A coach that spots flaws any time of day – 365 days of year…

A coach that spots flaws any time of day – 365 days of year…

So, one issue I’ve been having which has been highlighted a lot since using the Cue Action Trainer or Coach CAT as we like to call it now, is the grip and gripping of the cue when cueing. 

Testing and self-correcting errors is a vital part of the CAT’s job as a coaching aid and can be powerful in understanding what the ideal technique is for you based on observation!

It’s an issue that many players have at one stage or another, right?

The problems with gripping the cue can be a minefield.

There’s so many ways to grip the cue.

And so many ways flaws can creep in.

What is the ideal grip? Should the fingers unfurl, if at all? Is it essential?

[bctt tweet=”The Cue Action Trainer can spot faults like grip and help you test and correct, instantly…” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

In this post, I’m going to explain briefly why the Cue Action Trainer is so powerful in giving you feedback on all aspects of your technique, and why it gives you that instant feedback to be able to self-correct aspects of your game that need improving.

WATCH: Kyren Wilson’s Cue Action Analysis from Snooker Pro Club…

You will get vital feedback first hand.

Not from what a coach says is GOSPEL and you should do WITHOUT getting you to test it and see first.

Not from reading from a textbook that says you should do this, BUT doesn’t know anything about you, etc.

Not from listening to someone down your club who says, I do it like this and this is the way you should do it because it works for me.

Remember: whatever you do: WITH OR WITHOUT HELP FROM COACH CAT…



The focus is to get you to deliver the cue straight along the line of aim in a stance, grip, and cue action comfortable and right for you.

Learn more CAT insights now

So, our issue picked up by the CAT is not so much how we grip the cue, but should we unfurl the fingers FULLY when delivering the cue on the backswing?

Will not UNFURLING the fingers help deliver the cue straighter?

Most coaches say that the textbook grip way is to have a relaxed grip.

But what does that mean?

How relaxed a grip should it be?

All these questions can be answered by using the CAT and receiving instant feedback and FEELING what a relaxed grip is so you can get straight cueing.

Our problem with grip and what the CAT highlighted…

However, since using the Cue Action Trainer, we have noticed that on our grip when unfurling the fingers, the fleshy part between our thumb and index finger slips off the cue slightly when we open the back fingers. This ends up feeling like the thumb has slipped off the cue too.

And, more importantly, from observing the CAT legs when training, we can see our cue is NOT going through straight all the time.

This causes the cue to stray offline, and this has been highlighted when testing with the CAT.

The grip plays an important part in cue delivery, and anything you do with it should be designed to keep the cue delivered straight on the line of aim.

Test, test and test everything with the CAT and see if it results in straighter, smoother cueing…

Test grip.

Test stance.

Test cue action.

Test chin position.

Test it all…

Coach CAT is ready now

All this you will feel when practicing cueing using the CAT!

And, you will pick up the right signs from observing what the CAT legs are doing!

What’s happening at the moment with us, is we are being forced to self-correct this aspect of the grip and re-adjust the thumb so that the fingers stay fixed in the positions they should be. I.e, the fleshy part between the thumb and index finger should be fixed. For us, it seems to slip a little.

so, we tested out our grip using the CAT with the fingers fixed on the cue and not unfurling them on the backswing and this was the result.

What feedback Coach CAT gave us…

We did 10 sets of 4 repetitions, and on those, we noticed that when NOT UNFURLING the fingers (opening them on the backswing) our cueing was MUCH straighter than when OPENING UP the fingers on the cue.

This tells us that the CAT is saying that we deliver the cue much straighter when our fingers are loose but closed on the cue and don’t open FULLY.

So, the moral of the story?

As said before, test, test, and test again to find out which style of grip, action or stance is right for you.

COACH CAT will tell you INSTANTLY what’s going on and what you need to do to correct it!

Coach CAT is ready now

How to use Nic Barrow’s Ultimate Training Ball as a guide with Coach CAT so you perfect center cue ball striking!

Want to strike the cue ball dead center? Just IMAGINE the red dot is on the “normal” cue ball and train yourself to memorize it!

If you want to make sure you are striking the dead center on the cue ball, you can use Nic’s Ultimate Training Ball cue ball using the RED DOT in the middle and cue through the CAT legs!

If your cue strikes the red dot, then you are cueing through the center of the white.


Practice this drill a few times at home and train your brain to know where dead center striking is on the cue ball!

Then, practice cueing up at a normal cue ball WITHOUT COACH CAT.

Are you still cueing straight and pointing to the RED DOT?

Now, when you cue up to a “normal” cue ball, IMAGINE the RED DOT is in the middle is there on the cue ball and you will be striking the cue ball dead center EVERY TIME! 

Coach CAT is ready for you now


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Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!