How do you determine the best head/eye position over the cue? I've heard about eye dominance in a snooker tutorial, but am still not quite sure what the beast head position would be. I'm right eye dominant, but don't think that having my right eye right over the cue is best either. Are there tricks to determine the best position for each player (besides just what feels comfortable)?
- billiardbuzzdotcom on 9/8/2009 3:31:31 AM
I have to admit you have asked some very good questions concerning Eye positioning and Eye Dominance in Pool. I would also like to know the answer. I will be sure to watch this thread for responses.
- Fenwick on 9/8/2009 4:14:20 AM
I'm left eyed and right handed. During a recent lesson one of the first things I was told is it doesn't matter as long as you aim correctly.
That's to say you place the cue under your chin centered or place it under your dominant eye, right or left it doesn't matter.
If the stroke is straight meaning you hit what you're aiming at you are aiming correctly. Now the hard part is getting that repeatable straight stroke every time. That includes Set, Pause and Finish.
When I master this I well be the A player I've always wanted to be. Before I die is my goal. ;-)
- billiardbuzzdotcom on 9/8/2009 4:36:09 AM
Thanks Fenwick. I will be sure to apply those pool tactics to my game. I have been a pool player for years now but reading some of the information in this forum has developed my billiard game mentally. I have a lot more to learn I see. Just the little things that come along with playing pool need adjusting. Thanks once again Fenwick. BilliardBuzz
- Mitch Alsup on 9/8/2009 3:13:42 PM
If you are right eye dominant, the old rule of thumb is that your right eye should be above the cue stick. If you are only mildly RED then you might find it more natural for both eyes to be used. The key is that you want to be able to follow the cue stick through the cue ball, down the intended path and arrive at the center of the ghost ball. If you can do this visually, it does not matter exactly where the eye ends up being.
- forest on 9/9/2009 1:59:24 AM
I like this response. It is true that there is probably a range of position that a person can visualize that straight line, regardless of what their eye dominance is.
- Fenwick on 9/9/2009 5:59:58 AM
I'm not answering for Mitch but here's two ways I've been taught to see if your sighting correctly. One is simply lag the length of the table using varying speeds until the cue ball comes back to the tip of your cue time and time again. Not easy on a 9 foot table. If you can't do it you're sighting wrong or you have a flaw in your stroke. The second is doing one of the mother drills using only the striped balls. Instant visual feed back.
- Mitch Alsup on 9/9/2009 11:22:29 AM
The drill I use is to place the CB on the foot spot, place an OB on the head spot. Now stroke the CB to make a stop shot on the OB, have the OB bounce off the end rail, hit the CB and have the CB come back and hit the cue tip. If you can do this 10% of the time, there is little wrong with your stroke. If you can do this repeatedly (e.g. more than 50% of the time), there is nothing wrong with your stroke.
- Fenwick on 9/16/2009 5:46:43 AM
Another drill taught to me by Scott Lee to see if you're hitting what you're aiming at. It's part of the mother drills.
Place the seven striped balls head string and place the balls on their vertical access, stripe straight up and down. Make seven shots into a corner pocket at lag speed hitting center ball. Watch the strip to see if it's traveling without a wobble or side spin. If you look closely you should see the blue chalk marks on the balls when you're done also. Repeat going to the other corner pocket.
If your missing the center ball you have a flaw in either your sighting or your stroke. This would be a good time to break out the camera and record and evaluate if you know what to look for. It might also be a good time to seek out a instructor with a keen eye.
Note. If you can shoot this shot straight at lag speed bring it up one speed at a time until you're at your break speed.
- quickshot on 9/16/2009 6:07:24 AM
I never even gave the subject a thought. I do not believe I have a dominant eye while in my stance and aim. I just tried it on the table (dinning room) and it seems to me that I aim with a normal sighting as I would anything. Neither left or right. I'l have to try the Fenwick suggestion.
Now watch......here I will be trying something that never bothered me nor entered my mind thought. and watch the stroke go downhill. I don't remember who said it, but "sometimes we thinket too much instead of letting the natural nature of things be dominant.
- Fenwick on 9/16/2009 7:33:31 AM
The posts I made were directed at the severely one eye diamante players only. I happen to be one.
