First, it is very important that your vision center is aligned with the cue so the tip will look centered when it is centered.
It also helps to position the cue tip as close as possible to the CB in your "set" position to minimize any perspective perception problems resulting from not being aligned with your vision center. It also helps to deliberately focus on where the cue tip is relative to the CB center for a deliberate amount of time during the "set" position, with quiet eyes. It can also help some people to key off the resting point of the CB on the cloth. This can help you more accurately visualize the vertical centerline of the CB.
The drills suggested and demonstrated on the MOFUDAT page can also be very useful to diagnose and help correct alignment and stroke flaws. I have noticed that many players begin the table aim when they are down on the CB by placing the tip of the cue on the table. Many players from different countries use this method as part of the aiming process and it seems there may be a reason for it. Perhaps it does help with aiming. Apparently, when you place the stick on the table oriented through the center of the CB to the contact point, the tip is something like a pointer and you can evaluate the relative distances to either side of the CB from the center of the tip.
It is easier to find center and then move relative to this place. There is a second advantage to this method and this involves the perception of center as seen through the CB to the contact point. With the stick out of the way [there is] an unobstructed view. There [also] appears to be a third advantage. When the stick is initially placed on the table and the center line is sought, there is a definite tendency to place the stick on this line. The use of FHE and BHE is now relative to this line of travel for the CB to OB and it is easier to determine what needs to be done relative to a line that can be visualized as opposed to an estimated line.
What does it mean to "quiet eyes" when aiming a shooting a pool shot, and why is it helpful? Studies have shown that top athletes in many sport activities e. Various "quiet eye" resources can be found here:. Keeping your eyes "quiet" both in the set position while looking at both the CB and at the target, separately , and during the final swing while looking at the target is important for consistency and accuracy.
Pauses give your eyes time to settle and become quiet. In the set position, you want to alternately verify both the desired tip contact point on the CB with quiet eyes and the aiming line and target with quiet eyes. And before starting your final forward swing e. The following research study also looked at potential correlations between vision attributes and pool-playing performance: The study concluded that there is no correlation between various optimetric measures dominant eye, depth perception, phoria, fixational disparity, etc.
What is the "conventional wisdom" and "best practices" concerning how to sight during aiming? Sighting " BD, August, It covers this topic fairly well. Regardless of what method you choose, the most important part is to be as consistent as possible for each type of shot!!! If you are consistent, your vision and brain will develop to "see" the correct line of aim for every shot. By "where do you sight," I mean: An obvious option is to always align your "vision center" with the center of the CB, regardless of the type of shot.
This way, you learn to see all different shots, and how they vary, from the same perspective. Mike Page's videos on aiming and sighting present excellent background and insights on this topic. He points out that the only sighting that makes sense for a straight in shot is over the cue through the center of the CB. He also points out that with a thin cut, the sighting line that makes the most sense is also along the contact-point-to-contact-point line which will be very close to the edge-to-edge line for a really thin cut.
Then he suggests that maybe you should also sight along the contact-point-to-contact-point line for all shots in between any cut shot. He also makes a good argument that you should probably never sight along a line that is not parallel to the aiming line which is along the cue for a center-ball hit.
Another alternative is to always align the inside eye of the shot with the inside edges of the CB and ghost ball, so you can more clearly see the ball-hit fraction i. In this case, with a thin hit, you will be aligning nearly edge to edge ETE. Some people recommend sighting exactly ETE with thin hits. An alternative here is to temporarily shift your head and close one eye to get a look at the ETE line, but then re-center your "vision center" over the cue during your final set and stroke. Again, regardless of how you align and sight, the important thing is to align and sight the exact same way for each type of shot.
That way your brain is seeing the same picture for the same type of shot every time. It is also very important to find your vision center and make sure you align it perfectly with the cue for straight in shots. It is also very important to make sure the cue tip is aligned with the center of the CB when you don't intend to apply english see finding the center of the cue ball. So when you center your vision directly over one line, the other line is necessarily off to the side a little and therefore harder to line up precisely - i.
So I don't think it's a given that one way is always better than the other. I'm not even sure it's necessary for a player to do it the same way every time - maybe some shots lend themselves better to one and some to the other.
For instance, thin cuts and shots with lots of sidespin might lend themselves more to sighting along the contact points line, while thicker shots with less spin might be best sighted along the stick. What's best might also change with the player - some might see the alignment better by favoring the stick while others might favor the contact points line, like how different players have different centers of vision because of eye dominance. Aiming a rifle and aiming a cue stick are similar, but they're not the same.
