fcsnooker - Top Quality Snooker Coaching and Instruction in association with Mr Frank Callan - Intermediate Level -
"The Drill"

To be in control of everything at snooker, there must be a method; a routine for each shot. I call this the "DRILL".

The drill breaks down into four parts.

Before getting down to play a shot, look at the situation on the table and decide what is the best shot toplay, (Figure One). This is very important.

Then comes what I call the 95 per cent. Having looked at the pocket and decided the spot on the object ball that must be hit, address the cue ball where you intend to hit it, (Figure 2).

It is no good getting down before you have decided what to do. If your brain has not a clear message, how can it possibly send directions to your cue hand?

You should now be 95 per cent certain of potting the ball. You begin your waggle trying to 'feel' the shot you are about to play.

You have made up your mind whether to play with topspin, sidespin or backspin, and how hard you are going to hit the cue ball.

This takes care of the second part of the shot, which is the positioning of the cue ball.

Your waggles should be short, medium or long according to the type of shot you are about to play. For example, if you are playing a deep screw shot and have reached the last waggles, the cue has to go back several inches if power is to be obtained on the follow-through, (Figure 3).

If you address the cue ball with, say, no more than a two inch (5 cm) waggle before playing the shot itself, you will have to judge the pace, power and feel of the shot with one last movement.

This is asking a lot of your brain and takes concentration away from the pot, which, after all is the main priority. The waggles should be an aid to aiming only to a very small extent.

You should have assessed the angle before you even start them. The primary purpose of the waggles is to 'feel' the positional side of the shot.

By getting the right movement from the start, you have more chance of achieving the shot successfully because you will have more feel for it beforehand.

On finishing the waggles, address the cue ball for the last time and take a final look at the cue ball to make certain it is going to be hit in the right place. Get your eyes back onto the object ball before coming through with the cue.

This is what I call the 5 per cent. Without observing the last 5 per cent of the drill, you will not be giving the shot 100 per cent effort.

How many times have you seen professional players miss simple shots and wondered why? This is usually because they have neglected the 5 per cent, that is, getting the eyes back on the object ball.

How many times have you seen professional players get down for a shot and then get up, stand back and start his preparation again?

This is because he/she has realized that his 95 per cent was wrong because, in his opinion, he was aiming at the object ball either too thick or too thin.

I don't claim that 95 per cent and 5 per cent are mathematically accurate, but the terms are there for you to relate to.

Each shot, in my opinion, consists of the thrust forward of the cue from the pause at the end of the last back swing, to the completion of the follow-through.

Everything else is preparation - albeit very important preparation.

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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