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Thread: My first ever snooker coaching session

  1. #1
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    Default My first ever snooker coaching session

    Finally, for the first time ever, I've had a coaching session with a big name snooker coach.
    He was in our club for 6 days, there were around 10 or 12 students or so, so plenty of time to get some individual lessons. I was present for each day.

    I was actually a bit intimidated before the session started. Why? Well, watching some of those coaches online and how they work with their students, I was afraid that he was going to dissect me and pretty much tell me to change everything.
    Well no. Not this coach. He tries to optimise what you already have instead of trying to make you play like him or somebody else. As he says, his coaching is based on logic and his experience both as coach and as a former pro player, not on books.

    So, what did he find wrong with me, or even more importantly, what did he find right?
    In a nutshell, my biggest faults from a technical point of view are these:
    - some body/head movement on long shots
    - not always keeping my cue on body
    - tension on some shots
    - not always really letting the cue do the work, i.e. forcing it sometimes
    - way too much thinking down on a shot, i.e. putting pressure on myself

    We got rid of much of the tension by removing the (forced) back pause. It seems that it really doesn't suite me at all.
    The pause itself is not the problem. The problem is that players implement it by physically stopping the cue and then they get all cramped and tensed up on some shots.
    Having a smooth backswing and not jabbing it is perfectly fine.
    He told me about the big name players from the past who developed cueitis by forcing the back pause.

    It seems that my lining up the shot, stance, aim, sighting, backswing, feathering...it is all bang on. That's a relief. I'm even striking the ball decent when I don't think too much. It is just that on final delivery that I mess up sometimes.
    Knowledge of game and shot selection is ok, though I do tend to overthink sometimes and lose rythm. Also sometimes I use too much cue ball movement, hence losing control. Occasional wrong shot during break building, but not too often.

    He had me demonstrate my level by trying to go for a break with reds scattered at first. Then lineup, long blue...etc.
    During the long blue drill my head movement was most obvious. He also had me try a few shots off the chin, standing more upright. Standing upright it is harder to keep the cue on line because there's no chest/chin to assist, however, you're unlikely to move your head/body. Easier to stay still.
    Unsurprisingly, most went in. This was all to demonstrate that head movement is enemy #1.

    It was also well worth watching him work with other players. To every player he demonstrated what can be done by simply letting the cue do the work instead of forcing the shot with physical power.
    He held the cue with just two fingers and easily performed a long deep screw shot. Each time with a different cue I might add.
    Humbling experience, yes, but the guy was a pro player during the 90s after all, so not all that surprising.

    Every single player had a problem of physically forcing the shot sometimes, some jab more, some less, but other than that, most had different issues. Some did have issue lining up, some with lack of power, some with not seeing the middle of the white...etc.
    Only one student had trouble listening and basically asking one question after another...

    Since all of us are basically 100% Internet players and never really had any proper coaching nor mentorship, we told him that there's so much information online that it gets very confusing, especially for newer players.
    Well our coach used the 8 letter word which stars with "B" and ends with "T" on pretty much all gimmicks and common theories from snooker books. And he showed why. Let's just leave it at that for now.

    Name of the coach? Roger Leighton.
    Last edited by ace man; 7th November 2017 at 11:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nice write up, hope your game comes on.

    Did he suggest that you should play full time with chin slightly off cue now?

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    Yep, the back pause can screw things up big time. Its for some but not for others. Look at Osullivan, he just has a very slight pause, doesn't stop does he.

    Let the cue do the work and that starts with the correct grip for each player. Did he mention the long debated grip.?.
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    that's good to know, sounds like a good coach who i wouldn't mind visiting one day as i have been struggling big time lately.
    is he now based in the UK because i thought he was based in China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alabadi View Post
    that's good to know, sounds like a good coach who i wouldn't mind visiting one day as i have been struggling big time lately.
    is he now based in the UK because i thought he was based in China.
    Have you sussed out who he is talking about then alabadi?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenose1940 View Post
    Have you sussed out who he is talking about then alabadi?
    It says ""Roger Leighton"" , buddy. haha..
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenose1940 View Post
    Have you sussed out who he is talking about then alabadi?
    Last line of the post, Roger L
    Terry Davidson
    IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Davidson View Post
    Last line of the post, Roger L
    I was a bit quicker, Tel...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenose1940 View Post
    Have you sussed out who he is talking about then alabadi?
    not sure i get it, wasn't he talking about Roger Leighton. is there something i'm missing

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    Quote Originally Posted by guernseygooner View Post
    Nice write up, hope your game comes on.

    Did he suggest that you should play full time with chin slightly off cue now?
    No, that was just an experiment.
    Though he did mention that it is possible to play super high level off the chin. Players of the past have done it.
    He confirmed that all current pro players use chin/chest for added stability.
    Roger told me to simply make sure that my cue stays on the body throughout. That stops funny arm and head movement.

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