Here’s a harsh reality about learning to cue straight…
There is no such thing as a 100% straight cue action.
When there is talk in commentary of ‘their cue action being ramrod straight’ what they actually mean is his/her cue action is as straight as it can be for a human being!
Do you know why?
Because as human beings, our bodies were designed to move.
And add a few nerves into the mix and our bodies will move some more…
Yes, you can improve your cue action so it becomes straighter.
I know what you’re thinking…
So, how then do all the pros and top amateurs pot all these balls?
Well, those top pros and amateurs have been perfecting their cue actions and game for years and years.
They’ve lived, ate, and breathed snooker 24/7.
But a cue action will never be 100% straight because there will always be a fraction of movement on the shot. Even if it looks like there’s no movement at all, and a player looks still, you can bet your boots there is a twinge of movement somewhere in the body.
It might not be enough to miss the shot, it might not affect the shot at all, but there was movement.
Try delivering the cue next time and see if you felt movement when you played a shot.
Once you’re aware of it, you’ll realize that the best way to limit movement is to accept there will be movement on the shot. It might not be much – it might be fractions, but it’s there.
So, the best we mortals can hope for when delivering the snooker cue straight is maybe that 95% or more of straightness.
And to perfect as straight a cue action that is humanly possible
So, how can you improve your cue action, so it’s straighter and, more importantly, smoother.
Well, you can do something simple first.
That’s WATCH where the object ball is going when it reaches the pocket!
If the OB goes to the left or right of the pocket, then you should be looking at where your cue tip is pointing. You might not be cueing straight in the center of the pocket.
You can also use the Cue Action Trainer which will help you do two important things at the same time. They are…
See what a humanly possible straight cue action is…
and feel what a humanly possible straight cue action is…
No other training aid in snooker does it!
Hi there, Chris Gaynor here from SnookerZone…
Do you love swans?
Imagine how smoothly this beautiful creature takes off, as you hear the ripple of its feathers as it majestically takes flight, gliding into the sky, building up to speeds of 60 miles per hour, with no effort at all.
It’s quite a sight.
We ALL strive for the swan-like cue action that’s effortless and majestic, don’t we?
I’m sure you want to glide the cue smoothly through – in a swan-like way, don’t you?
I’m sure you want to be able to achieve a near-to-perfect straight and smooth cue action, don’t you?
Well, It CAN be achieved.
Visualise this magic moment below and imagine it’s you.
It could happen to you…
INT. A SNOOKER CLUB – NIGHT
The last frame of a league match.
A man in his thirties, JOHN BROWNE is at the table. CHALKING cue. SWEATING. DEEP in thought.
The last red is on the table. It’s a medium straight pot to the left corner.
John GAZES at the angle. Wipes his brow. Gets down. Gently feathers up two or three times. He pulls the cue back. PAUSE. He then GLIDES the cue SMOOTHLY through. He watches the object roll down the cloth on its way to the promised land.
We hear the clunk of the ball as the red rolls down the pocket. Anticipation.
We hear the sound of the ball CRISPLY CLUNK the pocket leather.
His opponent was eagerly on the edge of his seat – hoping John would miss. He SLUMPS in his seat in frustration as JOHN goes onto pot the black.
Two of JOHN’S team members are eagerly watching on ADMIRING John’s cueing. Surprised, but happy.
John cues up to the final black after potting the other five colors, there’s a new sense of confidence in his game. He COOLY drops down into position to pot the black.
Relief, as he sinks his body onto the table.
He’s a winner.
He holds his cue up in JUBILATION. It’s the first time he’s sunk 8 balls in a row and made a clearance.
His opponent, still SULKING, reluctantly SAUNTERS over to shake his hand.
His teammates have wandered over to the bar to order the pints.
JOHN, relieved, CAREFULLY packs his cue in his case and STROLLS over to the bar.
INT. SNOOKER CLUB BAR – NIGHT.
