Okay, yes it’s juvenille – but there’s a valid point to it, I swear. This weekend, I decided to run some drills and whenever I do drills, I use my measel cue ball. Those dots come in handle for stop-shot drills, etc. However, shortly after starting an IPAT layout I’ve completed before I noticed I was having an absurd amount of difficulty with frozen-to-the-rail cut shots. So, I abandoned the 9-ball layout and went to the Karen Corr Drill. However, I was again having just an obscene amount of difficulty getting passed the 1st or 2nd ball. This was highly upsetting as I’ve been doing very well at that drill for some time – and the first 3 balls are 95% hangers with position when I usually run the drill. I fought and fought and finally made it to the 4th ball once. I hit it so terribly it looked almost like I tried to 2-rail bank it. I shot that shot, one shot, for 18 solid minutes. I have it on video even. I never make it. Not once. I would try and adjust my aim, but that was going rail-first (at best) and I knew it was wrong. I’d adjust and *clunk* hit the ball thick again! Everytime it looked right, it was wrong. When I lined it up too thin, it was closer, but still never went. I didn’t count the shot attempts, but it was probably at least 2 a minute. In the end I finally gave up because it was starting to give me a conscience. I went back to playing 10-ball just to see if there another shot I couldn’t make, maybe there’s a connection? I didn’t find any other shots that gave me any trouble – but frozen balls were still an issue.
It dawned on me later that the measel ball is Aramith-sized. I’m not playing with Aramiths, I’m playing with Centennials. Those are different sizes than the Aramith. When you put the measel ball inbetween 2 of the other balls you can see the measel ball is a bit taller than the others. For nearly all shots, this difference is negligable, however for frozen-rail shots, it’s this difference that was causing me to hit the ball too thick, essentially trying to bank it down the rail. I would aim the shot as I know it should be hit, but I would hit it thick. So, after all the arguments I’ve heard from people how they dont like the measel ball and how it affects shots – and all the times I said that’s ridiculous, it’s never bothered me, blah blah blah… Now, I finally see it. Most of my measel ball usage has been with aramith balls so of course I wouldn’t see it. When I play at SportsCenter though, there has been an issue with it. I don’t think I’ve ever had the eyes or knowledge to really pick up on the difference. Perhaps in the past when I didn’t have an issue with anything I wasn’t aiming correctly. In fact, I’m nearly 100% certain that’s what it was. So it’s ironic that in order to see my improvement I have to fail – miserably and desperately – at a drill I’ve been running for over a year.
Speaking of drills… this month’s Pool Synergy is going to be quite informative, across the board. I can’t wait to read all of the other author’s entries! Check back here on the 15th for more info and links!