Part 4 of 2022 Snooker #Coaching Questions: Snooker Drills…
Q: What’s the best things I can do on the table if I can’t get to a billiard table regularly to practice?
If you look online on Youtube, there are hundreds of videos from people talking about what you can practice, what training aids you can use, (we’ve reviewed most of the popular ones) and how you can improve.
However, some of these things take time (and money) and if you don’t have that, then there are three great things you can do with your time on the table that is practice with purpose.
But first, it’s important to have a plan of action before you go to every practice session. Even just a basic plan – it doesn’t have to be in-depth, it can just be a basic set of short notes outlining what you would like to get out of each session.
For example, “This week, I want to improve on my safety play and practice safety drills and understand sidespin with this.”
Then, go and find some online DRILLS, and print them out or take them with you on your phone. Done.”
This will mean you will have a defined plan and you can go into your session knowing what you’re going to be doing and keep you motivated.
Let’s get into basic stuff you can do if you don’t have time or money to go regularly…
It may sound boring, but actually, BASIC DRILLS can be a very, very worthwhile exercise in building muscle memory for your cue action.
Blacks off the spot. Blues off the spot. Any colour off the spot is building muscle memory in cue action and growing your confidence.
Don’t be surprised if you hear some of the pros talking about these DRILLS, because if it’s good for them, it’s good for you!
An inspirational quote from an unknown source, but very true…
Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong. …
The great Cuestars Academy has lots of basic DRILLS AND ROUTINES for ALL standards of player and EVEN just the basic drills such as potting BLACKS OFF THE SPOT are done by top professionals!
They’ve just added a NEW DRILLS PAGE to their website. Here’s the tweet to access it. These are well worth it.
DRILLS PAGE – Here’s a short video about this new routines page on the Cuestars Snooker Academy.
— Cuestars (@snookercuestars) August 18, 2022
2) WORK ON FINDING THE CENTER OF THE CUE BALL…
If it was good enough for Steve Davis in the 80s, then it’s good enough for you! Rolling the cue ball up and down the spots, can be a VERY TIDY way of checking out whether you are cueing straight.
The only CAVEAT with this is the fact that NOT all tables are CREATED equal. However, be sure that there are top amateurs and players around the country and beyond that will tell you that this is still a common practice DRILL and cannot do you any harm. You could, of course, practice with a training aid like the Aim ball, or a spin ball for extra clarification.
Another inspirational quote:
I’m a strong believer that you practice like you play. Little things make big things happen. – Tony Dorsett
This is so true. You are what you do. Do the wrong things and you’re likely to improve slower. Do the right things and see improvements quicker.
3) WORK ON THE MENTAL SIDE BOTH ON AND OFF THE TABLE…
Let’s take a basic scenario.
It’s down to the colours, and you need the pink and black to win. Maybe in practice, you’ve cleared them before, but in matches or situations, you can’t pot them because of the “pressure” of the situation.
Mental training is so important both on and off the table. A simple rehearsal of giving yourself a challenge by having a score to beat in practice by setting up on the scoreboard. For example, I’m 12 points behind, and I need to pot the pink and black to win by one point. By setting scenarios like this in your practice will mean when you come to a match, you’ll be ready to deal with a common scenario that happens.
Give yourself a little challenge, but make it like a little scenario and as one of the quotes outlined, practice it until you can’t get it WRONG!
Another quote to end…
When you get to practice against the best, it brings the best out of you. – Marshawn Lynch
SnookerZone seconds that! We’ve been playing against some very good players at the local handicap tournament at Woking Snooker Centre in Surrey and achieving good results and improving each week from playing better players.
There are lots of good videos on Youtube to help get you started on the MENTAL SIDE of the game, but the biggest tip is to have belief in yourself. Going into competition with POSITIVE VIBES is half the battle!
Here’s one video that’s particularly useful…