Wednesday, 11 September 2013

2014 Season

Going to do a little more work on the blog this year to mark further progress in the sport. I will record all of my games here for a bit of fun and see if any improvement happen.

Monday, 4 March 2013

End of season

Virtually at the end of the season now and am very pleased with the way things have been going. In the Bury league have had breaks of 53*,47,41,35,34,33,31,30,30. In the Oldham league had breaks of 70,54 and dozens of mid 30's and 40's Huddersfield league only played 3 games and had a 51*, 40,28 So that was ok. In my snooker played well and had a 103 break the first one in 20 years. I have lost a few games but have been hammered on my handicap in every league. Minus 70 in the oldham league - 34 in Bury league and -43 in the Rochdale league. Not played much in the Rochdale league but had a few decent mid 40 breaks in the few I have played, beat Trevor Smith a couple of times, not been selected to play so decided not to bother I didn't like travelling 40miles to be told I was dropped. Managed to qualify for the last 16 in the last EBSS event which was also a first. So the effort at improving my cue action was a great success looks like John Ingleby knows his stuff. My touch on the ball is much better although I do still grip the cue and revert back to my bad habits from time to time. Hopefully I can improve on that this summer if he's free. I think the difference from last year is simply staggering.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Season So far

The season seems to be well underway in all the leagues I have played in.

In the Bury league I have played reasonably well despite the poor table. Won 4 lost 2 and had a few mid 20, a couple of 30's and a 47. o thats not to bad. Im striking the Ball very well and as the season progresses I seem to be getting more side on and an a pretty decent follow through.

I certainl;y still grip the cue when trying to pot long straight balls but I can work on that with John Inglby.

In the Oldham League I have played really well Played 4 won 4. Thats off minus 70 handicap. The reason I think I have played well is that I have to play till 150 so I must score 220 to win which give me plenty of time to get a break or two in. I have scored 6 mid 30 breaks, a 41 and a 52 in 4 games so Im please with that start.

In the Huddersfield League I have only played one game as I am a reserve but managed a 51unfinished.

In the Rochdale league I have had a strange start won my first 3 then lost my next 3, they have some very dubious handicaps for players who are capable of knocking in decent breaks by potting. Has a 48 in the knockout and a 41 in the league. Reasonable start but could be better.

The work me and John put in over the summer has certainly paid off, I feel like a different player. I still have the odd bad game but mostly its an upwards curve.

Monday, 3 September 2012


Had another session with John before he went away, we practised shot selection and continual nagging to follow through on my shots. It does see to be working The continual repetition is essential to break my bad habits of all these years. I seem to follow through on certain shots more than others which is very frustrating as I know what I want to achieve but seem to fail on lots of shots.

That said when I do get it right it makes a huge difference to the shot, Just lately I have been playing pretty well my potting is back to a decent standard for me and this is showing in an increase in my breaks and average.

I played Alan from the Oldham league last week and managed to get three 50 breaks in 3 hours. This may not seem at lot to some but was pretty impressive for my standard and two of the 50's were back to back. The following week I finally managed to get a game in with Wayne Holbrook we both played absolutely rubbish his highest break was 35 mine about 27 in three hours play. I was really disappointed as I felt really good.

Last Friday I managed another game with Alan Brereton from Oldham, He played very well and have a couple of decent breaks against me, 40 and 48 and I continued to play average until the last game where I managed to hit a 64 which was my only break over 25 in 600points, really strange that but I still felt I was playing well and was just missing shots by a fraction or knocking in my opponents ball by mistake.

Overall I'm pleased I cant wait for the season to start I played well last year so I am hoping to do a lot better this year.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Coaching Session 5

Had a practice with Tony Cook over in Chester and saw Harry Wah. He seems in good health. I played quite well but was playing with my spare cue. I was quite happy got a couple of 30's. On the Tuesday went to Johns for another session we played with the 360 cue and I did very well I hardly miscued and we carried on with revising my grip and follow through. I played OK in our match and I am finally beginning to feel the shots.

This concept of feel is quite hard to describe but it is the sensation of the cue in the hand when it strikes the ball. As I am trying not to grip the cue at all how can I 'feel' the shot. Well after gripping the cue with an iron grip for so many years its hard to describe it. You will just have to experience it for yourself. I am getting quite excited about the new season this work really is beginning to pay off with my cue control and potting improving every game now. I am reverting less and less to my old habits.

I went for a game in Rochdale against Mike one of the league players. He is an average player who hits the ball hard which is a shame as he can actually play a decent game if he lets himself. Having played him before I absolutely took him to the cleaners. In a league match I would have to give him 30 points but every game I was taking him by 50-80 points in 125 up. I'm on -25. This is the first time I have really got my cue action into gear whilst playing a match and the difference is staggering. I was playing run through shots along the rail which seemed really easy. I got several long and short jennys and got to the top of the table loads of times and scored really consistently.

