What is “eye pattern,” and what are generally recommended “best practices” for eye pattern before and during the stroke?

“Eye pattern” refers to how you move your eyes before and during a shot.

Concerning generally recommended “best practices,” see stroke technique advice. In particular, see steps 1-4 in the stroke “best practices” document.

Regardless of which eye pattern you choose, it is important to have quiet eyes when aligning your cue with the desired line of aim, and during your final delivery. A good generally recommended eye pattern is:

  1. Look at OB while getting down into your stance, and look at the CB as the tip gets close.
  2. Look back and forth between the CB and OB with the cue still to verify tip position and aim alignment.
  3. Look at CB during any warm-up strokes.
  4. Do one more tip and aim check with the cue still.
  5. Look at the OB before (or during a deliberate backstroke pause of) the final stroke.
  6. Keep your focus along the target line during and after the final stroke, resisting the urge to turn your head or get up to see where the OB is going.

A very important part of the pre-shot routine is to focus on the OB target as you come down into your stance (for more info, see the DAM aiming advice page). This helps guide you straight down along the correct line of aim. Obviously, you need to change your focus to the CB as the tip approaches the CB to make sure you don’t foul and to make sure your cue is being aligned accurately. The CB is still in your peripheral vision as you drop, so both balls help guide you to an accurate alignment. But having the distant OB focus helps, just like with most top bowlers who focus on their distant target (a board at the arrows down the lane) during their approach instead of looking down at the foul line.

The following videos demonstrate many good and bad habits relating to eye pattern:

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