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Thread: Another chin but no chest thread - some questions I haven't seen asked yet

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    Default Another chin but no chest thread - some questions I haven't seen asked yet

    Hi all,

    I've found that, as some have noted on this forum already, I sometimes have a tendency to steer the cue to the left by steering the grip hand to the right when using the chest to guide the cue (four points of contact). I've been dealing with this since I first started playing snooker three years ago and it's improved somewhat but it's still a persistent problem. I recently found that I cue straight more consistently when I use only the bridge, chin, and grip (three points of contact), though it definitely feels less snug and stable. I've tried varying the cue pressure on my chest, to no avail. Thus, as a stickler for rules and textbook fundamentals, I have a few questions:

    1. At what SPECIFIC point should I stop bothering trying to obtain "perfect textbook technique" and just go with what comes to me more naturally? The rest of my technique, stance, and form is very textbook and it all works out fine but I cannot for the life of me get the chest contact to work out consistently (some days it's great, some days steering is terrible). As I said, I've tried to work on the cue steering for a long time now but it's getting to the point where trying to fix it has severely hampered my short run progress. For example, I keep ending breaks early due to me worrying excessively about my chest-cue steering, subsequently resulting in a miss due to resultant tension in the arm.

    2. Are there any examples of high level snooker players that I might be able to watch on YouTube that only play with three points of contact (bridge, chin, grip specifically) rather than four points of contact? I understand all the pros nowadays basically use four points of contact, so maybe top amateur players or pro players from before the 2000s?

    3. Can I eventually get to a century break standard with three points of contact if I practice enough? My high break right now is low 40 (made with four points of contact). I find I am very unnatural when it comes to sports in general - I've always been bad with hand-eye coordination, visual memory, and depth perception. I simply find snooker more difficult than most so I'm not sure if my play would be hampered in the longer run by choosing less-than-textbook technique. I haven't ever encountered a decent level snooker player that hasn't used four points of contact so I'm terrified that if I go down the no-chest path I'll never emerge from the struggle of practicing like four-five times a week for years a decent player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mindmyseat View Post
    I haven't ever encountered a decent level snooker player that hasn't used four points of contact so I'm terrified that if I go down the no-chest path I'll never emerge from the struggle of practicing like four-five times a week for years a decent player.

    Note that by this I don't mean that all people that play three points of contact aren't decent players. I just mean that the only decent players in my local area that I strive toward are very fond of four points of contact. Hence why I took to the snooker forum for opinions - if any decent and high level three points of contact players are reading this I would love to hear about your experiences and snooker journey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mindmyseat View Post
    Note that by this I don't mean that all people that play three points of contact aren't decent players. I just mean that the only decent players in my local area that I strive toward are very fond of four points of contact. Hence why I took to the snooker forum for opinions - if any decent and high level three points of contact players are reading this I would love to hear about your experiences and snooker journey.
    Hi Min,
    I am beginner just like you. But in respect to chest contact, I think my experience/problem somewhat relates to yours.

    1. Are you cueing parallel ? If not, at some point your chest will become the barrier to pull the cue further back , subsequently you hand will steer the cue around your chest or do other compensation try to avoid the chest

    2. Are you gripping the cue loosely ? If not, you won't avoid 'seesaw' movement, no matter you keep chest contact or not.

    3. Are you dropping head straight down ? If not, the chest contact won't be consistent in my opinion. In the end, it is a measurement to see if you move off the line at strike. If you didn't drop straight on line, even you follow the chest contact all the way through, it would be still off line.

    4. Are you finishing the shot on chest ? IE, push through the cue or complete shot on the chest. If not, deceleration by thumb tightening will always steer the cue to left in my case. Maybe do the reverse effect in other cases.

    5. Are you twitching the aiming ? If so, there is no point to talk about chest contact, as you rely on the feeling at the time.

    You see, alignment/aiming, loose grip , smooth cueing, drop straight down always are the cue for the problem.

