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  • #16
    Originally posted by the lone wolf View Post
    You've cast a wide net there Jonny
    Hence the smiley face. If you had asked a few days ago I would probably have said 20 to 40.

    I really don't think age is that much of a "thing" in snooker. But when you think of how Davis and Hendry just got bullied out of the picture by... well, kids basically. It's a little worrying that nobody of that caliber has come through since Ronnie.

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    • #17
      But those kids were Davis\Hendry hybrids, unlike the Hendry "wannabes" of today - Kyren, excluded.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by blahblah01 View Post
        I'll agree to potting and breakbuilding, but not overall standard.
        For sure, that is mostly what I meant. I'm not sure you'll see players improve the standard of break building beyond what Ronnie is doing now. I have noticed in watching the U21 players, that they are aggressive potters and they do well with it since they can overwhelm their competition. But once they get to the pro ranks, well, everyone else pots and scores as well and better than they do. Hence the struggle.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Csmith View Post
          It's important to keep in mind with the younger top players of years past that the standard of Snooker had been increasing steadily for about 40 years. During that time every generation coming up was pushing the standard higher by emulating and improving upon what the last generation did. This was driven by the boom in popularity in snooker in 80's. So I think if you delve into individual player stats you may find that a lot of players were always peaking around age 35, but the younger generation was pushing everything forward beyond that peak. For example, conventional belief is Steve Davis played his best in the 80's, but his break building stats actually peaked in the early to mid 90's. It's just Hendry changed the game and made regular centuries the norm. Nowadays, it is possible that the standard is as good as it is going to get or the areas of potential improvement are not in breakbuilding, in which case experience will become so much more important because younger players are not overpowering older players.

          In Pool, I think the standard is improving but not as dramatically and really hasn't for a long time. Players are just getting a little more consistent in all areas of the game, but it is not an overwhelming shift. So the top players have been trending to being aged 30ish for a long time now and being competitive into their 50's. One of my theories about this is that although Snooker has had a WC since 1927, major competition didn't really start until the 70's because professional competition was a closed club and many of the players were from a Billiard background. Pool on the other hand has seen major competition (tournaments and gambling) and participation since the late 19th century and most, if not all, of the players from the 1920's could be transported to present day and be competitive. So there has been a lot more room for improvement in snooker over the last 40ish years.

          Snooker is not a highly physical game and I've never believed that a player should peak in their mid to late 20's. The key thing is to stay fit and healthy.
          Nice post Csmith. There's a lot there to take in... But I'm going to bed now. Will pick this up tomorrow
          "I got injected with the passion for snooker" - SQ_FLYER
          National Snooker Expo
          25-27 October 2019
          http://nationalsnookerexpo.com

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Csmith View Post
            For sure, that is mostly what I meant. I'm not sure you'll see players improve the standard of break building beyond what Ronnie is doing now. I have noticed in watching the U21 players, that they are aggressive potters and they do well with it since they can overwhelm their competition. But once they get to the pro ranks, well, everyone else pots and scores as well and better than they do. Hence the struggle.
            I believe it comes down to match play. The younger generation can pot and shoot lights out. But as someone once said - it's called snooker not potting.

            One can only learn match play by entering tournaments and staying on the tour. So does this mean that these types of players have yet to mature as players and thus becoming seasoned pros at a later age in their development?

            Bed time.
            "I got injected with the passion for snooker" - SQ_FLYER
            National Snooker Expo
            25-27 October 2019
            http://nationalsnookerexpo.com

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            • #21
              Originally posted by the lone wolf View Post
              I believe it comes down to match play. The younger generation can pot and shoot lights out. But as someone once said - it's called snooker not potting.

              One can only learn match play by entering tournaments and staying on the tour. So does this mean that these types of players have yet to mature as players and thus becoming seasoned pros at a later age in their development?

              Bed time.
              Maybe that's what we are seeing with Lisowski, although I still hate watching him play a safety shot. It's like he's given the frame up but he knows it's not the done thing to concede. No thought, just gets down and hits the cueball.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by jonny66 View Post
                Maybe that's what we are seeing with Lisowski, although I still hate watching him play a safety shot. It's like he's given the frame up but he knows it's not the done thing to concede. No thought, just gets down and hits the cueball.
                Lisowski is a good example of a young pro in the phase of seasoning. Shot making is important but at high pro level shot decision becomes the difference between winning and losing. Some players learn this quickly, some do not and others just don't learn at all.

                This younger generation have so much going on inside their heads that it is probably too difficult to empty their minds and play the game with a clear head. So many of them are on social media bigging themselves up minutes before they go into the pro arena. The likes of Hendry did not have this going on inside their minds when it was time to put the game face on.

                IMO - coaching for these younger players will become more metaphysical rather than physical. Let's face it, they can all pot balls... Even Mr. Hearn is willing to help them (and the game) by forcing players to speed up their play throughout the course of the season.
                "I got injected with the passion for snooker" - SQ_FLYER
                National Snooker Expo
                25-27 October 2019
                http://nationalsnookerexpo.com

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by the lone wolf View Post
                  I believe it comes down to match play. The younger generation can pot and shoot lights out. But as someone once said - it's called snooker not potting.

                  One can only learn match play by entering tournaments and staying on the tour. So does this mean that these types of players have yet to mature as players and thus becoming seasoned pros at a later age in their development?

