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Schulte-Ebbert Working To Grow Snooker In Lithuania

In May this year, Vilius Schulte-Ebbert won the Lithuanian Amateur Championship for the third consecutive time, dropping just a single frame en route to lifting the trophy.

Snooker writer Máté Varga asked him about his career, duties, and plans as well as the status of Lithuanian snooker.

Vilius, recently you had a funny social media post about the possible ways of becoming a bad snooker player. But what makes a player into a class act on the baize?

Natural talent plays a vital role when someone is about to be regarded as a good snooker player. But the most important ingredient of becoming one of the greats of our sport is having the right personality and mindset. Your character should incorporate several qualities such as good work ethic, out-of-the-box thinking, a general curiosity about learning new things and the desire to win. There is much more to snooker than just having the proper technical abilities and skills, and these attributes mentioned above are the most important characteristics of an amazing sportsman.

Besides being an amateur player, you have other roles and duties. Can you tell us more about them?

First and foremost, I am a father, so the number one priority is taking care of my family. I have gone through a massive development period in the last two years that made me learn a lot about responsibility. When it comes to billiard sports, I have my own coaching business that revolves around online mentoring and training courses. I need to keep this all together by promoting the available material as well as dealing with marketing, sales and managing my business team. You must do a little bit of everything. I train a junior group and give lessons to adults on an individual basis in Lithuania. In my home country, there are tournaments on weekdays and weekends as well.

How would you describe the current state of Lithuanian snooker?

The development of the sport in our country is in the early stages. The standard is getting better each year and in the recent past we have seen growth in the number of active players. I have been coaching juniors in the age group of eight to 15 for two years and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with others. I am not only able to develop their skills but also have the chance to improve myself as a person by handling different personalities, trying many training methods, and working with the parents. In the long run, one of my main goals is to build a strong Lithuanian community.

During the 2022/23 season, you participated in four events across Europe, and you are the reigning Lithuanian champion. Do you dream of qualifying to the main tour? 

For me, becoming a professional player is a great goal to have. But only practising is not enough because you need the proper conditions, and you just want to train with some of the best players in the world. Moreover, being a professional snooker player requires a lot of sacrifice. I hope that I can participate in the Q Tour or Q School in 2024, but now I need a little bit of time to create my own opportunities to achieve more.

Luca Brecel recently won the World Championship. What do you think about the effect it may have on smaller European snooker nations?

That is an inspiration for everyone and gives an extra push. We are shown an example that anything can happen in snooker. But the main thing is that we must keep doing what we do in terms of coaching and developing every segment of the game. I believe in being a useful member of a well-organized system. There are no magic tricks or secrets: only hard work can bring success.