I used to consider myself a decent billiards player (as in, would stand a good chance of winning against your average bar player), but lately my game has fallen apart. I’m missing easy shots, losing confidence, and analyzing things that I never really questioned before.
So here’s my question: when you aim, is it better to (a) get low as possible so you can really sight down the stick like the barrel of a gun, or (b) stand upright so you can look down at the stick and balls from above and really “see” the angle that the balls need to strike at?
Or, © is there a way to combine these 2 approaches?
And finally, since I recently acquired a table of my own, are there certain things I can practice to improve as rapidly as possible?
I find it easier to sight down the cue. Standing upright is something you’ll never find the top players doing.
Incidentally, did you know that you can play billiards and snooker online. www.isnooker.com
I find it best to look at the shot, i.e. decide what to shoot at, angles etc, from above, pick your line, then get down and sight along the cue.
Yes, you want your eye near the cue. If your angles are off, first sight the shot by looking at the object ball, then sight the cue ball to hit that spot on the object ball.
If your shots are missing, try shooting softer. You’ll whittle it down to actual angle and stroke, and leave the bashing out of it.
Have a friend watch your stroke. Are you rocking the cue? Is the stroke straight, side-to-side?
Agree with the others that sight down the cue is the best way.
As for things to practice - (I assume when you say “billiards” you mean pool, like 9-ball or 8-ball) practice controlling the cue ball. While getting your shot in the pocket is important, the second most important thing is not pocketing the cue ball too, and making sure you set yourself up for the next shot, or preventing the other player from making his shot. That means leaving the cue ball in the right position which is accomplished by using the right amount of force, and putting the right amount and direction of spin on the ball.