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Thread: Useful Drill for honing cue action and aiming

  1. #1
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    Default Useful Drill for honing cue action and aiming

    Hi there,

    Had a great practice sessions over weekend which ended making a 56 from open table NOT line up this time!

    One thing that I've been working on last few weeks, is trying to determine whether I've got isues with aiming or cueing. At first, I thought it might be my cueing that was the issue, now it seems it's aiming.

    Interesting, to discover this, I did a drill for about half an hour or so using the red line routine and on each shot - committed to the line of aim, got down, and simply pulled the cue back without doing any feathers and delivered the cue with a slight pause on the backswing. And, success! I got 14/15 reds on red line routine!

    Suffice to say, the drill discovered that my cueing is as straight as it could humanly be - it's the aiming that is the issue, and even more to the fact that when I reintrocued feathers into the action again, it seemed like the cue was going offline again...

    I suppose I'm interested to know, does feathering the cue ball really matter? Is it essential? Personally, I'm not convinced feathering is absolutely necessary prvided you can find the right line of aim from when standing up. If you're on the right line of aim, I've found the cueing (on the whole) takes care of itself! Well, that's what I found when I did the drill!

    As I say, it was the best session I had for a while with not only making 56 from open table, but also from getting to the black on the clear the colours routine! As well as doing 14/15 reds on red line.

    What do you think?
    Follow my snooker Articles/stories on Twitter@chrisgaynor2

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    Hi Chris.

    I suppose you could say that there are always exceptions to what is commonly considered a 'conventional' technique.

    There are several reasons players do feathers, and I would say the biggest one is getting a 'feel' for the shot that you're about to play. So I would say, without any feathers, you could quite possibly have reasonable success with just potting a ball.

    I would say the problems will come when you are holding your positional play to very high standards. It would be possible if the balls are open, to pot the ball and get the cue ball positioned reasonably well. Unfortunately, the game requires more than just reasonable or adequate position.

    So the feathers are practice swings, that allow the arm and mind to become comfortable with the exact power and timing that the shot requires. It is an effective way for us humans to guage the shot we are about to play.

    So in summary: yes, I'm sure we could pot balls and have reasonable success without feathers, but we really want to hold our game to higher standards in the long term, and that means feathering and getting a feel for the shot, and then executing it within a smaller and smaller margin of error as you improve.
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  3. #3
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    Hi Chris,

    It's probably not essential but personally i'd say that feathering if nothing else helps me to re-confirm i'm aiming correctly on the CB. It also takes a bit of tension out of the arm for me before playing the shot.
    I'd imagine that on that particular day your eyes were seeing the shot nice and quickly and our arm was pretty loose.

    As an aside, for anybody who does have an issue with aiming, try this drill- simply pot balls into the middle pocket, straight blue after straight blue and see where the cue ball finishes. After playing about 20 of these from each side yesterday my game suddenly improved a heap! It's as though this shot callibrated the eyes somewhat.

    Cheers
    Tom
    "just tap it in"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tedisbill View Post
    Hi Chris.

    I suppose you could say that there are always exceptions to what is commonly considered a 'conventional' technique.

    There are several reasons players do feathers, and I would say the biggest one is getting a 'feel' for the shot that you're about to play. So I would say, without any feathers, you could quite possibly have reasonable success with just potting a ball.

    I would say the problems will come when you are holding your positional play to very high standards. It would be possible if the balls are open, to pot the ball and get the cue ball positioned reasonably well. Unfortunately, the game requires more than just reasonable or adequate position.

    So the feathers are practice swings, that allow the arm and mind to become comfortable with the exact power and timing that the shot requires. It is an effective way for us humans to guage the shot we are about to play.

    So in summary: yes, I'm sure we could pot balls and have reasonable success without feathers, but we really want to hold our game to higher standards in the long term, and that means feathering and getting a feel for the shot, and then executing it within a smaller and smaller margin of error as you improve.
    Hi Steve,

    Funnily enough, the break of 56 I made was used with no feathers - and just the drill of committing to line of aim and pulling cue back with slight pause. Not all the shots in the break were "easy" shots and there was one partcular shot that required a deep screw back from medium range, I'm not for one minute advocating everyone takes out feathers, I just wanted to put it out there that as you say there might be an argument to say are they essential? For me, I'm not convinced, but that is to say I was only doing it to see whether my aiming or cueing was the issue. Funnily enough one of the people in the club said it looked an interesting thing to test out when I chatted to him and said he was going to try it out himself. Also noticed how good my grip was on the cue when playing lol.

    Look forward to next video mate...
    Follow my snooker Articles/stories on Twitter@chrisgaynor2

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    Robert Milkins..... doesn't really feather.I don't think Tony Drago does at all. Marco Fu doesn't much, very little ones so he can't really get a feel for the shot.
    Last edited by jonny66; 26th November 2018 at 04:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisg View Post
    Hi Steve,

    Funnily enough, the break of 56 I made was used with no feathers - and just the drill of committing to line of aim and pulling cue back with slight pause. Not all the shots in the break were "easy" shots and there was one partcular shot that required a deep screw back from medium range

    Look forward to next video mate...
    Thanks Chris! Hopefully video out on Wednesday.

    And very well done on the 56 break! Brilliant in a real frame situation.
    WPBSA Level 2 - 1st4Sport Coach
    Available for personalised one-to-one coaching sessions
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