Nic Barrow on Snooker Coaching: “It’s Therapeutic”
6 Common Faults Top Coach Nic Barrow Sees with ALL Snooker Players
Nic Barrow is the founder of The SnookerGym training centre in Milton Keynes and many other products both online and off.
In this exclusive short Q&A, SnookerZone has a chat with the man behind the amazing snooker products such as the Aim Frame, Ultimate Training Ball, and Cue Action Trainer. We also review his great AimFrame product in the Training Zone.
But first, read what Nic had to say on the game and his love of coaching and the six common faults players have when they turn up to see him at his training facility.
1) Can you first state your name, age, and where you are based for the record?
Nic Barrow, 48, Milton Keynes – one hour north of London.
2) How did you get into snooker?
I was captivated by it as soon as I saw it on the TV in the late 70s with John Spencer and Ray Reardon battling it out.
3) More importantly, what made you want to start a career in coaching? And what’s been the proudest moment in your coaching career to date?
All through my teens, my dream was to compile a three-dimensional body of knowledge about the game, accessible by any player of any standard, that would outlast me so that the use of my life would outlive my life. In that regard, playing was my apprenticeship in coaching and served as my bigger picture dream – although at the time I thought my dream was to be World Champion.
The proudest moments have been helping coaches who have helped their clients win events and even World Championships. This proves it is not ME who is so brilliant, but that the ideas I have discovered and tested work.
Also, getting goosebumps all over when I am with a club player who gets a massive breakthrough is always great – and shows me I am doing the right thing in life at that moment!
Working myself free of affiliations with governing bodies has also shown that my business can stand alone and thrive – which is a big deal as turning my hobby into a business which offers freedom has been one of my major goals in life.
4) Have you played in leagues or events and where? Have you won any titles?
I won all four of the events in our local league three years ago when I was practicing a little bit. It was interesting then that I did not have pressure to win, but pressure not to lose as I was expected to win. I won around ten pro-ams when I competed in my 20s on the circuit. Best result was beating Ken Doherty when he was ranked world number 7.
5) What’s your highest break?
147 – but only once.
6) Who do you most admire in the game?
- Jason Ferguson (WPBSA chairman) for his work ethic (although, I don’t always agree with everything he does!)
- Barry Hearn (World Snooker chairman) for his entrepreneurialism.
- Any volunteer who helps and contributes to governing bodies.
- Club players who keep battling on trying to improve just for the love of the game.
- 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott for his determination.
- Neil Robertson for getting out of the dole queue and giving his dream a go – and, also for achieving that dream.
- Ronnie O’Sullivan for his individuality.
7) Out of the products you have created so far, which one is your favorite?
The Cue Action Trainer as the results it gives are so profound, easy, and fast – although, like the Bugatti Veyron, I have estimated that I have lost money on every single one sold!
8) Can you give the readers of SnookerZone one actionable tip they can take away and use to help improve their game now?
9) What would you call yourself as a nickname?
That would be what others called me in my pro-am days – The Wheel!
10) Have you got anyone you coach who might be a future prospect in the game? Don’t name names but do you see many talents coming through in your neck of woods?
Not in that respect as my niche has become working with keen enthusiasts who also work full time, rather than juniors or main tour pros. However, they have significant wins meaningful to them which are very exciting to be a part of as I can see them dissolve the frustrations I used to have as a player when I was learning the game. Coaching others is therapeutic!
11) When most people turn up to see you, what’s the most common fault(s) they have with their game?
- Having no pre-shot plan (and not committing 100% to the line of aim & cue ball height/speed).
- Thinking that cueing up is for aiming (when it is for feel, and checking the cue is moving straight!).
- Cueing up much less than pro’s – but not realizing it!
- Rushing the backswing (which pulls the cue offline).
- Not realizing they need to stay down and properly watch the object ball to the pocket/cushion (this is where all the self-diagnosis and learning happens, and building the habit of staying down gives a time buffer to ensure we don’t move BEFORE we play the shot).
- Thinking that, even though pros need to apply the last point mentioned above, that it does not apply to them… and wondering why they never improve in their game!
12) Tell us something about you that people who know you may not know – can be a funny story or just something unusual!
Motor racing is in my blood, and my wife and I just completed our dream purchase of a stealth black Aston Martin.
We have a Bengal and Savannah cat who make us laugh when they have ‘the zoomies’.
Nic Barrow IMC – I passed my Investment Management Certificate last year and have taken my Chartered Financial Analyst level 1 this year.
I have been to 51 countries.
SnookerZone would like to thank Nic Barrow for providing a brief insight into the man behind the products.