- forest on 9/16/2009 12:34:46 PM
The way to determine eye dominance is to point at an object in the distance with both eyes open. Then, close one eye. If you are still pointing right at the object, try reversing the eye that is open (close the open eye and open the closed eye). You are almost certainly not pointing at the object now--your finger is probably a few inches away from it. The eye that is sighting the point correctly is your dominant eye.
Most people are right eye dominant. Some people are left eye dominant or both eye dominant (which means your finger would not be pointing directly at the object with either finger--they would be to either side of it).
The idea here being that you should give the best line of sight to the eye you are naturally doing your sighting with. The other eye, i think, then becomes the secondary support for understanding the line of sight in three dimensions.
Something I don't have a total grasp of is if you are making a compromise by having one eye over the stick in your ability to shoot shots angled to one side (or your ability to understand what is the point of aim on the object ball)--because you are essentially making it so that both your eyes are one one side of the cue.
- Fenwick on 9/17/2009 5:28:09 AM
Perhaps I can answer this or at least try to. I changed your little typo BTW. Now if only I could fix my own. Dominant, not diamante!
"Something I don't have a total grasp of is if you are making a compromise by having one eye over the stick in your ability to shoot shots angled to one side (or your ability to understand what is the point of aim on the object ball)--because you are essentially making it so that both your eyes are on one side of the cue."
It's no different then shooting a rifle. Well it's a little different as with a rifle you're not aiming round objects at other round objects.
With a rifle aren't you essentially aiming with one eyes on the sights while the other is 6 or so inches off to the left. I say off to the left because no one in the military is left handed or left eyed when I was in 67-70. The rounds would be ejecting into your face so you're taught to shoot right handed.
Last night I was sharing some of the things I was recently taught with a friend who is slightly right eyed and right handed. He can place the cue under his chin centered. To give you a comparison between slightly and severely one eye dominant players we did this test.
We set up a shot and stood back about 5 feet. With both eyes open we lined up the shot with our cue standing vertical in front of our faces about 6 inches away. Then we did the close one eye then the other test.
At this distance his aim moved about 1/8 to 1/4 of a inch at best. My aiming point or sight line moved 2 feet.
I hope this helped. BTW I feel like shouting, " run Forest; Run! :-)
- Mitch Alsup on 9/17/2009 9:19:59 AM
The bullet is round in the longitudinal plane, and many paper targets are round........but I get your point.
- Fenwick on 9/17/2009 11:09:27 AM
Well I wasn't necessarily talking about paper targets. I also wasn't trying to make a bullet move the intended target left or right.
"It's no different then shooting a rifle. Well it's a little different as with a rifle you're not aiming round objects at other round objects."
"The bullet is round in the longitudinal plane, and many paper targets are round........but I get your point."
This was meant to explain aiming as simply as I could.. Glad you understood my intent. I tend to go with the kiss method of explaining things. I was a trainer for many years; not a teacher, and keept things as simple as I could.
I've learned these things by being tutored, mentored and schooled by some very knowledgeable players and one renowned instructor; Mr. Scott Lee. I also learned to listen rather then wait to speak. It's worked for me.
Last if I did not understand I asked the hard question, How So untill I understood.. That is the purpose of this forum correct?
I also spent three years, seemed longer, attending the University of Science, Music and Culture, 1967 - 1970. A education that has lasted a lifetime.
With All Due Respect.
- buckshotshoey on 9/18/2009 5:24:22 PM
I am a shooter that likes to keep the cue centered. But my aim sometimes varies from day to day.
The cure I have found that works for me.........Keep your head at a right angle and level in relation to the cue. Let me explain:
The reason God gave humans and other creatures two eyes, set apart, is for depth perception. When you line up for a shot, and one eye is farther away from the object in focus, even if it is a half of an inch, your depth perception will be a little off. When you have your head turned just a little, each eye is different distances from the object in focus. I try to approach every shot with both eyes square and level to the center line of the cue. It takes out a variable in your game when you sight in your shot the same every time.
It can be a little uncomfortable to adjust your stance at first,especially when shooting from awkward stances, but you get used to it. I don't have a dominate eye so maybe this is why it works for me but it might be worth a try for you.
- Fenwick on 9/18/2009 5:43:49 PM
"The reason God gave humans and other creatures two eyes, set apart, is for depth perception."
