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  • -->STROKE<--

    HI every one.

    I am very new to the game of snooker, but i tell ya, I LOVE IT. I have been playing pool for a year now but lately, snooker has been the game of choice.

    I was wondering if any one has some good sggestions on STROKING. It is different then pool, cuz in snooker you have to hit it pretty accurate for it to go in, and plus a much bigger table.

    The do's and the dont's of snooker.


  • #2
    What I used to perfect my stroke is a beer bottle or pop bottle. Lay it on a table and stroke your cue in and out over and over so you don't touch the sides of the bottle. Start with trying to get to 500 strokes but everytime you touch the bottle start the count over. Don't just go slowly, stroke as if you would in a game situation with speed and accuracy. Has worked really well for me and can now lots of times make pots, after lining up the shot, by closing my eyes when I start my strokes because my cueing arm is very straight thanks to the method I just mentioned. Good luck and let us know how its going

    Some of my pumpkin carvings


    • #3

      Thanks TAZ147

      i have heard of this trick b4, but u really helped me out by giving it a number, ie trying it for 500 times, thats awesome.

      Once again, thanks


      • #4
        your welcome inc. After you can do 500 consistently you can increase the amount of strokes on and on. Good luck and hope it helps

        Some of my pumpkin carvings


        • #5
          Does it matter what high the table is?


          • #6
            The closer the table height that is closest to an actual playing table, the better.

            My stroke is no where near how snooker players stroke. I have a more relaxed stroke for the pre shot strokes, but i still hit the cue ball where i want. I dont really think its necessary to have a ridged stroke as long as you hit where you mean to hit.

            That bottle trick does work well for a lot of players though. Most other stroke trainers are basically a hoop on a stand anyways.


            • #7
              Should i use a big bottle or a beer bottle?


              • #8
                Get a bottle that can fit yur follow thru. Then the diameter of the bottle neck can be decided on how good yur stroke it. Larger diameter if yur stroke is way off, slowly working yur way down to bottles with really small in diameter necks.


                • #9
                  I was doing it with a plastic bottle last night and found it quite simple, I am going to use a beer bottle tonight and practice really hard. How much does it actually improve your game? I will be playing at the club on friday and will tell if it helps me. Fingers crossed for a break over 23


                  • #10
                    As my post said it really helped me. After yur comfy with using a beer bottle (small opening) without touching sides, line yurself up using the bottle and try a few hundred with your eyes closed. If you don't touch the sides with eyes shut than you should have loads of confidence when playing knowing you don't need to worry about your stroke. Then it just comes down to aim and the feel of the game. Good luck

                    Some of my pumpkin carvings


                    • #11
                      how much will i actually notice the difference when i play?


                      • #12
                        make sure your technique is the same pushing the cue through the neck as when you're playing your average shot on the table. the thought through your head should be that if you touch the side, you're either not pushing through straight or you're aiming incorrectly.

                        You wouldn't need to look a div by practicing this at the club too, just look at any armchair, table, tv top, desk etc at home that's about 30 inches high, look at your stance and head position then imagine being on the match table.

                        Closing your eyes is cunning, try it playing a shot too; i did it against this ****** who dared to say I shouldn't have helped out my B team who were short of players earlier in the night and played all the colours with my eyes shout to really hack him off - boy did it work; can't wait too see the drunken bum again.

                        whenever you play a shot, like golf, stroke thru the white like it's not there, push through it to make sure you're not coming off the shot - unless of course you're as talented as the hurricane, though he really just ripped his head off the cue AFTER the white had gone. it's not much to ask to improve your game wholesale.

                        trust your technique and give yourself all the excuses to play well; never ever allow yourself to say, "ah well, I wasn't really trying very hard, so it's not so bad I lost" - you will LOSE!!!!!, always strive for shaking your oppo's hand by either saying they played well to beat you, or being proud that you played so well. (ignore the bad luck that can make you shake your head in disbelief at losing sometimes, or smiling more broader if you benefit from some flukes)
                        Head Still... Follow Through... Keep it Tight... Never Give Up... Ton 'em if you can!


                        • #13
                          K. I will be practicing all night long and I will tell you what happens when I next play - tomorrow or Saturday. Hopefully I will get a higher break - as if!


                          • #14
                            you may surprise yourself kiddo, I have a good nack of spotting what a player is doing and what they're really capable of - and once I've told them, they invariably go on and stroke in their highest break. One guy back in Cheshire went from 24 to 56 ther very next visit - his smile&happiness and our drunken celebrations afterwards were a joy.

                            I'd say that you should really make sure you're lined up properly when you step into the shot will.
                            Look at the potting angle, where the white needs to be when it makes contact, keep staring at where the white needs to be as you move behind the cue ball itself, then walk into the shot with the cue falling down on the line you've picked. feather back and forth a comfortable number of times, then when you pause on the backswing, let your eyes rest on that same spot and follow-through like you've never down before.

