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How to get the most out of your home practice…

SnookerGym coach Nic Barrow has created the first in a series of videos on home snooker training.

It’s designed to guide players through this very unusual and unprecedented time in 2020 with the COVID 19 outbreak.

CAT
Snooker clubs maybe closed for now, but Nic Barrow is still open for business as he helps people with home training for snooker…

Due to the dangers of COVID 19, the British public have been instructed by the British government to “stay in their homes” and only go out to shop infrequently for essential items such as food, or to take one daily exercise per day or to seek medical help if needed.

But, with ALL non-essential shops closed, and sports clubs, bars, pubs, theatres closed, there is still much you can do to utilize the time if your passion is snooker.

Here’s just some things you can do if you are not one of those lucky ones to be able to have a full-size table at home!:

  • Watch as many videos as you can on snooker matches and analyze…
  • Set up your own cueing space each day and practice your cueing. (It doesn’t have to be long sessions. Even do it for 15 mins in the morning, and afternoon.)
  • Purchase a training aid like the CAT or something else and practice your straight cueing.
  • And watch videos like Nic Barrow’s for advice on how to get the best out of your home training, whilst going through this difficult time.
CAT
The CAT can be a good home training device for snooker in these long weeks of lockdown…

Check the CAT out here

Watch the first in the series of Nic’s videos on home training, below, now…

SnookerZone would also say that this time can be really important as a way of reassessing everything. Not just snooker.

Think about your mental attitude and how you are coping with the COVID 19 outbreak. Are you treating it as a problem that you can overcome?

Meditation for half an hour is a very useful way to channel your energy into feeling more positive and refreshed about the current situation. Imagine you are faced with a difficult pot in snooker. How would you overcome fear?

Film your technique from all angles…

You can also do some filming of yourself from different angles by using an inexpensive camera tripod, an iPhone and a coaching app such as Coach’s Eye. Watch our video as we illustrate the type of angles you can film yourself from.

 

All that remains to be said is stay safe, stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives. 

See you on the other side…

SnookerZone

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World Snooker Championship 2020 postponed until further notice…

The 2020 Betfred World Snooker Championship has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID 19 outbreak.

Judd Trump
The Ace in the Pack Judd Trump may still have the chance of becoming the first player to successfully defend the World title he won last year…

Snooker’s Blue Ribbon event watched by so many across the globe may be played in July/August depending on TV schedules. 

The event, held at the Crucible Theatre in April/May, since 1977, follows after the Qualifiers held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield where 16 players qualify and get to play the top 16 at the iconic venue. .

In a statement by WST, it read: “WST intends to host the final stages at the Crucible on rescheduled dates in July or August. This will be preceded by the qualifying rounds. We are awaiting feedback from the BBC and our other principal broadcasters before dates are confirmed and we hope to make a further announcement in the coming days.”

Snooker Big Boss Barry Hearn said: “These are tough times for everyone but we are determined to get through it. Fans around the world – as well as the 144 players involved – are anxious to know if and when the World Championship will go ahead. I can assure everyone that we are doing all we can alongside our broadcasters, the venues and other partners to confirm new dates as soon as possible.

“Snooker players are self-employed, they need opportunities to earn prize money so we have a responsibility to them. We are currently exploring the potential to stage tournaments behind closed doors to keep the circuit alive, with more details to follow next week.

“Live televised coverage of the biggest sporting events can be an inspiration to people around the world in these challenging times so it is important that we strive to find solutions for our tournaments.”

Current ticket holders will have their tickets transferred for the specified dates to be arranged, not yet announced, or can receive a refund.

Keep checking back on WST here…

 

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Snooker’s Blue Ribbon Event Hangs in Balance…

And this week’s Tour Championship in Llandudno has been postponed until July, due to the rapidly viral deadly Coronavirus outbreak.

The snap announcement came from World Snooker Tour this morning that the penultimate ranking event of the season would be potentially played later on in the year at the end of July (21-26th).

Originally, the event in Wales was going to be played behind closed doors – but government advice yesterday has changed the whole framework of sporting events for the next weeks/months.

The Crucible
The World Championships at the Crucible hang in the balance regarding whether it will be postponed or even canceled!

The statement read on the WST website: “We appreciate this is very short notice and a disappointment for the fans and the television audience, however, the assessment could only be made at short notice after yesterday’s announcement from the government which came at 5pm.

The box office at Venue Cymru in Llandudno will contact ticket holders . Those tickets will be transferred automatically to the rescheduled dates. Fans who are unable to attend in July can contact the box office after April 1st for a refund.”

