Which ball should I focus on during the final stroke?

Best results can vary from one person to another, but it is generally recommended to focus on the object ball (or the center of the ghost ball, desired contact point, ball-hit fraction, or a point on the cloth or cushion) instead of the cue ball during the final stroke. Possible explanations or reasons include:

  • By focusing on where you want the CB to go, you are more likely to send it there.
  • Focusing on a more-distant target might help create a straighter delivery of the cue, and in the desired direction.
  • Focusing beyond the CB might help create a more complete follow through, which is generally helpful.
  • With your focus at the OB, where you want the CB to go, you get visual feedback concerning where the CB actually ended up on the OB, and you can correlate that with the result of the shot (e.g., whether you hit the ball just right, or too thick or too thin). This can help you develop and improve your aiming and visualization skills for future shots (i.e., you are improving your “shot memory”).
  • Most pros look at the OB last, so there must be something to it.

For shots where the cue-tip contact point is especially critical (e.g., jump shot, massé shot, shot with extreme english, when elevated over a ball, when the CB is frozen to a rail), focusing on the CB tip-contact point (instead of the OB target) during the final forward swing can be more effective for many people.

Dr. Dave keeps this site commercial free, with no ads. If you appreciate the free resources, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation to show your support: