Long Straight In Shot

Written by Joe D'Aguanno

For many players the most difficult shot in pool is the long straight in shot. I must admit that at one time this was also one of my most difficult shots. Over the years I developed an aiming system that have made long straight in shots relatively easy for me and it should work for you too.

I won't go into detail on the aiming system here as I have already addressed that in another lesson but will give you the part that is essential for making a long straight in shot. Most players pick out a spot on the object ball and aim at that.

That works well when the cue ball isn't too far away from the object ball. It's pretty easy to hit a point on a ball when it isn't too far away. Unfortunately as the cue ball distance from the object ball increases any errors in your form or alignment are magnified in an angular context. That means being off 1/1000th of an inch with your aim at the cue ball would be several thousandths by the time it get to the object ball.

If you don't understand angular measurement just make a V with you two middle fingers. You will see that the distance between the fingers where they join the hand is small. As you look down your fingers the distance get wider the closer you get to the tips. To make it worse at a long distance your eye can't focus on as small a spot on the object as it could when the object ball is closer.

Where my aiming method differs from most aiming systems is that I pick out a contact point on the cue ball to hit the contact point on the object ball. This requires a little visualization as you can't physically see the contact point on the cue ball when you are aiming through it. Fortunately with a long straight in shot that imaginary point is exactly opposite the point of contact that you can see (unless you are using english) where the tip of the cue contacts the cue ball.

As you are aiming down your cue through the imaginary contact point on the cue ball, project (you have to visualize this) where the line will hit the object ball. Align this point by adjusting your aim if necessary with the contact point on the object ball that is required to make the shot (should be dead center of the object ball). After you have aligned the 2 points simply shift your concentration to the contact point on the object ball and keep it there until you have completed your shot.

After a little practice you should soon see an improvement in your ability to make straight in shots.

If you use english on the shot you will need to adjust for either throw or cue ball deflection depending on the power level of your stroke.

About The Author: Contents, concepts and images Copyright 2004, Joe D'Aguanno. This information may be shared freely so long as the Copyright notice is included. If any contents or images are used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained from Joe D'Aguanno. Email Joe D'Aguanno at joedaguanno<at sign>hotmail.com

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