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  • How many Feathers

    Given that The Forum is a bit quiet at the moment I thought I’d post up this old chestnut.
    Question is...How many feathers do folks think is the right number before striking the cue ball? Is there any logic to it?
    On the one hand you have Marco Fu who has practically NO feathers. Just point and hit. Ronnie is about three I think. Maybe less when in full flow. Others can be a lot more.
    My mate had a coaching lesson a few years ago and was told to do seven. Guy I watch in the club does about 10/12.
    I can’t really see what’s going to be different from feather No 1 to feather No 12 unless there’s some mental preparation going on in the brain before hitting the shot.
    Personally I used to be a Marco Fu type but changed to 3 feathers and found this better for some reason.

  • #2
    It is down to personal choice but I recommend two or three.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)
    http://www.snooker-coach.co.uk

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    • #3
      Totally down to what works for you and is comfortable.
      I have always thought that it should be the same number, whatever it is for you.
      One thing that I have seen is that if someone tries to change what is natural to them it takes a long time (if ever) for this to become natural and will adversely affect their game. IMHO
      Up the TSF!

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      • #4
        Whatever feels right I suppose . I am surprised by the wide differences in the feathering style of the professionals , and sometimes the almost complete lack of it before the shot, or the prolonged pause between the feathering and the actual shot. being executed. When I am playing very badly ( more often than I like to be honest) and can't seem to figure out whats wrong, I resort to this guys attitude to feathering !
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL-8BzB1F1M

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        • #5
          I tried to get into this , but found that I was concentrating more on the number of feathers than the actual shot . I have no idea how many feathers I do !
          Neil

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          • #6
            If you are struggling...none! Try and trust your initial position. Pull the cue back and strike. Amazing how sometimes you over adjust while feathering. It gives you too much time to tinker and second guess.

            Thinking of this I've had a lineup max doing just this! No feathering at all.

            https://youtu.be/w1posmJaMNY
            Last edited by inevermissblue; 5th July 2019, 06:32 PM.
            Cheap and Cheerful! 😄

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            • #7
              I don't actually know?!
              I can say however that occasionally it is less than usual or none... walk into shot and confident first strike. I honestly couldn't tell you why though, the type of shot I suppose?
              My guess is that there is subconscious stuff going on and I'm not about to think too much about it.

              Edit: Says the bloke that has just bought some Century Pro cue tips to experiment with (fix summat that ain't broke?)
              Last edited by trying; 2nd July 2019, 09:01 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by trying View Post
                I don't actually know?!
                I can say however that occasionally it is less than usual or none... walk into shot and confident first strike. I honestly couldn't tell you why though, the type of shot I suppose?
                My guess is that there is subconscious stuff going on and I'm not about to think too much about it.
                Edit: Says the bloke that has just bought some Century Pro cue tips to experiment with (fix summat that ain't broke?)
                I think pretty much every person I ask don’t know how many they do. That’s because like every other aspect of your cueing it should automatic. You shouldn’t need to think too much. Different if your a beginner as there’s a lot you need to remember to do.
                The puzzle for me was what is going through someone’s mind when they’re doing all those feathers. There’s a match between Ronnie and Ebdon where Peter was doing 22 feathers ffs.
                The other guy who puzzled me was Dave Harold. He didn’t do too many feathers as I remember but it was as if he had fallen asleep whilst down on the shot. He used to address the cue ball for an absolute age before hitting it. I used to say to myself “for God’s sake what are you thinking about”.

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                • #9
                  Just as an add to my posts. If you listen to a lot of the coaches they say as much as 80% of the shot is done from the standing up position. Once you get down on the shot you’’ve already potted the ball in your mind. So when you drop into the shot what more is there to think about? Just pot the ball!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by snookerdad View Post
                    It is down to personal choice but I recommend two or three.

                    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)
                    thats generally what I do although I have been trying more but it felt strange so I reverted.

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                    • #11
                      For me, I feather to get a loose fluid feel with the cue on line, and then just extend that for the strike. There's no set number of feathers*, it's just part of the feel of the shot. If I'm tense, focussed, and facing a specific sort of shot (like tucked under the cushion on a just off straight black off the spot), sometimes there's no feathers and just a jab into the shot - I think that's because I'm focussing on an accurate strike on a specific angle down on the cue ball to take it off the cushion cleanly and to keep it on the line of the shot. Similarly using a rest over balls close behind the cue ball. With these shots I'm not looking for a loose feeling shot to control the white ball, I'm looking for a simple least variable prod on a line, with the minimum that can go wrong, and the minimum work on the white.

                      *There may be a set number, or a pattern based on particular shots. i can't tell you, I just feather to make sure I feel right, and then hit once I'm ready.
                      Last edited by presprout; 4th July 2019, 12:55 PM.

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                      • #12
                        For me it doesn't matter how many feathers as long as before the final delivery I have both a front and rear pause.
                        Last night I started off finding my feet with (i'm guessing) 3/4 feathers but by the end of the night this came down to as little as 1-2 depending on the type of shot.

                        I've also found that on stun run throughs I play them better not feathering as many times as usual.
                        "just tap it in"

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                        • #13
                          This

                          Originally posted by DeanH View Post
                          Totally down to what works for you and is comfortable.
                          I have always thought that it should be the same number, whatever it is for you.
                          One thing that I have seen is that if someone tries to change what is natural to them it takes a long time (if ever) for this to become natural and will adversely affect their game. IMHO
                          Whatever you are doing naturally in terms of feathers, do not try to change it (with the possible exception of work on the front or back pause, but that is another subject).

                          For what its worth, I am not convinced that having the same number of feathers all the time is necessarily an advantage. The danger is that during the feathering, if your concentration wavers slightly for an instant, if you have a strong rhythm with the same number of feathers every time, you can find yourself playing the shot even though you are not ready. If your feathering is variable, and you just 'shoot when ready' then this is not really a problem. (Of course if you have a rock steady concentration and laser sharp focus all the time on every shot, then you are not bothered by such things!)

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                          • #14
                            I have never counted, and I hope I never start to.
                            When I play the slowest guy in our club, I do count his amount of feathers because it amuses me.
                            He ranges from about 15 to 22

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