There's only one place for anybody's eye singular when aiming a rifle, but that doesn't mean there's only one place for everybody's eyes plural when aiming a cue stick or aligning balls in pool. The difference is that when aiming a rifle you're using only one eye and you can get your eye directly behind and in line with the rifle sights and the target, but when aiming a stick or balls you use both eyes and your eyes are always above the line the stick and balls are on.
You use monocular vision to aim a rifle, but binocular vision to aim in pool, and the two are very different. With binocular vision from above it isn't necessarily best to have one eye directly above the things you're trying to align - sometimes, or for some people, it's best to have the things you're trying to align somewhere between the eyes because that's where your brain assembles the twin images from your binocular vision to present the truest single image mostly due to which eye is dominant and how strongly dominant it is.
How can I determine the head position and eye alignment necessary for me to have the best aiming accuracy and consistency? Having your head aligned properly is the most important fundamental of pool. Visual Alignment " BD, July, covers this topic fairly well, as does the following video from Vol. Your vision center is the head and eye alignment, relative to the cue, that allows you to see a center-ball, straight-in shot as straight, with the tip appearing to be at the center of the CB.
For some people, this might be with the cue under their dominant eye e. For others, it might be with the cue under their nose, or somewhere else between or even outside of their eyes.
To be accurate and consistent with both straight-in and cut shots, you should always position your "vision center" over the desired aiming line for the shot. See shot sighting for more information and other approaches. In general, it is best to have your head as square to the shot as possible, and with the eyes as level as possible, in the "vision center" position.
A useful technique to find your "vision center" is to set up a straight-in shot e. Then position your head over the shaft close to the place and orientation your head would be while down in your stance. Then move your head left and right, without tilting or turning, until the tip position looks centered and the shaft and shot alignment look perfectly straight. This head position is your "vision center. Another good way to visually find your vision center position is using a mirror with a vertical line, as demonstrated in the following video:.
This will test if you are aligning with the center of the CB and if you are able to consistently send the CB along a straight line. If you tend to miss shots in one direction more than the other, you might want to recheck your vision center position.
Another good drill to help you find and test your vision center, per the first video above, is to set up a long straight-in shot into a corner pocket, marking the CB and OB positions with self-adhesive hole reinforcements AKA, a "little white donuts". Then hit stop shots. If the CB has no sidespin after hitting the OB, and if the OB goes into the center of the pocket consistently, then you have your vision center properly aligned and you have a good stroke.
If not, then shifting your head will probably help. If the CB consistently goes to the right of target, causing the OB to go left of the pocket, your left eye is probably dominating the perception of the line of the cue. This causes you to position the cue a little to the left of center and to pivot the cue a little to the right of the desired line of aim. With your eye alignment to the left of center, you perceive the shifted and pivoted cue position as centered and straight, but it is not.
If this is the case, try shifting your head to the right a little, and then try another set of stop shots. If you are consistently missing the CB target to the left instead, with the OB missing the pocket to the right, try shifting your head to the left. After you find the head alignment that results in the best accuracy i. When playing, you can verify that your vision center is aligned properly by touching your chin to cue if your stance is low enough to do this.
Otherwise, when down in your stance, just glance down with your eyes with the head still to see where the cue is relative to your eyes and nose.
Obviously, you want the cue in the same place as it was when you determined your "vision center" with the drills above. Regardless of what you use as your "vision center" position, the most important factor is being as consistent as possible so your brain can learn to judge the full range of shots from the same perspective.
Also, a single eye provides only one "picture" for the brain to process, so parallax issues are not a concern. Although, the direct depth perception that comes with binocular vision can be very helpful in pool to better visualize angles e. Introduction and Fundamentals ," BD, April, Here's useful 2-page visual summary of "vision center" concepts and drills. In the first video above, why does the shooter not follow through straight? Bob the shooter has a slight swoop in his stroke, so he does not follow through perfectly straight.
This is something he learned to do over many, many years as a result of his vision-center alignment being slightly off. It causes him to align slightly off center at address and aim slightly off line. By coming through the shot with a slight swoop, he corrects for both. He does not do any of this consciously. It is something he learned to do subconsciously through years and years of reinforcing practice.
Obviously, we wouldn't recommend this approach, and it does not change the important messages of the video. But for Bob to change this now would be extremely difficult. He has played at a very high level for many, many years, and he does all of this naturally. He was actually a collegiate national champion in the past, using these technique "flaws. Get down in your stance with your cue with your bridge hand at the end of the spare shaft. Place your cue over the shaft.
