CAT

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

And, what can Nic Barrow’s CAT teach you that a good snooker coach can’t?

In potting mode with the Nic Barrow Cue Action Trainer.

So, do you want a cue action that even a superhero like Batman would be proud of? I bet you do, right? Who doesn’t?

Three things I battle within my cue action sometimes are these:

  • Consistency
  • The right pace of the shot
  • Timing

I bet you struggle sometimes to achieve some if not all of those, yeah?

Before having the CAT, my tempo and cue action were all over the place! And I thought I had a good cue action! lol. Since using the CAT, I’ve discovered two key things:

  • I was hitting the ball way too hard on long pots and safety shots with no consistency…
  • I wasn’t timing the ball well on the final delivery of some shots…

Here, I will focus on each of the three things mentioned above briefly and explain how Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer helps you to improve them and why a coach can’t teach these. It’s something you have to learn for yourself.

A coach isn’t holding your cue, and so, therefore, can’t play the shot for you as it should be! Only a device like the CAT can truly get you to work on your cue action, hone it, and improve it!

A coach can then observe and make suggestions if need be.

Showing and telling someone how to cue is not the same as you being able to feel what perfect cueing ACTUALLY is first hand…

The problem a coach has is they can tell you to be slow and steady with the backswings and can tell you to glide through the ball on final delivery, but, they can’t hold your cue and play it for you. They can show you how to do it with their own cue, but, again, it has to be you that plays the shot and gets the feel of what a perfect cue action is.

That’s where the Cue Action Trainer comes in. By taking away the bridge hand, and just having the backhand in action, you can get a feel for what smooth cueing feels like.

After spending two weeks with the Cue Action Trainer, I’m starting to slowly reap the rewards in frame play of what a smooth, consistent and straight cue action actually is. Through private sessions at home and a couple of sessions so far on the baize, we’re beginning to understand how a good solid cue action can work and how it can work well under pressure. Let me explain how the Cue Action Trainer has helped with that so far.

The CAT training provides you with consistency…

The Cue Action Trainer will help you gain consistency in one simple way. Most players with what we might call “poor” cue actions, deliver the cue way too fast with no tempo and no buildup to the shot. To get the action you want, (i.e, screw or top) you need to build a consistent and rhythmic tempo in cueing. The CAT will help train you to do that if you practice simple drills.

For March 2020, Nic Barrow has 37 CATS on offer to those interested in taking their cueing to another level. They’re going to go fast, so …

Reserve your CAT Now

Simple CAT Drills you can practice anywhere…

An easy drill to start to practice with the CAT at home, or away, is to actually demonstrate the effect of “poor” cueing yourself using it. You will find the legs on the CAT will come off easily. Really exaggerate this motion and you will see what we mean. We found that grip is so important when learning straight cueing. How tight or loose you hold the cue really affects the straightness in cueing. I was holding my grip far too tight – despite thinking it was loose!

Instant CAT feedback leads to instant self-corrections in cueing…

Another useful CAT drill to practice is Nic Barrow’s “stop and check (see video).” We really recommend this drill as you can do it at home. For instant feedback, you can really “feel” what the cue is doing on the backswing and see how the legs are moving. We noticed when regularly doing this drill at home on the kitchen side, we found our cueing was arching to the left of the CAT legs meaning we were cueing to the left of the cue ball and imparting left-hand side unintentionally.

The CAT will correct and highlight these errors instantly allowing you to feel what a straight action is! Also, you will be able to “feel” what a perfect tempo of cueing is. No coach can get you to feel that sensation. Only a training aid like the CAT can do it! What looks straight to your naked eye, may actually not be!

Reserve your CAT now
The CAT: A snooker device that even Batman would be proud of. And yes, it does come in black!

4 “secrets” to a good solid cue action…

Timing is striking the ball at the right rhythm and pace and getting the desired effect on the cue ball. The “secret” to a good cue action has four main components:

  • A consistent pace of backswings (feathers)
  • A slow and steady final backswing
  • A nice pause before the final delivery
  • And, a steady final delivery that is neither too “fast” nor too “slow”…

You can use the CAT to discover all these components and how to build them into your game. It will not take you long either to go from a very inconsistent action to a much-improved one. After just two weeks with the CAT, mine has done just that. But there is still much work to be done in the Bat Cave Robin! lol

In SnookerZone’s next installment of our series on the CAT reviews, we will go over some of the modes you can use when playing on a snooker table. These will include a couple of videos. We will also log our progress with it during our frame play and ‘friendly” matches at the club.

Reserve yours now

Until next time…

PS: When your mind and body have discovered what straight cueing actually is with the CAT, and you start to implement it into your game, there will be a new sense of freedom among the balls. You will focus less on technique and more on the positional play and shot selection. We’re slowly on the way to that second phase.

And so can you be too!

Reserve yours here

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