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How to conquer milestones, and feel less pressure…

Snooker players who are struggling…

Often lack three key ingredients in achieving success.

The Balls
Chris Henry’s The Balls will help a player to train the brain into getting the player to aim and deliver at the point on the cue ball where he intends through continuous practice of doing it over and over again.

They are:

Confidence. Motivation. And the right guidance and coaching and tools to implement improvement.

Sunday night saw Dave Lewis at Pro Am Snooker UK interview the top snooker coach Chris Henry.

Chris Henry has been coaching players in snooker and seen lots of players achieve success through his time as a coach…

Henry is a coach to the stars both past and present and future such as the likes of Shaun Murphy, Peter Ebdon, James Cahill, and more.

His specialty is mind coaching and getting players to confront their demons and overcome them using special routines that trick the brain into believing what is happening is normal, habitual.

Just like Henry’s The Balls product, the more times you do something, the more the brain will come to view it as normal.

In the two hours lengthy interview, Henry talked about one facet of a snooker player’s game – as well as other things.

Belief in themselves, or lack of it.

He told Lewis: “What is motivation. What does it mean? Let’s break it down. Motive. The reason to want to do something.”

Here’s an important exercise to practice in helping to relieve pressure in a certain situation that will help you achieve your goals quicker…

We all want to beat our highest break and we all get nervous when we’re about to achieve a milestone or when we are on the verge of achieving something special.

Henry said the trick was to practice achieving your said milestone in practice and imagine you achieve that milestone again and again so it becomes habitual and less nerve-racking.

Henry gave the example of a top snooker player on the tour. Shaun Murphy couldn’t finish off a 147 when on the final colours, because of the nerves and the pressure. He was having trouble potting the final yellow on the break.

The special exercise…

Henry said the best way to tackle that fear was to set up a few balls in practice and imagine you’re on the last pots of the break and you’re very near beating your highest break. Once you do it again and again and build up confidence, you will become much better at coping with it in a pressured environment.

This exercise can apply to any level of snooker player. Not just professionals.

Do it again and again until it is no longer a fear, but a pleasure.

Chris Henry also talked about his relatively new product The Balls, which has had much coverage since their release.

Watch the Henry interview below…

Michael Waring of Snookerhub.co.uk kindly wrote a review of The Balls for this website SnookerZone.

Read Michael’s verdict here now: 

 

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A snooker player’s biggest nightmare…

In sport…

We all have favorites we love to idolize, and even copy.

However, if you are looking to become a good sportsperson, then you should follow this #1 piece of advice for snooker from the London coach Gary Filtness below.

Gary Filtness
Filtness battled his demons and has been smashing it on the revitalized World Snooker Seniors Tour…

Chatting in the new cue sports magazine The Chalk, the Essex coach, 56, talks about his career to date and explained how he had to give up snooker for a while because of the yips.

But he managed to end the nightmare.

And here’s how.

Like Seven-times World Champion Stephen Hendry, who retired in 2012, admitted in his book Me and the Table, the yips is a crippling condition for a sportsperson and in snooker terms, it means not being able to get through the cue smoothly enough.

It’s painful emotionally…

Filtness said in the interview: “I copied Reardon’s action, elbow out,
I started to improve but I felt my game was not strong enough for the top level so decided to tinker, copied a few others– forgot who I was. Then one day it happened and it was game over.

What happened?

He said: “I got the yips, I found I couldn’t get through the cue ball anymore, dreaded condition and robbed me of the sport I loved for 27 years. You’ve seen it in golf and darts as well.”

How Filtness conquered his demons…

He locked himself in his room for weeks and faced his demons, and came out the other side.

Beating the yips was Filtness’s toughest opponent yet, he admitted.

He told The Chalk: “Without a doubt. Beating the yips, my toughest ever opponent and biggest ever victory. When I see a player suffering nowadays I get very emotional as I’ve been there and I know how they feel.”

In the interview, Filtness also talks about how he’s making up for 27 years of lost time since conquering the yips.

