Oliver Lines has enlisted the help of coach Chris Henry as he bids to add a cutting edge to his game for the 2019/20 campaign.
The Yorkshire cueist is in the second year of his current tour card and has work to do to solidify his place on the circuit, currently occupying 78th position in the world rankings.
24-year-old Lines’ best showing so far on the professional tour saw him reach the last 16 of the 2016 UK Championship. During that week he overcame close friend Judd Trump 6-2 in an impressive victory.
However, Lines has struggled to consistently produce showings of that standard. New coach Henry is an expert in the psychological aspects of sport and has worked with the likes of Stephen Hendry and Shaun Murphy. Lines hopes that Henry can help him to up his mentality for the big matches.
Lines said: “I’ve started working with Chris and I’m feeling confident. I’ve been practising really hard. This is the first time I’ve ever had a coach other than my dad. I’m excited to see what happens and how it all pans out. Chris has already worked with Matt Selt and it was Matt who recommended it. Matt is a good mate of our family so I have trusted him on this one.
“It’s been mainly psychological stuff that we have been doing. Chris is trying to work on my confidence and my self-belief. They are things I have struggled with in the last few years. I am hoping things are going to start getting better now.”
Lines lives in Leeds and practises with father and fellow professional Peter. However, he also frequently travels to Essex to play with World Champion Judd Trump and world number 11 Jack Lisowski at the Grove Snooker Academy. He hopes he can emulate 28-year-old Lisowski, who broke into the world’s top 16 for the first time last season.
“I have beaten a lot of top players. I just never seem to press on and capitalise after those results. I need to start putting it all together now. You look at what someone like Jack has achieved and how well he is doing now and you want to push on yourself,” said Lines. “It has been a bit of a struggle at times recently. I have learned a lot over the last couple of years, even if they have been difficult on the table. I really feel like this is it now and it is time I started improving and getting better results.
“It doesn’t get much better than practising with players like Judd and Jack. However, my dad has taught me a lot and I don’t want to lose that. I’ve been trying to split my time between Essex and Leeds as well as I can.
“If you approach the tour with the mentality that you are just trying to stay on it, then you are putting yourself under a lot of pressure. You have to look beyond that really. I don’t want to have to start again from square one. I want to be competing at the business end of tournaments. That is what I am going to aim for.”