View Full Version : dominate eye

07-13-2009, 02:19 AM
Hi can someone explain the dominate eye theory?

When I started I looked through both eyes but after watching a video on youtube of terry griffihs saying to put the cue under your dominate eye I have been doing it for about 2 years.

But now I want to go back to cue under both eyes but my heads seems tilt?

07-13-2009, 11:51 AM
I can't really explain why the dominant eye happens, but it is a fact that most people do have one eye that is used to focus on an object more than the other. However there are a fair number of people without a dominant eye.

The problems in snooker come when a player has an opposite dominant eye, i.e. - right handed player with left eye dominant. In order to get the cue under the left eye the player has to bring the cue close into his chest and unless he has a straight elbow drop on follow through he will start 'steering' the cue around his chest which lead to coming across the cueball to the left.

We teach here that it's much better to start out cueing right under the middle of the chin and letting the brain work out the correct aiming through positive feedback by staying down on the shot and observing the path of the object ball.

Anathony, as each player's physique is different this is going to take some work on your own as I cannot tell you how to strighten your head except I know you are going to have to bend your upper spine more.

I'd suggest getting a mirror and placing it on the baulkline so you can see your cue, head, shoulder and right elbow. Now, using the brown spot as the cueball cue up along the baulk line. Then with the cue in the address position, close your eyes and try and feel your way to getting your head centrally behind the cue. A little hint is to push the hips a little more to the left and twisting the upper spine until you feel you are central. Then open your eyes and check in the mirror.

Keep repeating this until you find a position that is not only more central but also COMFORTABLE and is not introducing any tension in your spine and especially the right shoulder and upper arm. As I said, you will have to arrive at this yourself or else go and see Nic again and he can help you sort this out.


07-13-2009, 07:52 PM
Interesting post Terry. I have a dominent left eye when trying out the 'finger on the chalk test' but always play with the centre of my chin on the cue as I am 'even-sighted' as you recommend.

I am not sure if you knew this but I wear snooker glasses. My eyesight has been getting worse over the last few years. I wear glasses all the time except when playing snooker up until I got the snooker glasses. Even though up close I can see, as things get further away it gets more blurred and without glasses my eyesight is ridiculous.

I am not sure if wearing glasses would have an effect if I cued under one eye as the head my be slightly turned and with the position of the lens and the way you look through it, it could be affected by looking through a different part of it. Possibly.

Terry, I think you wear contacts, have you ever experimented with snooker specs? I am getting on with my specs so well that it is probably the best thing that has happened in my snooker game. I can see everything so clearly when playing snooker. Before I could only see clearly outside of snooker when wearing glasses.


07-14-2009, 11:28 AM

I was very near-sighted (as you are apparently) up until I got my eye surgery for early stage cataracts. In the North American terminology we use I was 20-150 (as opposed to 20-20) in my left eye and 20-100 in my right eye with my right eye dominant.

Now I am 20-25 in my left eye and 20-50 (for reading) in my right eye.

Ever since taking up snooker seriously in about 1982 or so I have worn contact lenses, first the softs and then the gas permeable. I found the gas permeable to be the best as they give you the clarity of glasses without the hassle plus they are healthier for the eyes as they allow oxygen through to the cornea. I still use the gas permeable lenses when I play snooker and normally leave them in from 6am to 10pm with no side effects and no itchiness in the eyes and they work perfect with no distortion of the balls as they are right against the eyeball.

I do have a set of snooker glasses and tried them out years ago (they're no good now as my prescription has changed) but I found they made the balls look smaller as they are away from the eyes. Also, you are right in that any sideways tilting of the head will increase the refraction from the lens as you would be seeing through a thicker slice of glass and that would tend to distort what you are seeing a bit.

I would highly recommend trying the gas permeable as they are a vast improvement over glasses, you don't need to constantly clean them like the softs (unless you buy the daily ones) and they give you an undistorted view of the balls. I can play without them as my left eye vision is very close to normal and my right is only slightly degraded, but I prefer to be able to see the chalk dust on the balls from 12ft away so my prescription makes both eye 20-15, which is slightly far-sighted. Also great for driving


07-14-2009, 04:39 PM
The thing that seems to put people off contact lenses is that you are putting something in your eye, which can be uncomfortable for some people when putting them in when you actually touch the eye.