He’s been smashing it on the Seniors tour and was given a new lease of life.

He added: “Yes, it’s great seeing old friends and sharing memories. The best part is the banter but the willingness to win is still there. I still compete as hard as ever. The Seniors Tour standard has gone up and up. We’re having to practice and prepare like professionals but the rewards are still there and now someone like me still has a chance to walk out at the Crucible one day, I’d never of thought that could happen.”

But he also has this great piece of advice for any budding snooker players out there;

Don’t copy…

He said: “I don’t tell any player to copy any other, I work on natural ability, tell them be yourself. You are either born with a cue action or not. No one aims to miss.”

Read the full interview and more great features, including a piece written by SnookerZone’s Chris Gaynor in the newly released monthly Chalk Magazine.

Download issue 2 now, here…

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What your first snooker coaching lesson might entail…

 

So, when I booked my first ever lesson with a coach, I was nervous about what to expect.

Everyone would be, right?

It’s natural.

Would the coach be any good? Would the lesson be worth it? What would we be doing in the lesson? How does it work? These thoughts and questions were all rolling around in my head.

After I had the lesson, (in my case), a FULL day’s training, there was a feeling of utter relief. But, more importantly, a feeling of pure satisfaction. It was the most satisfying day I had had. EVER.

Enjoyable. Worthwhile.

So, if you’re skeptical about having a coaching lesson with a coach, SnookerZone will give you a short teaser into what to expect on a first coaching lesson with a coach.

What happens? What you might do.

Your first lesson with a snooker coach might look like this…

So, I met up with Brian Cox on a drizzly day around four years ago at Woking Snooker Centre for the first time.

Our first encounter then became a regular encounter.

What happened first…

So, first off, the first thing you might do with a snooker coach worth their sort is to have a preliminary discussion on your goals and aims within the game.

What do you intend to do with the new-found training you are about to learn?

In our case, our goal was to become a decent club player that knows what to do around the table.

We weren’t looking to become a pro or top amateur. Although, NEVER SAY NEVER.

Here’s the thing:

[bctt tweet=”Make sure you go to your lesson with a clear plan of what it is you want to get out of it! And, more importantly, what you might want to learn.  Go with plenty of questions and an open mind.” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

The coach will observe your current game…

After the chitchat, the coach will probably then get you to pot some balls for ten minutes, and observe your whole game. Everything from your cue action, alignment, and focus will be analyzed.

You will probably have photos taken during that time to show you what your technique and alignment was prior to being shown your new technique and alignment.

The coach will be thorough in this. Cox was. You will be taken through the key areas such as:

  • Grip
  • Bridge
  • stance
  • Alignment
  • Cue action
  • Shot preparation

You will then be shown how the professionals deal with approaching the shots. This is more than just about being aligned right on the shot. This is about being shown how to get into good pre-shot and post-shot habits.

For example, planning the shot.

Making sure you’ve looked around the table properly beforehand and, focus when you’re down on delivering the cue straight to pot the ball.

The coach will take photo/videos of your settings, before and after

A good snooker coach will take photos and videos of before and after and will also send you a post-lesson email or WhatsApp message debriefing you and reminding you what you learned.

Obviously, depending on how much snooker you’ve played before, you might not even need much adjusting re your technique or alignment.

You might need a major tweak/s.

You might need minor ones.

The good coach will know. 

More importantly, you will come away from a lesson with a good coach feeling these emotions…

  • Inspired
  • Motivated
  • Keen to do more!
  • More confident

A good coach will not harass you to have another lesson. It’s up to you.

But, what you put into what you do after in terms of practice is up to you.

You get out what you put in. 

After the lesson/s, the ball is in your court.

But, having a lesson with a coach going over the basics is ESSENTIAL!

Meet a coach in the Coaching Zone now and then…

Book a lesson with one of them. 

 

 

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Wow! Cue Power! Watch How Effortless It Can Be

Hi there aspriring snooker player!

