I had been losing confidence lately in my snooker and my mind was all over the place!
It just felt like I had never held a cue before!
I bet that has happened to you, right?
So, I decided to hook up again with my coach Brian Cox, whom I hadn’t seen in a while, and, guess what, after that two-hour lesson, I was back on it again!
So, what did he do that sparked my confidence?
Answer. He got me potting balls with my eyes closed!
Yep. It’s crazy, but it worked!
If you can pot balls with your eyes closed, then you’re gradually building up confidence in your…
====>Following through the ball
====>And positional play
[bctt tweet=”Try this exercise with different shots, from long pots to short ones. Try the exercise with tough balls on the cushion. Believe it or not, you’ll be surprised at how many you’ll pot doing it. Madness I know!” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]
It gets you to trust your aiming and cueing.
Once you feel confident potting balls with your eyes closed, you’ll have less of a problem potting balls with your eyes wide open!
Also, the exercise was beneficial for positional play.
Cox said the reason I was low on confidence was that my mind was too focused on where the cue ball was going and not the object ball.
I literally had lost trust with what I was doing!
And, in this video, watch what happened! Try it yourself.
PS: This wasn’t a fluke. Cox got me to practice a wide variety of shots in the lesson and we even made a 20 plus break in doing so!
So, now it’s your turn.
Is there someone you know that’s losing confidence in their game and needs a boost?
Share this post now and also tell me, what other things do you do like this when you are losing confidence?
And delivering the cue nice and smooth and straight!
Your eyes see two balls. They should visualize where the cue ball needs to hit the object ball in order for it to go where you want it to go! Once your eyes have visualized that, then, as soon as you have, you should get down on the line you’ve seen and deliver the cue in a straight line on that line of aim.
Forget worrying about where your feet should go, your eyes will take you to the position where your feet will be comfortable.
…if you trust them.
More on aiming now…
We’ll come to cueing in a second. But first. More on aiming.
When your eyes have seen the line, then here’s where getting into position is important! If you watch the top professionals, the walk-in and approach is a simple movement forward without any head/body movement at all as the head/body go down onto the line of the shot and get into position. Try not to move the head/body as any head/body movement – i.e, mainly the head, will make you stray offline!
Watch four-times World Champion John Higgins very closely for a perfect visual of his walk-in and approach. You will see what I mean!
Watch: A simple message from Steve Barton in this video! Keep potting simple…
Learning angles should not be about knowing if a ball is a half ball or 3/4 ball pot.
It should be the memory of recognizing that some shots come up again and again. There is no substitute for playing the same shot over and over again until your brain (eyes) see the shot naturally and have no hesitation to lead your body onto the right line!
There are four main angles on a snooker table, which you can learn using training aids such as Nic Barrow’s Aim Frame.
Now that we’ve established the basics of aiming and angles, JARGON FREE, it’s time to mention the basics of cueing.
We’re not going to go into great detail about grip and other basic parts here (there’s plenty of videos explaining those – SEARCH YOUTUBE) – but the rule of thumb is to have a relaxed grip that doesn’t prevent you from jagging the cue offline, but, at the same time it doesn’t need to be too tight – as you won’t get the freedom to cue how you want.
Do you ever find that your cue arm feels “loose” and a wee bit “wobbly” when you cue the snooker cue on the backswing? Chances are, that’s because your cue arm elbow is not straight enough in the upright position as possible. What SnookerZone means is the elbow should be as vertical as possible in order for the cue hand grip to deliver it horizontally straight on the line (or as straight as humanly possible).
Imagine this picture in your head. It may seem funny for a minute, but you will have this image in your head when learning to cue…
Imagine a shark swimming in the water with its fin sticking up upright! Yes, Jaws is coming to get you!
That’s the picture you want of your ideal cue arm!
If your cue elbow is too loose and not rigid enough vertically, then chances are the cue will stray offline! Try it – try tensing up as an exercise and see if your cue delivery improves (with a cue – of course)! This does not mean tensing up the muscles so you’re stiff but simply making sure the elbow is up straight. Yes, they will feel tense at first, but once you start repeating this, it will feel less tense and more natural.
Imagine comparing it to slouching in a chair – your back feels kinda wobbly, right? It’s much better to be sitting upright with the back posture straight than slumped and forming a hunchback! It’s the same when cueing, try to keep the elbow as vertically straight as possible!
One way to test if you’re cueing straight, is to deliver your cue on the baulk line and see if the cue runs along the line of the baulk line: If it doesn’t then you have a cueing issue.
You could, of course, get a more detailed look at cueing with Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer which will help you discover straighter, smoother and better cueing.