One of John’s teammates, Simon, a tallish lad, is EAGER to know how John’s cueing has improved so much over such a short period of time. His other mate is KEEN to know as well.
John, sipping a well-deserved pint, CALMLY explains ALL…
With Nic Barrow’s amazing Cue Action Trainer…
You’ll be secretly perfecting a smoother and straighter cue action by not just seeing what a straight cue action is, but by “FEELING” what a straight cue action is AND being able to correct your faults INSTANTLY.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
No other cueing aid allows you to correct your faults instantly in front of you, does it?
Whether you’re playing against your mates down the local, or you’re getting ready for that all-important league season, the Cue Action Trainer can help you develop a straighter AND smoother cue action and BOOST YOUR confidence FASTER.
With the CAT you’ll learn and perfect three key things with your game…
==========>And a better consistent technique all around…
Give yourself a “shot” of confidence time over when you need it, so you can cue MORE FREELY without constantly asking yourself, is this straight cueing?
Ask yourself, why go through the pain of not knowing if you’ve got a straight smooth action, and guessing, or, you can pick up the CAT and let it tell you whether you’re cueing straight and smooth right in front of you?
No brainer, isn’t it?
Instant correction of your cueing errors…
Work with the CAT for just 15 mins each day at home – away from prying eyes and your stiffest competition, AND feel that cue action become smoother and straighter, and see the CAT correct your cueing faults immediately right before your very eyes.
Then, go and work with the CAT on the table to help improve your aiming and sighting!
The CAT is like having a coach 365 days of the year…
No brainer, again?
Cause a stir on the table when you next play down your club.
Make your future opponents go, WOW – now!
What is Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer?
The Cue Action Trainer is an advanced cueing aid that will help you with all aspects of your cue action so you end up with not just straight cueing, but a smooth cue action like the professionals.
Sounds good, yeah?
It also doubles up as an aiming device so you can improve your aiming. The CAT has several modes that can help all aspects of your game. These include (with video explanations):
- Potting mode (for aiming and angle recognition)
- Feedback mode (for cueing at home)
- Tempo mode (to perfect a smooth action)
- Rest play mode (improve your rest play)
- Mastery mode (for the more brave souls who want a challenge)
- And many more…
See the SnookerZone blog for posts on more detail on some of what the Cue Action Trainer can do
How does the Cue Action Trainer work?
The CAT is simple to use and allows you to use your own cue and you slide your cue through the four legs of the CAT so you can start immediately cueing back and forth with your cue to perfect a perfect cue action AND to feel what a straight cue action is like. You can use either all four legs or just two. When using “potting mode,” it’s best to use just two.
What’s unique about the Cue Action Trainer from other cueing aids on the market?
The CAT is a unique piece of kit because…
No other cueing aid will allow you to feel what straight cueing is, and ALLOW you to correct your cueing faults right before your very eyes.
Thinking you’re cueing straight is very different to seeing if you’re cueing straight.
Do you think you’re cueing straight? Test with the CAT and you’ll probably find you’re not as smooth and straight as you think!
SnookerZone thought he had a straight and smooth action until he had some work with the CAT!
Is the CAT easy to assemble?
Yes. You can change the levels on the CAT legs which come with special washers and it’s very simple to make your cueing work out more challenging. The base unit has magnetized space for the four legs and they click on to the unit very easily. That’s all you need to do.
What does the CAT come with?
You get the base unit (above). PLUS…
- Four legs or ROLLERS as they are called.
- Several washers.
- Four balls which are used for Mastery mode.
- An Allen key to aid changing the levels of difficulty on the legs.
- And a stylish case which means you can take your CAT anywhere with you when you want a cueing workout!
Learn to cue smoother. Cue straighter. Cue better. FASTER.
Try the CAT for 60 days or get your money back…
Is the CAT-friendly with snooker tables and snooker cues?
The Cue Action Trainer has green felt underneath its base so is perfectly safe to put on snooker tables and won’t mark the tables.
