When it comes to learning any kind of sport, the key is to always keep practicing and trying to outdo yourself. Even professional athletes and Olympians still have to practice their sport to keep on top of their game. There’s always something to improve on, no matter whether you play football, darts, ping pong, or something else entirely.
One particular sport that takes a certain amount of dedication and perfectionism is the pool. The pool is played by countless people all around the world, both at a casual level and at a professional level. Many of you reading this is bound to have experienced this game at a local bar, or perhaps in your games room at home. If you’re like me, raised in the 1990s, I bet you know exactly how it was to sneak out and go play pool with your friends at a local bar or club. It was the fun thing to do, sometimes for some 5-10 dollar side bet, but more important than anything, the pool was a game that bonded people.
Most of us played pool just for fun. Yes, there were always a few people in the group that really knew what they were doing, and usually would beat our collective behinds at pool, but by in large, most of us just did it for fun, or as a pretense to make out with our significant other or escape homework or, later, actual work.
If you’re a pool player, you’ll know that there’s a lot of factors that go into making a successful match- covering everything from equipment to practice time. To help you out with your pool game, we’ve collected 3 of our top tips for improving your skills as you play this year. This is for those who simply want to be on top of this game, versus those who simply love to do it for fun and nothing else.
Put in a good amount of practice time
To start off with, one of the most important things that you can do when looking to improve your pool game is to put in the hours. It may sound simple, but engaging in deliberate practice sessions can be incredibly helpful when trying to perfect a skill. Deliberate practice is the key to success as an athlete. And, to be frank, this piece of advice applies to anything you do in life, not just pool. The more you practice, the better you will get.
When planning out your week, try to set aside a specific time to practice your pool. If there’s a local bar or arcade that has a pool table, head there after work on a Friday, for example, to get some dedicated practice time in.
While you’re practicing, try to break down your skillset into separate parts e.g. your stance, your hold, and your swing. This will help you to focus on each section of your game individually, and allow you to point out your own strong points and weak points. Self-reflection is a huge part of success when it comes to sports.
On the same topic, not saying it’s always feasible, but try to make a pool buddy. You can always get better at the game by simply playing on your own. But if there’s anyone in your group of friends who also wants to get a lot better at the game, then you will be significantly more likely to both practices regularly and actually get better at the game.
Invest in sturdy, reliable equipment
Something else that can be very helpful when you’re looking to improve your pool game is reliable, high-quality equipment. Of course, equipment isn’t everything when it comes to sports and it doesn’t substitute for skill or practice. However, it can make the experience of playing a lot more enjoyable and smoother.
One of the most important things to invest in is a top-quality pool cue. Pool cues are, naturally, one of the critical things to focus on when shopping for equipment as they can make or break a game. For some inspiration, take a look at this handy product guide from pingpongetc.com.
Don’t be afraid to try out new things
One final way that you can improve your pool game this year is to try out new things. Is there a new venue you can practice in? Can you try out a new stance, or use a new pool cue? Working with these changes can train your mind to work in new ways, and improve the overall quality of your pool game as well. One of the things I personally love doing is checking out Youtube videos and then try to replicate the pool moves on my own. It doesn’t always work, but it’s certainly something to do.
Something that you can do in particular to improve your skills and to become more self-reflective is to learn to play with your non-dominant hand. As pointed out in this guide, this can be a great way to improve your skills as a pool player.
As you can see, it’s important to put in consistent practice time when looking to perfect your pool game. Having great equipment to lean on can be very helpful, and being open to new techniques can be very handy too. All in all, try out new things to see what works for you, and find a practice routine that’s realistic to fit into your daily life.
If you’re struggling with a particular element of your pool game, we’d suggest reaching out to other players to get a hand from them. Social media platforms like Reddit, Facebook and Instagram have lots of niche sporting groups, and you’re bound to find some helpful video tutorials on YouTube as well.
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