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WATCH: Do this regularly to help improve your cueing…

And your confidence!

I’ll be honest.

I hated straight potting. For months I’ve been avoiding it. Asking, why do I need to do it?

And then, after some soul searching, I decided to devote most of my time to it over the last few weeks in solo practice.

Let’s face it, constantly drilling in straight pots isn’t exactly FUN, is it?.

We recommend you do 10 at a time. Start with close-range ones, and gradually increase the distance of the cue ball and object ball to gain confidence.

And it’s ESSENTIAL if you want to improve!

Why?

Because if you miss, then it can only be down to not delivering the cue straight. Aiming is out of the equation.

You see, if you can’t cue straight on a straight pot, then how are you supposed to cue an angled pot?

This is one of the drags of practice. As well as doing the things you love, you HAVE to do the things you find the most boring.

CAT
Practice straight potting with the CAT and then move it aside and then practice as normal. Do you notice any differences?

In anything, you have things you love to practice, and things you hate.

It’s life, right?

But, in order to get better at anything, you have to not only work at it, but you have to do the things that you don’t want to do, or don’t really love to do.

Am I right? Of course I am lol.

Anyway, one of the most important aspects of snooker practice that will help improve not only your snooker cueing, but also your confidence, is…STRAIGHT POTTING.

In the past few weeks, SnookerZone has been devoting a lot of time to this one aspect of practice, along with using Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer, and, we’ve started seeing the benefits of it come out in our game.

One of the things you can do if you have access to the CAT, is practice straight potting in potting mode with it, and do a few sets of pots.

But then, move the CAT aside, and do more sets WITHOUT the CAT. You will notice a major difference straight away.

Check out the CAT now

Here’s three quick tips to help get you started with improving your straight cueing:

========> Every pot, regardless of its difficulty needs 100% care and attention. One of the reasons why people miss close-range straight shots is because of rushing on the shot, and not taking that bit of extra care on the shot! (This happened towards the end of the video, where we missed one). It was down to rushing.

=======> Practicing (at home, or away) delivering the cue in a consistent rhythm and tempo. Ideally, you want a pendulum style action that is the same on the backswing and the forward swing! You can use the CAT (again, at home or away to hone a nice pendulum style cue action! Believe me, it will come in handy!)

======> Making sure there’s a nice pause on your final backswing before you deliver the cue. It doesn’t matter how long, but if you watch the pros, (near enough all have at least a 1 – 2-second pause before delivery. Some are a bit longer but not much.

Understand?

So, do you crave to feel what REAL straight cueing feels like? We recommend the CAT for that. 100%.

Check the CAT out now!

 

 

 

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A coach that spots flaws any time of day – 365 days of year…

So, one issue I’ve been having which has been highlighted a lot since using the Cue Action Trainer or Coach CAT as we like to call it now, is the grip and gripping of the cue when cueing. 

CAT
Testing and self-correcting errors is a vital part of the CAT’s job as a coaching aid and can be powerful in understanding what the ideal technique is for you based on observation!

It’s an issue that many players have at one stage or another, right?

The problems with gripping the cue can be a minefield.

There’s so many ways to grip the cue.

And so many ways flaws can creep in.

What is the ideal grip? Should the fingers unfurl, if at all? Is it essential?

[bctt tweet=”The Cue Action Trainer can spot faults like grip and help you test and correct, instantly…” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

In this post, I’m going to explain briefly why the Cue Action Trainer is so powerful in giving you feedback on all aspects of your technique, and why it gives you that instant feedback to be able to self-correct aspects of your game that need improving.

WATCH: Kyren Wilson’s Cue Action Analysis from Snooker Pro Club…

You will get vital feedback first hand.

Not from what a coach says is GOSPEL and you should do WITHOUT getting you to test it and see first.

Not from reading from a textbook that says you should do this, BUT doesn’t know anything about you, etc.

Not from listening to someone down your club who says, I do it like this and this is the way you should do it because it works for me.

Remember: whatever you do: WITH OR WITHOUT HELP FROM COACH CAT…

CAT

 

The focus is to get you to deliver the cue straight along the line of aim in a stance, grip, and cue action comfortable and right for you.

Learn more CAT insights now

So, our issue picked up by the CAT is not so much how we grip the cue, but should we unfurl the fingers FULLY when delivering the cue on the backswing?

Will not UNFURLING the fingers help deliver the cue straighter?

Most coaches say that the textbook grip way is to have a relaxed grip.

But what does that mean?

How relaxed a grip should it be?

