Here's my take:
It is about the person; not the environment.
Are you surprised by my opinion?
It really does depends on YOU. Let's look at some examples:
- Are you the type that NEEDS to hit balls to stay in stroke?
- If so, then if you got to hit balls during the pandemic (have your own table at home or visited a friend often who had one), then your game is probably going to be the same. Lucky you! As many will not fair as well.
- If you did not get to hit balls, then don't be frustrated if your game goes down a little when things open back up. Just know that it's normal and begin to hit balls again to get in stroke.
- Maybe you are new to the game and didn't really practice before?
- Therefore, no practice during the pandemic means your game will most likely be about the same. Pretty cool. huh?
- What if you didn't have access to a pool table?
- Did you practice stroking into a bottle or watch videos? If you did. your game might have gone UP.
- Are you the type that has great fundamentals and a solid pre-shot routine?
- If you are, then even if you didn't hit one ball, you will still be playing well when the pool rooms open. I promise!
- And what if you didn't do a damn thing (lol), and you notice your game went up?
- This is actually normal as well. Sometimes taking a break can be a really great thing for your pool game. But, it's hard to take breaks when you have leagues to play in or tournaments to attend. The pandemic kinda forced us into the "break" many could have used to improve.
So you see - it's not your environment, but what you did and/or what type of player you were before the pandemic.
Let me give a really drastic example, to help my point:
I do not know if you know any pool players that went to prison or not, but if you have, then this will make sense. Pool players that are strong on the table and top of our game, if they happen to find themselves in jail/prison for a long time, they will come out a strong player still, even without ever hitting a ball or learning more about pool while they were there. If they were a mediocre player going in, and they loved the game so much that they worked on their stroke by trying to shoot into an invisible coke bottle (or maybe something illegal, lol). then their game will be UP when they get back to society.
Same goes for the players who practice their stroke while in jail/prison. HOw do you do that without a pool table? You now how sometimes we get down in our stance to see if maybe our shirt rides up too high in the back, or if the shirt is too tight in the shoulders? We get in our stance and stroke several times on an imaginary pool table to figure it out. Those who practice those strokes a lot in their environment, esp when they have no other way to improve, will fair well. As a matter of fact, pre-shot routines have improved after jail (or a pandemic, you'll see), if they practiced their stroke a lot over a chair or bed, or whatever.
Here is something to really think about: when you practice your stroke on an invisible, imagery pool table, have you ever jumped up on your shots? Shot too fast? Exactly! No you didn't. Now you can understand how it would actually improve your game.
Again - it's about the PERSON, not the environment.