Hello everybody after a little break, in today’s programme I will show you some basic ways to properly learn to pot and remember the angles Dear all, I am often asked about how to properly pot balls in snooker, angle-wise so we’ll have to go back to the basics however, today’s knowledge will surely come in handy in the near future so we’ll approach this lesson as if we’re holding the cue for the very first time we are obviously starting with a straight pot as it’s the easiest one that’s because aiming line goes exactly through the centre of both balls it’s the easiest shot, but counterintuitively, it’s the shot usually most feared by the players now, what should we do when having a shot with an angle like those? there are three ways to do it, and I will be concentrating on one of those firstly, we can discuss the first two ways first way requires us to know nomenclature like: full ball – straight shot 3/4 contact half ball and 1/4 ball contact of course you could even put 1/8 and 1/16 contact there, but let’s forget about it! Who could possibly, during the game, organoleptically, assess this. It’s too dificult and not useful. It’s just to begin to discuss what it looks like. Second way: it’s using the virtual cue ball that is touching with our object ball come on and see what it looks like from my perpective look, here we have just a little bit of an angle, I would say it’s like 1/8 contact, more or less, but as said earlier, let’s forget about that way of thinking, our goal is to pot the red ball into the center of the middle pocket cue ball has to pan towards the red we need to hit the red precisely in one particular point in order to pot the red now it looks like this: we should imagine that virtual cue ball touching the red, so we point the red directly to the pocket, we can say it’s a plant. After visualising that, we have to aim at the virtual cue ball exactly full ball, it’s like a straight shot, so the line of the shot goes through those two white balls, up to this point. Now this ball disappears of course and we proceed playing the shot. Now I’m aiming full ball at the white ball, that white disappears from our imagination, pause As you could see, this second way is surely more helpful than the first one. We can observe this when ball is difficult to pot or the match situation is stress-inducing, even while watching professionals playing, in that case the angle might be far more difficult because of the distance between balls, players might go down the table and look at the shot from the object ball’s perspective, programming the goal in mind, obviously not visualising the virtual cue ball anymore because our mind does that in a blink of an eye, and not ever taking the eyes off that point on the object ball, moves and goes down on the line and plays the shot, that’s the way it goes sometimes. The third way is one in which our hippocampus takes part. Thanks to the process of consolidation – so preservation of the aquired information, both motor and mnemonic, we are able to use it to learn the best way. Dear all, it’s done like that. We have to set some angles up, starting from the basic first three, excluding the straight shot, and e.g. from this particular angle we have to pot, say, 20 or 30 ball during practice We go down on a shot, and no matter if we pot the ball or not we proceed with yet another try. Should you make a mistake, don’t worry and keep on potting. Finally we are going to programme the right angle in our mind. Practice looks like this: from each angle we pot for instance 20 balls. Obviously you should practise both sides and another angle as well because we always want to train both sides with the same number of shots. No doubt it looks toilsome, but there is no better way for begginers and intermediate players. It’s crucial to understand that if someone does not pot the ball from this angle, and his mistakes are not consistent in their nature, then with 99% chance, the error is caused by our brain not knowing the right angle. Then we might confuse some angles. However if we do pot balls, but just not in the middle of the pocket, this might mean that our knowledge of angles is not yet grounded, or that we are making an error of technical nature. You need to remember that if you play and miss by 10, 20, 50 cm, from the same position – this surely means you are not familiar with them angles. If, from this position, I am not scoring at least 9/10 or 10/10, then it’s clear I don’t know the angle. If you score lower it’s important to train your brain with those angles. Because, I repeat, there is no better way to learn. Even though it’s labour-consuming, it’s worth it to come to the club, and do it from both angles and both sides of the table as well! From time to time it’s great to also train this by playing the cue ball from the cushion, then we are able to set up more angles because of the longer distance, so not only we are improving angle-wise, but also we train ourselves to play in a little stress-inducing situation, because the cushion makes the shot more difficult. We simply try to gentle that shot. While playing this particular shot during practice match or tournament match, we are not going to panic, or lose the aiming line while forming the correct bridgehand. We are going to do it automatically One tip, because you know well that in snooker you should mostly use your brain, if we play from the wider angle and cue ball has to run away somewhere, to not let it run away too far we can use one thing – balls tray, we put it gently on the table, and look when I play, the cue ball comes back to me and I don’t have to chase it down the whole table. I just set up another shot and slowly programme the angle in my brain. It’s the best way to learn and train our brain the angles, because those several basic angles that we will have trained, then our brain will be able to adjust and in a short moment find the right angle, obviously remember that in the beginning you may feel a little discomfort training the angles, let’s say you properly train them today for 2 or 3 hours, tomorrow or day after you may be a little out of adjustment and play a bit worse, but don’t worry as it’s perfectly natural. This knowledge just needs to get right on hard drive, and I know from experience that it usually takes from 1 week to 2 weeks, for all that data to format, and suddenly you come to the table and see all the angles correctly! Then obviously your scoring improves highly. So, go on and practice, I wish you a lot of luck!