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A I M I N G

4 Aiming: Most players have trouble making certain types of shots. Some players are good at straight in shots while others are good at cutting balls. To play good pool though you need to make all types of shots. It is relatively easy to make a ball as long as you can see where to aim. We will discuss the various types of shots you will encounter and tricks you can use to make aiming easier. First though, we will discuss the various things that can make any shot go wrong.

Deflection: Whenever you apply any left or right spin to the cue ball there is going to be some amount of deflection of the cue ball caused by the off center hit. You might not notice it on short shots where you have a wider margin of error to work with, but on longer shots the deflection will burn you if you don't account for it. For example: Lets say you want to shoot a ball three feet away and cut it to the right with left english. You will need to over cut the ball slightly or put another way aim farther to the left than the point of contact needs to be. The deflection caused by hitting the cue ball on the left side will push it slightly back to the right and give you the proper hit to make the ball. Understanding the effects of deflection on the cue ball will help you adjust your aim to make balls more consistently.

Throw: Whenever you strike an object ball with a center hit it will slide forward momentarily before leaving in the direction dictated by the point of contact with the cue ball. To compensate for this you must do one of two things. First you could overcut the ball. For example: Lets say you want to cut a ball to the right in the corner pocket. Aim so that it looks the object ball will fall in the right side of the pocket. The throw effect will 'push' the ball to the center of the pocket. Secondly you could eliminate the throw effect by shooting the cue ball with left english. The left english will spin the ball in accurately but don't forget to account for deflection of the cue if you try this on a long cut shot.

Warm up Shot - Straigth InStraight in shots: These shots are easy to aim but often times difficult to make. Proper physical mechanics are a must in this shot so I would highly recommend practicing it often. Practicing the drill pictured left will give your game a rock solid foundation. Use striped balls for both the cue and object ball. Place the object ball in the exact center of the table. With the cue ball near the corner pocket, shoot the object ball into the diagonally opposing pocket. Extra credit if you can scratch behind the object ball!