Announcements on future events including the World Championship will be made in due course, with all scenarios to be considered depending on further government advice.

The World Snooker Championships hang in the balance as advice from UK government was for people to avoid social gatherings such as pubs, clubs, theatres and other venues and just go out to get food and essential items.

On the Crucible Theatre website, it says that ALL shows will be postponed until April 5th with ongoing reviews following on from government advice. The theatre also hosts the iconic snooker event played each year there since 1977.

The statement reads: “For performances from 5 April onwards, we will continue to review and follow recommendations from the relevant authorities and will keep in touch with ticket holders. There is no further news on World Snooker at this time. We continue to liaise with the team at World Snooker and will provide an update on plans for this year’s tournament as soon as it is available.”

They add: “We appreciate that these are worrying times for many people and thank you for your understanding as we continue to follow all available advice. We are sorry for any disappointment our closure will cause, but we are committed to playing our part in helping people stay safe. Please look after yourselves and each other.”

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Amazing Judd Trump Creates Snooker History in 2020…

And he’s become the ultimate modern snooker winning machine…

Trump2
The magic sixth! Trump didn’t have an audience to show off his record-breaking sixth ranking title of the 2019/2020 season. Shame.

Judd Trump has completed an incredible feat on the modern snooker circuit.

The 30-year-old Ace in the Pack has lifted six ranking titles in one season – a huge feat considering the depth of the tour now.

Four players, Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui, and Mark Selby have all won five ranking events.

A few weeks ago, Trump had added his name to that illustrious list. But has gone one better.

No handshakes. Only thumbs-ups or elbows.

Despite the sedate setting in Gibraltar, where the players had to play behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, the cream eventually rose to the top after a long week on the Rock.

There were no handshakes, just thumbs-ups or elbows.

It was the likes of three-times World Champion Mark Williams and Kyren Wilson who were in the last four, as the Warrior got the better of the Welsh Potting Machine to book a meeting with the Ace in the Pack, who scraped through a tough match with China’s Xiao Guodong.

KyrenWilson
Kyren Wilson made a ton reply in frame 2 letting Judd know he was about in the final.

The final, a best of 7, kicked off with three centuries in three frames, with Trump making two and Kyren one.

There were a couple of scrappy affairs in between, but it was Judd who also made a 144 to claim the highest break of the event, pinching £5K off his pal Jack Lisowski.

Trump1
Judd Trump won the European BetVictor Series Cup over the four events listed.

The Juddernaut, who won his 17th ranking title, claimed the £50K prize and nicked the £150,000 bonus off Neil Robertson, who was on course to claim the BetVictor European Series Cup.

He’s won 9 ranking events in under two years!

There were no interviews after as custom during the presentation.

 

 

 

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WATCH: Do this regularly to help improve your cueing…

And your confidence!

I’ll be honest.

I hated straight potting. For months I’ve been avoiding it. Asking, why do I need to do it?

And then, after some soul searching, I decided to devote most of my time to it over the last few weeks in solo practice.

Let’s face it, constantly drilling in straight pots isn’t exactly FUN, is it?.

We recommend you do 10 at a time. Start with close-range ones, and gradually increase the distance of the cue ball and object ball to gain confidence.

And it’s ESSENTIAL if you want to improve!

Why?

Because if you miss, then it can only be down to not delivering the cue straight. Aiming is out of the equation.

You see, if you can’t cue straight on a straight pot, then how are you supposed to cue an angled pot?

This is one of the drags of practice. As well as doing the things you love, you HAVE to do the things you find the most boring.

CAT
Practice straight potting with the CAT and then move it aside and then practice as normal. Do you notice any differences?

In anything, you have things you love to practice, and things you hate.

It’s life, right?

But, in order to get better at anything, you have to not only work at it, but you have to do the things that you don’t want to do, or don’t really love to do.

Am I right? Of course I am lol.

Anyway, one of the most important aspects of snooker practice that will help improve not only your snooker cueing, but also your confidence, is…STRAIGHT POTTING.

In the past few weeks, SnookerZone has been devoting a lot of time to this one aspect of practice, along with using Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer, and, we’ve started seeing the benefits of it come out in our game.

One of the things you can do if you have access to the CAT, is practice straight potting in potting mode with it, and do a few sets of pots.

But then, move the CAT aside, and do more sets WITHOUT the CAT. You will notice a major difference straight away.

