I’ve learnt a lot from Neil in a very short space of time and his knowledge of the game is top class. I am a very natural player, so as well as giving me tips on refining aspects of my game, he has also encouraged me to trust my instincts even further in other areas. Alex Ursenbacher
Within 30 minutes of my initial evaluation Neil spotted 3 key areas I could improve on and also helped put to bed things that can have a player going around in circles trying to overcome. A top class modern coach of the highest order. Martin O’Donnell
The role of head coach for Elite Sports Management is an important one. But after spending a couple of weeks with Neil in and around Q School before the pandemic I knew we had the right person, and we are very proud to have such a world class coach here assisting our Professional stable of players. Curtis Braithwaite
“I came to Neil when I was ten and improved straight away and was constantly working towards the next target which got me to achieve; my first century when I was 12, 5 north west junior tournament wins, a European title European runner up and world runner up all at under 18 level. I lost in the last round of Q School at 17 and at 15 beat John Parrott’s youngest ever winner of the Merseyside Open and set a new world record for being the youngest player ever to make a 147 in a competitive tournament. I managed to make another max when I was 16. I keep getting told by players of all abilities including top pros how good my technique is which is due to working with Neil. From when I started, we have worked together to get my game to a very high level at the age of 17 largely due to world class coaching and individual targets to suit any player. In 2020 I was delighted to get my Professional tour card. In my opinion the best coach I’ve ever seen and a lot of results are there to back it up .” Sean Maddocks
“On first meeting Neil around a year and a half ago I quickly realised his passion for coaching and developing players at all levels.
Neil has a fantastic, modern way of explaining information around the technical side of snooker and adapting his skills where necessary to break down the barriers to learning.
This has become even more apparent when working with those coached by him who all speak very highly of his knowledge and coaching technique, with his genuine energy to helping those he works with to strive to improve and achieve their goals shinning through.
I would have no hesitation at all in referring or encouraging anyone to work with Neil, a fantastic coach who’s natural personality matches his master coaching ability.” Matt Andrews, Matt Andrews Mentoring – sports therapist
“Coming to Neil my game was in bad shape. Inconsistent and no confidence. The first 3 years was a massive rebuild. But in that time even though I was working on big big changes I managed to win the European Team event, and make the semis of the European 6 reds and open. I got to the final round of QSchool which effectively gave me a year on the tour as a top up playing in every event. I also finished number 1 in the Welsh men’s amateur rankings 2 out of 3 years. In my opinion Neil is the best modern day coach in the world, who blends mechanics and instincts together to create an excellent platform for the player to go on and be the best he/she can be. My only regret is that I never went earlier. Had I have seen Neil in my teenage years I’m confident I’d have had a good stint on the main tour by now.” Alex Taubman
Neil Johnson has a fantastic strike rate for developing players either from scratch or otherwise. He does incredible work in the game and is one of the best coaches ever. Nic Barrow
“From his kind-hearted, jovial, and enthusiastic nature, to his driven appetite for player progression, Neil Johnson has been developing players of across all levels of snooker for many, many years. From having his own academy and coaching residencies across well-established snooker clubs in Merseyside, Neil’s unbridled attention to player development is evident.
As such, Neil is an instrumental consultancy source in terms of both coaching pedagogy and overall snooker knowledge. Thus his in-depth trusty spade of pragmatic expertise has contributed to many of my degree theses and scientific studies on snooker (amateur to elite); which have been published in the highest peer-reviewed sport psychology journals in the world and presented at world renowned sport psychology conferences.
Ergo, not only is Neil one of the best “go to” snooker coaches in the UK, he is arguably one of the very best and well-respected coaches to emerge from within the UK. An absolute credit to his profession. Players (and players families) can be rest assured that Neil is a pleasure to work with, and always has player welfare at the centre of his practices.” James Welsh (BSc, PGDip, MSc, PhD)
“Neil has been a fantastic coach, helping my game, on the table as well as my psychological approach off it. As someone who plays a wide variety of cue sports, a predominant focus has always been to try and be the best cueist that I can be and I have gained a huge appreciation for cueing as a science within itself.
