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Thread: Learning to aim/the line of the shot

  1. #1
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    Default Learning to aim/the line of the shot

    Been playing snooker for about 6 months now. On the one hand I feel I've improved a lot, on the other hand I feel like I still don't understand exactly how to select the line of aim I want to pot a ball. The only way I can do it with any degree of accuracy right now is the ghost ball method, but for this to really work I have to spend much longer than the average player figuring out exactly where I need to aim - I can't picture this 'ghost ball' very accurately at all unless I am looking down on a close ball and can judge the distance quite well. Even the simplest of shots I have to spend a good 30 seconds figuring out where exactly I need to aim - Or I just guess, and sometimes manage to miss even the most basic of shots by considerable margins. It's worth saying that I have had one coaching session with a high level coach, who was impressed with my cueing for my ability, so I really don't think this problem is due to not cueing straight.

    My friend, on the other hand, says he just plays on 'instinct'. We are fairly even in ability at the minute (we both pot a couple of balls in a row fairly often, can make difficult shots occasionally), but when I watch him play he is about 4 times faster than me. He just comes to the shot, looks at it, gets down - and pots fairly well. To me this is like some kind of magic. When I try this method I have no way of choosing the shot, there is no 'line' jumping out at me that looks like the correct one - I am guessing pure and simple, and sometimes I am so far off in my judgement it is embarrasing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs2X...qxKJmKuWRO4CD9

    In this Barry Stark video he talks about 'playing the line of the shot'. This sounds like what my friend is doing, but I just don't know how you are supposed to do it. Is it something that becomes natural the more you play? If so, what should I use to aim as I practice? Should I try and force myself to develop this instinct by NOT figuring out where to aim in my usual painstaking manner, or is spending longer working out the line of aim a necessary part of learning to play the game?

  2. #2
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    Too many players overthink about aiming and sighting. The 'ghost ball' method is the system used by most new players who start out because it's intuitive to realize the cueball has to hit the object ball directly opposite the pocket opening. This could be called 'instinctual' because it's natural AND it makes sense.

    What really makes a player a good potter is practice and more practice. 2 hours a week will not improve a player but using almost any technique a player who practices 10 hours or more per week will improve and the rate of that improvement comes from how straight hje can cue.
    Terry Davidson
    IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

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    welcome Tlav to the snooker forum.

    your issue isn't new and many player struggle with this. i have, and still do. i have been playing for nearly 8 years now. i have used ghost ball, arc coverage, back of the ball to get consistent but still can't.
    i can pot any ball on the table once i am sure where to aim, however i still find difficulty finding the line of aim , i guess sometimes i play on instinct from all the solo practice ive put in and just recognise some angles more than others.

    don't worry about playing slow , you will play faster the more experienced you become and start to recognize the line of aim for a particular shot. i'm afraid it a case of practice , practice and more practice.

    its a hard game snooker and takes time to get good at it, we are all different and have different learning abilities , some pick it up quicker than others , that's just the way it is.
    keep practicing , have coaching when you need it to sort out a particular issue you can't solve yourself, or just post on here i'm sure you will get lots of those giving you advice on what to do and how to do it.

    in the end its up to you , and only you can make the improvements by putting in the time and effort in practice.

    Good luck

  4. #4
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    Yeah i don't practice 10 hours a week haha. Still am improving, albeit slowly. I'll stick to the ghost ball method and trying to just get used to using it. Thanks for the help.

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