Want to debunk some myths? We’ve researched the experts to see what’s true or false in Billiards.
Barrie is having its usual cold weather this month, and a great place to get warm is in a local pool hall. Being part of a pool league allows you to meet new people, improve your skills and have fun. You don’t have to be a master of the game to be part of a league team. In fact, leagues have team members from all walks of life and every skill level from beginner to advanced. It’s a group of people who get together for a time with friends and simply play pool…and stay warm.
This is what we've learned to be True or False
Practice makes perfect.
Only perfect practice makes perfect. If all you do is reinforce bad habits or fail to learn and develop understanding during practice, it won’t help your game much. In fact, “practice can make permanent” the wrong things.
Natural talent is more important than hard work.
This can be true for specific sports (e.g., anything involving jumping or speed like some track and field events). Also, someone with good eye-hand coordination (e.g., genetics and previous experience with other activities and sports) will have an advantage over someone who is not very coordinated. It also helps to have sharp vision and good visual perception. However, practice, experience, and hard work are the essential ingredients of success in pool.
Safeties are for sissies.
This is ridiculous. Defensive play is a crucial part of high-level pool. One should always play safe when it increases your chances of winning a game.
Many misses are caused by "jumping up" on the shot.
Raising the body during the stroke into the ball is definitely a no-no. However, most good players stay down during the stroke reasonably well. Regardless, they often jump up as soon as they realize they hit a shot poorly, and most promising players know if a shot is good or not immediately after the hit. Therefore, when a commentator drops the cliché line: “He missed because he jumped up on the shot,” the commentator is usually wrong. Usually, a more accurate description is: “He jumped up because he missed the shot.”
I lost because of "bad rolls."
Bad luck and a “bad roll” can sometimes cause a game loss, but better play can avoid these things. Generally, the better you are, the “luckier” you get (i.e., you need to be good to get lucky). Also, occasional “good luck” and “good rolls” tend to balance out the “bad luck” and “bad rolls.”
An imperfect stroke causes most misses.
For intermediate to advanced players, most misses are probably due to aim and alignment errors rather than stroking errors. “Alignment” involves both placing the cue in the desired direction and placing the tip at the desired position on the CB. Also, many misses are due to an incomplete understanding of accurately compensating for squirt, swerve, and throw when using intentional sidespin.
So, True or False in Billiards - The Bottom Line
The bottom line is – pool is a game that can be played and enjoyed by nearly everyone. If you’re looking for something to do during the cold nights in the Barrie area, check out your local pool leagues. You never know; it might be the start of something enjoyable.
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott
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