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  • Do you see what I see?

    Or more to the point, what does Efren see that I don’t see? As his numero uno fan I watch his videos, hoping to see how he does it. Nothing to it – he walks up to the table and picks out a ball and bends over and knocks it into a pocket. He practically never has to walk around behind the shot to see the contact point on the object ball, because he already sees it. Of course, Efren is not unique in this regard. All the top players have this ability – some more than others, naturally – and including the members on this site who can play.

    So, why can’t I see it? Here in my old age I can shoot straighter than I ever have in my life. I have a table and I practice some every day. My stroke is not powerful, but it is straight, and I am making a lot of the long straight-in shots that have always terrorized me. But I can’t aim. If I walk around behind the shot I can find the contact point and make a reasonable effort to hit it. But why can’t I see it when I get to the table, like Bata and John and Django and you guys? Was it a natural gift for you?

    My vision is okay – I see the edges of the ball just fine – but I do all my seeing with one eye, been that way all my life. One eye is pretty useless and so I have no depth perception to speak of. Is that the answer to my question? It’s a fact that I undercut when going to the left and overcut going to the right. Any one-eyed members here?

    I decided two or three years ago not to go on the pro tour – I couldn’t deal with all that traveling and all them billiard bunnies. What I’m hoping for today is some commentary on a topic that’s of great interest to me. And I don’t think I want to hear about aiming systems. Efren doesn’t use an aiming system and I want to do it like he does. Don’t we all?
    If it ain't funny, it ain't much.

  • #2
    There was a WWED What would Efrin, anyway there was an obvious bank that without a kiss on a object ball negating any effort. I said at the time, Efrin finds ways to make shots work. He thinks that extra one step after most of us have gone to the next choice.
    Coyotes, Eagles, and Deer, oh my!

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    • #3
      those that reach that kind of proficiency have both natural talent that others do not have. and they have put in more hard hours than the others that wish they had that ability.

      one friend that was always messing with his golf swing trying to get it perfect and couldnt figure out why he couldnt hit the ball where he wanted all the time. i told him it was because he hadn't hit a million golf balls yet.

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      • #4
        Vapos, I see you go behind the shot, and somehow this finds you the contact point. This is amazing for you can not visually see or keep your eye on the contact point as you walk back to do the shot.
        So you now need or wish you can find the contact point from the front. Here is one method that I use, for example.

        Put your OB on the spot, now line up your cb off from straight (slight angle) between the side pocket and the spot. Now eye from the cb straight into the corner pocket and see if the contact point on the ob pops out for you! If it does, great! If not, oh well, it does not pop out for all people. I call this 'triangulate'. First you have a straight line to the pocket from the cb, then in your mind there is a line to the ob (at contact point) then a line from the ob to the pocket, it forms a triangle. I came up with this method when instructing a pupil. It worked for him.

        Another method of seeing the contact point: I first eye straight at the ob from the cb and then the contact point pops out for me. You can either do this before your down on the shot or after your down on the shot, then once you see the contact point then lay down on it. I like this method when I am sending the ob a long distance to the corner pockets.

        For cut shots whereas I am sending the cb a long distance to the ob, I have no method to fall back on, I just see the angle and hit it. Unless it is a slight cut then I may fall back on using one of the above methods. For short to mid distance cut shots 30 or more degree cuts whereas the ob is closer, I may check the angle first then go back to the cb, and/or use the method of looking straight in line from the cb to ob first.

        But when I was young and playing for real, I was like Efren, just shoot the shot. The more you play the quicker you see the shots. The last time I shot this way was back in 2011 in a regional, but I was able to see the shot before ever going down on the shot, and used no methods. This is key to shoot without missing, see the shot before you go down on it, not easy to do. But if you can do it, it makes the shot so much easier when your down on it.

        I hope this is of help, I know oh so well the feeling of not seeing nothing, and going; "where is that contact point". Let me know if this helps! Whitey
        Last edited by Dennis "Whitey" Young; 05-09-2019, 10:31 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by vapros View Post
          ...
          So, why can’t I see it? Here in my old age I can shoot straighter than I ever have in my life. I have a table and I practice some every day. My stroke is not powerful, but it is straight, and I am making a lot of the long straight-in shots that have always terrorized me. But I can’t aim. If I walk around behind the shot I can find the contact point and make a reasonable effort to hit it. But why can’t I see it when I get to the table, like Bata and John and Django and you guys? Was it a natural gift for you?

