aspiring youngster with ambitions of reaching the top requires
five qualities and a bit of luck.
is a gift we are blessed with at birth. Some players have more
natural talent than others, and at the top of my list in this
respect are Jimmy White, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Hendry
with Steve Davis, Mark Williams and John Higgins not all that
with so much natural talent, whatever they're chosen sport, are
the lucky ones because they start off with something they haven't
had to work for.
who believes he can play the game properly by picking up a cue
when he feels like it and going into a match without any preparation
is playing the wrong card. To succeed in the game today you have
to be highly dedicated, as there are too many good players around
who will make you pay dearly for having the wrong attitude.
Virgo puts it well; "Success comes before work only in the dictionary"
gets out of the game more than they put in.
is something you will require to make the best use of
any natural talent you may possess. A number of players have never
received any coaching whatsoever and have never bothered to find
out from any source just what can happen at the table in regard
to grip, sighting, stance and cue action. They have relied on
their own ability and nothing more to carry them through
is essential that you increase your understanding of every aspect
of the game of snooker.
selection is of paramount importance in any game of snooker. A
player has to decide whether to attack and get into a winning
position or, because of the risk involved, play safe in such a
way that his opponent will eventually leave him in a better situation
from which to take charge of the frame. Making these decisions
are by no means easy, and you are alone when faced with them.
shot is chosen, it has to be given 100 per cent concentration.
It is so important to know what shot to play, particularly at
the start of a frame when a player has broken off and disturbed
the reds. With a total of 22 balls on the table, there are thousands
of different situations which can arise, and how to deal with
them requires the utmost consideration each time.
to be able to play snooker is not much use without bottle or nerve,
particularly at the big moment, on a big occasion, in front of
a big crowd. No matter how good you are at the practice table
or against lesser opponents, you are wasting your time if you
are unable to cope with the pressures that will arise on your
way to the top.
is no different to any other sport when it comes to bottle, and
the top players demonstrate what it's all about as they go in
search of the major prizes.
all honesty I have to add that luck plays its part in a game of
all know, in one ball games like cricket, football and tennis,
how much luck can influence a result. That being so, how much
more luck then, is involved when there are 22 balls on the area
of play? Moving the cue ball a hundredth of an inch can mean the
difference between a player winning a frame in one visit to the
table and allowing his opponent to take control because of the
trouble he himself is in.
don't agree with people who pretend that luck plays no part, and
think if you accept that fact then you must try to do something
about it. Sometimes it might appear that you are just not going
to win whatever happens. But luck will even itself out, especially
in longer matches, although not in one frame snooker or best of
3 or 5 frame matches.
only thing we can do is to recognize luck and, when it does go
our way, take advantage of it. Don't feel guilty or lose concentration
because of it. It's all part of the game. If luck goes the other
way and an opponent gets the nudges that make things helpful for
him and awkward for you, you should change your tactics by not
taking as many chances as you would have if the breaks were going
luck for what it is, then learn how to deal with it. If you are
resentful of the other man's good fortune this can make you play
worse. If you dwell on it too much you can kid yourself that luck
is the only reason you are losing.
then use this as an excuse for failure when with focused determination,
you can still win the match.
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