I have none! I'm severely left eye dominant. Your tip will help the slightly eye-dominant players but not players like me.
Thanks for the tip!
- quickshot on 9/18/2009 6:04:11 PM
I do not see what bullets, longitudinal plane and paper targets has to do with shooting pool. The only person I have seen using paper targets is Bert Kinister in his "Sixty Minute Workout" DVD. He uses the targets to create a return point after a shot. It is called ball control. I am currently watching the women pros playing (the top of the line) and they have missed shots that i would not believe they could. So much for eye dominance. Right eye, left eye and Delphi is an over worked topic of discussion that will never be brought to a conclusive conclusion simply because there is no one size fits all answer. To the player(s) who read all the rhetoric I will say this: that's exactly what it is.
If one wants to know what the ans is, pick up your cue and start practicing. The ans will come to you and you may not even realize it and it will save you a lot of blinking.
The bottom line is: do not get over analytical with all the BS out there. The eye will develop on its own.
If you want to kick your game up, take lessons.
- forest on 9/18/2009 6:29:30 PM
In some ways shooting pool is like shooting a rifle. However, with a rifle, the point of aim down the barrel should line up exactly with the target point. With pool, the point of aim down the cue only lines up with the target point on perfectly straight shots. Therefore, you have to imagine the point of contact that the cue ball will make with the object ball.
I would think that your ability to identify and then imagine this point of contact is better when shooting balls in one direction (to the left or right)?
Maybe it's not that important because making a shot is so much about memory, but it would be very interesting to understand the compromises a player is making when choosing a head/eye position.
- quickshot on 9/18/2009 6:45:06 PM
The above statement is just another way to lose one's focus.
@Forest - You are adding to the rhetoric that has no conclusive answer. As far as I'm concerned the only ability one needs is the ability to aim, shoot and connect. And when you make the shot, it is as good as a piece of chocolate.
Sorry, couldn't resist. I will have nothing more to say on the subject.
- Fenwick on 9/18/2009 6:50:30 PM
"In some ways shooting pool is like shooting a rifle. However, with a rifle, the point of aim down the barrel should line up exactly with the target point."
We were taught to use the 6 o'clock aiming method. We were also told to aim low if in drought. Bullets bounce even on water.
"With pool, the point of aim down the cue only lines up with the target point on perfectly straight shots. Therefore, you have to imagine the point of contact that the cue ball will make with the object ball."
Yes and no. I use CTE sort of. Cutting left I hit thicker. Cutting right I have to adjust cutting thinner. Frozen balls I hit the rail first adding side spin or english. That's where the mother drills come in.
When I was a Machinist working at Allis Chalmers tractor shop we has a saying. No two farmers shift the same and we worked in .005 to .00005 tolerances. Same thing with pool players!
- gibson on 9/19/2009 4:59:31 PM
This subject came up one time among players. I think that the general consensus is that "whatever works, works best". Hand eye coordination, whether it is hitting a nail on the head everytime, hitting a golf ball or a cue ball develops from muscle memory and repetition. I think your normal vision comes by the eye naturally adjusting to the target and positioning your head automatically. I tried shooting with one eye closed, both left and right and each time it felt unnatural and did not improve my sighting. I found the best position to be found with the way I have always done it: not thinking about it.
- forest on 9/19/2009 5:19:47 PM
@quickshot - I hear what you are saying. However, I'm not a believer in just playing without also building from techniques and knowledge. I'm also the type of player that doesn't believe in only playing intuitively. I think that it is better to understand what you are doing, because I think that is the best way to grow as a player.
I do play a lot, but I like to have a hand full of things that I am trying out or integrating all the time. This way I slowly get better at them. This applies to eye dominance and head position. Though I think it is true that you will naturally get better by just playing and not thinking to much about it. I also think that you are more likely to find the right technique (even it it is unique to yourself) by understanding what the options are and what the science is.
I don't know that there are conclusive answers, but there are certainly techniques that can be learned, applied, and adapted. I don't think it's rhetoric, it's part of the process of learning.
- billiardbuzzdotcom on 10/14/2013 6:05:50 AM
I am getting better with my Hand Eye Coordination simply from reading this thread. I will continue to come back for more information on billiards. This is an awesome forum.