Check out the CAT now

Here’s three quick tips to help get you started with improving your straight cueing:

========> Every pot, regardless of its difficulty needs 100% care and attention. One of the reasons why people miss close-range straight shots is because of rushing on the shot, and not taking that bit of extra care on the shot! (This happened towards the end of the video, where we missed one). It was down to rushing.

=======> Practicing (at home, or away) delivering the cue in a consistent rhythm and tempo. Ideally, you want a pendulum style action that is the same on the backswing and the forward swing! You can use the CAT (again, at home or away to hone a nice pendulum style cue action! Believe me, it will come in handy!)

======> Making sure there’s a nice pause on your final backswing before you deliver the cue. It doesn’t matter how long, but if you watch the pros, (near enough all have at least a 1 – 2-second pause before delivery. Some are a bit longer but not much.

Understand?

So, do you crave to feel what REAL straight cueing feels like? We recommend the CAT for that. 100%.

Check the CAT out now!

 

 

 

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Scott Donaldson claims his first pro title in 2020…

The 25-year-old rising Scottish snooker star lands the 2020 Championship League title.

ScottD
Two Scots battled in the final, but it was youth that prevailed over the experienced Graeme Dott…(photo screenshot from World Snooker Tour facebook…

He defeated former 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott in the final and tweeted:

The Championship League has been previously held by the likes of Judd Trump, a three-time winner, Martin Gould, a two-time winner, and Joe Perry, who won the inaugural event in 2008.

Scot John Higgins has also won two CL titles.

In 2020, Judd Trump made his 700th century during the event. Watch below…

 

Donaldson bagged 10K and also spots a place in the 2020 Champion of Champions in November.

Although the Championship League is not a ranking event, there are still tons of future bonuses for Donaldson on offer.

Winning a title breeds confidence and although the Scot has managed to get to semi-finals of ranking events in the past, winning a title can only give the talented young Scot the confidence to progress further and claim an elusive ranking title.

Like Michael Holt winning the Shootout (a ranking event but previously wasn’t), this might propel Donaldson into greater things.

We’ll see.

Well done Scott.

 

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Judd Trump Becomes One of the Famous Five in 2020…

It’s been a fairytale 16 months for Judd Trump.

JuddTrump
Trump has won well over 700K in prize money this season. Last he topped £1 million…

The 30-year-old Ace in the Pack has scooped 8 ranking events in that time and has become one of the famous five who’ve won five ranking events in one season.

He joins Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui as a tiny elite who’ve accomplished this incredible feat of winning.

Trump’s fifth came over the weekend at the Coral Players Championship as he defeated 20-year-old Chinese talent Yan Bingtao cruising to a 10 -4 win.

All the hard work had been done in the first session as Trump came out on top 6 – 2, but Yan won the last frame of the session with a 95 break to give himself a squeak going into the second session.

The second session started with a slightly nervy Trump, as Yan knocked in a 77, winning the first two, but then Trump went through the gears and found the form to win comfortably in the end.

Judd Trump
Can Judd break the dreaded Crucible curse in 2020?

Let’s not forget the sterling season of Yan Bingtao. The Chinese youngster won his first ranking title in Riga at the Riga Masters, and he said after – aided by manager Victoria Shi, who runs the Victoria Snooker Academy in Sheffield, said Bingtao had no regrets this season and was happy with his win in Riga.

YanBingtao
He’s on the up: Bingtao will probably be seeded as one of the top 16 at the Crucible…

Trump’s spoils this season…

  • 2019 Northern Ireland Open
  • 2019 International Championship
  • 2019 World Open
  • 2020 German Masters
  • 2020 Coral Players Championship

Prior to that, Judd had scooped the 2019 World Championship, the Coral World Grand Prix, and the 2018 Northern Ireland Open.

Stephen Hendry was the youngest ever World Champion at 21, and then went onto win five ranking events in the 1990/91 season. He couldn’t retain the World title though in 91 and that went to John Parrott.

Stephen Hendry
Trump has joined the famous five club with the likes of Stephen Hendry (pictured right) and Ronnie O’Sullivan…

Although there are a lot more events now, Trump’s win is as incredible as ever because of the depth in talent on the tour, and the number of events now on offer. With three ranking events left this season, including the World Championship, there’s a BIG possibility of Trump becoming the first player to win six in a season.

The last in the Coral series begins on the 17th March with the Tour Championship by the seaside in Llandudno, Wales. 

Here’s a visual of who’s won how many so far…

RankingWinners

Watch: Steve Davis explains Judd Trump’s unorthodox cueing at the 2018 World Championships…