How to Improve on Your Pool and Snooker Skills
Practice makes perfect, they say. When it comes to pool and snooker, this old-age saying is certainly true. Granted, you won’t be a perfect player (who is, anyway?), but you will surely improve. The more you practice, the better you become at pocketing those balls, even when they are awkwardly placed on the table.
But playing every day is not enough. There are a few ways that can help you be better at playing pool or snooker (or both) faster and more efficiently. In this blog post, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks, so you practice playing the right way:
In this article, you will learn ways to help improve your pool and snooker skills and play like a pro!
1. Treat Pool or Snooker as You Would Any Sport With a Ball
The key ingredient to improving skills in ball sports is to understand that balance is required. Cue games certainly demand balance. Your shooting stance is, of course, critical, but it is not nearly as essential as ensuring your body is solidly planted. You should be able to resist a slight push or shove as you assume your shooting stance.
2. Be Comfortable in Your Stance
You’ve seen other great players. Because of their greatness, you probably think that imitating them will make you a good player. Or perhaps you believe the stance may look good on you. But this is a mistake, and it will not help you play better. Never copy anyone’s shooting stance unless you’re comfortable with it.
3. Combine Playing on Your Own and With Your Friend
Practising alone is truly helpful. You can choose how you want to play, whether it’s a 9-ball or 10-ball. You can even try rotation games using 15 balls. Whatever it is, you are in control of the game. Also, you can repeat the shot no matter how many times you wish if you miss it or you played poorly. That’s the beauty of playing on your own. Repeating allows you to achieve the results you want and be more confident with your tactics next time.
Practice with other people but make sure you have fun. Spar or compete with people at the same level as you before progressing to those who are a little bit better with their gameplay. Otherwise, you should be prepared to lose and be frustrated. Nevertheless, pool and snooker games with other people will allow you to see which areas you need improvement. Plus, they are not predictable.
Playing alone and with your friends should be part of your strategy to be better at your pattern play. They are both critical in creating an intelligent game of pool.
4. Practice Some Drills
Drills are efficient, especially if you can create a structured practice to achieve specific goals. For example, you can shoot different ways to figure out the best stance that works for you.
You can do many pool drills, including the ones listed in this blog post. If you’re more of a snooker player, here’s a popular drill called Snooker Line Up that many players do, which help their cue action:
- You will need several different coloured balls, including black and red.
- Align the reds through the centre of the table.
- You can choose the arrangement or duplicate the most commonly used ones. Here’s an example: place two reds and one black, followed by four reds between pink and black. Then have seven reds between blue and pink and two more reds between brown and blue. The colours of the balls can change depending on your preferences.
- The next step is to select your starting red, such as the second red ball behind the black ball. Advanced players tend to choose the first red.
- You can aim at the balls as you would with traditional snooker rules. Make sure to hit the red balls first before the colour balls.
- If you miss a shot, you can make the drill more challenging by starting over. This “punishment” should help you strive to perform better.
- Try recording your drill results so you can keep track of your progress.
Since the balls are lined up, it will be more challenging to execute the shots. However, this extra challenge will help you improve your snooker game.
5. Practice – But Don’t Drain Yourself
Practice sessions should always be short. You do not need to keep practising for hours and hours; doing so will not help with your focus. You’ll end up with sloppy shots, or you’ll just be bored. So, make sure that you take a break and play again when you are ready to focus again. You must have a clear goal before you start practising. What is it that you want to achieve anyway? With an answer to this question, you will eventually reach your performance goals.
6. Know the Fundamentals
You can try a variety of techniques to uplift your game experience. However, there are some game essentials that you should take to heart, including:
- Ensuring that you have a stable and comfortable stance, which also provides clearance for your shots
- Keeping a relaxed grip with each stroke
- Ensuring your bridge is stable and should not move during your stroke
- Using an appropriate bridge length for yourself and your shots
- Never rushing when you transition between your strokes, specifically your final backstroke and forward stroke
- Never dropping the elbow as you strike the ball
You can hire a qualified instructor to quicken your progress. Although unnecessary, it surely helps if an experienced player is ready to share pertinent knowledge about the complexities of playing pool.
7. Improve Your Aim
Many beginner players do not understand the importance of a consistent pre-shot routine. It’s crucial when it comes to having a better aim. Part of the technique here is to ensure that your vision centre is aligned correctly.
If you have issues with aiming, you may want to do some ghost-ball aiming, which is a valuable tool for visualising your shot. Another is the contact point to contact point, as well as double the distance and parallel lines system. These visualisation tools require you to picture your shots effectively.
8. Grip Properly, Not Tightly
Many newbies in the game of pool or snooker tend to grip their cue sticks hard. If you are among them, you should realise that it won’t help. Instead, relax and loosen your grip. Aiming and shooting may make you hold your cue so hard because it’s a natural reaction. After all, you’re trying to work on your perfect shot, which can make you anxious. However, it would help to let the cue go, which enables the cue to move fluidly.
9. Focus on the Cue Ball
You probably concentrate on the object balls more than the cue ball. That’s fine. Many players do the same thing. However, if you truly want to improve your game, you should do the opposite. Regardless of the form, the game can be fixated entirely on the cue ball and nothing else. You will need strong attentiveness here, though. But rest assured that you can improve quickly if you put your attention to the cue ball and its destination. As for the object balls, just assume that they will be in the hole no matter what.
This tip is not easy to achieve. However, you can practice with long, straight shots where your goal is to stop the cue ball abruptly. After all, controlling the cue ball whenever you do a straight shot only means that the object ball has no other place to go but the pocket.
10. Play Like a Pro
What do the top players have in common? They typically have a wealth of experience because they have played and practised for countless hours to enhance their performance. And you can do the same. Whether on your own or with your friends, playing regularly can improve your intuition, aim, and stability.
Professional players also have good eyesight. It does not mean that you need to have a 20/20 vision to be successful in pool or snooker. You can wear prescription glasses or contact lenses to correct poor vision. What matters is that you can see clearly at all times. That way, you can determine the angles of the shot and aim for the best.
Top snooker and pool players also have good eye-hand coordination. They know how to deliver the cue ball to their desired position. The technique lies in the proper speed and tip contact, which differ for every shot. The mechanics are not textbook, but vision, force, and movement should all work together.
Practice, practice, practice! One thing that you can say about pros is that they pretty much dedicate their life to the sport. You do not have to do the same thing, primarily if you do not aim to enter serious competitions with other players. However, you cannot buy a pool table and expect it to do the work for you.
Pool and snooker are not just games; they are a sport. Therefore, you can only excel if you are an athlete. Being an athlete involves several responsibilities, including being disciplined, training hard, and understanding the chosen sport. For you to practice, you need an excellently built pool table.
Sure, you can improve your playing skills without a pool table, but you cannot be better at the sport if you don’t have a table and other fundamentals. Don’t settle for the cheaper alternatives, though. Go for the one that’s worth your investment. Contact Quedos today so we can build your pool table, and you can start your pool/snooker journey in no time.