Returning to pool? – Here is your come-back checklist!

Posted on 23. Oct, 2007 by in Uncategorized

Have you recently decided to dust off your cue after years of disuse? Did job and family responsibilities cause you to abandon your pool game? One of the great things about the game of billiards is that it is something you can enjoy your whole life. From young champions like Junior to super tough veterans like Seco, great pool can be played at any age.

After a long lay-off, you must keep a few things in mind. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your elbow or other parts of the pool mechanism are rusty. Some things are like riding a bicycle, others are not. Don’t expect to play as well as you did years ago. Your memory is probably ‘rose colored’ as you fondly recall running racks, and conveniently forget the missed shots and mistakes. Also, when you play someone today it is likely he plays better than the opponents of yore. In general, the level of play today is much higher than in the past.

Equipment is different too. Today’s cloth is faster requiring not only a delicate touch, but also an unforgiving need for accuracy on spin. On heavy cloth a little unintentional side spin may not have hurt you, but on Simonis cloth of today your cue ball might catch a rail and hurdle two feet past your intended position. Pocket openings are generally tighter too, especially on 7 foot Diamond tables and many regulation 9 foot pool tables. These tighter pockets will accept fewer balls, particularly if you shoot too hard. Ever jaw up a ball that you shoot down a rail with speed and just catch the long rail a few inches before the pocket? Shoot softer and you’ll make more of these errant shots – at least until your stroke becomes more accurate.

What if you have an accuracy problem? It could be related to the glasses that you have been wearing for many years. There is no doubt that keen vision is helpful to slicing in cut shots from 8 or 9 feet away. Check into a special pair of glasses just for shooting pool if your fashion pair doesn’t allow you to see through the lenses when you are in your pool stance. If you must, keep your head a bit higher over the cue stick so that you can see the shot through your glasses.

Your old college pool cue might need some maintenance. Is it straight? Does the tip need some attention? You may not want to use that antique piece of chalk. Have a cue repair expert look over your cue. It may be just fine, but years in the closet may have made it unsuitable for competition. You might be better off with a house cue or a new cue all together.

Get your groove back! Try some drills to ease back into the game. You wouldn’t want to go out and run a ten mile race without some training. Contact me for some good warm up drills to use before you throw yourself into a league match, tournament, or even a couple hour practice session with a friend. You’ll need some time to reacquaint your body to the proper pool stroke mechanics which is more easily done prior to a game. The pro baseball and football players have spring training and fall training camps. Shouldn’t you do some conditioning before you dive back into your pool game?

Mike Fieldhammer

Leave a Reply