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  • Practice Vs Play

    Sorry if this has been asked before am new here, When I practice it really gives me a 'buzz' when I pot long balls off the blue spot and then a short routine involving potting black of its spot and then the pink in 4 pockets ( Barry Stark on Youtube ) TBH I Enjoy it, but when i play a game with someone I know I can beat my game disapears my potting is bad and I keep thinking of my mistakes not the game.

    Could you good folk with more knowledge than me give me some advice.

    John.
    Snooker is a game of simple shots played to perfection Joe Davies

  • #2
    It's something called...…..pressure . Even if you don't think it is .
    Neil

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    • #3
      Thanks Neil, Nail, Head, me thinks never thought of that I think I put too much pressure on myself in trying to play well, will have to find a way of stoping doin it.
      Snooker is a game of simple shots played to perfection Joe Davies

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      • #4
        It's bloody hard , i'm the same . Play ok-ish in practice , and then go to pieces in matches .
        Neil

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        • #5
          Originally Posted by John Flaf View Post
          Thanks Neil, Nail, Head, me thinks never thought of that I think I put too much pressure on myself in trying to play well, will have to find a way of stoping doin it.
          When someone first said to me you should only expect to produce about half your practice form in a match as standard, it helped me lower expectations slightly. In turn that's makes it easier to accept your misses and not beat yourself up over them. This part is most important! When you beat yourself up it compounds anger and creates tension in your arm which results in.... You guessed it, more misses! It's a cycle that must be broken.

          Chill, remember it's a game and the main aim is to have fun. Try to forget technical thoughts in a match, save them for solo. Just aim, draw back the bow string and fire at the target. When you miss, smile and sing your favourite song ( in your head of course)

          Good luck.
          sigpicNo cheap shots...well maybe the odd one if its funny...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally Posted by Cue crafty View Post
            When someone first said to me you should only expect to produce about half your practice form in a match as standard, it helped me lower expectations slightly. In turn that's makes it easier to accept your misses and not beat yourself up over them. This part is most important! When you beat yourself up it compounds anger and creates tension in your arm which results in.... You guessed it, more misses! It's a cycle that must be broken.

            Chill, remember it's a game and the main aim is to have fun. Try to forget technical thoughts in a match, save them for solo. Just aim, draw back the bow string and fire at the target. When you miss, smile and sing your favourite song ( in your head of course)

            Good luck.
            +1
            Agree with everything... Snooker is a psychological game more so than many others.
            Train your thoughts to be only positive
            "I got injected with the passion for snooker" - SQ_FLYER
            National Snooker Expo
            25-27 October 2019
            http://nationalsnookerexpo.com

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            • #7
              Originally Posted by Cue crafty View Post
              When someone first said to me you should only expect to produce about half your practice form in a match as standard, it helped me lower expectations slightly. In turn that's makes it easier to accept your misses and not beat yourself up over them. This part is most important! When you beat yourself up it compounds anger and creates tension in your arm which results in.... You guessed it, more misses! It's a cycle that must be broken.

              Chill, remember it's a game and the main aim is to have fun. Try to forget technical thoughts in a match, save them for solo. Just aim, draw back the bow string and fire at the target. When you miss, smile and sing your favourite song ( in your head of course)

              Good luck.
              I agree with everything you say about the mental game. That was a huge thing to work on for me, but I don't think we necessarily play only 50% or 70% of our game, I think it is more to do with having a misguided conception of how well we play. That may sound pedantic but I think the distinction is important. First, I think the most common thing I hear is "I make 50's in practice but rarely in competition". I know one guy who is fastly improving player in my room who has said that, but when I watch him practice he gives himself these perfectly ideal positions with nothing on the rails and clear paths for all the colours and reds. Eventually he knocks in a 50, but those opportunities don't come up often in matches and even less often with a sitter of a red to start with.

              The distinction I was talking about is essentially to realize that players tend to not practice real in game scenarios. It's kind of like never practicing shots from the rough in golf. If you never leave the driving range, your game won't translate well to the course. My high breaks in matches started coming far more often once I started getting better at developing reds and controlling those little canons since those are chances you tend to get in real match play scenarios. With that in mind, I think if you are missing a shot that you can make 9 out of 10 times in practice, I would expect that is down to nerves which is manifested in tense arms/hands, extra movement etc.

