View Full Version : Potting with side - advice please
9th November 2006, 09:34 AM
I tend to avoid using side like the plague unless it's absolutely essential - eg. for positional purposes if the pot is easy (ball over pocket) or for safety shots/getting out of snookers.
The shots I really struggle with is potting the blue when I'm the wrong side of the blue and have to go in and out of baulk to get back down the table. (a bit of side helps to avoid the inevitable kiss with a baulk colour on the way back down). The pros make it look so easy.
I find using side makes an otherwise straightforward pot very complicated. Especially so when the distance between cue ball and blue is increased.
I'm sure my cueing technique is sound. I make sure I follow through fully and I play straight through the cue ball (as opposed to across it which is a mistake for many players apparently).
But how do I adjust my aiming to compensate for cue-ball deflection? How much side should I be using?
I think I've been guilty of trying to use too much side which makes it difficult to judge my aiming.
Any advice would be appreciated.
9th November 2006, 11:55 AM
We were talking about this at the club last night.
Yes, of course, when you play with side, the cue-ball veers off its natural course, meaning that when it reaches the blue it hits it at the wrong potting angle.
I think the conclusion we came to is - just practice, observe carefully the effect of putting a certain amount of side (at a certain speed - this has a big effect too) has on the path of the blue. Then adjust accordingly (or what you think is accordingly) and see if you're right.
Or, get the right side of the blue in the first place! ;)
9th November 2006, 12:21 PM
To be able to use spin effectively you need to learn all the basic potting angles first. Using spin does make posts more difficult but its essential for break building and I believe Stephen Hendry made using spin popular as before him players didn't often like it. Always ensure that whereever you strike the cue ball the cue is straight and don't use spin when there is a large distance between cue ball and object ball as it becomes much more difficult to judge. As Statman said solo practice as much as you can and read 'Snooker Masterclass' by S Hendry. Solo practice is important because you can play any shot you like without worrying about your opponents shot.
How the object ball reacts to spin depends if its running side or check side you have imparted. Imparting a reverse check side screw off a cushion looks impressive but as long as the cuing is sound is simple enough. I think object ball reaction to running side is easier to judge than from check side and most players agree with this. I try to avoid check side especially when attempting a blind pot but it all comes down to how you want the cue ball to react. I would be interested to hear other peoples views on how they play running and check side shots.
9th November 2006, 12:46 PM
How the object ball reacts to spin depends if its running side or check side you have imparted.???
Surely whether side is 'running' or 'check' only matters to the angle the cue-ball deflects off a cushion (and, I suppose, a ball). Surely 'how the object ball reacts' is irrelevant to whether the side is running or check, just whether it is right-hand or left-hand.
BUT, I think solo practice with close observation is the only way to really learn what effect certain spins have on the balls. Practice with a partner is good to keep your game in shape, strategically and confidence etc., but before that you need to try things out just to see what it is possible to achieve, how difficult it is to achieve it and, therefore, when is the right time to play it (in a match situation) and when to play an alternative shot.
9th November 2006, 01:37 PM
Where is the confusion? Check side deadens the angle of the object ball off the cue ball and running side exagerates it similar to the angle it would follow off the cushion under the same circumstance. The object ball reaction is only slight with running or check but is still there and left or right spin is imparting running or check side depending on the position of the object ball relative to the cue ball. More caffine me thinks! :)
9th November 2006, 01:49 PM
Where is the confusion? Check side deadens the angle of the object ball off the cue ball and running side exagerates it similar to the angle it would follow off the cushion under the same circumstance. The object ball reaction is only slight with running or check but is still there and left or right spin is imparting running or check side depending on the position of the object ball relative to the cue ball. More caffine me thinks! :)Yes please, no sugar!
May I withdraw my confusion forthwith.
I guess I always just considered whether it was left- or right-hand side, rather than running or check. Becuase we are talking about the effect on the object ball when hit by the white, rather than the effect on the white after hitting the object ball, I guess that is all that matters.
Clear as mud, I know. Anyone else for coffee?
9th November 2006, 01:50 PM
Poor Legod. Comes on here for advice on a simple matter and I come along and completely confuse the whole situation.
9th November 2006, 02:28 PM
Not at all Statman. I've always felt there is a different reaction of the object ball depending on whether the cueball is spinning to the left or right but the biggest reaction of course comes from the cue ball. Some may argue the reaction of the object ball when using check or running side is so slight its of no consequence.
9th November 2006, 02:33 PM
I think the point I was trying to make (I have had my caffeine now, so maybe this will make more sense), is that if you use right-hand side, this is sometimes going to be running and sometimes check, depending on the position of the balls. However, at the point of contact with the object ball, right-hand side is still right-hand side so the effect will be the same whether it is 'running' or 'check'.
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