The legs where you slide your cue through are made of a cue-friendly plastic that won’t mark your cue and are designed for durability against the pushing of a snooker cue with force.
Do you get video tutorials with the CAT?
Watch now below as we show you a brief look inside the instructional videos…
Yes. Nic Barrow will show you in a selection of detailed videos everything you need to know on how to get the most out of your Cue Action Trainer. You also get a 65-page booklet which also explains everything about the CAT including the opportunity to buy more Masterclass client videos on the CAT. There are some useful tips in the booklet as well!
Achieve that swan-like smooth cue action much faster than the rest.
Try the CAT risk-free now for 60 days…
How long will I need the Cue Action Trainer?
How long is a piece of string? It really depends on how much time you spend using the CAT, either at home or away. If you feel confident that you don’t need the CAT before 60 days or you feel it hasn’t done anything for you, then you have the no quibble, 60 days money-back guarantee.
Your own daily coach 365 days per year: no need to book…
Put it this way, you’d have to have at least 10 lessons with a coach spaced out over a LONG period and a coach can’t cover everything in a one or two-hour lesson.
With the CAT you get a coach all year round so no need you to make an appointment to see them ALL the time.
Ask yourself this, do you need to see a coach for every minor problem that arises?
The CAT can solve issues such as…
- Stance and approach
- Cue ball dead center striking
- Cueing issues
- Potting angles recognition
- And more…
The CAT can be a good reference guide to keep checking over your cueing and keeping your confidence levels high. Snooker is a game of confidence more than anything else, so you may need it as and when. It will ensure your mechanics are working OK and it will spot your cueing faults.
What if I don’t feel the CAT is right for me?
You can try out the CAT for 60 days and, if in that period, you are not completely satisfied that it has helped your game and improved your cueing, then you can return it to Nic Barrow and will remain friends with no questions asked.
Can I use Nic’s other products with the CAT?
Yes. SnookerZone recommends using the Ultimate Training Ball with the Cue Action Trainer as it will help you establish if you’re striking the cue ball center ball. A useful ball for learning positional play and helping you learn where the center of the ball is.
How to find center striking on cue ball using the CAT and UTB…
With this simple drill, you are learning AND feeling both straight cueing AND learning to recognize the center of the cue ball.
Place the UTB in front of the CAT and cue up and keep feathering to the center of the red dot!
Train your eyes to consistently know where the center of the white is.
Even professionals are doing this kind of exercise to make sure they don’t put the unintentional side on the white.
How many CAT’s are on offer now?
Due to the manufacturing of the product, Nic Barrow only releases a certain number each year. You must be quick though as they go quick on reserve order when released.
Get ready to learn smoother, straighter, better cueing…FASTER.
Try the CAT now risk-free for 60 days…
What does SnookerZone like best about the CAT? And the least?
The best thing SnookerZone loves about the CAT is…
- The unique way the product deals with cueing issues. Most of the other cueing aids on the market we’ve tried and tested get you to cue through a little hole and whilst that is a good idea for basic stroke training, the CAT goes a lot further and allows you to FEEL your cue arm’s straightness and perfect a perfect tempo of cueing.
- You can correct cueing errors right in front of you. Something other cueing aids CAN’T do! You may think you’re cueing straight, but the CAT will spot the idiosyncrasies in your cue action, and iron them out.
Before using the CAT, SnookerZone thought his cue action was good, but, the CAT has changed our entire view on cue actions and made us work MUCH harder to produce a smoother, more pendulum-like cue action.
There is so much more to cueing than just learning to deliver the cue straight!
Cons: The Cue Action Trainer and cost…
The only genuine issue SnookerZone has with the CAT is this.
We’ve spoken to a few people down our local club about the price.
At £285 pounds for UK delivery, that is expensive for people who don’t want to pay a big cost in one go.
Some we’ve spoken to believe, whilst it’s a top idea, the price is just too much to pay in one go. One person said he wasn’t sure he would need it for long if it was just a matter of fixing an aiming or cueing issue.
