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Myths of Pool
The Dominant Eye
Everybody thinks you need to put your cue under your dominant eye or under your chin. But where does Keith McCready and Earl Strickland fit in then? If this were the case, I guess they might need to give back their world championships. Neither Keith nor Earl hold their cues underneath their “dominant eye.” Keith and Earl, of course, are not the only players who hold their cue in a place other than their “dominant eye,” or chin. The dominant eye is only good for the length of your arm. After that length, both eyes must work together to give you true precision in aiming.
Hit the Ball and Then Follow Through
If you hit the ball, it’s gone. What good is follow-through going to do? The ball has already left the tip of your cue. What would a baseball batter do if he hit the ball mid-swing, and THEN finished his swing. What would he have? A bunt, right? How about a golfer: if a golfer hits the ball, and then he decides to finish his swing and follow through… What would this be? Well, it’d just be a chip shot. The same principals that apply to both of these sports must, also, then apply to Billiards. A follow through is a two-part action when you hit something and THEN follow through. This is, of course, opposed to the correct method: a one-part action of hitting the ball!
You’ve Got To Hold Your Cue Six Inches From the Balance Point!
The problem with this is that the idea of a standard balance point came from a book that was established in 1954 based on Willie Mosconi. Willie Mosconi was only 5’4” and had only 26” arms, and it goes without saying – these are likely not the dimensions of the average player. And what about players like Jim Rempe and David Howard who hold their cues either at the back of the wrap or the back of the cue? With the varying length of their wingspan, the position in which they grip their cues also vary. I see guys that are about 6’4” trying to hold their cues up closer to the wrap, but they eliminate their needed stroking room!The Longer the Bridge or Heavier the Cue!
People think if they need to turn or twist their back end of the cue while striking, however, this is ridiculous because the cue is only in contact with the cue ball for 1/1000th of a second. What effect then does the extra movement accomplish? Are you breaking balls for dough or for show? If a heavier cue is the answer, why not have a 50 lbs break cue? It would break better, right? And if a longer cue is better why not make it 50 feet long? Based on the premise that you want to get the heaviest cue with the longest bridge, your new cue would be great with such a combination.
Putting right spin on a ball before it contacts another ball will not truly spin another that it contacts because of the simple fact that was stated above: The balls are only in contact for 1/1000th of a second. A good experiment for this is putting two striped balls on the table (say a 10 and a 13), turn the stripes exactly the same direction, and put extreme right or left on the ball that you’re hitting. If the other ball takes the spin, then the other ball should take off spinning opposite just as fast as you put the spin on the other. However, in a real-life circumstance it turns out it’ll shoot just as straight. The contact surface between two balls is only about the size of the tip of an ink pen; not a particularly large surface to transfer spin with, is it?
Swing your cue until it feels right, THEN hit the cue ball
Another big mistake that players make is swinging their cue until it “feels right.” That is as preposterous as aiming at a target while wave your gun until you feel it’s time pull the trigger. This would never let your eye lock on the target, because you are in motion. When you move, your eyes keep gathering information so you can make a decision, but if you keep swinging until “it feels right” how will your eyes focus at the target to hit object ball correctly?
The Cue Never Misses – It’s so good you can’t believe it!
The funniest thing I have ever heard is that one’s “cue never misses, because it’s so good you wouldn’t believe it!” I have personally laid the cue on the table, backed up, and stood and watched the cue and it has never made a shot by itself. I have actually said get it, shoot it, and despite this, it just doesn’t seem to do a thing on its own. People really believe the cue is what plays the game for them. A good cue is ONLY a good cue, and will only go as far as the player’s skill will take them.
About the Author: Jerry Powers is a veteran in his industry with over 20 years of manufacturing experience. His website and cues can be viewed at www.jericocues.net, or you can check out Jerry's articles at Budget Billiards billiards newsletter.