When I was twelve my parents bought me a five-foot snooker table for my birthday. This turned out to be the best present I was ever bought and I quickly became hooked on the game. My friends would regularly come round to my house for a game and when they were not there I would practice on my own.
After a few months, a few of us decided to join a snooker club where we could play on full-size tables. I was amazed the first time I saw one of these tables at its sheer size, it was twelve foot by six foot. We started to play and it was much more difficult to pot the balls on this much larger table.
The club itself was superb and had free coaching for children under the age of sixteen on a Saturday morning. The coach was called Glen who was aged around thirty at the time. He was larger than life character and a very good snooker player. We were encouraged to join this free coaching which we duly did. There was regular tournaments as well as coaching and they gave us free drinks and toast.
All of the players were not exactly the best in the world being so young and not one of us had ever had a twenty break. This was the first goal of all of us, to become the first player to reach this target. I was extremely determined that it would be me and listened carefully to what I was being taught and tried hard to implement it.
My progress was quite rapid and to my amazement, I was the first person to score that elusive twenty break. People around the snooker table I was playing on started to applaud and I was walking around with a beaming smile on my face.
Glen who was on the other side of the room wondered over to find out what all of the noise was about. I thought he would be so proud of me and happy at my achievement, however, he stated that if I could score twenty, I could score thirty. He told me to stop messing about and smiling, and to re-concentrate on the job in hand.
I had been brought straight back down to earth and was a bit gutted, to say the least. This lesson was a very good one for me to learn at such an early age and I eventually went on to have breaks of over one hundred.