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    I have same cueing problem as you, cue to the right after chest contact, tried to fix it many times but doesnt really effect my game too much as the cueball has already left by the time the chest veers cue offline . Still play to a decent standard so as long as they're going in youre fine tho i would definitely prefer to fix the problem too lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mindmyseat View Post
    Hi all,

    I've found that, as some have noted on this forum already, I sometimes have a tendency to steer the cue to the left by steering the grip hand to the right when using the chest to guide the cue (four points of contact). I've been dealing with this since I first started playing snooker three years ago and it's improved somewhat but it's still a persistent problem. I recently found that I cue straight more consistently when I use only the bridge, chin, and grip (three points of contact), though it definitely feels less snug and stable. I've tried varying the cue pressure on my chest, to no avail. Thus, as a stickler for rules and textbook fundamentals, I have a few questions:

    1. At what SPECIFIC point should I stop bothering trying to obtain "perfect textbook technique" and just go with what comes to me more naturally? The rest of my technique, stance, and form is very textbook and it all works out fine but I cannot for the life of me get the chest contact to work out consistently (some days it's great, some days steering is terrible). As I said, I've tried to work on the cue steering for a long time now but it's getting to the point where trying to fix it has severely hampered my short run progress. For example, I keep ending breaks early due to me worrying excessively about my chest-cue steering, subsequently resulting in a miss due to resultant tension in the arm.

    2. Are there any examples of high level snooker players that I might be able to watch on YouTube that only play with three points of contact (bridge, chin, grip specifically) rather than four points of contact? I understand all the pros nowadays basically use four points of contact, so maybe top amateur players or pro players from before the 2000s?

    3. Can I eventually get to a century break standard with three points of contact if I practice enough? My high break right now is low 40 (made with four points of contact). I find I am very unnatural when it comes to sports in general - I've always been bad with hand-eye coordination, visual memory, and depth perception. I simply find snooker more difficult than most so I'm not sure if my play would be hampered in the longer run by choosing less-than-textbook technique. I haven't ever encountered a decent level snooker player that hasn't used four points of contact so I'm terrified that if I go down the no-chest path I'll never emerge from the struggle of practicing like four-five times a week for years a decent player.
    Steve Davis. If that is good enough a standard for you .

    I read in his book that he didn't like contact on the chest as it left "bruises" from making contact and just let the cue flow. Lots Lots Lots of practice.

    my unqualified advice - this actually works for me and I don't know the mechanics behind this. Instead of walking into the shot...I tend to "drop down" on the position.

    This helps me position my body more accurately each time I approach a shot. I felt that when I was walking into the shot, I was sort of "reaching" for the cueball so sometimes I would be cramp or too far away. But my being in the range of the shot...having selected my line...I get my cue down...then my body to the cue...and play the shot...It just feels better to me.

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    You are not hitting the centre even though you think you are. I do the exact same thing but to the left. Hit the cue over the blue spot over and over again until you get this right. I would recommend get this right at the beginning of each session. Once you find that feeling of "centre"; hold that feeling and play. If you lose it..then find it again...and play.

    What I found from my problem with cue going left was:
    1. distance between grip hand and bridge was slightly off so i measured my cue and found the optimum range for me. 2inches away from butt for grip hand. and 10-12inches from tip to bridge. and then practice this over and over.
    2. making sure that when i play i am not thinking about #1 and letting it happen naturally (need a TON of practice for this).
    3. The pause. I had a lot of trouble figuring out how long to pause. This just happens naturally when you practice your action. The more you practice simple shots and keep your action consistent...you will figure out your "pause".
    4. The Grip. This is the hardest part to explain. It is a feeling of letting the cue go in your hand ...so the cue moves with your elbow within your fingers...you are not holding it...more like a cannon ball inside a cannon...it just sits there to be propelled....hard to explain this feeling.

    Hopefully a coach came chime in on this.

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    By the time you have contacted the chest the CB is long gone and it will not make one iota of difference to the outcome, stop worrying as it is distracting you and making you play worse. Loosen the grip and keep it loose to the point of contact.

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    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FdSk7pd7Fd4

    This guy has 2 points of contact and does alright! We are all different shapes, no need to contort yourself to what you think is perfect technique

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slasher View Post
    By the time you have contacted the chest the CB is long gone and it will not make one iota of difference to the outcome, stop worrying as it is distracting you and making you play worse. Loosen the grip and keep it loose to the point of contact.
    so wrong, the point being you anticipate the chest contact so avoid it by steering away

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    Impact with chest does make a difference, but not to the actual cueball. For e.g. the cue can rebound off it slightly, could touch other balls that are very close to the cueball...after the strike of course.
    I've committed fouls like that more times than I'd like to admit.

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