Everyone who has ever tried playing snooker will tell you its a difficult game for lots of different reasons but the question everybody wants to know is, why is snooker so hard to play?
When we look at professionals on the television, snooker appears to be quite easy at first glance, but it must be remembered that these guys have been playing and practicing 5/6 hours each and every day since a very young age.
Why is snooker so hard? Well it requires a few different things to work together and in coordination for things to gel properly. Firstly, the technical side of the game, which entails the things we control physically such as our stance, cue action, approach to the shot and so on. These are things anyone can learn, and with time and proper practice anybody can master these techniques.
But snooker is not just about the physical technique. Actually i would estimate that it accounts for about 40% of the overall approach to the game. The other 60% comes from the players mental ability to play snooker properly.
So again we ask, why is snooker so hard? Well the real answer to that question is simple. Because for most of us, our brains are unable to get everything working properly together at one moment. When you think about it, to pot a ball in snooker without fluking it, you have to vision the shot up with your eyes, bend down and line the cue up with the white so its pointing in the correct direction, apply a nice cue action and follow through all whilst not moving your head or any other body part.
And i’m not even taking into consideration emotional factors such as being nervous, angry, happy etc which can effect the shot!!
So now think about why is snooker so hard? For most of us, one or more of these things is going to be wrong unless we are on good form. But our brains are muscles and we can teach our brains how to make all of these things work together.
I’m sure most of you have seen a professional in a big match situation where the player misses a simple ball. Its not because he technique was wrong!!! More than likely it was his brain that was out of focus and therefore filtered down to his technique which made him miss.
Sometimes new players struggle to see the correct angles and their techniques are not quite right, but those things can be taught over time to give the player the best chance to perform well at the sport, however, training our brains is the difficult part which takes far more time to get right.
Snooker can seem very simple some days and then again extremely difficult the next day. Ask yourself whats different today than the last day? Try to find something that’s not quite right and try fix it.
A player might regularly get breaks of 40’s/50’s but struggle to go beyond that. Its not because the player doesn’t have the ability, its down to the fact that the players mental thinking is slightly out of alignment. But these things can be improved on.
In my next article on this subject, i will be talking about ways to improve your thinking when it comes to snooker and will give ideas on how to improve your mental approach to the game.