          My vision is okay – I see the edges of the ball just fine – but I do all my seeing with one eye, been that way all my life. One eye is pretty useless and so I have no depth perception to speak of. Is that the answer to my question? It’s a fact that I undercut when going to the left and overcut going to the right. Any one-eyed members here?
          ...
          I too have depth perception problems. For the past few years I've become legally blind in my left eye. Retinal surgery may correct it, but I'm very sheepish about having it done.

          I have enough depth perception to keep me from walking into walls, and so forth, but have no fine depth perception. It definitely affects my pool aiming. It even causes me to miscue occasionally. I'm gradually learning to adjust on the pool table, but it's taken away a little chunk of my ability.

          But in terms of innate ability, some are obviously blessed with it. They naturally know where to hit an OB. It's similar to music. I've known several musicians with "perfect pitch". If you play them a note, they know exactly which it is. If you ask them to hum an F-sharp, they can immediately do it. How is it possible? It's simply a sensorimotor ability that is present in 1 out of 10,000 people. That hyper ability is probably similar in number to those who innately know exactly where and how to send a CB to an OB.

          So the rest of us just stumble along and try to improve with the abilities that we have..

          ~Doc

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          • #6
            Nels Feigen only has one eye. That is why you see his cue is not even close to being under his chin, but is way off to one side.

            But when you are 'continuing' to undercut to the left and 'continuing' to over cut to the right, you then need to not except what your brain is telling you, and override it, correct it, and shoot the shot 'not' where you think you can make it, but shoot it on the corrected line of sight. Keep doing this until it becomes natural. Seems awkward I know.

            I have this problem and have two good eyes (with glasses). I have found myself generally overcutting certain shots, and I say to myself; " but darn it must go in, but darn I keep missing it the same way, I must be wrong". Well I had to come to grips with myself and realize my brain is telling me incorrectly, and I had to correct it. Whitey

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            • #7
              Whitey, I am beginning to wonder if the best shooters are seeing a contact spot at all. You indicated that you have been a shooter in the past - so what did you see when you were down on a shot? Can you recall? A ghost ball, maybe, or the triangle you mentioned?

              At my age, I don't think I can start trying to develop a feel or an instinct for the shot. It will have to be the contact spot, and it is much easier to see when standing, because of the third dimension - depth. One of the best shooters I play with is a stand-up shooter. It always looks to me like an awkward way to do it. I think he sees the shot better, but he is a long way from his stick.

              Thanks to everyone who is responding here.
              If it ain't funny, it ain't much.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vapros View Post
                Whitey, I am beginning to wonder if the best shooters are seeing a contact spot at all. You indicated that you have been a shooter in the past - so what did you see when you were down on a shot? Can you recall? A ghost ball, maybe, or the triangle you mentioned?

                At my age, I don't think I can start trying to develop a feel or an instinct for the shot. It will have to be the contact spot, and it is much easier to see when standing, because of the third dimension - depth. One of the best shooters I play with is a stand-up shooter. It always looks to me like an awkward way to do it. I think he sees the shot better, but he is a long way from his stick.

                Thanks to everyone who is responding here.
                When I played for real, I only seen the contact point. I looked at the lower half of the object ball to pick up the contact point. I have no clue that it might be a gift as Doc is stating, never thought about it or discussed it with anyone. Hank, was wondering when does it happen when you just see the shot on banks. Tough to answer.
                I'd often wonder about just seeing the whole ball (not looking for a contact point) and visualizing it going towards and into the hole. I mean I've done it, but only rarely and I do not ever think about trying it when I am down on a shot. But others here may use this method, and I would like to hear from them. Since I only played for less than 4 years, then this might be the progression from seeing the contact point to seeing the whole ball and shoot, for those that are a lifer player. Like Efren, playing so much he just sees the shot, everything processes so quickly that the contact point is done so quickly or is just a thing of the past. Just see the ball and shoot.

                But you definitely just see the shot (contact point) and shoot. One day in practice I noticed I was seeing the shots and shooting quicker. So I called up a friend to come over and time me to see how many racks of 9-ball I could play in 30 minutes. This is on a 5 x 10 with drop pockets. After a game I'd run around the table to gather the balls and re-rack then run to break, well I did 14 racks. So there is no aiming methods, no time for any of that.

                I felt I was always deliberate, meaning I just did not instantly flop down on the shot. I am self taught, so I had no aiming methods. It is only now that it is hard for me to pick up the contact point on certain shots, so I either use one or the other method that I depicted to help me out.

                I have my chin on the cue, but am now recently finding myself a little higher up now days. Probably due to glasses, the balls are clearer and more round when using a more upright stance. But I can not shoot with an upright stance. My toughest shots are straight in, hard to find the contact point with glasses for me, nothing looks right!

