you approach the table, the first thing that you have to decide
is what shot you will play. (See "The
Drill" for more detailed information).
I mention this to people who come to me for coaching, the response
in most cases is that "I have no trouble on that score." Believe
me, they could not be more wrong. The number of times I witness
a player taking on the 'wrong shot', often with disastrous consequences.
A bad choice of shot when the balls are in a favourable position
means they will they will probably still be so, when you have
left the table. This means that a decent chance to score may have
been presented to your opponent.
Adding to the problems over decision making the player is often
faced with numerous choices and different options. Do I try and
pot, or do I play safe? Do I try that red and play for the black
or the other red and play for the pink? Often decisions are directly
related to the state of the scoreboard at the time.
importance of correct decision making, is highlighted in frames
which are 'tight' and things are not as straightforward as you
would like them to be. This is where a good tactical player will
triumph over someone who is regarded as just a good potter.
This is the time to stand back and weigh up all the 'pros and
cons' for each particular option before finally deciding what
shot to play. Having made up your mind you must forget about everything
else except the shot in hand, which is no easy matter.
Usually the decision to be made is whether to go for a pot or
a safety shot. Sometimes it is possible to play a shot with safety
in mind, ' the shot to nothing'. In this case however, there is
still a priority. Are you going flat out for the pot or do you
want to concentrate on getting the cue ball back to the safety
of the baulk area?
Although large and small breaks will always be made, the player
with the best snooker brain will normally come out on top.
Weigh up the "pros and cons" before choosing your shot.
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