The glasses cost my 138 so I will stick with them! My eyesight is very bad. As I said, very close up I can see clearly but for most shots the balls aren't clear. With the glasses I can see so clearly it such a great help. I actually won a small 6-reds tournament on the first day of wearing them! Some people have tried them on and they were blinded at the lenses as they were so strong so that shows how bad my eyesight is!

07-15-2009, 11:03 AM
Yes, I know some people are put off with putting something in their eyes.

However, I got used to the gas permeable within one hour and don't even feel them when they're in and they are much more convenient than glasses plus I get better and sharper vision than with glasses, which is good for snooker playing.

Now you've got to carry your glasses with your cue case plus keep them clean all the time and make sure you don't sit on them if you have them off between frames. With the contacts there are no worries at all, just stick them in and leave them for 12 - 14 hours and then take them out and give them a little rub with the cleaning solution and put them away for the next day. I wear them 7 days a week for around 14 hours per day and have never had a problem except with my subscription changing. I get them from the University Contact Lens Research Centre and they cost about 23 quid apiece, so much cheaper than the glasses too


07-16-2009, 06:04 AM
It just depends what people prefer. One thing that I have noticed with snooker glasses is that sometimes there is a reflection on the lens from the table light which can cause a glare in your eyes which is a little off-putting on some shots. It doesn't happen often but I think you can get anti-reflective lenses to stop that.


07-16-2009, 10:45 AM
Hi, Terry,

You said - The problems in snooker come when a player has an opposite dominant eye, i.e. - right handed player with left eye dominant. In order to get the cue under the left eye the player has to bring the cue close into his chest and unless he has a straight elbow drop on follow through he will start 'steering' the cue around his chest which lead to coming across the cueball to the left.

I am left handed with right eye dominant, and you are correct to say that cue will place closer to the chest and I experiencing when I play the bulk line, that my cue ball will consistently go to my left after bounce back from the cushion. You recommand to have a straight elbow drop on follow through. I will try this out. thanks for sharing

07-16-2009, 11:35 AM

Also, as an experiment, try gripping the cue using just your fingers and keeping the thumb off the cue and just resting on the outside of the fingers. This will take away a lot of your ability to 'steer' the cue and allow for a straighter delivery.

However, I'd still recommend you try and centre the cue on your chin unless you can't see at all out of your left eye. It's not necessary to run the cue right under your dominant eye.

Having the cue centered allows the player to get the cue away from the chest a bit and allows for more follow-through and a straighter delivery without the unconcious movement of steering the cue around the chest


07-17-2009, 07:47 AM
Hi, Terry,

I try to have a long term fix to my problem by aiming it in line with my nose, what I see during the aiming is very difference. I try to ignore those "illusion" and concentrate on cueing straight slowly. to my surprise, it pots balls. And now, I sort of not be able to point my cue tip to the cue ball center and really, the aiming experience is really difference and what i use to see when aim is weird now, it seems to be potting balls, who cares !?, I will continue trying your method for 1-2 months and see what will happen

07-17-2009, 09:00 AM
Hi Anthony
Thanks for your post and all the interesting replies here.
I agree with Terry that starting with your head central to see if that is comfortable is a good way to start.
Then what one of our coaches did is to keep his head straight without tilting and play 20 straight long pots with the cue central, then 20 with the cue 5mm to the right of central, then 20 with the cue 10mm to the right of central on the chin etc until he was cueing under one eye. Then repeat the same to the left of central.
This gave him the ideal aiming position of about 10-15mm to the right of central where all the long balls were going in.

Do this with the glasses you want to continue playing with.

If you find your ideal is slightly off centre then you are the same as Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan as if you watch them they are also slightly off centre.

