A Rough Guide to Snooker Coaching
by Willie Pottit-Noeseffinuseless

Copyright Dark Horse Publications 1999

Do you want to know the secrets of coaching snooker? You do? Well don't read this! The following is definitely how not to go about it, and any opinions expressed are Willie's, not my own. If you do happen to like this, then it's by the same author (perhaps a slightly different tone) as the other books on this site. The whole of the text of this book should be ready in a while. Watch this site for details. If you don't like it, thanks for your visit, but please look at the rest of the site before you go! I shall be adding more to this series, but may remove previous excerpts.

Lesson 1 Basics

You must imagine that I am now addressing one of the young players at my snooker Club. He's not very good, he's 12 and he made a century last week. He's obviously in need of a good kick up the jaxi to get his game sorted out!... No, I'm joking really. He can hardly hit the ball, as you are about to find out. But I'd better be kind to him, I suppose. A snooker coach must be patient, tolerant, tactful, courteous and, above all, encouraging. That lets me out! But here goes...

Hello, Paste Features, you need to get out in the sun. Too much trying to play snooker, probably. So you decided to give my coaching sessions a try did you? Well, you're more in need of it than most, from what I've seen. Sorry, I didn't mean that. Have you got your cue out? No, well you'd better get it out, hadn't you? Hell, that's a fancy case, my mother never bought me anything like that... Paid for it from your paper round, eh? I thought that was illegal at your age. Damned newsagents, exploiting you kids. What do they pay you, 50p an hour? Suppose you're half asleep at school too, getting up at six o'clock in the morning. Come on, get that cue out. What'd you lock it for, anyway? Any bastard could break into that. Did you know that I could open that case with my suitcase key? In fact I have... no, I didn't mean that. What do you keep all that stuff, chalk, file, sandpaper, condoms, talcum powder... Talcum powder? What's a little kid like you doing with that? And what's that piece of boxer shorts doing in there? Oh, that's your cue-cloth, is it? Hope your Mummy washed it first! You don't need to go around with no pants on, you know, you can get a proper cloth easily. All you've got to do is get Dad to go down the pub and nick one of those beer cloths off the bar when the landlord isn't looking. They're ideal.. Of course, I've never done that - I bought a real one, but it cost me about eight quid. Eight quid, just 'cos it's got a set of snooker balls printed on it! Now let's see, imagine they cost 20p each, what percentage ...? Anyway, much more of that stuff and you won't be able to get your cue in there... What am I saying, no, I never touched your case!

Well, now that you've finally got your cue in your hand, (Hey, come on, put that away, that's too short for a snooker cue - too short for anything really) - sorry, I didn't realize you wanted a pee, I just kind of assumed you would go outside for that... Oh, I see, yes, there is a hole in the corner isn't there? I once heard that actor fellow, John Mills, say in a film: (broad Yorkshire accent) "He treated this place like it were a public convenience", but I never thought it would come true! Must block that hole up as well. Yes, the Morning News will do. No, not today's, you fool, I haven't done the word puzzle yet. Got to find something to do, there's never anyone to play around here... There, that's stopped it up till the next shower. That'll probably be in the next five minutes, knowing this place. I wouldn't say we've got a damp climate, but they get less rain in India in the monsoon season! I was playing the other day, you know, and a mouse ran out of one of those holes and stopped right in front of me. Must have got fed up with getting wet down there! I didn't have time to squash it, though, it ran off too quick.What the hell do you mean, animal cruelty? I'd have beaten the crap out of the bloody thing if I could've moved my cue in time. He's got no right in here, he's not a member! Must be all those half-eaten packets of crisps and sweets you lot leave on the floor. Still, he can't get out of his hole, now, somebody knocked a ball down it the other day... Must get that out sometime, it was the black and we couldn't finish the match. I'm not conceding any more matches because of that... What do you mean, there's lots of holes? This place is a palace compared to that shithole you live in. What's that, Palace Cinema? - that place was condemned as unfit for human consumption or something - oh, yes, I see what you mean.

