Introduction To Straight Stroking Method.
Before you learn how to straighten a pool stroke using this method, please understand that this information is contrary to the advice that is often given by other coaches and most instruction books. If you are having problems with straight in shots try it out you might be surprised.
We use our eyes to find the aim and our body then follows to align physically with the shot line.
So our bodies will instinctively fall into line with our eyes. If the eyes are wrong the body will misalign and we will not be aware of the problem until we miss the shot.
Eliminate the Aiming Component.
It is usually best to use straight shots for this method to work best. Linning up and playing numerous, long, zero angle stop shots will put your accuracy to the test. Cut shots do not demonstrate a conflict between percieved and actual alignment.
Set up a long straight in stop shot from corner to corner.
Preferably on a 9 foot table.
See the 1st diagram below.
Place the object ball level with the 1st diamond from the corner pocket to start with.
Leave enough room to get your hand on the table and cue comfortably.
Shoot a straight stop shot.
Shoot the same shot 10 times.
Watch the results, even if the ball goes into the pocket.
Did the cueball move to the left or right after impact.
If you are successfull 9 out of ten times, move the object ball further from the pocket.
Move to 1 1/2 diamonds from the pocket and then to 2 diamonds as you improve.
When you shoot a straight in shot you obviously will know where to aim because you will be linning up the center of the cue ball to the center of the object ball. You also have the help of the cue ball edge to object ball edge.
Play the shot where your eyes think that it should be correct. Look at the results. If you are not making the ball then you will either be missing it to the left or right side of the pocket with the cueball going to the opposite side of the shot line.
Right now if you are missing a straight shot as described above your eyes are deceiving you.
Why This Works?
The shot looks right but it isn’t.
You think that you are aiming straight but you are not.
The problem is that unlike other shots, your eyes have an objective target. This causes a conflict with your subconscious knowledge and you consciously overide the information in favour of what your can physically see.
Yes you will make the ball once in a while but not with any consistency.
Make sure that your cue is on the shot line from your right foot all along the cue, through both balls and on towards the pocket.
This problem does not occur with cut shot because usually there are no objective targets to distract you from your aim.
So what is the Solution?
If your aim looks straight and your cue looks aligned but you miss the ball, your eyes must be deceiving you. You must find an aim that looks wrong but makes the ball!
Make a small adjustment away from your perceived shot line. It wont look right but shoot anyway.
Did you make the ball?
Did you miss the pocket by more or less than before?
Did your cue ball move off line after impact more or less than before?
Find What Looks Wrong But Works.
Eventually after making small adjustments to your aim the ball will start to go into the pocket more often. Practice this routine every day, make it a mission to hit 1000’s of these shots until you cannot miss.
This will be your new alignment for straight-in shots. The aim will look wrong but it will be correct. Over time with sufficient solid practice, your cut shots will also start to be more consistent.
Keep a mark on the floor for the correct foot position so that you can repeat the same stance every time.
Make sure that your eyes are firmly fixed and focused on the object ball prior to cue delivery. You have to learn to trust your stroke completely to prevent steering.