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  • Vision Center / Dominant Eye

    Hello Kind People,

    I've been playing for just over a year, highest break 50 with a dozen or so of 40+ breaks. Recently, I began to suspect that in certain angles I might be lining up the shot wrong because of where I place the cue under my chin. Now, this might sound crazy, but for identical shots (in terms of potting angle, say a red to the either black pocket from the D line) to two opposite pockets, I feel like I need to change where I place the cue under my chin to line up the shot correctly. For instance, when I place the cue ball on the brown spot and try to pot a long red to the right black pocket (let's say 15 degrees) to stay for the black, I almost always catch the red thin. What's worse, when I hit the cue ball and feel like I made a good contact and delivery, I watch the cue ball travel on a completely wrong line, even though everything before and during the shot had felt good. But when I play the red to the opposite pocket, this time 15 degrees to the left, the cueball travels on the intended line and hits the red on the spot predicted before the shot. Occasionally, I have the same problem in simple, straight shots, where I would miss the pot even when everything about the shot felt good and smooth.

    I'm right handed and left eye dominant. I do know that being left eye dominant does not mean your vision center is right underneath your left eye - in fact, my original stance has the cue placed slightly to the left of my chin. After detecting this issue with my eyesight, which did affect my long game significantly after particularly changing my stance from the boxer one to the more traditional one, I began placing the cue way further to the left of my chin (akin to Robertson) and the results have substantially improved.

    So the question is this - is it possible to have different placements of the cue depending on the range and angle of the shot due to some perspective issues? In short range shots, say around the black spot, we might be so used to the angles and have better memory that the absolutely correct placement of the cue might not be as important as when you are playing a long shot full length of the table, where accuracy is much more important. I don't know. What I do know is that with this new placement of the cue to the further left under my chine, I can now make 5-6 consecutive long shots in a practice session with full confidence, whereas before I would miss the same 5-6 shots in a row, and always on the thin side. Of course, I might have my aiming wrong on certain shots, but the thing is, when I try to adjust my aiming, everything becomes disoriented and unnatural, so that even if I do pot the ball after some adjustment, I don't feel comfortable at all. Incidentally, this new technique has helped me pot balls next to the cushion with more success, as I for the first time see the potting angles when playing these tricky shots (e.g. both the cue ball and object ball close to the cushion).

    I would appreciate any feedback / comment you guys might have. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I have the mirror image affliction (right eye dominant, left handed). it's also complicated by my right eye being more shortsighted than my left. It requires a more awkward physical stance to get the cue aligned under my right eye, but that definitely leads to more potting accuracy and success. This is slightly complicated by my centre of vision sometimes (and I don't really know why) moving slightly to the centre under some conditions. I'm trying to assess roughly the position of my sighting at the start of a session, by placing a block of chalk on the opposite cushion and seeing how much it 'jumps' by viewing through a circle in my fingers and sequentially opening and closing each eye.

    The more convoluted stance does take some getting used to, and leads to a slightly restricted feeling on some power shots. I think it's necessary though. Without having the cue under my centre of vision my potting accuracy declines substantially. I have a tendency to go a bit more centre aiming on fuller than three quarter balls, because I can move the cue ball better...but that leads to things like frustratingly marginally missed balls.

    The extra variables in my sight and stance definitely contributes to lower consistency, with the result that I score (on average) worse than my ability level. It's one of those though...you are what you are.

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    • #3
      You both need to do the sightright test with a straight line on a piece of folded paper to find out where to stand in relation to your vision centre.

      Take a piece of A4 paper and draw a line with a black marker pen down the middle longways, fold the paper across the middle dissecting the line and put a fold either side of about an inch from the centre fold so that you can raise the centre of the paper in an upside down V, breaking the line in two and hiding one half of the line from view when down in the stance position of chin on cue.

      Set up a straight shot on the snooker table and place the paper on the table with the line on the paper exactly on the line of aim so the line on the paper is to the centre of the cue ball where you would place your cue. Remove the cue ball and stand behind the shot in a place where you see an unbroken line on the paper. Step into the shot from this position, get down chin on cue with cue bang on the line you can see up to the fold in the paper and tip to the edge of the far side of the paper beyond the fold, then raise your head to see if the cue is following the line on the other side of the fold in the paper.

      If it isn't then you have moved off the line when getting down into your stance either by turning the body and/or moving the feet and this needs to be remedied by you, if it is then all should be lined up correctly and from there it's all about straight cueing and keeping your focus on the contact point of the object ball on the strike.
      Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
      but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

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      • #4
        Originally posted by vmax View Post
        You both need to do the sightright test with a straight line on a piece of folded paper to find out where to stand in relation to your vision centre.

        Take a piece of A4 paper and draw a line with a black marker pen down the middle longways, fold the paper across the middle dissecting the line and put a fold either side of about an inch from the centre fold so that you can raise the centre of the paper in an upside down V, breaking the line in two and hiding one half of the line from view when down in the stance position of chin on cue.

