If you’re looking for a coach who knows the pressure pot of snooker’s top events, then look no further than ex-pro and 1991 Crucible attendee Rob Marshall.
Marshall, now 54, is a small elite of players to have played on the sport’s biggest stage and reached the last 32 of the Crucible in 1991 but was also a semi-finalist at the British Open in 1990. So, he is well a tuned to knowing what it takes to get to the business end of the biggest tournaments and dealing with the cauldron of emotions that comes when competing at the top of professional sport.
After a spell of illness and recovery, he’s been coaching for 20 years on and off, but is now knuckling down to doing coaching seriously, and working on his coaching website SnookerClass.co.uk.
Honoured for being Honoured
Marshall had great success last year as he won the 2018 National Snooker Expo, an event that has now been firmly placed on the amateur snooker calendar as the 2019 edition is in preparation.
The event saw Marshall win it but even more special for him was future events from the NSExpo would be honoured in his name as the Rob Marshall bracelet – and for Marshall, that was a shock!
He told SnookerZone: “It was great to get in the winner’s enclosure again after recovering from illness.
Obviously, it’s a great honour to have a tournament in my name,
though quite a shock!”
The Preston based potter, like any snooker fan and aspiring player got into the game by watching the greats such as Welshman Ray Reardon in 1970/80s and it spiralled to his dad taking him down to the local to try it out.
Good Old Fashioned Style One to One Snooker Coaching
Marshall tells SnookerZone he’s an old school style of coach.
When asked, if you had the chance to create your own training product, what would it be, he said: ” I can’t say I’m a big fan of training products. I suppose I’m quite old school and believe in talking and getting feedback from my pupils and understanding how we can get improvement.”
Of course, for someone who’s played at the top of the game, anyone looking to do what Marshall did would do well to seek the advice of someone like him who’s been there and done it and got the T-Shirt.
Marshall said the professional player he admires most is China’s no 1 Ding Junhui.
He added: “His style of play is very similar to how I like to play –
focusing on cue ball control and also how he had to adapt to living in a
strange country/language barrier at such a young age!
I truly hope he wins a world title, maybe this will be his year?”
Ding, of course, only this month made news for his near 147 at the Masters but was beaten to the 147th 147 by Dave Gilbert this week. Marshall, over his career is akin to making maximums in practice and in tournaments – “13 147s” he said.
Marshall, formerly reaching World rank 46 in his heyday, says he is proud when he sees club players see improvement in their games, especially when they have seen many coaches previously and not seen the improvements. He’s coached club players such as Michael Waring, who is the owner of the great amateur snooker information website SnookerHub, who much improved under Marshall’s coaching guidance, said Marshall.
Waring seconded that and added: “Under Rob’s tuition, my game certainly improved. He got me playing not only my best I have ever played, but also the most consistent.”
However, Marshall is worried about amateur snooker and said he would like to see more amateur events and backing from the WPBSA as there aren’t many British talents coming through to the top of the pro game from the amateur scene.It was great to get in the winner's enclosure again after recovering from illness. Obviously, it's a great honour to have a tournament in my name, though quite a shock! Click To Tweet
An Unforgettable Snooker Memory
For Marshall, effective coaching is about communication and understanding a client’s needs, but also appreciating the joy when a player achieves and sees real improvement!
He recounts a memory he will never forget!
“I suppose when I was playing at the Masters club in Stockport,
Alex Higgins (two-time World Champion 1972 & 82) put a large glass of Baileys in my suit jacket pocket and I’ve still kept this jacket and the crinkles are still there!” Now there’s a memory to savour!