1979 World Champion. Top coach. Legend.
Griff, as they nickname him, made his first ton in the early 1970s (1971) and a few years later, as a qualifier, propelled to fame as the 1979 World Snooker Champion beating Dennis Taylor in the final.
Now 71, there’s not a lot Griffiths hasn’t seen and done in snooker.
He’s been a top player in the Golden Era of snooker when the sport was booming.
He’s been all over the world promoting the game as a player as part of the Matchroom “team” under the management of Barry Hearn.
He’s owned and set up his own snooker club – and watched his son grow into the game as a player and coach.
And, he’s been and is a top coach, to both professionals and amateurs, coaching top players such as Ding Junhui, Barry Hawkins and others.
As this website is about promoting snooker and providing tips from all angles, here’s some worthy and wise advice from the man himself from the chapter 13 in his book the Griff: Crisis with the Cue.
You would think after winning the World Championship, any player wouldn’t need to have a Crisis with the Cue.
But, some do…
For Griffiths, the crisis was more about keeping himself inspired by the game. When you’ve won the biggest prize in the sport, you need to keep yourself motivated to win many more.
TINKER IF I DO?
Griffiths comes from a long line of Welsh legends. Mark Williams in 2018 – inspired by the coaching of Stephen Feeney and SightRight was inspired to have his best season yet since the last time he won the World title in 2003.
Coaching is about inspiring a player, regardless of their ability, to want to pick up a cue, again and again, to keep practicing. To keep striving for perfection. To keep aiming for the heights and the crest of the wave. Because that wave of success doesn’t last long. And, in sport, won’t always come around again!
THE STUDENT BECOMES THE MASTER AT SNOOKER COACHING & TECHNIQUE…
After winning the 1979 World Championship, Griffiths began learning the game. Yes. Learning the game! You might ask why would someone after winning the World title need to learn the game?
In Griff’s case, it was to keep him inspired.
But he also fell in love with coaching. He fell in love with learning. He fell in love with the technique.
With more time on his hands, and a desire to beat the new kid on the block Steve Davis, after a string of defeats to him, he posed the question: “Was I going to accept the situation as it was, or was I going to try to better myself and improve my technique?”
During a period of tinkering, he was practicing eight hours a day – working on everything, grip, cue action, ball focus, everything.
THE FIXATIONS FOR PERFECTION CAN APPLY TO ANY STANDARD OF PLAYER
But, with all the tinkering in the world, he won a few matches but lost a lot more.
Others commented: “What the hell are you doing it for? You were good enough before. But he kept on saying: “I was not good enough because I could not beat Steve.”
He added from all this tinkering: “I was certainly changing as a player. I was much more knowledgeable as a player technically and much worse on the table! I had a lot of success and won a lot of tournaments. I enjoyed that, but I had to look somewhere else to keep my interests going.”
Here are the two key tips here Griffiths is pointing out…
- Don’t get fixated on technique at the hands of not playing your natural game…
- Don’t get fixated on trying to beat someone you desperately want to beat – because it will eat you up inside and make you play worse. And it will cause you to make you fixate on your technique even more…
As a perfectionist, he went to see legend coach Frank Callan, who is sadly no longer in the snooker world. His book Frank Callan’s Snooker Clinic, which SnookerZone has also read is well worth a read for those techno-geeks among you.
Like Griffiths, Callan was stubborn. And this is where Griffiths and Callan disagreed on aspects of technique.
And Griffiths has this key piece of advice between coach and player in the book…
“If you do not believe in your coach, then you are wasting your time and his.”
And Read more straight talking pearls of wisdom from the Griff Terry Griffiths in his Griff autobiography. Get the book now below…