My high break was only 28 or 29, but I was scoring 20 virtually every visit. In one game I ran the 125 in 6 visits which for me was brilliant. I looked back at the games which were only practice but I can finally see the  advantages of the follow through to my game. I need lots more practice and I have a long way to go but I feel my game has taken another bit leap here. My drop cannons were superb and I played some great thin shots which I had been practicing. Overall a great night. I need to work on my drag shots next.

I had to miss my session with John this week due to other commitments but hopefully when he gets back off his holidays we can carry on.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Coaching Session 4

When over to John Inglbys on Wednesday due to work issues. We had a great session I played for half an hour with his 360 cue and managed to play much better. John has me playing myself and if I miscue he deducts ten point. I managed in 30 minutes to score in positive figures of 23 and scratch so that's a pretty big improvement over just a week ago. Just to remind you all the cue has a spring which bends if you fail to cue straight. very weird but it works.

We spend nearly an hour playing thin shots, This was extremely interesting and very difficult to do. I realised I had actually been avoiding certain shots as I felt they were rather difficult hitting them thin (and I mean really thin).

I felt I did ok and after when we played I actually attempted some of these in my match which worked really well.

One interesting shot was placing the red on the blue spot and the white on the yellow spot and going inoff in the diagonal bottom pocket. This has to be wafer thin. I thought it could not be done but it was listed in Riso levis book. I tried this for 10minutes and got close to the pocket but overall was still to thick. Then all of a sudden I hit the shot really thin and the ball when straight in the bottom pocket and the red moved 20 cms.

I still cant believe the shot was on. As good night certainly learn a lot tonight there is so much more to this game than meets the eye. Got some really interesting practice routines to try out.

Forgotten photo Bury League

Forgot to add the Photo of me being presented with the Bury Leagues Individual Cup Winners Trophy by Rob Hall on his exhibition night. Felt quite special getting it presented by Rob. Thanks to John Inglby for the engraving.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Rochdale League

Went over to the Queensway club in Rochdale as I am thinking of playing in the Rochdale Ormes League next year. They have 7 teams playing on a Wednesday and they needed to register me and give me a handicap for the start of the season. I went over to play Mike off the team and we played off his handicap which is basically 125 Up. I hammered him 4 or 5 times. No Big Breaks but a couple in the 30's and a few high twenty breaks.

There are other players on much lower handicaps so I will have to see how it goes they usually put people in on scratch as a new player I think we agreed I am better than that so -20. I played well my cue action is defiantly better much smoother and more follow through, I still have the habit of reverting to my previous one but only practice will get rid of that.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Third Lesson

My next lesson at Johns began as we left off last time with the 360 degree cue. I had managed a practice on the previous evening and felt my cue was following through quite well. The first session was playing 50 up with the cue against myself , this went OK and I only missed the shot a few times which was a big improvement. I was still managing a few decent shots and only missed the power shots.

We tried a few run through shots along the cushion which do seem a lot simpler to play and playing them slowly allowed a greater control over the shot. Still  not quite happy with the follow through but I certainly am now beginning to FEEL the shot, before I was simply hitting the ball now there is a feel to the shot which in turn seems to give more control.

We tried some relaxation techniques using the NLT tapping techniques John had show me before. This certainly help relax and dissipate the negative feelings I had over the cue action changes. It also brought up a section which stuck in my mind. That Snooker and billiards requires a relaxed body but a concentrated mind. This is really true and is something I must master.

We had a game afterwards and I seemed to be playing pretty well, it is hard work but I can certainly feel the benefit of playing a better stoke. I must concentrate on position of body. The pause and gentle acceleration of the cue through the ball also my eye focus position needs a little extra work.

Going to arrange a match this week and and see how I play against someone else.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Second Cue Action Lesson

Over to Huddersfield again to John Inglebys, felt good tonight but was soon brought crashing down by John. He produced his 360 degree Cue out which has a spring in the but which breaks if the the user pushes down or across the shot.

I have mentioned this on a previous post see 'Gravity Cue' on the internet.

An hour and half half hitting the same shot, time and time again. I did manage to get the grip right but only 50% of the time. The rest you simply miss the ball. I was basically exerting down force on the butt of the cue. But 40 years of Bad practice is hard to correct. I will simply have to practice more and more. It was also clear that my stance was still not right I needed at little more weight on my front arm which released my cue a little.

After 2 hours my follow through was generally quite good and I was putting in 4-5inches, 12-15cm on most shots. John felt this was reasonable  and would help my billiards. It certainly helps on run losers along the cushion they seems so easy as the side really takes.

We also had a session of relaxation tapping and meditation this certainly helped me as I settled down with the cue and got several really good pots down the table.

I am quite pleased with the results so far, its a really scary thing changing your action as you know it ruins your game. But this is a temporary thing and the future goal it to take me to the next level in Billiards. I am hoping to improve my snooker as well. After winning the police billiards tournament last year my new aim is to win the Retired Snooker this year, is very competitive but no pain no gain.