A little bit of recreation after a busy week’s work brings balance to your life, encouraging physical and mental health. One way of doing this is by playing a game of billiards with friends.
Some enjoy a night of billiards over a little bit of betting here and there or just some friendly competition. So if you’re worried about improving your billiard skills, let the following pointers be your guide:
1. Practice makes perfect.
This is a given. When you are committed to practising anything that you put a lot of time and dedication in doing so, there’s a big chance that you are to achieve the desired outcome.
Indeed, nothing will ever be “perfect”, but it’s the improvement you’re looking for more so than perfection. One of the most famous quotes by Bruce Lee is, “I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once. But I fear the man who has practised 1 kick 10,000 times.” You’ll get better if you practice.
There is a small note on this that we’ll get to on the next point
2. Research and implement.
To add to the previous point, practising the wrong thing 10,000 times will only make you perfect at doing the wrong things.
Make an effort to find out new techniques and then put them into action. Put some new skills into your short term memory by looking them up on your phone just before a game.
This will ensure that it sticks in your mind during the match so you’ll actually experiment with it and make it work.
3. Have some alone time
Playing billiards alone saves you from the nerve-wracking pressure of having to be good in front of your friends. If you have a pool table at home, that allows you to practice whenever you want. So choose a non-peak hour on a weekday to try and get hold of which cue stick feels comfortable in your hands.
Some specifically look for a certain weight to give their shot the proper strike or a certain size to do a specific shot. Learn how to do a clean break. It’s a fantastic feeling when you can hear a solid whack in beginning a game.
Practising alone gives you the chance to surprise your friends by getting the balls into the holes when you do a proper break with enough strength.
Gauging angles, figuring out perspectives, and knowing how to approach shots may take time to be comfortable with. To avoid this when an actual game happens, familiarize yourself with the right enough of energy to get a ball to where you want it to be.
Not having the muscle memory for simple shots makes you take the shot in a hurry during an actual game which brings you to a losing end for not taking your chance efficiently. Choosing to play alone saves you from embarrassment.
4. Take advantage of the rules
Billiards is not just about shooting everything in. You can take advantage of the rules and set yourself up for victory or learn to place traps for your friends. Let’s compare a 9-ball game with a Solid-and-Stripes game for example.
Technically, you win if you get ball number 9 in one of the pockets. There are two ways to do so. First is shooting all the balls in sequence from ball number 1 until you get ball number 9 in. Secondly, as the opportunity presents itself, you may get ball number 9 in as long as you hit the right ball initially delivering it into the pocket. The balls are set on a diamond shape for a break.
On the other hand, Solids-and-Stripes depends on the break. If you shoot a solid to a hole, all solid balls will be yours to shoot. You have to shoot all solids until you get to ball number 8. (Vice versa if you got stripes in first.)
Now this time, if you accidentally get ball number 8 in without finishing your solids, you automatically lose the game. That being said, you may win in two ways here as well. If you get to shoot ball number 8 after you finished your group or your opponent accidentally gets ball number 8 in without finishing theirs. Balls are set into a triangular shape for the break.
These are simple ways of improving your billiards skills without costing you that much. Have fun playing with colleagues after considering these tips and surprise them with how good you’ve become!