                            If you just play the pots plain ball (no left, right or even top/bottom spin) for now, you'll groove your potting technique.

                            You need to get you technique so it's a part of your muscle memory; it needs to be repeatable to the point of reliability. When you're about 75% sure you're gonna pot every ball, start using side for better position, but as soon as you drop below about three quarter pot success, use less side.

                            If you watch the Pro's, their technique rarely changes, but if you look at your mates of people on other tables, they play every shot differently... virtually.

                            But when you see someone with a good technique, it's as though you've said to yourself; I thought he'd pot that, and they do - just by the fact he (or SHE!!) looked comfortable on the shot and stroked the ball in with a nice pace and their rhythm's like a metronome.

                            It's a great pleasure to clear a few balls off the table, there are many that never improve, but that's mainly because they don't make the most of what they've got - we can't all be Pro's, but like a golfer we can play the odd shot just like them; you just need to do it more often, give yourself a chance, don't be hard on yourself if you miss a shot; be determmined to learn from every shot you play, see and can imagine.

                            Get used to the angles that come up very often, all round the blue, the baulk colours and the black. Don't underestimate how many points you can make just stroking in the pink into middle and corner onion bags.

                            Enjoy tomorrow or Saturday, I had a 64 today amonngst about 4 frames with a few 40's and 30's with my arm in a virtual sling, but because I've learnt to play within my capabilities, it's easier to make the most of my talent.

                            Imagine a sports car with a fantastically powerful engine, but the driver keeps smacking the pedal down and being surprised when the tyres slip on the tarmac (no traction control this time). You'd say to him, go through the gears and feel your way into the acceleration. Same with snooker, get some consistency going in every frame and your HOPE of potting a ball (or safety) will convert into CONFIDENCE once you starting 'hitting the ball sweetly' and they start dropping.

                            There's a lot to be said for giving yourself a mental workout even if your away from the Club. Ebbo would agree, and so would Paul McKenna. I once found a 50p hynosis tape in an Isabel Hospice charity shop that I thought - WHY NOT. For half a quid I listened to it for a few weeks and I had my most successful year in the League and won the hardest tournament they offer. it was the equivalent of someone saying, you can choose how you think and therefore how you react and the self perpetuating cycle makes you grow in confidence to such a level that you an cope with so much more. There are times when you can't control a player in great form, but knowing that this can happen and that hopefully it doesn't continue, you can be readying yourself to take the scraps of your chances and start turning them into opportunities to turn things round. Flukes are the same; a good fluke is only one that you can make a decent break off though; unless it's frame ball!!!

                            If there was a darts player who throws his arra's while pumping up and down on an excercise machine, and you said to him, just stand off the machine and throw the darts now.... it's like that with some snooker players; honestly. They've maybe not looked properly at the angle they should be aiming at and they look like a hot bowl of jelly wobbling all over the shot.

                            We all need a target but without natural ability (which IMO is basically knowing what to do in most situations without needing to be told in the first place, and therefore the acceleration to a higher level is a lot easier) there are basic steps in most sports (life too) that without nailing down and mastering, it's definitely like trying to juggle blancmange, or nail it to th e ceiling as John Parrott once said.

                            No-one can be given natural ability, but we all have a portion of it that we can either nurture and encourage, be helped with experienced friends; or bash it about and never reach your full potential.

                            BTW, can't find the tape anywhere, if I do I could xfer to mp3 and spread the word a bit easier. The main thing I can remember is ACE - being Aware of everything but not being distracted by it, Concentrationg onn the job in hand and absorbing yourself in this zone, the last is to have the Energy to deliver on the previous 2 which would include being positive and willing to expend the effort required to perform at a high level.

                            LASTLY; and this is very important if you're willing to test yourself at a competitive level, is to be aware that some people don't want to win. It sounds strange but I've seen so many good players but they don't take advice from anyone and are content to forge ahead under their own steam and ideas - but fail so many times it's a criminal waste of talent. If you have a confident demeanour, your opponent will sense this and be subconsciously lowering their level of expectations; how confident they are of winning. Pack mentality, if a dog smells fear, it will try and oppress you into submission. If you show no fear, it thinks you are the dominant alpha and will assume a subordinate/subservient (check dictionary) attitude. How often do you feel that uncomfortable feeling in the presence of someone that frightens you or you feel inadequate in front of? If you met this person on the snooker table and they showed supreme confidence and knocked in 50's all the time, you'd be thinking that you had good reason to be wary. But, you aint gonna meet that kind of talent every day of the week, so if you practice your craft to a level where you know what you can do, you can use this confidence to show your opponent you're no-one to be messed with.

                            I hope this made sense, as you can imagine, you don't try and write your ethereal and normally intangible thought processes down very often.