All these questions can be answered by using the CAT and receiving instant feedback and FEELING what a relaxed grip is so you can get straight cueing.

Our problem with grip and what the CAT highlighted…

However, since using the Cue Action Trainer, we have noticed that on our grip when unfurling the fingers, the fleshy part between our thumb and index finger slips off the cue slightly when we open the back fingers. This ends up feeling like the thumb has slipped off the cue too.

And, more importantly, from observing the CAT legs when training, we can see our cue is NOT going through straight all the time.

This causes the cue to stray offline, and this has been highlighted when testing with the CAT.

The grip plays an important part in cue delivery, and anything you do with it should be designed to keep the cue delivered straight on the line of aim.

Test, test and test everything with the CAT and see if it results in straighter, smoother cueing…

Test grip.

Test stance.

Test cue action.

Test chin position.

Test it all…

Coach CAT is ready now

All this you will feel when practicing cueing using the CAT!

And, you will pick up the right signs from observing what the CAT legs are doing!

What’s happening at the moment with us, is we are being forced to self-correct this aspect of the grip and re-adjust the thumb so that the fingers stay fixed in the positions they should be. I.e, the fleshy part between the thumb and index finger should be fixed. For us, it seems to slip a little.

so, we tested out our grip using the CAT with the fingers fixed on the cue and not unfurling them on the backswing and this was the result.

What feedback Coach CAT gave us…

We did 10 sets of 4 repetitions, and on those, we noticed that when NOT UNFURLING the fingers (opening them on the backswing) our cueing was MUCH straighter than when OPENING UP the fingers on the cue.

This tells us that the CAT is saying that we deliver the cue much straighter when our fingers are loose but closed on the cue and don’t open FULLY.

So, the moral of the story?

As said before, test, test, and test again to find out which style of grip, action or stance is right for you.

COACH CAT will tell you INSTANTLY what’s going on and what you need to do to correct it!

Coach CAT is ready now

How to use Nic Barrow’s Ultimate Training Ball as a guide with Coach CAT so you perfect center cue ball striking!

UTB
Want to strike the cue ball dead center? Just IMAGINE the red dot is on the “normal” cue ball and train yourself to memorize it!

If you want to make sure you are striking the dead center on the cue ball, you can use Nic’s Ultimate Training Ball cue ball using the RED DOT in the middle and cue through the CAT legs!

If your cue strikes the red dot, then you are cueing through the center of the white.

HOT TIP: 

Practice this drill a few times at home and train your brain to know where dead center striking is on the cue ball!

Then, practice cueing up at a normal cue ball WITHOUT COACH CAT.

Are you still cueing straight and pointing to the RED DOT?

Now, when you cue up to a “normal” cue ball, IMAGINE the RED DOT is in the middle is there on the cue ball and you will be striking the cue ball dead center EVERY TIME! 

Coach CAT is ready for you now

 

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4 things the Cue Action Trainer has helped SnookerZone with so far

The Cue Action Trainer is like having your very own daily coach with you every day, training you to do technical things right, and not fall into bad habits.

We all fall into bad habits, right?

Sometimes, we think we have a problem with something, and it turns out to be something completely different.

CAT
your daily coach that can “iron” out your technical flaws for you so you don’t constantly need to see a coach for those minor issues you may think you have…

Although we’re not suggesting for one minute to not seek out a one-to-one lesson with a good coach, you can, at the very least, iron out some problems you may be having, or think you have, using a coaching aid like the Cue Action Trainer on a regular basis in addition to good coaching!.

So, what kind of problems can the Cue Action Trainer iron out, and what problems has it “ironed” out for SnookerZone so far?

Apart from the obvious one of helping you to deliver the cue straighter, there are 4 other technical things that the CAT will help you iron out.

  1. Gripping the snooker cue too tight…

The CAT has helped SnookerZone figure out the right grip pressure on the backhand to apply when cueing the cue straight through the CAT legs. If you grip the cue too tight when doing Nic Barrow’s “stop and check” routine, you will move the legs a lot, and you will not be cueing through the legs on the CAT smoothly. Any good coach will tell you to relax the grip when playing shots as any tight grip will cause the cue to move offline because of pressure. Using the CAT regularly will help consistency with this problem that can arise from time to time with players of all levels.

2) Striking cue ball with unintentional side…

CAT
Discovering what the CAT can do for you from the comfort of a kitchen side so your training down the snooker club is less stressful!

