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Practice V. Games/Matches for newbs

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  • Practice V. Games/Matches for newbs


    I'm a snooker player now for 2 years. Since starting as a total newb at the age of 55, I put in many hours a day on the practice table, but I don't see much improvement in my high breaks which are stuck in mid 20s..

    My question is, if playing against people, a 'practice partner' is actually a good or useful thing for a beginner, In my view it isn't really and I don't see the point. Snooker is hard enough in and of itself, without having someone to play with just trying to make it even harder for you and stealing half of your practice time on the table.

    Most of the games I play in involve really small breaks from both players, usually 6-12, where the colors and some reds end up on the cushions. Even if I get a great chance, I will often burn it, so there is hardly any point to playing a safe game - but players still play safe all the time. The player who is lucky enough to land OK on the higher colors usually steals the game. That's not really snooker, or very enjoyable.

    I rekon that you have to have a break up toward 50 before you can play the game to any level of satisfaction, where safety and tactics start to actually mean something.

    Practice on the other hand, is much more enjoyable. I can move the white, break the rules, set up real easy shots, pot way more balls, concentrate on specific things.
    In the T practice I'm getting in the 40's on a good day - but I have yet to break 50. In a game I haven't even broke 30.

  • #2
    Well you’ve only been playing 2 years ,and with all due respect starting at that age you won’t have the same improvement as someone that is say 17 . I’m not sure what you mean saying playing safe isn’t snooker ,and just setting up easy shots on your own won’t get you very far either .Playing other people will be good for you in the long run ,there’s no point saying having someone one else on the table is eating In to to your practice time ,it doesn’t work like that .playing the practice T routine at your level is probably not the best thing to be doing ,try putting the black on the spot with two reds below it and three above it and clear that set up ,then set up some open play routines .Maybe get someone that is experienced to have a look at your cue action too .Even for people that have been playing for years make more mistakes as they get older so your on the back foot straight away ,just enjoy it and realise your never going to be knocking them in like Ronnie .Snookers hard and gets harder as you get older .The other option is to buy yourself a Delorean car spec it up to Back to the future standards ,go back in time 40 years ,find your younger self and talk yourself in to taking up snooker ,come back to the present and you should be pretty good at the game
    Last edited by mikee; 16 July 2021, 09:21 AM.


    • #3
      Nice idea with the time machine.

      Well I do a mix of practice routines, and try to be structured and not waste time. I do line-up, 3 reds pink and black, single shots at diff angles, colors etc. but I like the T because I get the highest breaks with it. To be honest I don't expect to be knocking them in like Ronnie any time soon, but I do expect that the practice I do should bear some noticeable reward. I often film myself from diff angles, check my action, adjust, practice, film again etc. My technique is WAY better than it was in the start and I have a much more consistent action, but it doesn't seem to help much in games or with my break. I started with snooker, after playing a little pool (only on a social level), and after the first couple of games of snooker I could get about a 20, about the same as it is now after 2 years of hard work refining my cue action.
      I think that instinctive angle recognition is the key. It is really difficult to teach yourself that you are not seeing the angle correctly, and practice aiming to miss to correct some judgement error. As far as I can tell, I have a straight backstroke and follow thru now, and I watch the path the object ball takes as it goes to the pocket whilst keeping my head still. Still miss balls to either side as much as I did when I started though, so I think that it's an instinctive judgement thing. To learn something to become instinct takes time, lots of it. So you were right with the time machine.