Improving your aim in billiards
After many practice sessions at improving your cueing action you should now feel comfortable with the feel of your cue, the stance you have while playing your shot and your general body action while playing your shot. A major part of the table sports involves accurate aiming of your cue shots and this is something that you can also work on and improve with even more practice sessions.
Some players have a natural ability to aim well with good eye and body coordination, other players are not so blessed so need to work on improving this part of the game. So how can you improve your shots and the aim of your shots to greatly improve the overall performance in your game.
With all shots and whatever level of player you are a certain amount of natural aim is already in your mind set. As you approach the table you visualize how you are going to play the shot and where to strike the cue ball, your eyes will tell you where the object ball needs to be struck and which angles are required on the strike to successfully pot a ball or play your cue/object ball into a position that you require.
As you go down to take your shot your eyes will give a visual outlook but you should also use your eyes as you approach the table to absorb as much information as possible. This may involve you walking around the table to observe the balls at several angles, the more information you digest before playing the shot will help you greatly when you are ready to take your stance.
Breaking this down there are a few steps that need to be followed for accurate play in your shots.
As you approach the table take in as much information as you can about the position of the target ball, possible problems you may have playing a clear shot and definitely look at the angles required to play the perfect shot.
Take your initial stance at the table, this may not be the final position that you will be in when you play the shot, when you are at table level you may need to make some adjustments on your position and how you wish to play the cue ball.
Once you are happy with your position and you have set in your mind how you are going to play the final shot, focus on the target ball or if playing for position train your eyes onto the angle you are playing the shot. It is so easy to fix your eyes on the cue ball at this stage but you need to keep your eyes on the object ball. Over time you will know instinctively if you are playing the cue ball correctly.
Only play your final shot when you feel completely happy with everything, always be totally confident that your shot will be played perfectly.
With practice you can greatly improve your hand and eye coordination, as mentioned above this is easier for some players while others may require more practice to improve in this area. Over time you will carry out the above steps without even thinking about it, natural play improves and your success rate improves with it. Initially new players are just happy about potting the ball that they are aiming for, control of the cue ball is not so important to them but over time this aspect of the shot needs to be combined so that you can position the cue ball on the table ready for your next stroke.
With practice you will also be able to improve your focus of the target and cue ball with the other balls on the table unable to distract you from your aiming. To improve your control of the cue ball whilst improving your aiming start your practice sessions by striking your cue ball dead centre to pot the object ball. Repeat this for several shots potting the object ball each time, once you are happy with this you can then start playing the same shot but apply spin in different areas. You should be able to carry on potting the object ball each time but applying some spin will also show you how the cue ball reacts with different spin and where it rests on the table after striking the object ball. This information will be stored in your head for the future, this allows you to know which is the right shot to play instinctively allowing your more time to concentrate on focusing on the object ball and thus improving your aiming skills.
Gradually add more balls onto the table with each practice session making your potting shots a bit more difficult with more obstacles to avoid and it will be surprising how quickly your shots improve with each session.