By the way, if you can't get into the snooker room anytime ... (well, we had to lock it, some fool chucked a bucket of water over the table). Why? I dunno, perhaps it was too fast or something. But then, it's not the kind of thing you'd find in 'Care and Maintenance of a Snooker Table' by Riley Leisure, is it?: "If your table is too fast, just chuck a bucket of water over it. That should do the trick. This may have to be repeated every few days if the weather is hot." I just can't understand how they did that. I mean: "Did they use a plastic bucket or a metal bucket? And where did they get the water? There's no running water in here. That tap ain't worked for years!" Perhaps somebody had a grudge against me, but I can't see why. I'm so nice I never fall out with people, unless they don't agree with me, or keep interrupting me, or can't play snooker, or are ignorant little twits like you... Anyway, if the door's locked, I can only suggest that you go and try some things out on another table - no, not Mother's kitchen table, you idiot. My mate John tried it on a kitchen table - (snooker, of course, what did you think I meant?) His nice lady neighbour looked through the window and thought he was crackers! Come to think of it, what did he use for balls... No, there's no need for that - snooker balls, I meant. Trouble was the balls kept falling off the edge.... Well, how was he to know he should have put books around it for cushions? Come to think of it, I wondered why there was a hole in his kitchen window...

Now then, when you've finally stopped talking, let's start with the stance, and don't copy me! I only coach this game, you didn't think I could play it, just because I've been playing for thirty years, did you? Right foot pointing down the line of the shot, right leg straight. This assumes you're right handed. Left-handers, otherwise affectionately known as cackhanders, (awkward bastards) do the reverse. It's no good being a left-hander, is it? I mean, they can never play that pot down the left cushion without using the rest. Funny thing is, they can reach the other side better than me... Hmmm...Now lean forward over the table and bend your left leg... Got it? I said bend your left leg! Well, how was I to know you don't know left from right, I just kind of assumed that... Don't they teach that at school anymore? Here, let me put your leg in the right position... What's that? That's not your leg. What do you mean? I'm not feeling you up. Oops, perhaps I was. Well, anybody can make a mistake, can't they? Oh, you enjoyed it, did you? Hmmm....

Anyway, before I get too carried away, if you watch that player on T.V. - I dunno, Queen or something - you must be wondering what all this fuss is about stance - both legs bent, looks like he's shit himself! Still pots like hell sometimes, though. But come to think of it, perhaps it's better if you get a good snooker coaching video for this bit, or watch some good players on the telly. Even some of them look a bit odd, I can't see how they get in that position. Hope they don't walk like that outside! Yes, a video is probably best. Well, you didn't actually think I could teach you, did you? Okay, I suppose I did give that impression in the notice I put up, yes, you're right. Now, to paraphrase the words of 'Watch With Mother', if you're standing comfortably, I'll begin. Even you should be able to identify with that programme, I should think. Oh, it's not on anymore? Always the same, getting rid of the best programmes. Now that stupid Telebubbles thing...Stinky Pinky, Lala, Po...Now, let me see, what was the other one called again...? No, I don't watch it, shut up! Pity about the Magic Roundabout, though..Ermintrude (she was lovely, even if she was a cow... and Florence, and Zebedee with that bloody spring thing... No, the only reason I watched that, of course, was that it was on just before the Six O'clock News. Yes, I know you never watch the boring old News...that's why you don't know nuffin, init? Well, I always turn on a few minutes early and while you're waiting you get kind of involved, don't you... Anyway, if you're standing comfortably... So, you're bloody uncomfortable, are you? Well, tough shit! You'll just have to put up with it until you can make a twenty break. Yes, by the year 2010 you should just about be getting used to it ...

Read some more of this crap? You must be joking!

Did you like it? I shall be producing it in book form soon. Please

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