After shooting for 30+ years I never had the opportunity to consistantly hit the middle of the pocket. The pro's seem to do it from day in to year out all the way to retirement. After so many years of playing & practicing my shots never get past that "X" level.  In no particular order I've checked & rechecked.   Lineup through the object ball & its contact point.  Check tip contact to cue.  Adjust throw for any "English".  Bar table or billiard table (speed) adjustment. "The Stance" & and/or "Posture".  Stroke speed & follow through. I shoot equaly 'Righty' & 'Lefty'.  Even gone so far as to practice with the table light off!  MVP many times. I'm the anchor man on our teams.  High this & high that.  Like I said earlier... that "X" level thing, I MUST be missing something. This OLD DOG still wants to learn that trick.   Any ideas or help? Thanks; Floyd M.
Leo's right, Floyd, that's a really fine question.

In my opinion, your goal is not only unrealistic but undesirable. The only time you want to aim for the middle of the pocket is when the object ball lies in the "funnel" created by extending the lines of the two pocket jaws. Any other time, you're far better off aiming to carom your shot in off the pocket jaw exposed to you, thus in effect "enlarging the target." You'll make more shots and enjoy way more cue-ball options for position.

For instance, consider the shot hardly anybody is happy to see, the thin cut shot that nearly parallels a rail. If you draw a visual line between the object ball in such a shot and the center of the pocket, you'll see that line intersects the rail about two-thirds of the way down - just as your shot is likely to do. But a line between the object ball and the pocket jaw on the connecting rail intersects nothing, and with appropriate "pocket speed" on the object ball, should lead to a successful shot each time.

If you play or even follow basketball, you're probably familiar with the concept of "nothing but net"; even if you don't, you've undoubtedly heard phrases like "dead center" or some other expression of perfection. Those are nice thoughts, but counterproductive ones for pool. The ball you bounce in off a pocket jaw counts just as much as the one that goes direct to the back of the hole - and probably for more, since you're freed up to do more with the cue ball for position. Don't worry about the middle of the pocket. The philosophy of ANY part of the pocket should serve you far better. Your checklist sounds fine to me. Set your sights just a bit lower, and you'll elevate your game. Hope that helps. GF
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