be in control of everything at snooker, there must be a method;
a routine for each shot. I call this the "DRILL".
drill breaks down into four parts.
getting down to play a shot, look at the situation on the table
and decide what is the best shot toplay, (Figure One). This is very
comes what I call the 95 per cent. Having looked at the pocket and
decided the spot on the object ball that must be hit, address the
cue ball where you intend to hit it, (Figure 2).
is no good getting down before you have decided what to do. If your
brain has not a clear message, how can it possibly send directions
to your cue hand?
You should now be 95 per cent certain of potting the ball. You begin
your waggle trying to 'feel' the shot you are about to play.
have made up your mind whether to play with topspin, sidespin or
backspin, and how hard you are going to hit the cue ball.
takes care of the second part of the shot, which is the positioning
of the cue ball.
waggles should be short, medium or long according to the type of
you are about to play. For example, if you are playing a deep screw
shot and have reached the last waggles, the cue has to go back several
inches if power is to be obtained on the follow-through, (Figure
you address the cue ball with, say, no more than a two inch (5 cm)
waggle before playing the shot itself, you will have to judge the
pace, power and feel of the shot with one last movement.
is asking a lot of your brain and takes concentration away from
the pot, which, after all is the main priority. The waggles should
be an aid to aiming only to a very small extent.
should have assessed the angle before you even start them. The primary
purpose of the waggles is to 'feel' the positional side of the shot.
getting the right movement from the start, you have more chance
of achieving the shot successfully because you will have more feel
for it beforehand.
finishing the waggles, address the cue ball for the last time
take a final look at the cue ball to make certain it is going
to be hit in the right place. Get your eyes back onto the object
coming through with the cue.
is what I call the 5 per cent. Without observing the last
5 per cent of the drill, you will not be giving the shot 100
per cent effort.
How many times have you seen professional players miss simple
shots and wondered why? This is usually because they have
neglected the 5 per cent, that is, getting the eyes back on
the object ball.
many times have you seen professional players get down for
a shot and then get up, stand back and start his preparation
is because he/she has realized that his 95 per cent was wrong
because, in his opinion, he was aiming at the object ball
either too thick or too thin.
I don't claim that 95 per cent and 5 per cent are mathematically
accurate, but the terms are there for you to relate to.
shot, in my opinion, consists of the thrust forward of the
cue from the pause at the end of the last back swing, to the
completion of the follow-through.
Everything else is preparation - albeit very important preparation.
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