One of SnookerZone’s major problems has been imparting unwanted side on the cue ball, namely left-hand side. The CAT has helped with this problem because of being able to determine where we are standing in relation to the shot.

The CAT determines the line of aim and, more importantly, how your body is positioned in relation to the cue and where you need to be on your sighting line. Then, it is a case of cueing through the line of the CAT and “feeling” what the cue is doing on the backswing. One of the reasons why we were imparting left-hand side was because our brain naturally tells the body to cue to the left, rather than the “right” which in our case is dead center of the cue ball. Weird right?

How have we done this? Simple. Put a cue ball in front a distance away center of the CAT and cue through normally. Is the cue pointing directly at the center of the cue ball? There’s your answer.

Feel the power now!

3) Developing a confident long backswing that FEELS straight AND IS STRAIGHT…

Sometimes, a player will be afraid to pull the cue back too far (especially on power shots) for fear of the swing not feeling straight. We know this because we’ve had this problem for a while now.

Even if the backswing on the cue IS straight, some players have that doubt in the back of their mind about it, and generally, that is what then turns into missed pots.

This is a more psychological aspect that can make players doubt their own ability.

Fear breeds fear.

Anxiety turns into players questioning other aspects of their game. With the CAT, you will get the truth right in front of you via the CAT legs. If your backswing is not straight, then you will know! This is part of Nic Barrow’s “stop and check” daily routine! DO IT! Through natural learning, you will then get instant feedback that you will be able to correct!

4) Developing a consistent overall cue action…

With the CAT, you can experiment with different types of actions. Long. Short. The works. This will give you the safe experimentation to be able to find the perfect action that suits you.

Not what a coach has told you.

Not what a player down the club has told you.

Not what a textbook has told you. Find it through the CAT and your own discovery.

In SnookerZone’s case, our action is simple. Three controlled feathers. A nice pause. And a controlled delivery.

You will be able to work that out for yourself when using the CAT.

Feel the power now!

Wrapping up…

The CAT does so much more than just helping you learn straight cueing. It gives you…

  • confidence in all aspects of the cueing process
  • confidence in your set up on the shot
  • confidence in your backswing
  • confidence you are striking cue ball in the center
  • and much much more.

In our next article, we’ll explain about how the CAT can help with giving you greater confidence in using the rest. The same principles apply.

In the meantime…

Feel the power now!

 

 

 

 

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Watch: How to cue better and boost your confidence, QUICKER…

It happened on Saturday the 11th of January 2020.

It felt good.

We felt like we couldn’t miss a ball.

We were striking the ball with complete authority and going through with so much confidence.

We discovered a new-found sense of confidence with the cueing.

Although it’s still a work in progress at mo, our little attempt at a routine from the Cuestars Academy website called the John Higgins routine led to us making a nice break of 35 with some tough shots made during the break.

CAT
You will develop a new found confidence by practicing with this device as you perfect a solid cue action you can repeat shot after shot…

Although it was only a 35, it was not so much the amount scored; it was the way we felt with the cue and how we were getting through the ball much more confidently on certain shots.

We felt like we were striking the ball like a pro.

It was exhilarating.

And you can experience that feeling too.

Feel the power now!

The secret sauce to improved cueing feedback

So…

Do you want to get a cue action you can be proud of?

Of course you do, right?

Do you want the buzz of potting balls you never thought you’d be able to pot?

Of course you do.

Do you want the buzz of being watched in your club and people looking around and thinking, how did he cue that shot so well?

Of course you do.

One of the ways to getting to that feeling of euphoria and excitement is honing your cueing away from prying eyes of your stiffest competition.

Maybe your cue action is letting you down.

Maybe you’re just not feeling confident with it.

Maybe it’s just not performing how you want it to.

Maybe you’re not doing the right kind of training.

Just 15 mins a day doing this simple but useful exercise with Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer can allow you to get a feel for what straight cueing ACTUALLY IS AND NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS, so when you go to a snooker table, you can transfer what you’ve discovered AND practice to pot more.

We’ve been doing this for 30 mins a day five times a week. 15 mins in the morning and 15 mins in the afternoon.

That’s nearly 3 hours of PURE CUEING TRAINING. 

You will soon see an improvement in your cueing every time you go to use the device.

And, more importantly, when you go to a snooker table.

This device will train and provide you with…

======>Instant cueing feedback…

=====>Instant self-correction to your cueing errors so you learn FASTER…

====> Instant improvement in cueing confidence when you go on a snooker table NEXT…

===> Instant awareness on how you’re set up on the shot…

Feel the power now!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW BELOW: 

Nic Barrow’s “stop and check” routine is simple, but it’s extremely effective when using the Cue Action Trainer.

