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Development in my game

Postby Corneeto

Hi, not posted in a long time...

So I started playing snooker regularly around a year and a half ago,(I'm only 16 now) and in 3 or 4 months started regularly making breaks of around 20 and a couple over 30. I was really pleased with my progress, considering I could only play for 3 or 4 hours a week.

Last summer though things started to go wrong, and I couldn't maintain the level I was at and ended up playing many sessions where I was struggling to pot more than 3 or 4 balls in succession. I would go from potting well in practice routines to missing everything in seconds.

I started to get really frustrated, because I was slipping backwards and it's not cheap to play for me, don't have too much at my disposal so when I go and don't feel I've made the most of it, I get down on myself.

I tried a change of cue and things started to pick up for a while, I regularly play with my uncle or a friend and my general all round play was better, and I was getting a lot more mid ranged balls. However things started slipping again.

I took a month or so off, and went to the club for the first time again yesterday, I started really well in practice then as soon as I got in to a frame everything fell away. Mid range pots I had in practice, I just seemed to approach completely differently.

Occasionally I have a stutter as well, where I just can't seem to push the cue through well, especially when I'm in a pressure situation.

What I really need, is to be able to play a lot regularly, and at a cheap rate but I can't really see how I'd do that.

So, I have many problems with my game at the moment, I am really keen to get better because I know I can play a lot better than I currently am, and with practice could get to a decent level. I like to think I know the game pretty well because I've been a very keen follower for years now.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Re: Development in my game

Postby Sickpotter

Hi Corneeto,

I think you've correctly identified your main problem which is a lack of practice. It can be boring and expensive but it just can't be avoided. Even the most natural talents and long time pros have to devote hours to it, that's just the nature of the game.

With minimal practice we can see improvement in our game but that's practice without pressure. Pressure affects us all differently and all we can do is try to find methods of training that help minimize it's affects. The best cure for the pressure related bugs (snatching a shot, shooting too quick, etc.) is to have a good solid pre-shot routine.

I'm assuming you have a pre-shot routine but if you don't I recommend checking out some of the other coaching articles, it's been covered.

Once you've established a pre-shot routine you have to make it automatic and that can only be done through practice. Practice is expensive but the great thing about the pre-shot routine is you don't necessarily need a table to practice it. You can work on aspects of your routine like feathering a consistent number of times without equipment.

Pressure play/losing practice form at match time:

First thing to do is to check all your pre-shot routine that you use in practice and make sure you're following the same route when playing a match. Very often the excitement/pressure of a match can make us forget the basics we follow during practice leading to misses you didn't see in practice.

Be aware of your practice pre-shot routine and make sure you're doing it at match time.

If you have to think about following the pre-shot routine you haven't practiced enough for it to be automatic. Only once the routine is ingrained can you free your mind from technical requirements and focus on the match. It will certainly be boring at the outset but it's a needed part of the learning process.

Best of luck.


Re: Development in my game

Postby Corneeto


I've got a pre-shot routine, but will be spending time in practice to make sure it becomes natural.

I've decided to dedicate a lot of time to it over the Summer to see how good I can be.

Thanks for your advice.