What Is The Vision Center?
The vision center is your personal, preferred alignment position that your eyes take up above the pool cue that:
- a. Gives you an accurate picture of the shot line and
- b. Agrees with reality.
In a nutshell, your vision center is the position between or under your eyes where a perfect straight shot looks straight to your eyes. With both eyes open.
Sometimes what looks straight to your eyes and brain is not actually straight. This is due to both eyes delivering different information to the brain. Your brain takes these two separate data inputs from the eyes and combines them into one picture.
This picture is your perception of the shot.
Your eyes can deceive you into thinking that your eyes, body shot line are perfectly lined up.
“You need to find the eye position that looks wrong but is actually correct.”Joe Tucker
Why Finding Your Vision Center Is Important?
Your vision center is your own personal view of the shot. The vision center allows you to connect your vision and your physical positioning to allow for perfect alignment.
Once you find out how your personal vision works when aiming any shot, then it is easier to find out your ideal position when forming your stance.
For example telling every player to put their right foot on the shot line (assuming they are right handed), would be the right advise for some players but not for everyone.
Find Your Vision Center Method One.
Place a ball in the jaws of the far corner pocket.
Place another ball on the center spot and a 3rd ball two feet from the nearest pocket.
The three balls are now roughly in a straight line down the diagonal of the table.
You will get a better result on a longer table. It will be difficult to get an adequate result on a bar box. When I performed this test for myself I used the 5′ x 10′ snooker table at the local pool hall.
Using one eye, line up the balls so that they are perfectly in line with each other. The top of each ball should be in line. Get someone else to check it if necessary. The balls should look straight to anyone looking along the line with one eye.
Place your chin on the near pocket behind the line. With both eyes open, move your head laterally left and right until the three balls look straight.
When the balls look straight with both eyes open, you have found your vision center.
Have someone take a picture of your alignment from the other end of the table or feel where your chin is in relationship to the line.
Find Your Vision Center Method Two.
Fold a business card or any stiff card in half.
Open the card up so that it makes a 90 degree angle and tape the card so that it is fixed in that position. Tape the card to a mirror with the edge sticking out towards you perpendicular to the mirror.
Stand in front of the mirror so that you can see the card and your face at the same time, in the same view.
Keeping your head straight and square and with both eyes open, move your head to the left and to the right until the card appears to be exactly in the center.
The position of the card on your face, in the reflection, denotes your vision center.
How Do I Use My Vision Center?
This will be your new cue position relative to your eyes.
If this position is the same as your usual cue placement change nothing. However, if the position is different play some shots with your cue in that new location. You should notice an immediate positive difference.
Usually, only a small change is required wit1h experienced players, but beginners can be inches out. It is a great plus to know where your vision center is as a new player.
Every player is different and therefore the position of the cue shaft will vary. You need to find this important vision center position.
Why Find Your Vision Center?
Finding your vision center is probably the most important fundamental in pool. If I were coaching you this would be the first thing that I would check. The immediate improvement that can be achieved is well worth the effort.
The vision center is one of those elements in pool that follows the 80:20 rule. Concentrating on things that require a small amount of effort but give a massive return speed up the learning process.
Vision Center and Coaching.
Despite this fact, we don’t seem to discuss it much at all. Your eyes need to be aligned so that the brain sees the correct picture.
As a reminder the two most important aspects to successful pool are:
⦁ Stroke delivery
Pool Player Eyesight, why it’s Different?
The majority of pool players have two good eyes. One eye will be dominant. The other eye will be carrying out a number of other important tasks. The two eyes working together deliver a stereoscopic view of the table to the brain.
One of the most important tasks for the non-dominant eye is depth perception. So using both eyes will be beneficial to most pool players.
Note: Historically there have been some tremendous one-eyed players.
If I were aiming a rifle I would get a straight line from my head to the target with one eye.
Looking with one eye it is easy to get everything in line. However, two eyes working in unison will give you the full picture. The eyes work in harmony to give all of the measurement information required to aim correctly.
What About The Dominant Eye Theory?
The vision center has nothing to do with the “Dominant Eye Theory.” The dominant eye idea has sent a lot of people on the wrong path. Just placing your cue under your dominant eye will be wrong for the majority of pool players.
“Place your arms out in front of your face with your hands forming a small triangle. Look at a distant object through the gap in the triangle.
Keeping the object in the center of the triangle, slowly bring your hands back all the way to your face. When your hands touch your face, the eye that still sees the image is your dominant eye.”
Vision Center Conclusions.
Just to be clear.
Do not automatically put your pool cue underneath your dominant eye.
Only do so if your vision center happens to be in that position also!
Only 10% of players will have a vision center that is totally under their dominant eye.
Most right-handed players are right eye dominant.
Most left-handed players are left eye dominant.
Once your vision center is established, practice deliberately placing your eyes in this position until it becomes part of your pre-shot routine and happens naturally.