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The key to making a shot in pool is in where you look. If you put your eyes in the right place, then your shots should come together perfectly. You will instantly become a better player. So, how do you make this happen? Let our experts explain.
So, where do you look when shooting pool? Well, in most cases, the last place you should be looking is at the target ball, or a rail or pocket if you plan to hit those with the target ball. If you do this, then your brain should automatically cue where to strike the ball.
Of course, this does not tell the ‘full story’. If you want to know exactly where you should be looking when you are shooting pool, then read on. Our experts have plenty of information to share with you.
Where do I Look When Shooting Pool?
In the vast majority of cases, the last place you should be looking when making a shot will be on the target ball. As we mentioned before, if you are looking at the target ball, your brain will automatically line up the cue on the cue ball for you. This isn’t something that you really need to be thinking about.
That being said, there are some people, particularly during the early stages of their playing career, that dart their eyes from the cue ball to the object ball, and then back again. This teaches their brain exactly how to hit the cue ball. As you play more of the sport, this is something you will be thinking about less and less.
To be honest, even more experienced players will likely dart their eyes between the cue ball and the target ball when they are working out the best way to take their shot. As you dart your eyes between the two balls, it will allow you to line up your shot perfectly. You will be doing this as you move the cue stick slightly back and forth. Your brain will automatically get everything into position for you.
One thing is for certain, as soon as you start to take that hit stroke, your only focus should be on the object ball. Keep your eyes on that object ball until the cue ball connects with it. This way you will be training your brain to know whether you hit the cue ball in the right way or not. If you are a little bit off, then you will likely need to slow down on your next shot.
Are There Exceptions to This Rule?
There are three exceptions to this rule.
When you are breaking, which means power is going to be absolutely everything, you do not need to focus on the target ball quite so much. You know where that it is. It is dead in front of the cue ball. Just put as much power into the shot as possible.
If you are trying to bounce off the rails for a ‘trick shot’, then you may also want to put a little more focus on the cue ball. Obviously, you still need to know that the cue ball is going to be bouncing from the rail in the right way, but this all comes from setting up the shot perfectly.
If you are playing a longer shot, then you may also want to spend a lot more time looking at the cue ball. Obviously, you are still going to be looking at the target ball, but the exact location you hit the cue ball is going to be a lot more important on longer shots.
How Can I Work on Improving My Aim in Pool?
Your first step is to avoid looking at the cue ball so much. The biggest trap that most newer players fall into is spending most of their time looking at the cue ball. As we have said repeatedly; if you look at the target ball, then the cue ball is more likely to go towards it. Your brain is going to be doing the bulk of the work here.
One technique that we especially love is the ‘ghost ball technique’. This is where you attempt to visualize an imaginary cue ball on the table. By doing this, you will be able to visualize exactly where the cue ball needs to contact the target ball in order to complete the shot you want. As you become better at pool, this will become easier as you will know exactly how the cue ball moves about.
If you do not feel like using the ‘ghost ball technique’, then try to visualize a line between the cue ball and the object ball. This should give your brain an idea of where to hit the cue ball.
In this game, practice really does make perfect. The more you play pool, the better you will become at hitting the cue ball. This, eventually, means that you only ever need to focus on the target ball. Honestly, once you get this down, you will move from an amateur to intermediate player pretty quickly. After all, pool is about making shots.
How can you learn to aim your shots better in pool?
Learning to aim requires a lot of practice. The bulk of aiming in pool focuses on muscle memory, and your brain knowing the exact way to strike a cue ball to make the shots that you want to make. The more you play pool, the easier this will become.
What happens if you miss a shot in pool?
If you are not looking where you are aiming, there is a strong chance that you will either miss a shot or hit one of your opponent’s balls. In both cases, this will result in a foul. Your opponent will then be allowed to place the cue ball wherever they wish on the table for their shot.