My fundamental set-up has changed dramatically since I met Neil and he has revolutionised my cueing, timing and tempo. All of this has helped me to develop a consistent and stylishly smooth cue action throughout, from standing behind the shot to delivering a quality follow through.
Although my coaching has been on the snooker table a lot of the essentials transfer easily and I have been able to take what I have learnt and adapt it to English and American pool successfully. I now play English pool at County A standard coming close to England Men’s Trials in the last 2 seasons whilst also playing American pool competitively on the GB National Tour.” Ryan Wissett
“Being quite a shy boy and having a keen interest in snooker, I was advised to attend Scotties Snooker Club in Derby Lane. As soon as I met Neil, he put me at ease. His patience, expertise and understanding ways has encouraged me to believe in myself. I will be eternally grateful for the success I have achieved in various competitions and I can never praise or thank him enough.
Since I have had Neil as my coach he has given me the training I needed such as cue action and stance.
I have won lots of local events and some big ones including WDBS Championship which I won on my debut. After that I qualified for the WDBS champion of champions in Gloucester where I reached the final. Unfortunately lost out in the final to another of Neil’s students and one of my close friends Danny Harwood. I wouldn’t have even got close to this standard of play if I didn’t have Neil as my coach. He has made me the player I am today. Thank you very much for everything coach👍” Andrew Galley
“I started playing snooker since 2017. I’ve been having lessons with Neil since I started. Neil is a fantastic coach. He has helped me to achieve some incredible things; I have reached 19th in World Women’s Snooker rankings, 3rd in World Women’s Snooker U21 rankings and winning the Fred England League. He has got me into a position where I consistently reach the knockout stages of the World Women’s Tour in the open age and I have reached the final of the World Women’s Snooker U21s a couple of times. Without Neil’s help and patience I wouldn’t have come this far. He’s made snooker enjoyable and his lessons are fun and informative.” Zoe Killington
“Ten years ago I joined Scotties when I was 11 and Neil was my coach from the very start. He taught me how to play snooker and I have now made over one hundred century breaks with 145 being my highest. Neil is simply the best coach and one of the loveliest men I’ve ever known. Patient, funny and always there for me. He encourages me and as I’m on the autistic spectrum always has time for me. Without his help and support I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I see him as one of my best friends.” Danny Harwood
“I can’t recommend Neil enough as a Snooker Coach. Neil goes above and beyond what you would expect, which is very evident in the time he spends on his students. Neil was extremely attentive in analysing my stance and cue action. He quickly picked up on some fundamentals that working on would help me. He used evidence based techniques and bespoke equipment to really aid in drilling down on the best approach for improving. Taking on board his advice, you can’t fail to improve! Neil’s coaching is friendly, encouraging and very effective. I just wish I’d been to see him a decade or so earlier. Putting your faith in Neil pays dividends, as you can focus on improving rather than feeling like you are treading water for long periods. The results for me personally as a league amateur were almost instant as my handicap dropped from -4 to -15 in a season and having my highest league break in my first frame.” Andy Seymour
“I found Neil great to work with. Very friendly and a good listener and has a good knowledge and understanding of how to see faults. He finds different solutions in how to fix those problems depending on the person as what might work for one may not work for another. Being flexible with many methods is good and not a thought process of one solution fixes all as some coaches can be like. He not only works well on technical stuff but also on the psychological side. He also helped me solve a few things over the phone that was mainly about me over thinking and losing my natural way of playing. I believe Neil likes to mix natural talent with a good foundation of technique so as not to become to robotic. Would highly recommend Neil to anyone.” Lee Bannister
“I’ve known Neil as a friend and practice partner for over 30 years now and our ambitions were to become professional snooker players. Neil was in my opinion one of the most naturally gifted talents in the country. In fact it wasn’t until I played Ronnie O’Sullivan in a big pro-am semi final back in the early 90s that I’d ever come across anyone who hit the ball as incredibly cleanly as he did. Neil went on to turn professional and his playing career never took off which on the face of it could have be viewed as a waist. However the reality is he was inspired more to helping others in a way that he could never find for his playing self. It was the breaking down of players techniques to find meaningful solutions which seemed to open up his mind and inspire him. He’d inadvertently found his true calling and for me he’s become the most effective coach in world and probably the best there’s been.” Colin Petrie
“I first took my son Jamie Williams aged 7 to Neil for coaching in January. At first I wondered if I was doing the right thing given Jamie’s age but within minutes I was put at ease. Neil was very welcoming and made us feel comfortable from the off. It would have been easy for Neil to bombard us with technical jargon but he explained everything in a clear and concise manner, detailing what the objective of each drill was so we could understand and more importantly that Jamie could understand the benefits.