                            The other side of this is where a one-on-one battle on the baize can end up seeming like the toss of a coin for who's going to win, the guy that'll be the proudest, might just be the one that can summon up more of their abilities, strengths and energies in one place at one time the best. They may have also drained some of their opponents energy and resolve by competing at a better level; pouncing on mistakes and heavily punishing them. Negative reinforcement as opposed to positive. Commentators regularly say that a person, "dug deep", but unless you've been there and done it, it's hard to comprehend - what does it actually mean.

                            I was once asked by my brother to 'concentrate&think really hard', I just squeezed my face together really tightly - I was only about 5 or 6 though so give me a break. But it just shows that you need to know what you're doing before you can really achieve anything.

                            ... so, it's about trusting yourself, you've worked hard at giving yourself a chance of succeeding, an opportunity you've grafted for presents itself and you've got to be ready to take advantage. 'Never say die' attitude really does exist, but it's all about not letting someone else force you into thinking you've lost until it actually happens - you never know aht's going to happen so you've got to give yourself a chance that maybe no-one else thinks you;ve got, so it's even more special when you actually succeed and you earn the right to say; I'm proud of myself. Even if you lose, you can be proud of the performance and that if you give 100%, the chances are next time your opponent won't have it their own way.

                            Champions have an in built mechanism to know when they've got their opponent on the rack, or when to press hom an advantage to break the spirit of their challenger. 'Spirit', another word for 'Confidence', you want your opponent to start thinking, "I could lose this", and then feed that destructive fire by noit showing a weekness. Don't feel guilty about winning, realise that there's destiny and fate but there's value in thinking, "you make you're own luck", can't win if you don't buy a ticket.

                            A decent adage is the one about the successful salesman that doesn't worry about 'NO', because he's confident that if he gets a 'YES' only once in every 10, every 'NO', he gets is closer to the next 'YES'. Makes sense doesn't it, your level of expectation is set at 10% from years of experience and hard work, so if you're hitting more or less than that then you can either re-focus and try harder or being satisfied that you're succeeding.

                            When two people of equal ability come together in a game of snooker, there's a chance for them to share their "Best of 35's" we've all played ourselves pretty evenly, but if one starts to learn how to beat the other one, they may never lose again. The winner amongst them learns the signs of the other feeling the strain of competing which is like making an "energy donation" from their opponents limited account. The balance of power shifts and unless the opponent can re-learn the logistics and dynamics of the competition; they'll be resigned to expecting to lose and the expectation will turn to a reality most times.

                            That's why so many sportsmen and women use psychologists; it takes so much effort to compete that they need an extra brain to guide them like a rudder through the mindfield of competition that can make a person lose sight of how to compete. You hear them all the time saying, "At least I was competitive out there today", which is exactly what they want, they need to play at a level that gives them a chance o taking opportunities to beat everyone. For golf say, Tiger Woods was at a level hitherto unheard of, but once the other Pro's realised the work he was putting in, they started rebuilding the framework of training that they'd got use to. It's not by chance that the word, "benchmark", or "level", is used - if you have aspirations, dreams and targets at life or in sport - you need to put the work in to give yourself a chance to achieve things. Aim high because you can only fall shorter, aim low and you're capping your capabilities has some merit; nothing wrong with giving yourself little targets to achieve, but a long term goal will keep the energy levels high in the darkest moments. Each mini-step in a journey should be noticed and every improvement should be celebrated with a view it's getting you nearer your dream. If you can experience everything and interpret good and bad experiences in an optimistic way, you're half way there.

                            "Inspirational", is a word that sounds great doesn't it? We can find inspiration or it can find us - but using it is the secret. There will be thousands of children taking great pleasure and a virtual spiritual experience from Liverpool's win last night; they'll comment on it in years to come as the moment that changed their life, so why does this happen and how does it happen.

                            I suppose in my opinion it's really simple, it just shows you that the 'impossible' no matter how concrete a thought that is, is just a frame of mind that if you can somehow think differently, it can be made to seem like a challenge you'll enjoy taking on. The 'heroes' we see in our lives are just ordinary folk that have decided to think differently and the power of thought is not to be underestimated. They inspire by their actions in the face of what look like desperate circumstances. The bigger the stage the bigger the impact on people, the crescendo and wave of optimism is cleansing and makes people think they can achieve ANYTHING. We can take inspiration from other people as well as once we've been inspired ourselves, we can share the ideas that can show people what can be achieved with the power of thought.

                            Use everything you've got; talent, attitude, positive thinking, work ethic and be proud of what you achieve.


                            !! LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC LFC !!
                            Head Still... Follow Through... Keep it Tight... Never Give Up... Ton 'em if you can!


                            • #15
                              Thank you very muxh for that inspirational piece of writing. What I have taken from that is to be confident, think positive and you will be positive. You make your own luck and your the only one who can push yourself to a level yo know you can reach. I will be practising that bottle technique for ages tonight. Have you got any other practising techniques I can do at home?