It’s a game. There are rules.
I am not going to be talking about the techniques and skills of how to win this game.
Instead, I will focus on the thinking process of how to aim and pot a color ball.
Cue Direction and Force
You need to use the cue to hit the cue ball. That’s the rule. You can’t change that.
Therefore, you can play with the two key variables which are the cue direction and the force that applied to the cue ball.
It’s physics. If you use the cue to hit the cue ball, no doubt the cue ball will always go straight.
Imagine the target position of the cue ball
To gather visual information from the world, you use your eyes.
You need to imagine the cue ball placed at the nearest position next to the color ball which makes the two balls and the pocket as a straight line.
It will result in the color ball rolling to the direction of the pocket after the collision.
For convenience I call it “Target Position”.
It’s time to play
There are two things going on here.
- You use your eyes to find the target position. Imagine the cue ball is there.
- You use your hand to hold the cue and point it to the cue ball as a straight line to the center of the target position.
Observe your action and judge whether the setup is perfect
Your eyes observe everything.
Your brain judges whether the setup is perfect.
You look at the cue ball and the cue tip at the same time. Make sure that the cue tip will land on the cue ball and is pointing to the target direction.
Make the shot and then review it
If the cue hits the cue ball, the cue ball begins rolling. It’s a good time to observe whether your setup is done well.
If the cue ball is not going to the right direction, what does it mean? It means your cue direction was wrong.
Make sure your cue goes steady and straight. Your standing position also affects the direction the cue goes. Figure out the problem and try to fix it next time.
If the cue ball perfectly reaches the target position, your execution of the cue direction is perfect. If not, you need to fix it.
The color ball begins rolling.
The first part is done.
Now it’s the second part. Observe the rolling path of the color ball after it hit by the cue ball.
If your imaginary target position was wrong, the color ball will not roll to the pocket. You need to fix that too.
Remember that if you change your standing position, you need to reimagine the target position again.
Create your own solutions
This is the thinking process you may use to figure out the problem of your shot. You review it and find a way to solve it.
Based on that, you can create your own solution. For example, you may find a great stance that is best for yourself instead of just copying the pros.