Also, another person thought it looked like a device for the very serious player looking to go far in the game.
If this is the case, then the CAT is a worthy investment for you in the longer-term rather than being viewed as a major upfront cost.
But, if you’re just a player looking to play for recreation AND not to enter amateur tournaments or leagues, then this is definitely NOT for you. However, we all want to improve in some ways, but if you just want to enjoy the game as recreation, then that’s cool.
There are plenty of cheaper training cueing aids for the recreational snooker player out there as SnookerZone has discovered.
One thing we would say, and this applies to any training aid bought, regardless of cost, you have to use it a lot to get the benefit of it. There is no quick fix to the improvement we’re afraid to say. Sports require regular practice and perseverance AND a willingness to adapt.
Would SnookerZone buy the CAT?
We would absolutely buy this device if you’re seeking reassurance on your cueing and/or aiming issues.
The CAT will cut out hours of frustration of you wondering, am I cueing straight or smooth? Or, is my alignment correct? It’s a real confidence booster when you need it!
NIC BARROW Q&A on the CAT…
SnookerZone did a short Question and Answer session on the CAT with Nic Barrow so that people could understand a little about where the creator Nic was coming from when he had that lightbulb moment to produce the product. This Q&A talks about production costs, and how the idea came about initially.
1) Who was the product designed for specifically before the release?
Club players and keen enthusiasts who have trouble self-diagnosing their cueing, vision center, and potting angle recognition issues.
2) How was the product made (in terms of the kind of materials that were used?
The home run began with a client from Switzerland who came to see me and loved the first iteration that I had been working on and testing for four years with the co-creator.
During the training, the Swiss client kept asking when I would make it and I said: “When you lend me £10,000 to produce a minimum order quantity for the first production run”. To my amazement, he said: “Sure, I will send you the money when I get back – just pay me back when you can.”
We then got a sample made and were about to pay a company to make that first production run.
However, a few days before the bank transfer, I took the prototype out in a private client’s home near me–who is a very good engineer with his own firm…
He took one look at it and said: “That is a great tool, but I can make it better.”
Three months of testing with clients to prove the new concept, five versions later, and with a bit of explanation to my investor, we had our first run under production and have never looked back.
This was an incredible stroke of luck because I distinctly remember filming in my training room when my mobile phone went off. It was unusual to not be on silent, and had I not been walking past the phone at that moment, I would not have picked it up.
That call was from Greg’s wife asking if I could travel to their home for a half-day coaching session as a surprise gift for his birthday. It would be interesting to ask her if she had a list of other coaches to call had I not responded…
We have spared no cost on the materials because we found they simply compromise reliability, aesthetics, and performance.
The full story is recorded on the video of the CAT launch day back in 2016. We continue to make tiny refinements here and there based on feedback and to reduce cost where possible, although from a functional point of view it is identical to how it started life.
3) What gave you the idea for making the product and if you were to make it again, what would you have done differently (if anything)?
I did not have the product development experience back in 2012 when the co-creator first brought me the idea. So I had to make it up as I went along. It was like an apprenticeship in product development.
The profit margin is now very low and would never get taken on by Dragon’s Den for that reason, but we have found a price point that has low resistance to purchase and allows a larger number of players to get the benefits from it. This does then have incidental benefits to The Snooker Gym’s business and brand.
The first batch of 100 units we broke even on, and we did price it at virtually double its current price at one point. That slowed sales, but I probably made more money per month from it at that point. Testing prices has been a vital part of knowing where to position the product in the market, and we have managed to reduce the price to the consumer a lot over time.
4) If you had unlimited funds, what would you improve or change in design etc?
I don’t think I really can as quality, and the all-important weight which offers the correct stability/practicality balance of the product is at a sweet spot.
Get that swan-like cue-action like the pros – FASTER.
Try the Cue Action Trainer risk-free for 60 days…
If you’re not from the UK, then calculate the cost of the CAT here, now, in your currency…
PS: If you have any other questions about the CAT, use the form below to contact us…