Happy New Year!
SnookerZone hopes you all had a great Christmas and New Year and this year is going to be a special year for all, including us working on the site!
Before we talk about how to improve aiming in snooker without using training aids, something that can be done, it’s important to say there are lots of videos talking about lining up a shot and how to walk into the line of the shot.
You can view lots of these videos (some good, some bad) on Youtube…like this one, below (a good one)…
So let’s get down to it.
One of the things that gets failed to mention in videos on Youtube and from some coaches is exactly what your eyes are seeing when visualising the shot. Over the Christmas holidays SnookerZone had some solid practice down the club and we came up with an interesting simple little exercise to discover what may be the preferred vision line.
This can be done if you’re left or right handed.
But first, the textbook rule which seems to be drilled out, again and again, starting back from the days of Joe Davis, is the fact that your right or left leg should be in line with the shot. You can either approach with your feet either side of the cue ball and your right or left foot “steps in” to the line when you are walking into the shot! You can also already have your feet in line with the shot without having to step in with your left or right leg!
In this simple aiming/sighting exercise SnookerZone tried out and achieved success, we did these steps. Follow them like this:
- Place your cue on the table in the middle of the belly button. Stand with your feet either side of the white –
- Without moving the cue shuffle your feet either left or right and find out where you best “see” the angle on the shot! Once you’re shuffled into the position that feels right and best at spotting the angle or “contact point” of the cue ball to object ball, then simply step in with either right or left foot as you normally would putting your heel forward and to the side.
- Play the shot as you normally would making sure to follow through and stay down to see where the object ball goes! Did it go into or left or right of the pocket?
- You may find if your cue is pointing straight where you delivered then you don’t have an issue with cueing! It’s an aiming issue you have and you need to get up and repeat the process (trial and error) but once you find your perfect starting line on the shot, you will pot more balls (provided you deliver the cue in a straight line!) NOTE: SnookerZone’s proof for this was we potted 10 balls in a row which included blacks and pinks – and not all were “easy” shots!
- When SnookerZone did this, we found we potted more balls when shifting our feet in the starting position more to the right! Interestingly, being right-handed, we imagined the starting position would be more to the left! This illustrates the idea that what you think maybe your natural vision line because you are right-handed can actually be the opposite!
- We had a lesson with top coach Brian Cox on Friday the 28th December and he established that our “cueing” was not an issue when missing certain shots!
You can complete this simple exercise in under 10 mins and work on it for a session and practice gaining consistency on your “walk-in” to the shot! Provided you deliver the cue in a straight line and analyze what went wrong when staying down after the shot, you WILL improve your game!
But remember these three key things:
- Follow through the white! To test if you are following through enough, place a piece of chalk next to the cue ball and then play a shot and stop your cue after and measure with a tape measure to see how much you got through!
- Keep head/body still
- Adopt a nice controlled back-swing when on the shot!
In snooker, consistency is the key on everything you do! From walking into the shot to delivering the cue, to feathering up and addressing the cue ball! Even where you grip the cue needs to be consistent!