Nic Barrow's The Snooker Gym ... "We Train Frustrated Amateurs, To Beat Their Highest Break"

How to miss properly

snooker coaching basics Oct 18, 2018

A very quick exercise today that most club players and amateurs don’t in their game.

Namely…. How To Miss Properly!....


You may benefit from an experiment I thought of this week.

It involves taking the focus off potting and aiming, and putting the focus instead on missing properly.


Your target is to simply pot OR miss having properly applied ‘good form’, namely:

  1. Staying still and having watched the object ball until after it hits the pocket or cushion
  2. Staying down long enough to feel the quality of the cue delivery
  3. Having delivered the cue straight with grip hand to chest (unless it is a very shot where you have very little speed)


I recommend trying this in a break building practice routine to start with, or perhaps on some manageable middle distance straight pots that are within your capability…

Your goal is to continue until you miss a pot without the three rules of ‘good form’ above, and see how many shots in a row you can play with a pot or with good form.


So you may pot 8 shots, then miss 2, pot 6, then miss 4, pot 8, and then miss 2 with all misses in good form – that would count as 30 good form shots in a row (good form is a pot OR missing a pot WITH the three rules of good form)


Your challenge is to count how many shots you can play in a row with good form (a pot or missing with the three rules of good form)!


Of course, you will be doing your best to pot every shot, but must brace yourself to have the discipline to miss each one properly with good form.

What may help here is to commit to commit to staying down longer for a count of three when you miss. This will counter the tendency that 99% of amateurs have to lift the head up way to early ‘because I know the result and cannot change it’. This do this instead of realising that the only way to learn and improve in potting, cueing, and positional play is to stay down and act detective to diagnose what happened in the imperfect shots (which of course I know you will want to diligently do – won’t you – unlike all the other players in your club who will not dare to take on this challenge!).