Tuition: Aiming and Potting
© Mike Stooke
The diagram gives two examples of pots into the middle pocket.
Stroke A shows a straight pot, the line of aim going through the centre of the cue-ball, the centre of the object-ball, and the centre of the pocket. This is the only time the line of aim coincides with the point of contact.
Stroke B, a quarter-ball cut, shows the line of aim for the cue-ball, and the line the object-ball must take to enter the pocket. Note that the object-ball has not been aimed to the centre of the pocket, but further to the right. If the line of aim were to the centre of the pocket then the near jaw may be struck first, and the pot would be missed.
When you are faced with any pot similar to this, especially those at a longer distance, make sure you look for your line of aim before you take up your position at the table.
This is where the aiming process begins, and it is critical that you understand the importance of this. Every 'How to Play' book will tell you how to aim, but 99% of them fail to stress that you begin aiming before you reach the table.
So - stand back, look to see where you wish the centre of the cue-ball to be when it strikes the object-ball, and keep your eyes focused on this point as you step in to the playing position. Your body should then be perfectly balanced along the line of aim.