It was all done in a fun way in what was a very chilled environment. The club itself was just as impressive with brilliant facilities. Jamie loved every minute of our session and we will be going to Neil on a regular basis for his professional coaching. Highly recommended, Jamie’s learnt new aspects of the game and is coming on in leaps and bounds.” Ben Williams
“The first time I met Neil in Scotties was not long after I moved to Liverpool. He welcomed me into the club and introduced me to lots of different people, being from London I was overwhelmed by his kindness and generosity. I began coaching with Neil instantly and I got so much out of his experience and expertise.
I hadn’t played snooker for few years due to work, but Neil soon got me up to scratch with his skills and knowledge. I began to feel like a snooker player again and even made my first 147 maximum break which gave me the belief to improve to another level in my game.
For any young inspiring snooker players or even older ones like myself, I would recommend Neil to coach you to whatever level you want to aspire to.
He is professional yet so friendly and inspiring and I will always be grateful to him for that.” Billy Parr
“I could clearly see that my son Dylan Smith had a talent for snooker from the age of nine and with that starting to think about who was the best coach available out there for him. Researching this I found Sean Maddocks, who has the Guinness World Record for being the youngest player to make a 147 break. I also found that his longterm coach was Neil Johnson and after reaching out to Neil I found myself having a fascinating conversation about all aspects of snooker with him. A short time after Dylan was having his first session of coaching with Neil in Liverpool.
Neil’s knowledge of the sport of snooker and snooker techniques is second to none, and seeing Sean Maddocks competing in the same tournament as Dylan, the under 18s WSF (World Snooker Federation) 2020 in Malta was one of the most impressive displays of junior snooker I’ve seen. I have no doubt Sean will realise his dream about becoming a pro snooker player one day soon.
Of course Neil is much more than simply Sean’s coach. His juniors’ club in Liverpool, Scotties Club, is so well attended it puts some of the clubs in the South of England to shame. I’m sure that Neil will develop many great players. My hope is that Neil remains Dylan’s head coach for many years to come.
I would recommend Neil’s services to anyone of any age or level who’s looking to improve their game, or who is looking to find the best coaching available for their child, as Neil is without doubt the best junior coach in the UK” Lee Smith
Neil is the best snooker coach you could wish to have, he is so easy to get along with and he makes things so simple and enjoyable through the way he explains techniques and different aspects of the game, and adapts to each player’s unique style of play. He is totally dedicated to his coaching and with his vast knowledge of snooker he can only bring your game forward.
I have been coached by Neil for 8 years now and have progressed to break numerous records and gain many achievements which include, youngest ever player to be chosen to play in a snooker league, youngest to qualify through the rounds in the Mersey Masters tournament, Merseyside under 12’s champion at the age of 10 and reclaimed it the next year. Achieved a break of 137 in line up practice, my first century break in a match aged 14, finalist in the EPSB regional development tour.
I have also had the opportunity to play with world champions such as Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Mark Selby in exhibition matches which have been arranged by Neil.
Neil is not only a snooker coach, he is a really good friend, I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for me. Luke Flanagan
I first spoke with Neil 8 years ago when he called me about Sean my son to say he’d not seen talent like his in quite some time. I decided to go and watch Sean in a match and he hit a 38 break after being with Neil 6 months or so. He was only 10 and I knew nothing about Snooker but I could see there was something special there.