Notice how we extend on a full backswing and how the rollers show us if we are pulling the cue back straight or not!

Even put a cue ball a distance away from the device so you can see if you’re striking the cue ball dead centre.

This is not a quick fix, but a work in progress. Keep in mind though that usually working on small things often lead to bigger improvements.

Do the right things, and the improvements will come.

Take action and free your cueing…

Feel the power now!

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What other cueing aids can’t do ONLY the Cue Action Trainer, can…

And, what can Nic Barrow’s CAT teach you that a good snooker coach can’t?

In potting mode with the Nic Barrow Cue Action Trainer.

So, do you want a cue action that even a superhero like Batman would be proud of? I bet you do, right? Who doesn’t?

Three things I battle within my cue action sometimes are these:

  • Consistency
  • The right pace of the shot
  • Timing

I bet you struggle sometimes to achieve some if not all of those, yeah?

Before having the CAT, my tempo and cue action were all over the place! And I thought I had a good cue action! lol. Since using the CAT, I’ve discovered two key things:

  • I was hitting the ball way too hard on long pots and safety shots with no consistency…
  • I wasn’t timing the ball well on the final delivery of some shots…

Here, I will focus on each of the three things mentioned above briefly and explain how Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer helps you to improve them and why a coach can’t teach these. It’s something you have to learn for yourself.

A coach isn’t holding your cue, and so, therefore, can’t play the shot for you as it should be! Only a device like the CAT can truly get you to work on your cue action, hone it, and improve it!

A coach can then observe and make suggestions if need be.

Showing and telling someone how to cue is not the same as you being able to feel what perfect cueing ACTUALLY is first hand…

The problem a coach has is they can tell you to be slow and steady with the backswings and can tell you to glide through the ball on final delivery, but, they can’t hold your cue and play it for you. They can show you how to do it with their own cue, but, again, it has to be you that plays the shot and gets the feel of what a perfect cue action is.

That’s where the Cue Action Trainer comes in. By taking away the bridge hand, and just having the backhand in action, you can get a feel for what smooth cueing feels like.

After spending two weeks with the Cue Action Trainer, I’m starting to slowly reap the rewards in frame play of what a smooth, consistent and straight cue action actually is. Through private sessions at home and a couple of sessions so far on the baize, we’re beginning to understand how a good solid cue action can work and how it can work well under pressure. Let me explain how the Cue Action Trainer has helped with that so far.

The CAT training provides you with consistency…

The Cue Action Trainer will help you gain consistency in one simple way. Most players with what we might call “poor” cue actions, deliver the cue way too fast with no tempo and no buildup to the shot. To get the action you want, (i.e, screw or top) you need to build a consistent and rhythmic tempo in cueing. The CAT will help train you to do that if you practice simple drills.

For March 2020, Nic Barrow has 37 CATS on offer to those interested in taking their cueing to another level. They’re going to go fast, so …

Reserve your CAT Now

Simple CAT Drills you can practice anywhere…

An easy drill to start to practice with the CAT at home, or away, is to actually demonstrate the effect of “poor” cueing yourself using it. You will find the legs on the CAT will come off easily. Really exaggerate this motion and you will see what we mean. We found that grip is so important when learning straight cueing. How tight or loose you hold the cue really affects the straightness in cueing. I was holding my grip far too tight – despite thinking it was loose!

Instant CAT feedback leads to instant self-corrections in cueing…

Another useful CAT drill to practice is Nic Barrow’s “stop and check (see video).” We really recommend this drill as you can do it at home. For instant feedback, you can really “feel” what the cue is doing on the backswing and see how the legs are moving. We noticed when regularly doing this drill at home on the kitchen side, we found our cueing was arching to the left of the CAT legs meaning we were cueing to the left of the cue ball and imparting left-hand side unintentionally.

The CAT will correct and highlight these errors instantly allowing you to feel what a straight action is! Also, you will be able to “feel” what a perfect tempo of cueing is. No coach can get you to feel that sensation. Only a training aid like the CAT can do it! What looks straight to your naked eye, may actually not be!

Reserve your CAT now
The CAT: A snooker device that even Batman would be proud of. And yes, it does come in black!

