Here at SnookerZone, we’re not just about talking to coaches. We like to try things out and discover things that we have either read about or discovered for ourselves on the table that may or may not work. But, if they do or don’t, we still want to hear from the opinions of coaches.
We don’t all learn the same way and we don’t all see the shot the same way. So, here’s something that SnookerZone tried out last weekend.
Watch: This video below is a typical example of demoing the snooker textbook stance:
Most coaches tell you to put your right foot on the line either by stepping in from the belly button or by having your right foot on the line already. However, over the weekend, SnookerZone decided to go one step further (no pun intended) and put his right foot outside of the line to the left of the cue ball. Hope that makes sense so far.
It looks awkward on the eyes, (and the hips) but the next step (again no pun intended) was to then bring with the cue down onto the line of the shot. Indeed, this somewhat unusual method/discovery led to a significant improvement in potting and indeed much more confidence in finding the line of the shot on approach. Not to mention “seeing” the shot from using the master eye. In this case, the right eye.
As a student of the game, SnookerZone has always struggled with the approach, as the dogma of knowing where to stand has always been an issue. And, to be honest – approaching from the belly button and then stepping in with the right foot has always felt uncomfortable and unnatural.
“ We all may have examples, in my case, the single worst piece of advice I have been given as a right-handed player is to “put your right foot on the line of aim”. Many professionals and coaches say this and whilst it may be a good guide, in my experience, this is not always appropriate. You don’t hit the cue ball with your feet. In my opinion and based on what I have seen through coaching, the only thing that matters is that the stance should ensure that the player is comfortable, well balanced, can stay still on the shot, is sufficiently low to the shot and can push the cue through in a straight line without moving.”
Exactly John. As John says, you don’t pot the ball with your feet, you pot the balls with your eyes. Initially. Then, it’s your body (or cue arm) that follows what your brain (eyes) have seen.
The main point to come from this is that I don’t think it matters where you put your feet. Go where your eyes take you in relation to the shot. Then get down and deliver the cue on the line. Trust your eyes…
Because they are a powerful set of organs!
After a brief email with John, he told me he was releasing a new book near Christmas, which would uncover all about the lines of aim!
Warrior Kyren Wilson has slammed some top players for their snub of playing in the Paul Hunter Classic which he won over the Bank Holiday weekend in Furth, Germany.
The 26-year-old World Championship semi-finalist from Kettering beat 47-year-old Peter Ebdon, in his first final since 2012, 4 – 2 in the final and pocketed 20K but it was the comments made after that got fans in a stir.
The tournament also made news for having two 147s, where both Michael Georgiou and Jamie Jones shared 10K each.
Kettering’s Wilson tweeted this:
I entered the #PaulHunterClassic to remember a great player who inspired me to play snooker it’s not always about the money, it’s a shame some of the lads who were about when Paul was couldn’t be bothered to enter…bonus is I’m now in champion of champions as a result of it 😘
The Kettering potter had claimed his second ranking event since 2015 where he lifted the Shanghai Masters.
Straight after the match, he said: “Sometimes, it’s not just about the money, it’s about remembering a great snooker player in Paul Hunter”
The Warrior’s tweet sparked fresh controversy as some players defended their decision not to play in the Tribute Tournament to Paul Hunter.
Barry Hawkins tweeted this:
Wouldn’t say couldn’t be bothered mate. Played in it for many years. Like you a lot of us have young families and being it’s the 6 weeks holidays at school now is the time for me to spend some time with them. Corfu or snooker comp? Only one winner I’m afraid. Congrats on your win https://t.co/y8JfUAgpa9
It’s a catch 22 as the summer holidays are indeed the only “real” time players have to spend time with their families and kids? Especially when there is a very busy schedule coming up for the Snooker season for the pros where there is virtually a tournament every week from October to December!
Perhaps the Paul Hunter Classic should be re-scheduled at a time where it’s convenient for all!
For some, playing snooker is a passion. For others, it’s a profession.
And who says there are no inspirational characters in the game today? Here’s one who plays on the World Disability Snooker tour…
For David Delboy Church, 22, from Norwich, playing snooker he said was an escape. An escape from the pain and suffering caused by a Road Traffic Accident he had in 2013 where he broke his right leg.
He told SnookerZone: “I used snooker as an escape from life and depression and basically to get away from the troubles I was in, this was when the passion for snooker really started.”
But despite all the troubles he’s had, even a condition called Moebius syndrome, a facial paralysis which affects the 6th and 7th cranial nerves which are eye movement and facial expressions, he still managed to claim the 2017 World Disability Open Snooker Championship in his group which he will be defending soon in September.
You might be wondering why he’s called Delboy. Well, here’s why, he explains:
“It’s just a joke around people at my club and friends cause I went through a stage of being like Del Boy I think people see me as a character to be honest.”
He loves Only Fools and Horses, one of the greatest comedies in the history of TV, with Delboy as the central character. He’s a right one that Delboy…
Watch a video on the WDBS, below. Click play…
A SOLID TEAM BACKING “DELBOY”
But joking aside, Church takes his snooker seriously, and has racked up so far his highest break of 89 – he’s nearing making that century.
