Dear snooker practicer,
Do you ever get to the practice table and think, what do I do now to start warming up? Maybe you go straight into serious “practice routines” without really warming up?
In this post, we’ll show you two things:
- How to get yourself in focus for “proper” practice, and…
- 5 great warm-up snooker routines you can do in your practice sessions to make your sessions more varied and less “boring” and, more importantly, get you focused for the real stuff!
Are you the type of player who just goes and does line-ups? Are you getting bored with just going there and practicing the same old routines again and again? I bet you are sometimes, right?
Think of these five routines as the starter before the main course. When you go out to dinner, you normally have an appetizer before the main meal, right? Well, these are the appetizers and they’ll get you in the mood for the rest of your practice sessions…Here they are.
- Finding the speed of the table (a fun game to start)…
You don’t need a cue for this. This is an exercise you can do when you first get on the practice table. All you need is a snooker ball. Spend at least five/ten minutes (up to you) doing this and you’ll find it’ll help you find the speed of the table and how it runs!
Simply gently roll a snooker ball up and down the table from the baulk line to the black spot and see if you can get the ball to rest on the baulk cushion. If you can – you’ve earnt yourself three points! If it goes past the baulk line – then you’ve earnt two points. If you fail to reach baulk line – 0 points. Anywhere in between and it’s one!
- Pace and speed of table…
- 2) Pot the Cue Ball from Anywhere…
Now, you may wonder: What’s the point of just aimlessly potting the cue ball into pockets from anywhere? Actually, there’s a lot to it! You’re for one establishing where to line up to get the ball to go into the centre of the pocket! In fact, place the cue ball anywhere in baulk, and try to pot the cue ball into a corner pocket. Do the same thing from the other end and strike the cue ball at different speeds to see what happens! In fact, you’ll find the harder you hit it, the less likely the ball will go in! Also, imagine there’s a ball in front of the cue ball and where you would need to hit the ball in order to pot it! Snooker is a game of memory more than anything!
You’re also testing your:
- Eyes and judgement
- Cue and pace at which to hit
- Cueing Rhythm
- Setting up your pre-shot routine so that you do the same thing all the time. This will get you focused for when you do actually play with two balls!
- 3) Practice Cueing On the Baulk Line
This is a simple one and will take literally five mins! In fact, I’d recommend doing this first to get you in the zone. SImply cue up to the baulk line (sideways) and practice running your cue through the line and you can see if your cue is being delivered straight!
What you’re learning:
- Straight cueing
- Muscle memory
- Lining up – Pre-shot routine
- Solid bridging
- 4) Running Cue Ball Along Spots
This has been a practice routine in snooker since the year dot. Just place the cue ball on the brown spot and practice cueing up and down the blue, pink and black spots. It’s a simple cueing exercise but effective as a “warm-up” exercise.
- Smooth cueing and whether you’re imparting any unintentional side on the cue ball.
Alternatively, for a more detailed look at cueing, the Blade Cue Pocket Trainer is a great simple tool for practicing cueing in greater detail. Click here to see SnookerZone’s review of the Pocket Trainer, here and discover straighter cueing starting now…
- 5) Pot 20 Straight Blues to the Middle Pockets
This is another “warm-up” exercise which you can do to test straight cueing. Simply place the blue on its spot and the cue ball sideways next to it and then, playing top on the ball, simply see if you can pot the blue and follow the cue ball into the same pocket. If you can do this on a regular basis, then it’s a sign that you’re cueing well. Similarly, do this with screwing back and see if you can screw the cue ball back into the opposite pocket. Have a go at it say for 20 go’s and see how many you can score.
All of these exercises are great as warm-ups and also help to get you focused for the rest of your practice session. SnookerZone recommends you pick one/two of these in each practice session and start them as soon as you get on the table.
Enjoy your snooker…