              I think I do tend to play the same game in competition as in practice even though I get more big breaks in practice. But that has to do with having unlimited tries in practice vs. working with what my opponent leaves me. As long as I am executing individual shots the same as I would expect I figure that my game is translating well.

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              • #8
                Thank you everyone for your feedback and insight, between you you have summed me up completly, so I shall TRY and not take a game too seriuosly, More importantly you have highlighted a problem I thought I had but now I'm sure.

                Going up to Glasgow next week to help cousin who just happens to live round the corner to Masters Snooker club Craigpark, going to take my cue and will probably join as well.

                Thank you
                John.
                Snooker is a game of simple shots played to perfection Joe Davies

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally Posted by John Flaf View Post
                  Sorry if this has been asked before am new here, When I practice it really gives me a 'buzz' when I pot long balls off the blue spot and then a short routine involving potting black of its spot and then the pink in 4 pockets ( Barry Stark on Youtube ) TBH I Enjoy it, but when i play a game with someone I know I can beat my game disapears my potting is bad and I keep thinking of my mistakes not the game.

                  Could you good folk with more knowledge than me give me some advice.

                  John.
                  A very good player and former professional told me something very important about snooker which is highlighted in your post.

                  If the game is 1/3 technical and 2/3 mental then why are you thinking about all the other garbage like missing balls and being annoyed etc when your in live play? The reason you dish up in practice is because your focused, your concentration is better.

                  All good players will practice many many hours of potting simple balls over and over to build not only the technique but also the concentration and confidence neccessary to clear up and score heaviliy in live frames.

                  I agree about 50% of your solo scoring will show up in a game, some ways you can make solo more pressurised to get round this is limit your attempts at routines or use a timer. For example I'll use the line up to warm up, i give myself 3 attempts at it for a clearance and I normally get it the 1st or second time, you can become mentally lazy if you think you have hours and hours on a single drill especially something like the line up which is a very common routine.

                  Cueing the long blues examines your cueing but again you can make a performance based drill out of that by seeing how many you can score out of 10 on only 2 or 3 attempts, then you could move on to potting a specific ball you know you've missed a few times in a match so that's your weakness for that week pot that ball 50 times and then move on.

                  You could finish by clearing the colours 3x or 3x in a row or 5x in a row depending on your ability level.

                  Thats some ideas of how you could make solo play more like a frame in terms of pressure and when your playing you have to forget everything and just relax your arm and concentrate fully on the task at hand which is the balls.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you Derek for that in depth analysis, you are spot on, I've watched many a video on YT covering exactly what you are saying Although I have'nt as yet tried a Line Up, I saw TedisBill clear the table the other day, He suggested for a beginner to start with five reds from pink to blue so will try that at some point I usually put 2 reds either side of the blue, Another new routine I did recently was blue on spot and see how many times I could pot and screw back into pocket followed by following through potting blue and white in same pocket, screwing back was easier I found I only managed 11 follow throughs though.

                    Regards
                    John.
                    Snooker is a game of simple shots played to perfection Joe Davies

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally Posted by John Flaf View Post
                      Thank you Derek for that in depth analysis, you are spot on, I've watched many a video on YT covering exactly what you are saying Although I have'nt as yet tried a Line Up, I saw TedisBill clear the table the other day, He suggested for a beginner to start with five reds from pink to blue so will try that at some point I usually put 2 reds either side of the blue, Another new routine I did recently was blue on spot and see how many times I could pot and screw back into pocket followed by following through potting blue and white in same pocket, screwing back was easier I found I only managed 11 follow throughs though.

                      Regards
                      John.
                      The line up is useful but it is mainly to practice concentration and to some degree positional play and patterns of shots which often apply to reds in open play. For a beginner or intermediate I don't always think it's the best way to practice but it can still help of course.

                      A good player will dispense with the line up as a warm up or only to concentrate properly or make sure technique is correct, it's useful for endless reps after you make a technical change for example.