2 years later Sean and Neil both won international awards for Snooker .
The next few years after dominating Merseyside Junior level and Northwest regional tournaments together Sean then won the European u17s Open age just 14. A Guinness world record came at 15 followed by a record breaking Merseyside Open title and we knew there was a special bond, not just between Sean and Neil but myself also .
I can honestly say Neil is one of the closest people to me who’s trust, honesty and hard work is second to none; a true friend and a Genius at his game.
On to the 2019/20 season and they reached the last round of QSchool, a World U/18 final and European U/18s final. At the end of the season it was announced that Sean would receive a 2 year tour card for the professional tour. Wow that’s all I can say.
I have complete trust and belief in everything Neil does as a coach and as a person. I cannot thank him enough for being there on and off the table for Sean and also our family for these past 8 years.
A true gem and gent. Thanks Nee. Steven Maddocks
Neil has helped me with all aspects of my snooker . He is a brilliant man to talk to when I have problems about my game and also when I have problems in my personal life .
Neil has not only just been a coach to me but he has helped me to feel comfortable when I was shy and has always been there for me . There was a few times where I didn’t want to play snooker anymore because I thought I wasn’t good enough to make it professional. Neil helped me and made me realise that if I work my hardest and give it my all I can make it .
As Neil would tell you “ Be the best version of yourself “ . Neil has helped me to always believe in myself no matter what ….
Without Neil’s coaching and help I would not have achieved all the amazing things I have done .
Thanks Neil … I couldn’t of done it without you 👍🏻 Mikey Roberts
I first started working with Neil in November 2021. Previously I’d had several people giving me advice but I never really listened to what they were telling me as I had my own ideas on things so didn’t really value what they were saying. I had been playing for around 5 years and didn’t really miss many balls, but in about January 2021 after a growing spurt I started to miss some balls that I never used to so my Dad and I decided to go to see Neil on a recommendation. At first I didn’t really know what to expect, but a couple of lessons in I knew Neil was a genuine guy who was totally focused on improving me and my snooker. The biggest surprise was that he didn’t try to reinvent my cue action. He just worked on me making the best of my cue action. Once I realised this I was totally convinced. And although it was difficult at first my game is now improving considerably. To be honest before I started missing balls I thought no one could show me anything about cueing the ball, but 6 months with Neil has made me reconsider. I have been around a lot of coaches in my short snooker life but not one of them has come close to what Neil has shown me. I now feel like I have a cueing doctor. Neil has changed my whole outlook on talent No matter how talented someone is, when things go wrong you need someone like Neil. Apart from a great coach I’ve made a new friend who is passionate about his coaching but is also a genuine lover of the game. I feel really privileged to have met Neil and absolutely love learning from him. Stan Moody
When Stan was 11 Ronnie watched him play at the old Dings Academy in Sheffield. Amongst other things he said to me “Never let anyone mess with that cue action”. That comment has been ringing in my ears ever since. Stan has had a few coaches giving him bits of advice over the past 5 years but nothing to do with his cue action. He then started missing a few balls. Obviosley I didn’t know what to do so I started asking round but didn’t really get any answers. We started to see Neil but we were very apprehensive when he told us it was something to do with his cueing ( after what Ronnie had said all that time ago ). Neil filled us both with confidence very quickly as talk is cheap but results cannot lie. Although it was hard for Stan at first to make adjusments to his cueing Neil introduced things slowly and at the right time so Stan could keep competing. We have been working with him for 6 months now and we have both had our worries and concerns overturned. Neil is a genuine guy whos primary concern is to make any student of his a better player. I have seen this first hand with several players. I can honestly say that I would challenge any player ( Including pros ) to spend some time with Neil and not improve their game. Not only that he is an incredible lover of snooker ( especially juniors ) and his enthusiasm rubs off on anyone he sees.We consider ourselves very lucky to call him our coach and our friend. Thanks Neil. Nigel Moody