Up Front with Stephen Hendry

Up Front with Stephen Hendry

Seven-time Snooker World Champion Stephen Hendry has opened up to William Hill’s podcast, Up Front with Simon Jordan, about how his case of ‘yips’ ultimately brought about the deterioration of his game. 

Featuring on William Hill’s Up Front with Simon Jordan, a podcast hosted by the former Crystal Palace owner who speaks to sports stars and celebrities and challenges their opinions whilst scrutinising their careers, Hendry said: "The first time it ever happened (the ‘yips’) was around 1998 – I would play a shot and my hand would tighten up, and I wouldn’t go through the shot. I’d think, ‘that was weird, I didn’t like that". 

"Then it would happen maybe two tournaments after that, then it would happen a couple more times until I started to avoid playing certain shots in case it happened again. I had two or three coaches that had different ways of trying to solve it. Some tried to shorten my backswing and make me hold the cue tighter, and I got back to number one doing that, but it was still happening."

"It got to the point where I was playing and there were shots where I already knew it was going to happen; it was completely debilitating. When I’m playing on my own I don’t do it, so it has almost become like stage fright."

"I’ve not gone deep into sports psychology and perhaps I should have done. One guy asked me to try and watch past videos of myself winning and I just said to him that all that does for me is show me how bad I am now – I took it in completely the wrong way!"


O’Sullivan is in a different class to Higgins and White

In relation to Alex Higgins, Hendry stated that Ronnie O’Sullivan is the greatest of all time and he is in a different class to Alex Higgins and Jimmy White. 

“In 1992, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Willimas came on the scene as three outstanding talents, and Ronnie was the most talented of the three,” he said. “Each of them had one thing that was better than the other two, but Ronnie is the most outstanding talent that the game has ever seen.

“People talk about the likes of Alex Higgins and Jimmy White but Ronnie O’Sullivan is in a different class to both of them,” he continued. “Ronnie has taken the game to a better level than I did, there’s no doubt about that. He is a true winner and he’s the best I have ever seen at adapting to conditions and opponents.”


You can watch the full episode here: https://youtu.be/FnUspJdyv80

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07 Sep 2023

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