He’s coached by the Blade Cue coaching team, led by the head coach Gary Filtness and Church said the Blade Cue and coaching has been so helpful and easy to understand and apply to his game. He’s got a solid team around him and is sponsored by the Blade Cue and Martin Daly of Tyrone Cues, he said. The chairman of the World Seniors tour and the founder of Snooker Legends is also involved – Jason Francis. He also has a Sports Behavioural Therapist Matt Andrews helping him.
He added: “It’s made me so confident in my game. The Blade Cue Training Mat, the Blade Cue Pocket Trainer and the Blade Cue are all very good training aids in my opinion.”
Church last year entered the Paul Hunter Classic amateur rounds and told SnookerZone he’d like to enter Gibraltar next year, but said, “we’ll see.”
Naturally, anyone who picks up a snooker cue wants to play the greatest of them all. Church is no exception and said he’d love to give Ronnie O’Sullivan a game on the pro tour. But, he also said he’d love to play four-times World Champion John Higgins.
He added: “I just think he is solid in every department of his game.
Church played in The Paul Hunter Classic last year amateur rounds and he said it was amazing for him, an amazing experience and great to play in the conditions and be away for a snooker week.
A LEARNING CURVE
On the WDBS, which has catered for all types of people with disabilities, he said he loves playing in it.
“Just being around everyone and playing in a professional way feeling like you’re a pro in some ways you are just a disabled pro I guess. I’d like to see more players and more tournaments, to be honest, but we are making the right steps towards it. He added: “I find it’s amazing, it’s so good to play other players with disabilities and to be around them and play in such great conditions. It makes you feel you have a career in some ways. It also is a learning curve watching how people adapt to play the sport they love is truly inspirational!”
What was even more remarkable when he won the 2017 WDBS Open title he told SnookerZone, it was 4 days after burying his father – another setback that did not deter Church from finding success out of pain!
To anyone who is thinking of trying snooker – regardless of whether they have a disability or not, he urged:
“Play! Give it a go. It’s a hard sport but you get the satisfaction from playing and meeting people in a competitive atmosphere.” SnookerZone seconds that!
We’d like to thank David for his time and wish him well in his career on his snooker inside and outside the WDBS!
Discover all about the WDBS by clicking on the image link below…
This season has already seen two winners over 30 and over 40 win on the World Snooker tour in Riga and in Yushan. Neil Robertson and Mark Williams started off the average age of winners this season at 39 after two ranking events.
Sportradar, a sports statistics website calculated that between the years 2011 – present, the age of winners on the tour had increased by eight years within seven years.
In 2011, the average age was 31 years and by the current, it’s now 39.
Stuart Bingham began a big resurgence in 2015 well into his thirties and won the World title for the first time after at least 20 years of toil on the amateur and pro circuits.
Last season, Ronnie, Mark, and John Higgins, all who turned pro in 1992, won 10 out of the 20 ranking events and earnt hundreds of thousands in prize money between them.
The data suggests you now have to be a winner much older now in snooker – with only a handful of “young” players entering the winners’ enclosure such as Kyren Wilson (2015), Anthony McGill and Judd Trump all under 30.
With Mark Williams winning the World title at the age of 43, the oldest since Ray Reardon, and both he and five-times World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan being born again by the product training method of SightRight, it may be a while yet before fans see a decline in the number of older players dropping out of the winner’s enclosure and replaced by the young ones.
SportRadar commented on the findings: “Of the younger generation who can reverse the current trend; Kyren Wilson (26), Michael White (27) and Anthony McGill (27) have already entered the winner’s circle with Jack Lisowski (27) looking ready to join them in the near future. While 17-year-old Welsh star, Jackson Page is developing a reputation as ‘one to watch’, but to put his achievements into context, O’Sullivan had already won the second biggest title on the professional circuit by the age of 17.”
He’s been making his mark on the World Snooker Tour since 1992.
And now, 22 ranking titles on, Mark Williams is not only in 2018 a World Champion, but a World Open Champion.
From 2017 where he was even thinking of quitting, to 2018 and already that’s already a German Masters, a World title, and World Open. The season has barely begun and in the form and mindset Williams is in, you wouldn’t bet against him not winning more this season.
Just when fans thought Williams, the oldest World Champion at 43 since Ray Reardon was out of Yushan in the final at 9 – 5, the Welsh Wizard won five on the bounce to beat David Gilbert 10 – 9 in a thrilling decider.
Williams, still on a high after his World Championship went into Riga slightly rusty but then it was only a matter of time before the three-time World Champion kicked into gear and got back to winning ways.
Will It Be Third Time Lucky for Gilbert?
It was Dave Gilbert’s second-ranking final and there was no sign that the International Championship runner-up was overawed by the occasion. In fact, he was relishing it – as in the first session a break of 142 secured him the joint high break prize with Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham as he trousered £2,500 along with his £75K runner-up cheque.
Incidentally, this is Dave Gilbert’s second final where he’s met a class of 92 player, and lost. Maybe it will be third time lucky for Dave? Here’s hoping…
Gilbert is now no 20 in the World rankings.
