fcsnooker - Top Quality Snooker Coaching and Instruction in association with Mr Frank Callan - The Mind Game -
"Setting Targets"

To progress at any sport it is important to regularly assess your own development. This can be done in a number of ways at snooker, but one way, which is widely used, is to monitor and record the level of breaks you are achieving on a regular basis.

This can be done in practice exercises on your own, perhaps completing the 'line-up' and in competitive frames against your peers. Lastly, the range of breaks you are achieving in match play may also provide some useful guidance.

Although a person's highest break score is not an accurate reflection of their ability the average break a player regularly achieves provides useful information to the coach helping them improve performance.

A regular 20 -30 break player, may need to practice shots which dislodge more balls from the cluster, in order to enhance his break building potential. A 70 - 80 break player however, may need to work on the mental side of the game to achieve the holy grail of century breaks.

Assessing your game will allow you to begin to practice some of the things required to improve. 'Work smarter not harder'.

Breaks 1 - 30

If you regularly achieve breaks between 1 and 30 you are clearly just beginning the game and have not progressed beyond many of the basic requirements of snooker.

You are capable of potting four or five balls in succession, but nothing more. Your cue ball control will be poor and it is doubtful that you are cueing straight.

Careful consideration of everything that you do at the snooker table is now required, from your grip, stance, sighting, cue action onwards.

It is imperative that you now begin to practice the right things in the right way or you will not improve.

Breaks 31- 60

To be regularly achieving breaks between 31 - 60, displays a decent level of ability and represents a creditable achievement.

You will have practiced a lot to improve your knowledge and expertise, working hard at certain aspects of your game to become this good. Progressing beyond this stage to the next level will however be very difficult. This will require many hours practice and dedication, honing your cue action, learning to control the cue ball and discovering the shots that facilitate bigger breaks.

At this stage your learning curve remains very high, with a study of the more advanced techniques required to progress.

Breaks 61 - 99

Well done! Regular breaks at this stage demonstrate dedication, talent and ability, and a determination not to be defeated by one of the hardest games in the world to master.

You have the determination, work ethic and many of the shots to make centuries but do you have the natural ability and mental strength to carry you on?

It may be years before you reach a century - of course, you may never do it. To reach your goal you must increase your practice regime and heighten your learning curve. Continue to work on your cue action and technique, whilst learning from others and perhaps most importantly focus your mind to the task in hand.

Crossing the century barrier can be very difficult mentally. It may take a number of near misses, spread over a number of months before you get there. I know of many players that have reached this level nut have still not achieved the magical century break. More hard work is required to move to the next level.

'Don't give in now, keep the dream alive'.

Breaks 100 +

The century plus player combines talent, dedication and mental strength. A player's first century break is one of the highlights of his snooker career, and details of it are remembered forever. Clearly to achieve this standard takes many years of hard work, development and continuous improvement.

There are very few shots that the century plus man does not know or cannot play, but reaching this stage does not guarantee a total understanding of the sport. There are many famous examples of top sportsmen who have reached a tremendously high standard in their chosen sport, but have watched it tumble around their ears because they could not spot a fault developing and put it right.

So where do you go from here? Reaching the century plus pinnacle represents your own personal achievement and satisfaction, but does not guarantee an income from the game. It is a harsh fact of life that reaching this stage, however difficult, represents only the first stage of your snooker career.

Developing this further to become a professional player, requires unswerving dedication, outstanding talent and aptitude for the game and unfortunately, large financial support and mental toughness.

'With these factors in place however, there are still no guarantees'.

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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