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

In many places this web site has talked about methods of achieving consistency and also the many things which can contribute to a lack of consistency.

This section deals with a problem related to consistency and a subject which has even led to some players giving up the game altogether…Side-Spin.

There are two aspects to utilising side-spin. One is intentional side-spin (when the player chooses to use side as part of the shot) and the other is side spin which is unintentional (when a player inadvertently applies side-spin to the ball).

Intentional side-spin is used by almost every player in the game even though very few understand the various implications which are involved through its use. After all, how many players, having seen the top stars on television using side to play certain shots, can't wait to try out those shots themselves?

In most cases this only halts their progress because even those players who can devote a lot of time at the practice table find it very hard to understand SIDE and its implications. So what price the ordinary club player who might only play two or three times a week?

As a starting point, I believe that the term 'side spin' should be used more often, rather than just 'side'. Players would then begin to realise that there is so much difference between the white ball rolling forward with momentum only, compared to a white ball which is spinning sideways on its way to the object ball.

In the first instance, the white ball, having been struck in the centre, will move in a straight line to the point of aim on the object ball. In the second instance there is no way that this can happen.

A ball struck to the right of centre will immediately move to the left of that straight line. Once this is understood, it should now make sense that the harder the ball is struck, the more it will be forced offline. This however, is only the start of the learning process.

Further things to take into consideration are;

  • How much side spin is being applied as you strike the white just left (or right) of centre, or alternatively on the extreme edge of the white ball?
  • What is the distance between the white and the object ball? ·
  • How hard has the shot been played? ·
  • What kind of cloth is on the snooker table? Different cloths mean the white will act with a different reaction or throw off.

Having accepted that the cue ball (white) will move offline when it is first struck, it has to be recognised that the white will start to come back on line at some point and then, if there is enough distance between the white and the object ball, it will start to veer off the line in the opposite direction.

Clearly you will now be starting to recognise how complicated the whole business of applying side-spin can be. It is a very difficult subject to try and explain thoroughly and even more difficult to put into practice on the table.

(For more detailed information on playing with spin visit : Screw : Stun : Side and Top)

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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