So, when I first started, there was a BIG question I found myself asking:
Should I feather or not? And, if so, how many feathers?
There are so many views on what seems a minor issue.
But, it’s actually very IMPORTANT.
Some say have two or three long feathers.
Some say it doesn’t matter if you don’t feather at all.
And if you watch the professionals like Marco Fu, for example, then you’ll notice he has no feathers.
It really depends on what suits you.
However, below is a SIMPLE interesting drill you can do that will help test if you are suited to doing NO feathers at all.
And, it will test your aiming and cueing.
So far, we’ve found two key aspects of the cueing part of the game that work really well (for us).
- The essential pause in delivery on the final backswing.
- The Addressing (pause) of the cue ball and making sure you are striking where you intend before the final swing.
However, an interesting drill that SnookerZone developed last weekend was this:
Getting down to the line of aim and delivering the cue with no preliminary featherings! As the blog title suggests, is feathering essential or optional? How many are too many?
If you want to learn about aiming in more detail. Check out Nic Barrow’s Aim Frame below now…
As before, If you watch the top players, some feather the cue lots.
German Masters Champion Anthony Hamilton, for example, feathers up lots!
Others do simply what SnookerZone did in a drill – establish the line of aim, get down and deliver…
SnookerZone is not suggesting players should not feather at all, however, on the weekend, our drill was to establish whether we had problems with aiming or cueing.
On analysis after, it seemed whenever a pot was missed – (AND staying down after to assess) most of the time the cue tip was pointing in a straight line on the line of aim selected. That suggests to us that our issues on missed pots were aiming issues and alignment.
HOW MANY FEATHERS?
Whilst feathering can give you a “feel” of how the cue action is developing and whether it may be straight (or not) SnookerZone is not entirely convinced that feathering is necessarily an essential part in ensuring a straight delivery. It’s not about what is wrong, or is right. It’s about what is “right” for that particular individual.
Interestingly, when spending the whole sessions simply selecting the line, confidently getting down on the shot, delivering the cue in just one swing (with a slight pause on the backswing) pot success increased on more difficult pots from medium to long range.
Again, to repeat, SnookerZone is not advocating having any featherings, we’re just saying try this drill for a session (or two) and see if you have an aiming or cueing issue.
If you’ve selected the right line of aim initially, we found that when you deliver the cue in one swing, the cueing takes care of itself! Or 99.999999% of the time it should do! It did with SnookerZone!
In fact, a useful tip is to start practicing from having no featherings, and, slowly introducing featherings into your game and see how many are/is right for you!
Try it yourself and let SnookerZone know what you think…
Enjoy your snooker…
Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years’ experience writing for the web.
He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!