Do you ever get the feeling sometimes there is something missing from your game? Maybe it’s the one thing that is preventing you from scoring more points in a frame. It could well be that what you are missing from your game right now is being able to generate enough cue power to get onto a selection of reds so you have more choice. Options.

SnookerZone tries out a lot of tips and advice from coaches from videos on Youtube – and this tip on generating cue power from WPBSA coach Steve Barton, who SnookerZone has interviewed in the Coaching Zone is spot on and will help you generate lots of cue power with ease without having to hit the ball very hard!

Watch the video below as SnookerZone illustrates the tip from Steve! But first, there are five technical tips for generating ideal cue power – and they are these:

  • Relaxing your grip on the cue as you deliver
  • As Steve Barton says in his video, to generate the cue power you want, you need to have a much longer backswing on the final backswing!
  • You need to have a nice pause on the final backswing before you deliver. This will help you to focus on the object ball before delivery!
  • You need to make sure you follow through the cue ball on delivery on every shot, and…
  • Keep absolutely still and watch what happens after you execute the shot!

Here’s SnookerZone’s video:

And here’s the video from Steve Barton! Watch…

 

 

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How to Improve Snooker Potting: #1 Mistake Beginners Make

Unlock your potential by having coaching with a great coach like Brian Cox!

 

If there’s one question that is asked frequently in snooker’s frequently asked questions online, it’s how to improve snooker potting!

When SnookerZone first started playing seriously well over three years ago, the obsession with potting was one of the things that prevented him from improving much faster. Don’t let the mindset of the obsession of desperately wanting to pot the ball, hold you back from improving.

Now, this obsession is the first thing you should erase totally from your mindset when starting out.

Instead, you should be focusing on these…

Potting is the end result of two things.

  • Good aiming
  • And straight cueing. 

When you learn and improve on these two things, you can actually improve at this part of the game very quickly!

Yes, it’s true, once you know how you’re set up on the shot and can deliver the cue in a relatively straight line 99% straight, you’ll soon become a potting machine.

Snooker is all about memory and consistent repetition. Doing the same thing consistently on every shot!

Watch the professionals as much as you can!

You’ll realize they are doing the same thing on every shot in a pre-shot routine that they’ve practiced on the practice table!

So as said before, forget about potting and making breaks, and focus on lining up on the shot right, and when down on the shot, delivering the cue in a straight line on the line of aim selected!

The breaks will then come naturally!

There are lots of great training aids out there for improving your aiming and cueing. Investing in one of these aids will help you improve much faster than just hoping to pot the ball.

Why Buy a Snooker Training Aid?

If you haven’t invested in at least one of the training aids reviewed in the SnookerZone Training Zone so far then why not?

The benefits are thus:

When buying an aiming training aid for snooker, you’ll learn:

  • How to set yourself up right on the shot!

Why is this important? Because 70% of the shot is done on the approach. If you line yourself up right on the shot, then you only have to worry about the other 30% which involves delivering the cue straight on the line of aim and keeping your mind focused on the pot. REMEMBER, MIND ON POT!

When buying a cueing training aid for snooker, such as the Blade Cue Pocket Trainer, you’ll learn:

  • How to deliver the cue straight on the line of aim!

Why is THIS is important? Because if you don’t deliver the cue straight you won’t pot the ball! However, if you do, it’s likely to be more luck than judgment down to steering the cue onto the line!

So, in summary, remember: Forget about potting, and start to focus practicing AIMING AND CUEING!

When you instill this into your mindset, you’ll see an instant improvement to your game!

Invest In Coaching!

Finally, as important as a training aid is, so is investing in the service of a good coach! A good coach will help you on the path to finding out what your ideal set up is on the shot, as well as going through the basics of grip, stance, cueing and follow through!

Check out some of the top coaches SnookerZone has interviewed in the Coaching Zone and invest in a great coach today! It will be the best investment you make on your road to improving better as a player!

Here’s to the coaches!

PS: SnookerZone will be interviewing more coaches in the future, so stay tuned!