View Full Version : My Thoughts On Playing

11-23-2006, 04:20 AM
Now I'm not a professional Snooker or Pool player by any means. I just wanted to start a thread where beginners and intermediate players could share some of their 'discoveries' that have lead to their game improving. I just want some people to share some ideas so maybe it will get us thinking on a new path or find something else that will let us improve. Idea's that are not 'theory' but are more of a practical notion.

I play Snooker and my current level is: I can run 15 to 35 balls in a row. Now, there was a period of time some months ago when I could do this - then all of a sudden one day my potting went down to struggling to make 5 in a row. At the time I was playing well I could just 'see the angle'. In another thread someone wanted to know what its like to 'see the angle' without any aiming system. Well, for me, you just looked at the object ball, moved your head left and right abit and when you got to that one spot it just looks like you know its in the pocket. There's no system - it just looks right. BUT, don't be fooled, even when I was struggling to make a few balls, I still thought I could see the correct angle but it wasn't the correct angle.

Now, how did I get back into what is for me good form? Well, I started to use an aiming system. First I tried ghost ball but I just couldn't visualise it. So then after reading a bit on the net I found that some #11 in the world in pool used a method of just drawing a line from the pocket extending through the object ball to get the contact point. Now this I could visualise. Then keep watching that spot on the OB as you move down into the shot and bingo, I was back (after 2 1/2 hours practice) with a 50 out of 51 shots. Needless to say there were some very shocked people down at the club who had seen my struggling and 3 days later banging a pretty big number of balls away consectutively. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

For me one of the things I hate about the game is you don't know if you missed because you aimed incorrectly or if you missed because you cueing wasn't straight. (longer shots though are pretty easy to tell) I try to spend an hour just taking two balls off there spots, one placed centre table 6 inches off bottom rail and second ball placed centre table 3 feet from bottom rail. I try to take each ball just 10 times in succession before moving to the next. (just to get my eye in and learn to trust the new aiming system)

Trust in the shot is probably the bigest factor to making a run. You have to go down on the ball and believe that the found contact point is correct and secondly that your body 'magically' (subconsciously) knows how get into position for the shot. This seems easy but most of my missed shots I come up out of saying, "Yep felt that, pulled across it." (because the shot line up, even though correct, just didn't look right) Your brain is telling you that shot is not right but you have to fight it. Just spend one practice session making sure you hit the shots correctly and not compensating for the ones that look bad. By the time you stand back from the ball and moved into the shot your alignment has finished - my personal opinion is that your aim has finished 'before' your first practice stroke. Your practice strokes are for delivering the cue straight not aim.

Anyway thats about it from my players diary. Hope someone found this interesting. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

11-24-2006, 08:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote maxmillion:</font><hr> I play Snooker and my current level is: I can run 15 to 35 balls in a row. <hr /></blockquote>

I hope you mean "points."


11-24-2006, 04:09 PM
I hope you mean "points."
<hr /></blockquote>

No I mean balls. My best (points) break is 126 with missing the last black. So 35 balls out of 36. The reason I count balls not breaks here is because to me, each shot is worth the same difficulty.

Last night I came second in a 6 red's 6 minute (play until table is cleared or the 6 minutes is up) handicapped event. Hehe, I will blame losing the final to the fact that my opponent had a 22 start on me. Still, I did win $50 and it was a good night. I had +25 point breaks in 5 out of 6 of the first round games. (which is enough to beat the social guys) That's alright for only having 6 reds to shoot at.

I'm not great but I'm Ok. I still consider myself a beginner because I have only been playing seriously for about 5 weeks. I post here because I feel I have some advice to share and I'm not trying to 'sell' anything so just read and take it in (or ignore if you want).

I'm not a naturally gifted player but I can see how some people can be. Just by looking at the right spots during line up and trusting themselves. It is REALLY a simple game, not like that b**tard of a game Golf. I spent 3 years trying to work Golf out but still was no good at it. (good to me was scratch, I got down to a 6 handicap)

Now that I am starting to become at ease with my Snooker game all I need now is more practice doing the right things. You should have good fundementals but they only take a week of practice to get (grip, stance, bridge etc.) Don't get bogged down in them because aim and trust is the key.

Yesterday while practicing I was disecting my game and I found that subconsciously (found out by just being concsious of a little flick of my eyes) I am not only getting a line from pocket to object ball but I am actually also getting a line from cue ball to object ball. This makes so much sense to me. Object ball to pocket is only half the angle of the shot. Without drawing a line from cue ball to object ball you are only working with half of the angle. So, the shot is a guess.

I also tried repeating to myself as I was taking the shot (all the way from line up standing back to last practice stroke) "Perfect". I used this to try and cancel out re-adjusting the stroke on shots that didn't look right.

Ok, thats another mouth full but the post is over now.

11-25-2006, 09:24 AM
The things which have helped me the most are...

-Practicing the shots I am not good at. Some shots are common and you can learn them just from playing daily. But other shots may only come up once a night or once a week. Say like using the mechanical bridge. I practice just these shots and get better at them. Yes it is difficult and frustrating to practice what you are not good at.

-Learn all you can. Learning what is possible and what is not possible along with the science behind various shots has really helped me a lot. I can sometimes shoot shots which look impossible, but actually are possible.

-Ask yourself...
Where will the cue ball go after this shot?

To go backwards in some situations, go forward! The cue ball will go forward, hit the rail, then come back.

11-25-2006, 10:09 AM
FYI, there are some good summaries of ideas on how to get better here (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/threads.html), especially under the "advice" links.


11-25-2006, 07:56 PM
Having a great game dosn't mean much when your in a room full of players that also have a great game. For personal satisfaction and entertainment/recreation it is of course a worthy goal, but for the "serious" player who wants to play winning pool often talent alone is not enough. You need an edge. Because of the luck factor in 8 ball and even more so in 9 ball that edge is patience, perseverance and the ability to make the big shot under pressure. I know it sounds a little glib to say that the only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself. But realistically it is there when the money or title is on the line. It's big, it's bad and it's in your face. The ones that can deal with it and perform up to there speed is almost always the winner. And then there's that killer instinct thing. Some players have it, some players don't.

I guess what i'm trying to say is, in this fine game of skill and control, making shots and putting runs together is not enough. In fact, it's only the beginning. Because of the nature of the game if it were just skill based you'd have to be at least twice as good as everyone else just to win consistently OR, you can gain the edge through smart play and cool calculated strategy, plus the cahones to seal the deal with clutch shot making. That's just the reality of it. Every rack seems to have a make or break shot. When you come to it treat it like any other shot (easy to say hard to do) if you miss it and sell the game make sure you remember how and why you missed it. How you were feeling at the time and what the situation was. Then you can go back and work on the solution. If you don't do this you will forever be victim to it, or slide to that "safe" place where all the fun and game shooters enjoy the frustration of a game handed back and forth live. St.

11-25-2006, 08:57 PM
Yes at the level you're talking about it's more of a technically perfect game vs. another. No matter how much you try and workout or practice I believe, yes, it's either in you or not. But, that doesn't mean you still can't have an awesome game. (by amateur standards) I should have said in my first post that I didn't have any aspirations to become a professional. I'm just working towards winning my local competition and then perhaps playing at a state level to see how I go. That's as far as my dreams go. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif