Snooker 147 Academy

Charles Poole, 1988



There is no shot that a professional can play that you can’t. Provided you know how. The difference is that, if you’re to pot blue off its spot with the white in the D, the pro will expect to do it 19 times out of 20. The average for most amateurs would be six or seven times, or less. Why? It is because the pros have got their basics right. And when things begin to go wrong, they go back and check the basics.

Over the last 60 or 70 years, dozens of books have been published under the names of our leading billiards and snooker players. Most have at least one chapter on cue action and stance – and virtually all of them agree on the same principles.

I would imagine that most people who play snooker at all seriously have read at least one of these books. However, as I travel round the world, watching the top amateurs and club players, I am surprised that so few of them have used the advice and picked up really good cue actions. They lift their heads, they lift their cues, they persist with dog-leg cueing, they let their eyes bounce all over the place. The result is that they don’t have a cat in hell’s chance of becoming a professional.

Now, I realize that it’s not everyone’s ambition to be a top professional. Most of us have other jobs, or have realized that we don’t have the time or the dedication, or we didn’t decide early enough in life to take up snooker seriously. But I am sure that all players would like to find and attain their full potential. We all want to play consistently at the level that we can only reach occasionally now. With a little thought and work, this can happen – and more easily than you think.

Who is at fault in this business of poor cue actions? The players who can’t be bothered to take notice? Or the authors for not putting over well enough the vital importance of the methods?

I have discussed this with may players and have don a lot of reaserch on these books and found them both to blame. However, most of the fault is with the authors for not putting across strongly enough the importance of the stance and cue action.

We are not going to devote three-quarters of this book to the basics. We call it a Masterclass, and can promise you that we are not here to teach grandmothers to suck eggs. But, so that you can judge how far down the ‘advanced’ road you are, let’s run through a checklist of the points in your action. Without these, none of the information will mean a thing, and you’re not really ready to advance. If you’re going to flick through this introduction, thinking you know it all, you might as well throw this book away.


Your stance depends on whether you are tall, short, slim or weighty. It is impossible to give a hard and fast rule about the way to stand. Put your feet where they feel comfortable. Don’t try to contort yourself into a style that you’ve read about in a textbook, or have seen a successful pro use. Stance is a personal thing, and all that Messrs Tall, Short, Slim or Weighty should have in common is that when they are don on the shot they must be completely comfortable and at ease. You should not feel strain on any part of the body, ad the legs and body must be perfectly still and balanced as you play the shot. If you feel awkward, move until you feel at ease. Get a friend to check whether anything other than your cue arm moves as you strike. If is does, make n effort to immobilize it. Get this right, and the stance you have is the right stance for you.

-----------------To be continued------------------coming soon---------------