but it put me years ahead on the learning curve compared to if i had to figure it all out myself
 

Neil

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is very true. All a system is I think is a systematic approach to a given task. If a player can pick apart why they are successful into steps so to speak then they can fall back on those steps in times of need. It could be how they walk into the shot, how the grip rests in their hand. But I don't understand buying systems from others. A system should be your own, not someone else's that makes you change how you naturally approach shots and such.

Who's to say how you naturally approach shots is the best way to do it, or is even very effective for most?
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
SOME players look for "the easy way out". Others are genuinely interested in knowledge so that they can decide whether to incorporate it into their game or not.

There is a big difference between the person who once shown a method, tries it for a few minutes and thinks they got it and then botches it nearly every time they try it in a game AND the person who once shown a method tries to absorb it completely into a natural flowing part of their game.

Goes back to the maxim that an amateur practices until he gets it right and professional practices until he can't get it wrong.
 

Pidge

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Who's to say how you naturally approach shots is the best way to do it, or is even very effective for most?
Whose to say approaching shots like some systems set out is best or very effective for most? It's surprising how you naturally do things is best. Sometimes it takes very minor adjustments but not much.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is very true. All a system is I think is a systematic approach to a given task. If a player can pick apart why they are successful into steps so to speak then they can fall back on those steps in times of need. It could be how they walk into the shot, how the grip rests in their hand. But I don't understand buying systems from others. A system should be your own, not someone else's that makes you change how you naturally approach shots and such.

Great point.
I have a problem with systems that tell you to move your elbow's slot when you are already down on the shot.
 

cookie man

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is very true. All a system is I think is a systematic approach to a given task. If a player can pick apart why they are successful into steps so to speak then they can fall back on those steps in times of need. It could be how they walk into the shot, how the grip rests in their hand. But I don't understand buying systems from others. A system should be your own, not someone else's that makes you change how you naturally approach shots and such.

Well what my system has done is make things much easier for me. All i have to do is pick up my ctel and reference line, basically the same thing over and over. If someone else's system helps you play better and be much more consistent, especially for someone that doesn't play a lot, then why not buy it?
 

ivicafranic

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good,knowledgeable,interesting topics always attract much interest:smile::smile::smile:
 
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Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
There are systems for everything, it seems. Aiming, kicking, banking, position... You name it pool has it. I understand the use of systems for amateurs but what I find odd is the professional players that use systems. Aiming, kicking and banking especially. I'm used to the world of snooker where kicking for example is something that the professionals are extremely accurate at. Not just the simple ones, but the ones where they go 3 rails and rest up behind a ball. No systems of this kind are used by any professional I know of but I can name plenty in pool that you can see are counting the diamonds and working out there system. I don't for a second think that someone who has hit as many balls as X professional can't work out in 5 seconds the line to get out of a kick. But yet I see plenty taking 3 minutes to figure out a diamond system.

Aiming is by far the weirdest thing to have a system for IMO. So many things make a huge difference to making a ball that I don't think a system will ever cover everything. And yet I hear of professionals using aiming systems. Even professionals that make it to the top without systems then decide to start using an aiming system. Why? I just don't get it. If you made it to the top how is an aiming system going to make you better? I'm a firm believer that if you make it to the top... Or close to the top an aiming system isn't going to help one bit. You've already established you can aim... After all the balls don't miraculously find a pocket... You send them there. I feel once you get to that level of play there are only two aspects of your game that can limit you from improving from then on... Fundamentals and mental. Both those two are what I feel set say, Steve Davis in his prime from Jimmy White in his prime. Steve had better fundamentals and had a better mental game and didn't bottle it when it mattered. Both could accurately aim any shot on the table.

So, why are there so many systems in pool? Is it people out to make a quick buck, is it to better understand what you are actually doing and giving you confidence in your choice when the pressure is on? If someone can give me an answer I would be very grateful.

You come from a snooker background, don't you,so I guess you are comparing pool with snooker?

1. Pool tables have diamonds, greatly contributing to the ease of making systems of all kinds. If you think pool have lots of systems, you should try 3-cushion...They have even more systems and some advanced ones which factors in spin and hit points to reach a certain area of the table.

2. Pool tables have bigger pockets, making it easier to generate simplified systems that will still pocket the ball.

3. The most important reason is the difference between the games themselves. In snooker as you know, you are constantly shooting at balls that are being respotted to the same exact spot on the table as they were before (the colors). The closest thing you come to this is a spotted ball in one-pocket and straightpool. Frankly I can't remember the last time I shot a spot shot from behind the line in straight pool.

This leads to a very interesting difference in how the games are being played. If you watch any random, serious snooker player practicing he's doing one of three things: Shooting the colors of their spots, some kind of line up or the x-drill. This is how most practice and learn the game. The emphasis is in shooting the same shots over, and over and over. Potting angles are learned more or less inderectlly from this kind of practice.

In pool there is little sense to practicing this way. You may want to practice spot shots now and then if you play one pocket, but I don't know anyone shooting a kind of "continuous black" drill from the spot in pool. In pool, even though some positions are more common, it makes little sense to practice one spot like that, since the balls will end up more or less randomly each game. The value of rote memorization of shots is IMO greatly diminished when the shots are not exactly on the same spot! You can learn this way of course, but if some factors remain fixed, it's easier to concentrate on the potting angle and to remember shots. If you have trouble with one particular spot on the table,then of course practice that, but otherwise I don't think it is as productive as in snooker.

With games like pool and 3-cushion which have a great deal of randomness to them, it greatly helps your understanding and execution if you have some kind of system to make sense of the shots. By grouping shots into categories (which in snooker would be singular shots like "half ball blue of the spot" etc) you can help your brain memorize the potting angles faster. In pool those categories can be created by various aiming/position/kicking systems.
 
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rrick33

Rick
Silver Member
Everyone uses systems....even beginners before they become pros. When you learn to sight the OB you use some type of reference (system) to determine if the cue ball is contacting the OB correctly. Even if you think its by feel, this is often just an illusion.

The brain defines parameters by many means that establish the perceived alignment. It is only through trial and error that the brain narrows down the specifics of the "system" which ultimately becomes programmed over time as a sense of feel.

Your brain becomes so accustomed to the process of whatever system you apply it too, over time, that much of the function is performed subconsciously...leaving the player with the perception that they are playing by feel.

Your brain is still operating on whatever systems you used to establish a foundation for execution, i.e. sighting, stroking, banks, kicks etc. even if you prefer to believe it's strictly by feel.

The fact that the programming becomes seamless in its execution is not proof that your systems aren't still at work.
 
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JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
Whose to say approaching shots like some systems set out is best or very effective for most? It's surprising how you naturally do things is best. Sometimes it takes very minor adjustments but not much.

No one can say that. Which is why in sports where winners are determined by who scores the most goals (balls pocketed) it doesn't matter to much what form a person has if they are getting the results they need to win.

All systems are there for is to act as guides to help steer a person in the right direction. Some people rely too much on them, some don't use them enough, some don't use them at all, and some could benefit from them but have some notion that systems are for bangers who can't run three balls.

Every system ever discovered or developed had one goal in mind, to try and help players raise their skill level. So anything that promises this is generally going to be of interest.

You might ask why are there so many training aids in snooker? It's the same principle, people are looking for anything that might help them become a better player. Some as a shortcut hoping for a magic pill....others as a guide to help them in their dedicated practice.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=snooker training aids
 
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