                I know it is frustrating, and I get darn mad when I look at the ob and see nothing. Hope some of this will help, I can not imagine just how it is to shoot a ball when your depth perception and vision in one eye are not there! Good luck! Whitey
                Last edited by Dennis "Whitey" Young; 05-09-2019, 03:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  I grew up playing 3 red ball snooker on tight 5 x 10’s. By the time I was 16 I pretty much hit the pocket with everything I shot at. At around 20, I started playing some three cushion Billiards and picked it up fairly fast. The older players were happy to take in a younger player and started to try and teach me systems. This was when I realized not everyone had the natural ability to see where to strike the ball and where to hit to achieve the desired results.

                  As an older player it is pretty much day to day and I feel that some adjustments need to be made. I have always got down low on the cue ball. Not so much now. I have a tendency to creep up on the cue ball as I run balls and often get out of sync and miss balls. With some help from the house pro who has observed what I do, I still get down low, but step back and raise up a bit. This usually happens when I am trying to draw the cue ball. When I don’t remember this, I often miss hitting the ball where I want to and missing the shot.

                  I also have started using a closed bridge more to keep me from jerking my stroke on the shot. Especially on power shots. As an old snooker player, I have mostly used an open bridge most of my pool playing days. Again, not so much anymore, and it seems to be working for me.
                  JOHN HENDERSON
                  Al Romero Cue
                  Magic Chalk

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                  • #10
                    There’s no aiming in pool you either see the line or you dont

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vapros View Post
                      Whitey, I am beginning to wonder if the best shooters are seeing a contact spot at all. You indicated that you have been a shooter in the past - so what did you see when you were down on a shot? Can you recall? A ghost ball, maybe, or the triangle you mentioned?

                      At my age, I don't think I can start trying to develop a feel or an instinct for the shot. It will have to be the contact spot, and it is much easier to see when standing, because of the third dimension - depth. One of the best shooters I play with is a stand-up shooter. It always looks to me like an awkward way to do it. I think he sees the shot better, but he is a long way from his stick.

                      Thanks to everyone who is responding here.
                      I’ve read that certain players use an aiming point rather than a contact point. It must be more instinctive to use an aiming point and at the some time the contact point is more subliminal. I don’t know if beginning or casual players can utilize an aiming point.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BrookelandBilly View Post
                        I don’t know if beginning or casual players can utilize an aiming point.
                        I'm not qualified to have an opinion on straight shootin' but I'll give one anyway:

                        Aiming to a contact point is a complicated double calculation. Once you find the contact point, you still have to figure out what part of the CB you need to aim at it. But with enough hours on the table I think most people can quit worrying about that and the second adjustment just occurs automatically.

                        I think the ones who are really lucky make that automatic adjustment from the beginning.

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                        • #13
                          bill
                          first of all you dont know for sure if efren uses an aiming system or not.
                          he is not going to tell you
                          here shane describes what works for him
                          i am not advocating its right for you bill
                          but perhaps an aiming system as a guide might help
                          https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...f3&action=view

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                          • #14
                            one more thought
                            since you say you have trouble seeing the contact point from behind the cue ball (is that correct?)
                            well when you are standing behind the cue ball and looking at the object ball can you tell if you hit the object ball THERE it will go towards the pocket?
                            can you tell how thick or thin a hit it looks like?
                            if so then just make the cue ball hit that spot or learn about fractional aiming
                            jmho

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                            • #15
                              Larry, thanks so much for posting Shane's aiming system. For that is the very same shot I have been struggling with. I do not know why, for I easily make the same shot cross the short end rails.
                              I took it to the table and it works well. On 45 degrees use left edge of cue to edge of ball, 30 degrees use center of cue to edge of ball, and 15 degrees use right edge of cue to edge of ball. Great starting points. I also tried it on other shots out in the middle of the table, and it seemed to work well. I think it is a good system to at least check yourself to make sure your in the ball park, thus keeping you from totally missing the mark.
                              I once worked on my own aiming system for this shot, although it was basically the same as Shane's, I made it more complicated, so therefore to hard to remember.

                              I wonder when sending the ob 8ft. diagonally to the pocket and you miss the contact point by a 1/32" just how far off you would miss the pocket. 3"-4" or more probably, I do not know. 1/64 probably still misses the pocket. You probably have to stay within 1/128" to make it.

                              I wonder how Vapros is coming along, and whether any of the suggestions are helping. Just using certain english on certain shots seems to help in picking up the contact point. I notice MR. 400 uses a lot of outside english when back cutting and sending the ob a long distance down the long rail to the pocket. I've tried that also and I seem to pick up the contact point better. Thanks again, Whitey
                              Last edited by Dennis "Whitey" Young; 05-12-2019, 12:40 PM.

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