Before I start talking about how to aim lets first talk why we have a difficulty time aiming and miss shots.
We have two eyes and actually see three pictures:
- The picture recorded by our left eye.
- The picture recorded by our right eye.
- The composite picture computed by our brain which is the one we consider the true picture but which is entirely different than the left or right eye recording.
- Another complication is the fact that we have a dominant eye that is used by the brain as the master reference.
- Also the brain weighs lights and shadows which for example makes striped balls appear different depending how the stripes are oriented.
In my opinion most shots are missed because the shooter gets confused about where he is aiming and not because of bad cueing. This is easy to see because one has three pictures to choose from and explains poor performance under pressure when we talk ourselves into using the wrong picture. Under stress the brain tries to gain more information about the object in view(potential aggressor) in this case object ball by alternating/evaluating left, right and composite view . This survival behavior is good in the real world when we try to judge if an aggressor is getting ready to make a move at us but makes aiming difficult or impossible(total confusion). I call this effect of confusion NG for “No Good”.
I have been looking for a way to get rid of NG and found this method:
- I start by aligning any cut shot like it was a straight in shot.
- Now I become aware where my cue is pointing at the rail(thus becoming aware what is a straight in shot) and look at that rail point past the object ball.
- Now I change my cue aiming point right/left until I think I have the proper cut angle.
- Again I become aware where my cue is aiming at the rail and look at that rail point past the object ball. I see the branch (straight line cue ? cue ball (Cue Ball) ? contact point ? rail point, and the branch of this line which is object ball to pocket). This makes it much easier because you judge the angle of the branch. By becoming aware(looking at) of the cue aiming point on the rail you double check your alignment automatically and get rid of NG (no good).
This has greatly helped my aiming and gives me confidence that I have the proper alignment when setting up for the shot. Aiming using the contact point only is impossible for me since the ball is round and it is impossible to focus and remember one specific point on it especially since we alternate what we are looking at during the aiming process.
Projecting the cue ball to the rail creates a much bigger context and gets rid of ?NG? because the object ball is not the main focus point but is only viewed with the peripheral vision.
Just to emphasize the main points.
- ALWAYS PROJECT THE CUE BALL TO THE RAIL AND LOOK AT THAT POINT.
- Project the cue ball past the object ball to the rail even if the object ball is touching the rail.
- The angle you judge is cue to rail point ? with branch object ball to pocket.
Give it a try.