Friday, July 3, 2015

Successful Snooker - Steve Davis

To get any real benefit out of this book, you must be
serious about playing snooker and want to improve
your game. It took years of dedication and practice to
reach the standards of accuracy and consistency that
helped make me a world champion. If you want to be
successful at snooker, you should be aiming for this
high standard. But winners aren't made overnight.
This is an instructional book, but I am not claiming
that my way is the only way to play. One thing I do
know, however, is that it works for me. I have tried,
in the book, to show you how important the basic
techniques are in building up your game; and I believe
these cannot be stressed enough. Everyone will develop
a certain style of his or her own. Some people are
lucky and fall naturally into a good style; others have
to work hard to perfect one. But the principles of
technique remain the same. If you cannot grasp and
execute these, you will in my opinion be making the
task of improving your play that much harder.
Casual reference to the book will, of course, give
you an insight into the game and how it should be
played. But only with total dedication will you ever
show any marked improvement or achieve any success
in competitions. The main purpose of the book is to
help you improve the accuracy and consistency of
your cue delivery. After all, the game is basically about
hitting the ball straight.
To get the right stance and cue action, you have to
go right back to the beginning. You will have a better
chance of starting again if you haven't got too far with
your game. The longer you have been playing, the
harder it will be to get rid of the bad habits and develop
good ones.
I am considered to have the best cue action of all
the modern day players. But if you look around you
will see that no player has exactly the same style and
it's not imperative for you to develop an action
identical to mine. To a degree it is bound to depend
on your build – whether you are tall or short, have
large or small hands or a long or short reach, for
example. But I believe everyone, no matter who he is,
would be a better player if he had a perfect cue action.
I spent a lot of time working on my game, analysing
every aspect of it. I don't agree with those who
say you can analyse all the natural ability out of
yourself. Take golfers, for example. Even the best
players will go back to basic techniques when things
start to go wrong. I believe snooker players should
adopt the same approach.
I was technically-minded from a very early stage
because I wanted to make sure everything about my
game was correct. And one of the secrets of being a
good player is to know when things are going wrong
and why. There is no point in wasting time in bad
form. Because I know exactly how I play, if I go off
form at all – which everyone does from time to time –
I can quickly work out what is wrong and correct it.
It's like knowing how your car runs. If you don't, it
can take you a long time to realise something is wrong
and trace the fault. Even worse, you may start to adapt
to the fault and make adjustments to compensate.
Just reading the book won't make you a better
player. You must practise the various points until they
become second nature to you. And even when
think you have got on top of them and your game
starts to improve (and with the right attitude it
should), don't ignore them. From time to time it is
worth forgetting about your overall game and going
back to basics.
More important than anything else, practice must
be fun. If you can't enjoy it, you will soon get bored
with it – and inevitably your game will suffer. It
always helps to have someone else interested enough
to help you and tell you where you are going wrong,
since a lot of faults you can't see yourself. I was
fortunate that my father took such a big interest in
how I played. His help was invaluable.
Enjoyment of the game is crucial, since the chances
of improving are minimal once you've stopped this:
How much your game improves will depend on how
much you fall in love with snooker. And you will only
find this out by how much you are prepared to put 7
into it, which brings us back to groundwork. Get this
right at an early stage and it will pay dividends in the
long run. Certainly mastering basics is the quickest
way I know of making the most of your natural ability
and becoming a better player.
Work hard at the techniques and eventually you
won't have to think about them. They will come
naturally. Make everything a habit. Any habit is
hard to get out of, so by making all your habits good
ones you'll be increasing your chances of success. This
is particularly true when you find yourself under
pressure, since you will naturally tend to revert to
your habits in that situation.
If could spend as much time with you individually
as I hope you will with my book, I would guarantee
your play would improve. As it is, this book will
show you how I play and what I have learnt about the
game; every paragraph is an important part of the
technique. Don't just read it once and leave it. Use
it constantly as a reference.

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