Hello, Alan! I am Vitaly, one of the snooker fans from Minsk. First of all, let me thank you for making yourself available to our forum and exposing us to the important aspects of the game we have come to love. It is a privilege to take tips and pointers from someone of your stature.
I am 32, play snooker for three years (with no previous billiards background) and from what I can figure from your previous posts, I am way beyond the point where any plausible plans of making it to the top can be made. It sounds discouraging but I guess I have to accept it and set the bar lower. I am one of the lucky local players who took a snooker coaching course facilitated by Sergey who you taught to become a pro coach. I must say that you did a terrific job because Sergey is very confident and proficient at coaching. He opened my eyes to many points of the game I had never imagined as being of any value. It also created a few problems: with the realization of how much there is to this seemingly simple game slowly came the understanding that it can only go as far as a hobby to you. Even though I think I practice and play enough for an amateur (from 5 to 20 hours a week) I make little headway. For example, with the black ball on-spot routine I never got any higher than 11 successive pots remembering that your personal record is 167 or something. I did manage to improve my highest peer-match break though, bringing it to 35 which hardly qualifies for an achievement. The problem is I am unable to translate massive theoretical knowledge I have gained from the course and watching video tutorials into everyday practice and competitive match play. I find it frustrating but am plugging along.
I have a couple of practical questions. I am a left-eye sighter, so maybe there are things I need to know and integrate into my play up front to avoid crucial mistakes. For example, Terry Griffiths in his video suggests that players with the right master eye tend to adopt the traditional square-on stance while those who sight with their left eye are better off placing their left foot in front of the right. What do you think?
The second question is about effective wrist action, the so-called 'snoop shot', as we were told. From observing myself, I have noticed that if the distance between the cue ball and the target ball is short (up to 15''), I seem to do fine. When this distance increases, a critical error occurs sending the cue offline, ruing the cue action and leading to a missing pot. Long pots with the snoop shot are out of the question for me. So my question is do you apply this wrist action for all the shots you play or selectively, to serve some specific purpose, like giving an extra spin for a screw back or the sort. And what would you recommend to do to particularly improve the wrist action?
What do you think about Dave Harold's and the likes' stance where they assume the address position and stand perfectly still with no preliminary feathering before thrusting their cue forward through the cue ball?
Can you also share with me what exactly is happening in your mind before each shot? I know there should be a consistent shot assessment routine, but I fear I miss something.
I guess that's all for me for starters. Looking forward to your replies. Thanks a lot in advance.