When you see equal parts of the shaft on each side of your cue, you then know you are seeing a straight line. That is where your head should be. I'm going to give you all a detailed guide on how you can easily find your vision center without being near a pool table.
All that's left to do is stand directly in line with the paper, and look up slightly at your eyes. Where ever the paper is lined up is your vision center. The way the camera see below is seeing it is how your eyes should see when your head is in the correct position. Please note how neither the face or back of the card is visible. That's what you're aiming for when doing the test.
What you need is a pool table and some tape. Tape that's about half an inch or thinner is perfect. Now, what you need to do is stick the tape on the table bed, about 12 inches away from the rail. Bring the tape back towards the rail keeping it as straight as possible and place it under the rail, then up the cushion and along the rail again keeping it nice and straight.
The tape should be staggered due to the height increase onto the rail from the baize. This step is the important part in showing you how you see a straight line as straight, and just as importantly where you are lined up on the cue ball is in fact where you are lined up. I generally not in line with the cue and object ball I always miss the simple shots because of the wrong striking position …..
Will listen,learn, and apply all snooker tips to achieve my goals on the table. Like the way the article was wrote and you seem like a nice humble bloke! Definitely going to put all that into practice. Hard game but rewarding quickly when breaks of double digits are a massive high: Frustration crept into almost every shot, and I was missing shots that normally I could hit all day. Anyway, just wanted to let you know your articles are being read and appreciated during the long Canadian winters.
Thanks for your time…. Thank you so much Gord. Let me know how you progress. Yes, the Canadian winters can be long: Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. Please excuse if I am asking the following question in wrong forum. Q Regarding the position of cue ball for the next shot which among the below to be considered first? OR 2 Decide the object ball and then think of possible areas of the cue ball?
Thanks for your comment. There are two types of positional shots to think about. When you are on a red, there are only certain locations that can give you a color. So for example, potting a red in the scoring area, the obvious choices are black, followed by pink, followed by blue. These three colors never move. They are always replaced in the same position. The reds, however, are navigation balls.
The reds help you get on the next color. With obvious shots, its easy to pick out what the color should be. So for example, a straight in red, stun run, and get a black. These reds are easy to pick out. Sometimes, you can go up for a blue, and other times, drop it in for a black. The choice to make here for a color are less clear and they change depending on what kind of stroke, potting ability, and style you choose. Breakbuilding is based upon known rules, but there is also a lot of room for interpretation on ball selection.
When breakbuilding, you need to consider BOTH cue ball position and ball selection. They go hand in hand. How you execute shots and what kind of shot you mostly choose is important to understand. What kind of stroke are you most likely to use and are most comfortable with will dictate what your breakbuilding looks like.
Regarding your question, I would suggest that option B is the choice for me. There is a narrow margin within which you can position the cue ball. If you WERE on a , is it suddenly more appropriate to go for another black even though under other circumstances you would never do this? The key thing to realize is that your ability to move the cue ball around is directly proportional to the size of your toolbox. How many different ways can you execute a shot and get both pot and position?
Reply back with your average breaks. The question you ask is from someone that understands the game to some level. Thanks a ton for the feedback. My highest break on Wiraka M1 table is but my average break is not more than 30 most of the time.
Its because my game is not driven with strategy. Since now, I decided to take my game to next level, I would like to apply some strategies and techniques and fortunately I found your web site of great help to me.
I will keep posting about my progress by applying the precious suggestions by you and will keep you updated with my ease on break builiding. What will help is seeing you on video. I ask everyone that comments to provide some videos showing me their game.
One tip you can start thinking about is looking for red ball clusters. The first and most important cluster to remove if possible is around the black.
If the black is open to both pockets, this greatly increases your winning percentage. The next most important are the ones that would hamper your ability to pot the black. So for example, reds that are half way between the black, pink, and side cushion.
These are in the way and need to be removed so that you can cue the black and pink into the side properly. These reds dont look like trouble, but they will slow or prevent a break. The third group of reds, once these first two are removed, are the reds in the cluster. Now, given these rules, there are no hard and fast rules. Sometimes, you can break the cluster while still managing the first and second cluster set. One thing I highly recommend is to find yourself five extra blue balls and using them on the colors when in practice.
This makes you focus more on just building a break, rather than favoring the black over the other colors. The game is based on logic, scoring, and consistency and staying on the table as long as you can.
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