Williams, who is part of the trio of the famous professionals who turned pro in 92 – last season won three ranking titles. He’s already won one this season, how many can he get this time?
Remember, Williams is part of Team SightRight, along with Ronnie O’Sullivan, who hasn’t played yet this season in front of the TV cameras.
Williams, however, pocketed £150K to add to his £425K he trousered in Sheffield, and a thumbs up on twitter after! Life is good, especially if you’re now no 2 in the World rankings!…
SnookerZone now has a book zone where we will review books – new and old. It doesn’t matter what the book is, whether it’s a training book, a biography, or a fictional novel – we’ll review it so you can get an idea of what the book is about and whether it’s worth the read.
There are plenty of books to dip into in snooker for the enthusiast so put your feet up, grab a hot coffee and dip into the world of the green baize!
Are you a budding snooker player bored with your current routine training? Then why not ramp up your practice and have some fun with top WPBSA coach David Horrix’s Complete Book of Snooker Shots – 224 of them!
Also, coming soon, we’ll be reviewing the fictional novel from award-winning author Jane Holland, Kissing the Pink…Well worth a read! Stay tuned!
We’ll also be reviewing the training aid the Pocket Sniper so stay tuned for that as well, coming soon!
Calling All Guest Bloggers:
Are you a blogger in the snooker world? We’d like to offer you the chance to contribute to the SnookerZone blog once in a while. If you want to write a piece about the Tour – either a comment piece or a news article, then just email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you fit the bill. Just keep it clean, please.
We’ll include a link and a biog at the end of the piece – all good publicity for you and your blog. We’ll even pass it around the net for you!
Imagine popping into your local Ladbrokes and having a £100 flutter on the snooker.
That’s what one Somerset man did, and the bet turned out to bag him 100K in winnings. He wishes to remain anonymous and we don’t blame him!
But he was made to sweat though over the weekend as many of the first round matches he bet on went to deciders, but, he came out the other side 100K richer on the 15 fold Acca!
Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “This is the biggest snooker accumulator win we’ve ever seen placed on a BetStation. Predicting the wins of 15 games has sent our traders’ snooker loopy, but we can only applaud this gentleman’s belief.”
The World Open continues in China this week, the second ranking event of the season, and new professional Harvey Chandler won his first round match in Yushan, and plays the Warrior Kyren Wilson in the second round.
Chandler was runner-up at last week’s Charity Snooker event the Pink Ribbon to amateur Andrew Norman as the new professional seeks to make a positive winning start in the ranking series of events on the professional snooker calendar.
Ding Junhui is the World Open’s defending Champion from last season as the Chinese wonder kid Yan Bingtao, who made the final of the Northern Ireland Open last season, has cruised his way into the second round of the 64 man event beating Stuart Carrington from Grimsby 5 – 0.
Ronnie O’Sullivan will soon have to move over… because there’s a new kid in town, ready to whirl the exhibition circuit!
Guinness World Record breaker Sean Maddocks performed out of his comfort zone at the weekend in his first ever snooker exhibition to a packed audience of around 50 fans.
Maddocks, who has been nicknamed “Mad Dog” for some reason, 16, who is the youngest to make a 147 in a open-aged amateur tournament, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan’s record in the Guinness Book of World Records, wowed fans at the Eastham Home Guard Club in Eastham in the Wirral on Saturday the 4th August.
The teen, a fan of the Rocket, and the Wizard of Wishaw, John Higgins, said:
“I felt like I played well enough to entertain the crowd and I enjoyed every minute of it. I learned a lot from it and how to have a laugh while playing serious snooker and feel confident enough to do them more often.”
The young snooker whizz hit a string of 50+ breaks under a different type of pressure but almost racked a ton on three separate occasions, which was the only thing missing from the evening, said his coach Neil Johnson, who has been coaching the talented Maddocks since he was 10.
Johnson told SnookerZone online about the evening:
“It went great. Sean played very well. He rattled the inside of the jaws with the last red on 81 in the first frame before going 69, 68, 53, 45, 65, 66 and 63 over the next nine frames. He then played another two frames but was looking tired and lost the last one. It was a fantastic night and we got out of it what we were looking for which was to take him out of his comfort zone with something he hadn’t done before.”
He added: “He’s a fantastic example of an exciting modern player, technically very good but also quick and great to watch with an ever-expanding shot range.””He was one shot away each time and three tons wouldn’t have been generous. Another night and…”
Johnson said watching a new talent with all that unknown promise is as “exciting as it gets”, in his opinion.
He also said it was a very worthwhile exercise and would definitely be doing more of these exhibitions in future.
Maddocks played in Q School in May and came so near yet so far to turning professional during the events. See video below
The evening was organized by a couple of Johnson’s older students as a thank you for their help in helping him with training devices he is setting up.
One fan of the evening said on Facebook: “I loved it. Can’t wait for next time.”
A snooker exhibition is the cornerstone of a snooker player’s diet as they tour the country and the wider world showing off their skills they have honed for years of toil and sweat in solo and duel practice in their clubs.
Maddocks will be in Germany this month for the Paul Hunter Classic the amateur rounds and also the Challenge Tour.