Besides the upheaval of our normal lives, what about my pool game??
Because it's important to do activities that lower stress and anxiety, it goes right along with some ideas I wanted to share to keep your game up while you might be required to "Stay-At-Home" due to the pandemic.
If you don't have a table at home:
- Work on your stroke by trying to get your cue tip consistently into a coke bottle. This can be done at home without a pool table.
- Run a rack in your head. Imagine yourself breaking, then staying down for each shot and try to run out. Use English and get good shape, all in your mind, all as you try to run the entire rack in your head. Warning, this isn't easy! And don't just run the rack fast in your head, but run it with dedication to each shot. Give each shot the attention it deserves (just like on a pool table). This is a great technique to imagine your pre-shot routine on every shot, stay down, and helps train your brain to focus.
- Speaking on running racks. One the most helpful things I like to do (and my most favorite) is to think about is that one particular game of a match that I stayed down so well on every shot, in front of a crowd, making all shots with a smooth stroke, feeling calm and confident. Maybe that time you were 'in the zone." You can picture your own certain match/game right now, right? Really focus on it and remember the feelings, the sounds, how your shoulders were not tight because you didn't feel pressure, you stayed down really well, smooth stroke, you felt good, etc. Thinking about your own great game or match you played well, helps solidify your pre-shot routine (I promise!).
- Use dumbbells regularly to build your arm muscles. This helps your stroke be more solid.
- Watch matches on YouTube. Search billiards. Or maybe check out the CSI YouTube Channel which will keep you busy for DAYS.
- Oh, hey - read part of those pool books you haven't ever opened. Or, if you don't have one, finally order one online!
- I would also reach out to pool friends. We may not talk about pool, but with league paused and tournaments delayed, it's important to connect with our pool friends.
- If you have an extra billiards towel or fabric, make your face mask out of it! Show your love of our sport.
If you have a table at home:
- Practice "Carom Nine" (see rules at bottom of this page). Helps you learn carom shots in a fun yet frustrating way, lol. (basically, the object ball must make first contact with the cue ball to count as a legal shot, the goal being to carom the object ball into a pocket or into another ball.)
- This is a good time to work on your break. Practice it. Get it down pat. It's the opening shot - it's an important part of the game a lot of us don't give enough attention to.
- Speaking of breaks, practice your break using different racks if you have them - magic rack, accu-rack, and also regular wooden/plastic racks from the pool room.
- Play opposite handed. That's fun!
- Play one-handed. Even tougher!
I know there are a ton other things, but hopefully this gets you started to ease stress AND work your game.
Stay safe my friends! We will get through this together.