(FAQ) How can you shoot accurately with cue ball side spin?

(About the Author)

When shooting the cue ball on the vertical center line, aiming at the object ball is fairly straightforward. It's easy to use any of the various aiming techniques, such as ghost ball, equal slices, line of sight, contact points, or even (after shooting enough balls), instinct.

What happens when you start contacting the cue ball to the left or right of the vertical center line? Now the physics and geometries get very confusing. You have to take into account many factors, such as squirt, deviation, curve lines, and stick speed. With side spins, the old aiming standbys no longer work as easily as they did with the vertical center line.

There is only one real and practical way to ensure some level of success when using various cue ball spins and speeds. Set up an easy shot and shoot it using a graduated series of shots that rotate through the various cue ball spins at one speed. When you can make the shot 100% of the time, repeat the process at a higher speed. When you miss, reshoot the setup until you make it three times in a row, then move on. To add just a bit more complexity - move the cue ball out 6 inches and repeat.

It will take several hundred shots under these controlled circumstances to begin automatically adjusting your aiming to allow for deviations from center ball. Do not be discouraged by misses in the beginning. It is necessary to build up a history of these shots and train your brain to make the necessary mental adjustments to the visual reality.

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