fcsnooker - Top Quality Snooker Coaching and Instruction in association with Mr Frank Callan - Advanced Level -
"Rest Assured

Anyone having trouble with playing with the rest should try the following method at the
practice table. Place a ball on the blue spot with the cue ball a foot behind and in line with a top pocket, (Fig 1).

The rest and the cue should now be placed in a straight line behind them. Play the shot and afterwards, check to see whether the tip of the cue is pointing towards the centre of the pocket, (Fig 2)

If this is so you will find that the thumb which is underneath the cue, is still directly over the rest below adn the cue is poiting into the heart of the pocket. (Fig 3 & 4).

If the thumb is one side or the other of the rest then the proof is there that you are not cueing in a straight line and more practice is needed to groove a good, straight action to the cue ball.

As you become more competent with the rest then you can start to make adjustments, dependent on what type of shot you are faced with.

If you are playing a run through shot with top-spin that does not require much power, then the length of the bridge between the rest and the cue ball can be shorter and the waggles can be cut down, (Fig 5).

After the pause at the back, the feeling of pushing the cue ball through to the object ball can be achieved. The shot will be more positive even though little force is required, (Fig 6)

When faced with a screw shot, where the white needs to be brought back as much as six to nine feet, then the length of the bridge must be increased and more movement of the cue utilised to get a greater feel for the shot itself, (Fig 7).

If a certain amount of power must be used, more care should be taken that the rest is held firm and that there is no movement apart from the hand and the forearm.

A graphic example of the problems that can be created when attempting power shots with the rest occurred in the memorable 1985 World Championship final between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor. Playbacks of Dennis potting the final black have been seen many times, but a shot that attracted little comment at the time happened in the previous frame, the 34th.

Steve needed pink and black to win the championship, but after potting the blue he found himself dead straight on the pink which was an inch or two from the side cushion in baulk.

The white was roughly a foot away, which meant that Steve needed the rest to play a deep screw shot. His task was to pot the pink in the green pocket and screw the white back to the black which was on its spot.

For whatever reason and I know not what it was, the white jumped clean over the pink and went straight into the green pocket, (Fig 8 & 9). Foul, six points away, leaving Dennis white in hand with a relatively easy pot to take the final to the last frame. I had never seen Davis play a shot like that before. It could be that a lesson was learned the hard way that day.

So who is the best player in the world with the rest? It is universally accepted that Jimmy White is the best and I certainly agree. But unfortunately we cannot all be like Jimmy White who is blessed with so much natural talent.

This means that everyone else has to make up for this "deficiency."

The only answer is plenty of hard work at the practise table.

(See The Rest for more detailed information)

Frank Callan Suite - 282 Ribbleton Lane, Ribbleton, Preston, Lancashire, England - PR1 5EB - tel. + 44 (0) 1772 702211 - info@fcsnooker.co.uk

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