If you THEN feel PHYSICALLY (as opposed to visually) uncomfortable with the cue not central on the chin (I couldnt cue properly without the cue in the centre of the chin as i find it is painful on follow through if the cue is not central in the chin....
Then to get your correct eye configuration above the cue but keep the chin central then you can instead:
a) Tilt the head slightly to one side - but keep face flat toward shot. (This may give a distorted view fo the table as if it - or you - is falling over!)
b) Twist the head slightly to one side - but keep head pointing vertical. (This may distort the image through the glasses as you suspect if the twist is large)

Personally I see it as the biggest myth in aiming to go chasing this 'preferred eye' and 'then cue under that eye'.
Everyone has a preferred eye - as everyone has a preferred hand in steering a bicycle but that doesnt mean you musn't have both hands on the handle bars!
This preferred eye may also be WEAKER in strength than the other eye.
Some also have a STRONGER eye than the other but can still play effectively with the cue central to the chin and the face not tilted or twisted to one side.
Calculating all of thsi to determine your ideal cue position relative to the eyese is much more confusing and much less effective than the results test above as any theory must pass a results test anyway.

This means you can find your ideal without ever knowing your 'preferred eye' and without ever knowing if your eyes have equal strength or not.
Although this information is interesting to have, it is not vital.

The ONLY time you would NEED to cue completely under one eye is if you did the 'I CANT SEE ANYTHING AT ALL OUT OF ONE EYE AND AM IN FACT COMPLETELY BLIND IN IT' test.
I would suggest good players that sight completely under one eye, who have vision in both eyes, are playing well DESPITE ignoring one of their eyes.

Joe Davis cued under his left eye but that is because he passed the 'I CANT SEE ANYTHING AT ALL OUT OF THE RIGHT EYE AND AM IN FACT COMPLETELY BLIND IN IT' test.

This of course also assumes that you are keeping the aiming you have by cueing slow enough on cueing, backswing, speed of acceleration and delivery to have control over the cue and are not snatching it off line like most players below century break standard seem to do these days.

Rant over!

07-18-2009, 02:48 PM
Hi Nic, welcome back to the forum! Interesting post there. I cue centrally under the chin but will try out the exercises and see what is best.

07-24-2009, 10:10 AM
Well I have been watching Nic's coaching videos on Youtube and on the video here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdXiC0WStZ4&feature=channel_page) Nic talks at the end about the 'preferred eye' and how to check which eye is actually preferred. He says that the 'finger on the chalk test' is actually incorrect and can give you an incorrect diagnosis of which eye is your 'master eye'. The test which he shows which is the correct test actually makes my RIGHT eye my master eye. I have always thought that my left eye was my master eye as when learning the game I saw this (http://fcsnooker.co.uk/fcsnooker_new/coaching/basics/sighting.htm) article on a well-known snooker website and tried their test (finger on the chalk test), the test they recommend how they think you should find your preferred eye is actually wrong as when I tried Nic's test which makes so much more sense and is the best test to try actually shows that I can see the chalk or object when looking through my RIGHT eye and NOT my left eye. This makes my RIGHT eye my preferred eye and not what I have thought for the last 3 years to be my preferred eye, left.

The article at fcsnooker is wrong, and saying that you MUST cue under your preferred eye, and also saying that some people don't have a preferred eye, WRONG! You must have an eye which is preferred if you were forced to look out of one.

This is very interesting. Even though for the last year I have just been cueing under the centre of the chin, maybe I should try cueing slighty under my right eye without changing the head angle very much, this also helps as if I cued under my left eye as master eye I may 'steer' the cue around the chest.

It is actually quite simple the sighting theory but easy to make a mistake!

What do you think Terry? Am I right in what I say?

07-24-2009, 11:31 AM
I agree with your comments except in a couple of areas. Some people might be equal sighted and prefer either eye actually!

I wouldn't recommend you move your cue over to the right of your chin as you've been programming your brain to see the aiming line from the centre of your chin.

The problem arises when you make a small alteration like this because you are 'parking' your brain you may see an improvement in potting and think 'this is the way I've got to go' however it's not really the change that's bringing the improvment but the fact that you're disconnecting that concious part of your brain while you're concentrating on moving the cue over to the right.

Read 'The Inner Game of Golf' by W. Timothy Gallwey and pay attention to the closed-eye putting and removing Self 1 out of the equation and letting Self 2 (the unconcious) run the putter. My exercise of closing the eyes on my warm-up is a way to remove that Self 1 and let you own brain teach you.