        Set up a straight shot on the snooker table and place the paper on the table with the line on the paper exactly on the line of aim so the line on the paper is to the centre of the cue ball where you would place your cue. Remove the cue ball and stand behind the shot in a place where you see an unbroken line on the paper. Step into the shot from this position, get down chin on cue with cue bang on the line you can see up to the fold in the paper and tip to the edge of the far side of the paper beyond the fold, then raise your head to see if the cue is following the line on the other side of the fold in the paper.

        If it isn't then you have moved off the line when getting down into your stance either by turning the body and/or moving the feet and this needs to be remedied by you, if it is then all should be lined up correctly and from there it's all about straight cueing and keeping your focus on the contact point of the object ball on the strike.
        Thank you very much for your long and detailed reply. It seems this will be very helpful once i manage to get everything in the instructions right.

        Comment


        • #5
          I wouldn't bother too much about eye dominance or on where you put your cue. The important things are to make sure that you 'see' the shot before you get down, and then you aim on your way down.

          There has been a lot written about eye dominance in cue sports, most of it wrong. The two main fallacies are these:
          1. That you should try to get your cue correctly positioned in relation to your chin. Don't bother. If you are aiming the shot as you set up, your cue will automatically end up in the correct place in relation to your vision centre. This is a good thing, since everything should be automatic - if you are thinking about technique as you prepare for the shot then you are not actually preparing very well.
            Anyway, where the cue is in relation to the chin does not determine where the cue is in relation to the vision centre. For example you can have the cue exactly underneath the middle of your chin, but then change where the vision centre is in relation to the cue by tilting or turning your head. (People who are right handed and right eye dominant, or left handed and left eye dominant, have less flexibility here, but these combinations are relatively rare).
          2. That everyone has a fixed eye dominance - so for example you might be strongly left eyed dominant, which means that your vision centre is, say, 80% of the way towards your left eye. Wrong. That is not how eye dominance works. It changes.
            One thing that can cause eye dominance to change (temporarily) is when when you are looking at something that moves sideways across your visual workspace. This is why getting down to the shot at an angle is a very bad idea (I remember seeing ROS miss an absolute sitter into the middle pocket a few years ago because he did this).
            Another thing that affects eye dominance is how far away the object that you are looking at is. For example, if you are on the baulk cush and looking at playing a thin off the pack, your eye dominance will be at its maximum. But if instead you decide to trickle up behind a baulk cushion, your eye dominance will reduce (your vision centre will shift) and your vision is more binocular.
          So most of what you read about eye domiance and vision centre is wrong. But don't worry about it - just aim on the way in.

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          • #6
            The dominant eye thing has driven me nuts over the years. Tried lots of methods from centre of chin, working it out exactly, just hitting the ball and not worrying where it is to a mirror that shows you if you are on the line or not.

            I guess they all work in their way but not for everyone.

            I think of my eyes might be a little higher than the other!


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Shockerz View Post
              The dominant eye thing has driven me nuts over the years. Tried lots of methods from centre of chin, working it out exactly, just hitting the ball and not worrying where it is to a mirror that shows you if you are on the line or not.

              I guess they all work in their way but not for everyone.

              I think of my eyes might be a little higher than the other!

              The sightright test that I posted above simply shows you where to stand behind the shot in the right place where your eyes see a straight line, then approach the line of aim from there and if your cue isn't on the line on the paper when you are down and addressing the cue ball then you have moved off the line while getting down into your stance.
              How you have done this is for you to work out, it could be a twist of the body or a slight shuffle of one or both feet.
              I have found it's best to do this test with the line on the paper exactly on the baulk line so you can check the butt of the cue is on line as well as the tip.
              Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
              but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by vmax View Post

                The sightright test that I posted above simply shows you where to stand behind the shot in the right place where your eyes see a straight line, then approach the line of aim from there and if your cue isn't on the line on the paper when you are down and addressing the cue ball then you have moved off the line while getting down into your stance.
                How you have done this is for you to work out, it could be a twist of the body or a slight shuffle of one or both feet.
                I have found it's best to do this test with the line on the paper exactly on the baulk line so you can check the butt of the cue is on line as well as the tip.
                Yeah I was a bit tongue in cheek mate as I used a gadget with a mirror that I am still awaiting some feedback from coaches. It basically does the same thing and you could see that you didn't have the cue on the line so changed your stance until you did; I thought it was great but I'm a little like the other poster; One minute they're going in off the lampshades a so you think you have found your perfect position and then it was if I couldn't pot a red over the pocket.

                I felt like even though I knew I was now in the correct sighting position my mind kept making allowances for my old position and it would swing wildly different from day to day.

                I actually went from clearing the line up to 3 or four times missing the first red to the right, it drove me nuts.
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