                  Bed time.
                  I have to imagine that young players are capable of developing to be match players early on. I mean, if you can have 20sumthing chess grandmasters, surely you can have match players developing early on. If I had to guess, I think there might be a culture amongst the juniors to focus on potting and break building at the expense of other areas of the game. It's about getting more and more centuries since many players are likely inspired by Hendry and O'Sullivan (not that Ronnie can't play match snooker) as opposed to John Higgins or now Mark Selby. But it is fast exciting players that often motivate people to play. I still see some people doing their best Alex Higgins impression.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Csmith View Post
                    I have to imagine that young players are capable of developing to be match players early on. I mean, if you can have 20sumthing chess grandmasters, surely you can have match players developing early on. If I had to guess, I think there might be a culture amongst the juniors to focus on potting and break building at the expense of other areas of the game. It's about getting more and more centuries since many players are likely inspired by Hendry and O'Sullivan (not that Ronnie can't play match snooker) as opposed to John Higgins or now Mark Selby. But it is fast exciting players that often motivate people to play. I still see some people doing their best Alex Higgins impression.
                    20 something chess grandmasters, that is old to become a chess grandmaster. The record is 12 years old. It is however getting easier to become a chess grandmaster as the years go on so the title certainly does not amount to the same thing as it originally did when it was awarded to some of the worlds elite chess players.

                    Apart from that I don't think there is much transfer between chess and snooker as regards to this discussion.

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                    • #25
                      Only re mental stamina, imho.

                      Re becoming a Chess GM: with computers etc it became a lot easier re Openings etc. If you're bored and in a reputable bookshop check out Bradford's Chess Openings for not even 101 level....

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by blahblah01 View Post
                        Only re mental stamina, imho.

                        Re becoming a Chess GM: with computers etc it became a lot easier re Openings etc. If you're bored and in a reputable bookshop check out Bradford's Chess Openings for not even 101 level....
                        Computer opening books etc are amazing. The best computers in the world as so much stronger than Carlsen, humans just cannot beat them any more.

                        However you are right that chess and snooker are a battle of mental stamina especially in World Championship matches. It is about taking blows and still coming back. However this drifting away from the best optimal age of snooker players.

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                        • #27
                          Yep, I meant easier to play openings etc to learn and practice them as opposed to the books and movi g bits back etc...

                          The relevence could also be the battle part of Higgins\Williams vs the potting of Trump and the Chinese?

                          I didn't mention Jack as he is nowhere near as bad as he was 12 months ago with this - but then he was really bad, lol.

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                          • #28
                            I'd say that, ideally

                            Up to about 25 years old, you master shotmaking and potting, and that forms the majority part of your game

                            25 to about 30, you move on to break building, basic-intermediate shot selection, and cueball control.

                            30 to about 35, you begin to rely on matchplay, advanced shot selection, and tactics because of experience.

                            After 35, it's a question of how long it is until you lose shotmaking skills or consistency, and how much your matchplay can make up for that.

                            Of course, plenty of players try to avoid or even ignore such development. In a way, Hendry never moved on from his break-building and shotmaking skills into matchplay and tactics. He had bottle enough, but he didn't have much to fall back on if he wasn't making the shots or breaks.

                            Ronnie is actually a good example of someone who has developed along these lines, although it's not so obvious. Mark Selby is another great example.
                            Last edited by bagpiper13579; 11th May 2018, 10:36 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Depends on player. Some have peaked at 25 (Hendry), while some at 40 or thereabouts (Bingham, Mark Davis...etc). There are no rules.
                              One thing is certain though. Those champions who continue to win big trophies while being somewhat "old" have all started at a very very young age.

                              Oldies winning doesn't mean that one can start with snooker at 30 and expect to be competitive at pro tournaments at 50. This has never happened...and it never will. You need to start very young to be a top pro.
                              Why haven't Hendry and Steve Davis produced top form after 40 then? Maybe they were drained mentally. Who knows, maybe they themselves stared to believe stories that they were old and past their prime.
                              Makes a lot of difference who you listen too.

                              What I notice about younger players is that they are slightly behind not only in tactical department, but also in developing of the clusters of reds.
                              I don't think you will see under 20 guys play delicate cannons as well as Higgins or Williams. Or Selby or Ronnie.
                              It is also possible that class of 1992. were better at 20 than todays 20 year olds. In fact I'm certain about it. No shame in that though. Some generations are a bit special, that's all.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Csmith View Post
                                I have to imagine that young players are capable of developing to be match players early on. I mean, if you can have 20sumthing chess grandmasters, surely you can have match players developing early on. If I had to guess, I think there might be a culture amongst the juniors to focus on potting and break building at the expense of other areas of the game. It's about getting more and more centuries since many players are likely inspired by Hendry and O'Sullivan (not that Ronnie can't play match snooker) as opposed to John Higgins or now Mark Selby. But it is fast exciting players that often motivate people to play. I still see some people doing their best Alex Higgins impression.
                                Shots for show,
                                Points for doe...
                                In the heat of the battle the player must do all they can to win.
                                That's providing the player has all strategic moves at hand.
                                "I got injected with the passion for snooker" - SQ_FLYER
                                National Snooker Expo
                                25-27 October 2019
                                http://nationalsnookerexpo.com

                                Comment

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