Where to Focus or Look When Shooting Pool

8 ball with other balls in the background

Knowing where to focus is a crucial element in making the perfect shot in pool. You might lack focus if you find it difficult to aim and hit the ball or your muscles tense up. So, how do you make this happen?

Hit the cue ball while having your eyes focused on the contact point of the object ball you want to pocket. Keeping your eyes on the contact point of the object ball until you complete your stroke will help you score.

Drawing your focus towards the correct aiming point is one of the most important elements of playing good pool. Keep reading to learn where to focus when shooting pool and factors that will help you aim accurately.

Where To Look When Shooting Pool

People often find it hard to aim correctly when playing pool, particularly beginners. They often tend to hit the middle area of the cue ball, hoping that this would help them pocket the object ball. As a general rule, the spherical shape of the cue ball makes aiming at the center almost impossible.

Since aiming correctly helps you play well in pool, here’s how most people do it effectively:

  • First, find the aiming point while standing behind the line of shot.
  • Then, focus on the contact point you want to hit and position yourself for the stroke.
  • Move back and forth while you make your aim. Keep your eyes on the aiming point of the object ball until you make the shot.

The process might be overwhelming for beginners, but it comes naturally once you get into practice.

Angles To Consider When Choosing Where to Focus or Look

Although there is a wide range of angles to consider your shot when playing pool, there are some limitations as well. You can opt for any cut shot less than 90- degree in pool. This indicates that the opposite side of the object ball comprises a 180-degree area where you can score a pocket.

The crossing lines of the cue ball and the object ball can be visualized, but it isn’t easy to calculate the angle’s measurement by just looking at it. Nevertheless, you can tell if the angle is less than, larger than, or equal to a 90° straight angle.

Here are some tips for improving your game while incorporating the pool’s geometry.

  • The route of the cue ball and the object ball will always be 90 ° apart after a collision. This information can help you keep the cue ball from sinking.
  • Always hit the rail before the object ball if you need to slide an object ball frozen to a rail into a pocket.
  • You’ll need a harder stroke for collisions at extremely sharp angles since less momentum is imparted at greater angles. 

Using these tips will not only help you see where you shoot, but it will improve your overall aim!

What Not To Do When Aiming

When playing pool as a beginner, mistakes are extremely common, and it can even be upsetting to witness other players making the same mistakes every time.

Some of the biggest mistakes beginners make when choosing where to look or aim are provided below to help you avoid this:

  • Not Maintaining A Vertical Axis: Make sure the cue ball is always struck on the vertical axis. If you do this, the cue ball will always roll in the direction that your stick is pointed. Any strike that deviates from the vertical axis sends the cue ball flying off the cue stick line, resulting in misses.
  • Not focusing on the object ball: This mistake typically results from excessive head movement brought on by roaming eyes. Therefore, before you swing, ensure your eyes are fixed on the object ball for at least one second.
  • Losing Control of Your Swing: This is also a common mistake where the player either swings too slowly or jerks the stick forward too fast. Make sure to begin your swing gradually and avoid jerking the stick forward. The cue ball should be completely swung through instead of being hit and tightened up.

How To Aim Your Shots Better

How can you aim your shots better? Many beginners attempting to make the most of every shot frequently ask this question. Everybody has a distinct opinion on pool aiming techniques, which are the subject of various discussions.

Spending a lot of time trying to learn a complex aiming system is unnecessary, even though aiming techniques can help you improve your shots. Because the targeting systems break down when you employ different speeds and spins, you wind up shooting and aiming by instinct.

It takes a lot of practice to learn how to aim. Most of your pool aiming relies on muscle memory and your brain’s precise knowledge of how to strike the cue ball to make the shots you want to make.

The quickest way to improve your aim is to adopt a systematic trial-and-error approach. This is done by identifying shots that you frequently struggle with, noting them down, and repeatedly practicing them until you master them.

Wearing Glasses While Playing Pool

If you’re like me, you wear glasses 24/7 and they can be distracting when playing pool. If they slide while you’re focusing, it could disrupt your shot.

I always wondered if wearing contacts were a better option, but with my dry eyes, options were limited.

If thats the case for you, check out Billiard Glasses as they specialize in glasses for shooting pool.


Practice makes perfect when it comes to playing a good game of pool. You will get better at hitting the cue ball as you play more. This ultimately means that you will just ever need to concentrate on the object ball.

Once you master where to focus, you will easily advance from beginner to intermediate. Making shots is ultimately what pool is all about.


Benny is the owner of Supreme Billiards and has been shooting pool and teaching people how to shoot pool for a few years now. He enjoys showing new players techniques and drills to improve their pool game.

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