4 “secrets” to a good solid cue action…

Timing is striking the ball at the right rhythm and pace and getting the desired effect on the cue ball. The “secret” to a good cue action has four main components:

  • A consistent pace of backswings (feathers)
  • A slow and steady final backswing
  • A nice pause before the final delivery
  • And, a steady final delivery that is neither too “fast” nor too “slow”…

You can use the CAT to discover all these components and how to build them into your game. It will not take you long either to go from a very inconsistent action to a much-improved one. After just two weeks with the CAT, mine has done just that. But there is still much work to be done in the Bat Cave Robin! lol

In SnookerZone’s next installment of our series on the CAT reviews, we will go over some of the modes you can use when playing on a snooker table. These will include a couple of videos. We will also log our progress with it during our frame play and ‘friendly” matches at the club.

Reserve yours now

Until next time…

PS: When your mind and body have discovered what straight cueing actually is with the CAT, and you start to implement it into your game, there will be a new sense of freedom among the balls. You will focus less on technique and more on the positional play and shot selection. We’re slowly on the way to that second phase.

And so can you be too!

Reserve yours here
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New coming up on SnookerZone in 2020…

Fresh from the Christmas break and going into the New Year, it’s going to be an exciting 2020 for SnookerZone. 

We’re going to briefly let you know what’s coming up in early 2020, review wise.

Before Christmas, we managed to get hold of a special training aid from Nic Barrow on loan to review for the site.

The Cue Action Trainer will be SnookerZone’s first big review of 2020. 

This device is so much more than just a cueing aid. We’ve had it for a week now and have been practicing with it on the kitchen side, but there is a lot more for us to report over the next five to six weeks that we have access to it very kindly from Nic.

CAT
More than just a cueing aid: Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer

We’ll be charting our cueing progress with the CAT and also recording two videos with it illustrating the power of this training aid.

Already, even just by practicing on the kitchen table we’ve noticed 7 advantages and benefits of the CAT in action.

CAT
The CAT has 7 useful benefits to work on your game at home or away…

7 Initial Benefits of using the Cue Action Trainer

They are:

  1. The CAT gives you a proper feeling of a straight action rather than just a “look” of a straight action. When it comes to your eyes, they can be very deceptive about what looks straight, as well as what feels straight.
  2. This training device allows you to get down on the line of aim better and teaches you the importance of getting the cue down first onto the line and NOT your body first! Remember, CUE FIRST, THEN BODY. The CAT helps to shape your body around the cue.
  3. The CAT forces you to commit to a line of aim and then it’s simply a case of cueing practice to ensure that you deliver the cue straight along that line selected by the CAT.
  4. One of the technical advantages of the CAT since practicing for the first week with it away from a snooker table is it allows you to feel how loose or tight you are holding the grip on the cue. Because the CAT legs are so sensitive, any tight grip will mean the cue pulls offline when using the CAT for practice!
  5. In one of the videos that come with the product, Nic Barrow talks about “stopping and checking” for instant feedback. This allows you to observe what is happening with the cue and allows you to correct errors. When SnookerZone was practicing with the CAT during the Christmas week on the kitchen side, we noticed our cueing had a tendency to arch to the left, meaning we’d be imparting left-hand side on the cue ball. The CAT has so far ensured we are more to what seems to be the right. CENTER.
  6. The CAT also helps you discover your ideal stance position. By getting down and moving your body around, you can discover what stance is best for you, and the most comfortable. It will also ensure you’re not crowding the cue with your chest and hips. Testing is key here!
  7. The CAT helps to focus your mind on your technique on these aspects! 100% concentration and focus are needed when you’re using this device! It really is a workout in every aspect.

So, the big question, will it help you pot more balls? Well, that’s a question that SnookerZone will come back to in around six weeks’ time. We’ll let you know the final verdict.

CAT
Nic demoing the benefits of the CAT

Over the weeks, we’ll be giving mini-updates on progress! So stay tuned.

We played a match with a snooker friend over the weekend, and, the results of just a week were positive in terms of a much smoother awareness of what we were doing with our cue and our technique.

INITIAL TIP When using the CAT.

When you’ve finished using the CAT in a session, try to implement what you’ve learned straight away on the table. Test, test, and test some more when it comes to your mechanics. The CAT will help you understand your mechanical set-up much faster. Remember, the cue is first, your body is second.

All that remains to be said for now is we hope you all have a Happy New Year, and we’ll see you on the other side in 2020!

Many thanks. 

From Chris Gaynor at SnookerZone. 

PS: Take your cueing to the next level in 2020 by reserving your CAT now. Nic Barrow has 37 on offer for March delivery so…

Reserve yours now