                      Beginners may get overwhelmed with so many balls on and just wind up being frustrated by not completing the practice, remeber it is better to practice success than practice failure at any level, this still applies to having 5 reds on as you will still require to master a variety of shots to clear.

                      Instead I would personally reccomend to structure your solo play to master set shots first, we have already touched on long blues to hammer out your technique and cueing. From there I would do something simple like a 3/4 ball black off the spot, mark the cloth with a spec of chalk from your finger so you replace the cue ball in the same spot every time.

                      Aim to pot the black and return the cue ball more or less to the exact spot finishing high and allowing you to play the same shot over and over again, for a beginner aiming for 5-10 successful pots and positonal attempts would be a good start. You will need to play with stun and understand how the back cushion works when you move your cue up and down the central axis of the white. At this stage side should be avoided.

                      To expand you could then add a red slightly below the pink spot and your aim would be to pot the red and finish 3/4 ball high on the black to allow you to play the shot you have practiced back for position on the red just below the pink spot. You would repeat this drill from either side of the table until you can pot the black 18 out of 20 and also get the positional side.

                      You could finish by attempting to pot 3 yellows in a row, playing position for the yellow each time.
                      On third yellow play for the green repeat the procces of 3 greens on the third play for the brown and so on, no misses or you start again.

                      So a 1-2 hour practice session might look like this:

                      1. Cue over the baulk line to check your alignment and your cueing in a straight line.
                      2. Attempt to achieve 8 out of 10 pot and positional on 3/4 ball black, try beat your best score each time.
                      3. 6 long reds placed either side of blue spot and cue ball on the baulk line, aim to get 6 in a row.
                      4. Red below the pink spot, stun repeat off the back cushion with the 3/4 ball black up for the red, aim for 8 out of 10 pot and position.
                      5. 3 colours in a row clearance.

                      Something like that is measurable and works all aspects of your game, as you progress in your statistics so your confidence in your game will grow and results soon appear in the frames. These routines can be adapted and expanded as you progress.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Excellent Advice again Derek, Thank you.

                        Another Q if I may, My cue action feels and looks fine but I'm really struggling to get my chin low enough to touch my cue ( I dont want to Lift my cue to chin ) I think it's to do with my shoulder as it aches a hell of a lot during practice Is this a problem?

                        Thanks & Regards
                        John.
                        Snooker is a game of simple shots played to perfection Joe Davies

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally Posted by John Flaf View Post
                          Excellent Advice again Derek, Thank you.

                          Another Q if I may, My cue action feels and looks fine but I'm really struggling to get my chin low enough to touch my cue ( I dont want to Lift my cue to chin ) I think it's to do with my shoulder as it aches a hell of a lot during practice Is this a problem?

                          Thanks & Regards
                          John.
                          I'm not a coach but maybe one of the guys on here would help you.
                          Also hard to say what's causing your shoulder problem without seeing you, maybe if you post a picture one of the guys can check your set up.

                          I think some people can fall into a decent snooker technique naturally, many of us need to be taught at least a few things either from a good player or an experienced professional coach. My own experience is it can be worth it's weight in gold to be checked by a professional.

                          I was coached by Jim Donnelly in Glasgow and I still keep in contact with him now, I also have friends I play with who are excellent players and qualified world snooker coaches so it doesn't hurt to just keep a check on your technique no matter what your level in the game you could play for 100 years and still be learning.

                          Maybe look into some local coaching too, it can make a huge difference to how you play and often within a short window of time.

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                          • #14
                            All duly noted Derek,, it's an old injury, I Hope to get a 'lesson' in the next week as I'm going up to Glasgow on Monday to give my cousin a hand he lives just round the corner from Masters Snooker Craigppark

                            Edit: I should have said I asked my friend whos a good snooker player to stand behind me and check my arm and action he said it was fine, all in line and I think I have tennis elbow in left arm its also painful but i ignore it.
                            Last edited by John Flaf; 28th March 2019, 11:35 AM.
                            Snooker is a game of simple shots played to perfection Joe Davies

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