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

"Why I missed that black...!"

match play snooker tips psychology Nov 01, 2023

A bit of back story before we go into my "missed black" in the black ball game of the final! 😡

The '900' is a televised Amateur tournament run by my friend Jason Francis who runs Snooker Legends and the World Seniors. Here is the link to  'Snooker Legends' Facebook page

He invited me to play again this year, which I accepted... and my match was on 31 October.

'900' refers to the length of each match (900 seconds / 15 mins)... with each shot having a 20 second time limit.

Snooker Legends 900


NOW, here is "Why I missed that black...!"

Firstly, I felt so good on the pink and knew it was going in as I was getting down to it.
But when I potted it, I was SOOO pumped up that I knew I would be fist bumping and shouting if I potted the black straight away.

And knowing you are going to do that is not the ideal state of mind to be on when down on the final black!
So I walked around the table to give myself some breathing time AND to check the exact angle of the black relative to the pocket.

BUT, then I realised I was running out of time on the 20 second shot clock and started walking back round to the black without really having viewed that black angle properly... introducing some doubt.
When I got behind the cue ball I was nervous of the two cushion in off. This was partly that I had recently been playing on a student's table in Jordan that played almost exactly like the 900 table. We were practicing that EXACT shot and the cue ball slide was quite unpredictable with the object ball that close to the cushion (ie close enough to the cushion that the cue ball was still over spinning and had not converted to natural roll which gives a more predictable bounce).

When I stunned the pink in, the cue ball bounced two feet further than I thought it would (adrenaline?!).
If the cue ball landed three inches further away from the side cushion the in off would have been impossible and I would have potted it every time.

Alternatively, a more positive stun shot with right hand running side would have been not needed to avoid an off, but also would have been no problem.

But with slightly digging down on the cue ball I did not want to play that shot... partly as the pink I missed in the middle earlier in the frame was due to playing side spin and getting a slightly unexpected cue ball deflection / squirt / throw with the non standard bridging I also had on that shot.

So, those are my excuses, and I am sticking to them!

I am not judging myself though as I have never played in this time pressure environment, and I did only have four hours practice for this tournament!

Snooker is a difficult game, and although my mistakes in the three matches were numerous... they are gradually getting smaller in size which my ego is finding easier to deal with that huge errors!

Plus, I don't mind having lost a match in that environment to give a contrasting experience bank for my matches tonight...

The links to each match, and the black ball game described above.... appear below...
Quarter finals with coach Gary Filtness


My interview with Neal Foulds and Rachel Casey


Semi Final with coach Barry Stark


Final with Haydon Pinhey


The final seven shots against Haydon Pinhey, with the frame decided on the black