My Snooker Coaching Background

Snooker Town doubles winners

Learning the game

When I was 11 or 12 I was given a small snooker table for Christmas. I played all the time and arranged tournaments between my brother and our next door neighbours. When I was 16 we went on holiday and I got the chance to play on a full sized table for the first time. I was immediately hooked.

I joined a local snooker club and played as much as possible. I was soon making regular 50 breaks and was one of the better players in the club. I even started my own league team with my brother and a friend and we were division champions in our first season.

In my late teens my game stopped improving. I played less and my technique was poor because of my lack of coaching. I decided I needed a more consistent cueing action so I read all I could about the game and started to practice more.

I made my first century and continued to improve. I also began helping other club members who were asking me about their cueing. I won the town doubles with my brother and reached the town semi finals 4 times. I started to make regular century breaks and even came close to a maximum before I missed the 14th red!

However in 2007 I became a father. I had to cut down on my practice although I still played in the league. I managed to win the doubles again and I even reached a town final but without the practice my game suffered. I also struggled with my health and I now find it difficult to even hold a cue properly. Despite this I still enjoy the game.

WPBSA coaching certificate

Starting coaching

In 2007 when my daughter was born my wife and I decided it would be better financially if I stayed at home with the children. As a result if I was to get any kind of work it needed to be flexible so that I could work out around my family.

I visited the job centre and they suggested that if I knew about snooker and people were asking me for help then why didn't I get paid for it? I hadn't thought of becoming a snooker coach before. I decided to start up properly so I went to the WPBSA and passed their course in snooker coaching.

Since then I have also passed the advanced course run by Terry Griffiths, former world snooker champion. I have also passed the EASB course run by Nic Barrow. Nic has coached many of the world's top players and has coached players throughout the world.

Up to September 2017 I have coached approximately 400 players. They have varied from beginner to professional and from young to old. I still enjoy coaching and I'm sure I will continue to enjoy it.

Gavin coaching

Professional Coaching

I started offering snooker coaching  in 2007. I was a very inexperienced coach back then but I still helped many players. I remember helping an elderly man of about 80. He had been playing for 50 years on and off and had never cleared the colours from their spots. We managed it in 2 lessons!

I also gave snooker coaching lessons to a young amateur at around this time. We worked together for about 2 years. He later became very good and came close to turning professional. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

In 2010 I began a junior club at my local snooker club for youngsters wishing to play. A few of the youngsters are now at century break standard. I even helped them form a league team and they soon got promoted.

I also organised a monthly handicap tournament so everyone had a chance to take part in some friendly competition. I ran it for about 4 years and we had a whole host of different winners. Local professional, Kyren Wilson won it on a few occasions.

I have also taken part in Cue Zone. This is the area at BBC tournaments where the public have a chance to play and have a go at some challenges. I worked at the world championships and the champion of champions events.

In 2014 my family and I moved to Tianjin, China. I worked as a coach and lecturer at their snooker academy in Beijing. I spent 9 months coaching groups of young Chinese players. I also toured the country giving talks to newly qualified coaches.

In the summer of 2015 we returned to the UK. I took a break from running clubs and tournaments and concentrated on my one to one coaching. I have continued to learn and I am still learning new coaching skills and methods.

In the next few months I plan to restart junior coaching and I also plan to pass further coaching qualifications. This will help my clients to improve even faster.