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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
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
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
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
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
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 pool