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

Your New Year Snooker Coaching Resolutions – updates, feedback, and ideas… (Part 1)

snooker coaching basics Feb 14, 2018

I hope you enjoyed the TSG New Year’s Resolution in January.

In summary, the 3 resolutions were:

  1. Watch the object ball properly all the way to the pocket – even if you don’t want to.
  2. Commit fully to a line of aim – even if you are not sure the ball will go in.
  3. Focus on cueing more than aiming – because without good cueing, good aiming won’t help you.

You can read them in full detail here:

Resolution 1
Resolution 2
Resolution 3


I thought you may be interested in reading some of the responses to that series of emails, and I am including those below…


1. Watch the object ball properly all the way to the pocket

Here is one from Will F about the power of watching the balls properly:

Thanks Nic,

I tried this (striking the ball on the third stroke) -plus staying down in the shot, watching the object ball into the pocket and my success increased markedly. I won man of the match! No big breaks yet - but concentrating on my cueing to begin - also, I’m putting a pause in before striking, which also seems to help. As always, any thoughts much appreciated.

All the best,



Here is one from Keith who posted in our ‘for clients only’ TSG Facebook Community after I spent some time on the phone with him as he was struggling so much:

Just to elaborate on my earlier post regarding Nic speaking to me on the phone to help me out. The main things he advised were for me not to me over methodical which I have been doing although my natural game is instinctive. I made myself stay down on every shot last night and watch where the ball finished. I cannot stress enough how much of a difference this made. My only two thoughts once I addressed the cue ball were to deliver the cue straight and stay down on the shot. It made so much difference my team mates were asking had I been taking sneaky lessons!!! Once again thank you Nic

I replied to Keith as follows:

Thank you for letting us know what happened. Those two things you mentioned are what most pros do automatically all of the time. I see so many players wracked in doubt about their aiming but they have the wrong end of the stick: Aiming properly is a waste of time unless you can delivery the cue straight - and you cannot know you are aiming properly until you deliver the cue straight! This is one of the biggest attitude contrasts I see between 100 break players (who tend to be process / method focused) and sub 50 break players (who tend to be results / pot focused). My biggest frustration is trying to convince the sub 50 breakers to believe that watching the ball and cueing straight are more important to them than potting the ball.If you have the first two, your aiming will AUTOMATICALLY IMPROVE WITH EVERY SHOT YOU PLAY until it is not an issue any more. If you don't have the first two grooved as habits, then aiming correctly is a waste of time anyway.There is no guaranteed aiming system - so sometimes we have to make a best guess, pull the trigger correctly, and hope for the best. I know many pros who have done this to great effect when they are not sure of an angle, or are under great pressure.I think a lot of club players want to know they are aiming correctly 'because then I will know I can cue straight' - but if your ability to deliver the cue straight is confidence-dependent then it will be inconsistent anyway, so you won't be able to deliver straight even when you need it. The above all assumes that a players eye position (and 'vision centre') above the cue is correct. 90% of all players fall into this correctly naturally as the brain knows instinctively where to place both our 'cameras' above the cue.Of the remaining 10%:-A few are in the wrong physical position at the table for them to get into the vision centre, which can be corrected easily.-A few naturally fall into the wrong position.-Most are confused by getting over involved in too many aiming theories, or taking on board the most damaging and misleading myth in all of cue sports - the 'Dominant Eye Theory'. This is another topic entirely but simply states (WRONGLY) that we should do the 'eye dominance' test by putting our finger in front of a block of chalk, and then cue completely under that eye. I think I am going to go on a crusade against this misinformation because, while it may be coincidentally correct for a small minority, this causes more misery to players than anything else. Rant over!