What are those small white markers on your table?
They are “self adhesive hole-reinforcement labels” (AKA “little white donuts” or “little stickies”), available at office supply stores or online (e.g., through Amazon.com). They are used to mark ball positions for easy and accurate re-spotting of balls during drills like the Billiard University (BU) playing-ability Exams. They stick to and stay on the cloth fairly well, but they can also easily be removed without leaving adhesive residue behind. You can re-use them, but they don’t re-stick very well, so be sure to buy them in large quantities if you plan to use them often. Be aware that if you leave the donuts on the table for a long time and then remove them, the outlines will be visible since the cloth underneath has remained cleaner than the surrounding cloth.
If you don’t have any little white donuts, a good alternative (even though they don’t stick) is hole-punch dots. They don’t stick and they don’t help the ball settle, but they will tend to stay in place, and you can just place the ball right next to the dot. If you want small dots that stick, you can purchase “dot sticker labels.”
Some people complain the labels can affect ball motion. This is not really much of a concern. The balls roll over them very easily. Although, the labels can affect a slow-moving ball, especially if it is coming to rest very close to a donut or dot.
Here’s an example of how donuts are placed accurately:
Are laser training aids useful for improving one’s aim?
A less expensive (i.e., costs nothing) and maybe even a more effective alternative is to have a helper place a real ball in the desired GB location (adjusted for throw or not) and pull it away when the person shoots. I demonstrate this technique in NV 3.1; although, I didn’t have a helper to remove the ball for me.
Also, striped balls are useful to help the shooter visualize both the “aiming line” (from the CB to the GB center) and the “impact line” between the GB and OB centers. To me, that’s the most useful advice in the NV 3.1.
Are there commercial products available that use accelerometer measurements to diagnose stroke issues?
Yes. The Digicue training aid from OB, and the QMD Stroke Analyzer. For more information, see the stroke acceleration resource page.
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