What lets anyone win at Pool? Is pool just natural, inborn skill? Or can you perhaps improve your score by consciously taking care of things, observing precautions and the like? Well, it’s a bit of both.
Playing good pool definitely requires a lot of practice. The more you practice, the better you train your muscles and gain muscle memory. In fact, there are people I’ve seen play Pool whose habits and ways of playing pool are borderline horrid, but they still manage a better score than their peers by the sheer virtue of muscle memory built with practice. But it still holds that one can better one’s scores tremendously by bringing in some small and big changes in one’s attitude, posture, tools and technique. Here are a few of them.
How to Better one’s pool posture?
Posture is among the most important things when you’re playing pool. Good posture means you’re going to see the table well, plan your shots better and deliver your energy in a more controlled and proper way, a way that is known to give the best results.
Begin by forgetting that you need to favor your dominant eye. This is perhaps the biggest myth in pool playing that amateurs think is a thing based on movies and TV shows that show characters playing the game. When you tilt your head, your sight of the board becomes distorted. You may see one side of the board more clearly than others, which can be a big issue especially when you’re taking shots from the centre.
Keep your head straight. Take a clear view of the board and visualise how you want to make your shot. You’ll instinctively know which side to lay your cue and how to fire the shot.
Another mistake people do when beginning with pool is closing one eye to see how to play the shot. They think it helps line the shot better, when in actuality, closing one eye takes away the important aspect of depth that dictates how much power you should pack into your shot. Keep your eyes open.
Bettering one’s tools: What pool cue is best for you?
There’s a reason people prefer to test many cues before settling down to the best pool cues. The weight, the length, the material and the finish all dictate how the player handles a cue, and thus the results each of them gives in each hand.
One thing to remember is that there are no bad cues, unless it’s a broken one. However, you’ll surely find some more difficult to play with than others, and only a few will fit your hand perfectly. The trick is to let yourself explore different makes and builds before choosing one kind or one particular cue as your go to.
The weight of a cue decides how difficult it is to move, and how much momentum it can convey to the ball as well. The two factors are pretty opposite, which is why the assumption that lighter or heavier cues are better is not true. The grip, the tip and the length determine how you handle the cue. Using one that is too long may throw you into incorrect posture that lowers your efficiency. Using one that is too short may make your shots harder to direct precisely. There are also a variety of materials available, ranging from plastic, to the standard wood and even a combination of a wood interior and a metallic exterior. Each has its peculiarities that are best dealt with case-by-case. Try a few out before picking one to play with.
Better your technique to win at pool
There are a number of tips one can find useful when making a shot. Not all of them might work for everyone, though. The most useful and the ones successful most often are often the most common-sense. For example, people who stay fixed at one point fail to notice balls that might be easy shots even for a beginner. You can fire from all kinds of angles, so move your feet!
The other improper technique people employ is having their back either stiff as a stone or limp and crouched like a cat feeling threatened. There is no need to get your muscles tense and worked up by keeping your back too tight. At the same time, being completely lax will make your shots hard to power and direct properly.
With time, you develop a series of steps that help you plan the shot and get results. Once you do, it can help to remember it in your mind and play with it. You can always experiment with it, but practicing these series of steps religiously can really help you score better. With time, your brain starts doing it without conscious effort, and your game improves significantly, without any extra effort needing to be pulled in. This relaxed mind can further boost your skill. Which brings us to our fourth issue at hand…
How can you better your attitude towards playing pool to score better?
Getting tense is the worst mistake you can make while playing pool, whether it be muscle tension or frustration or anxiety about the score in the mind. Pool is almost like an advanced version of chess; you need planning and strategy, and also a decent bit of physical skill to get things going in the way you plan them to. Having the wrong attitude can mess up both those aspects and significantly spoil your game.
Always remember that one failure is not the end of the game. Try to understand what you did wrong when you played the shot. Initially, you may grapple with a lot of factors, but with practice, your game gets better, and any misses can often be attributed to just one factor which you can correct to score in the next shot.
Be open to criticism and learn from your competition. What kind of moves are they making? How are they dealing with peculiarities they encounter? Is there a particular strategy they’re following?
A lot of people begin to panic when they cannot land a ball in the hole despite repeated attempts. It can be advisable to stick to the ball and continue attempting to hole it in. If you fail, you can learn from your mistakes. If you do land the ball, you’ve completed what you set out to do, and that spurt of confidence can make the game ahead easier and more profitable.
There are a lot more suggestions people share with each other, but you can be sure these ones will work to improve your game. There are no shortcuts to success; practice using these tips and you’ll be playing expert-grade Pool sooner than without them.