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Preparing for the Game

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Preparing for the Game

One of the most interesting and unique things about playing billiards is that regardless of what has gone before, when your turn comes around, you gain complete control of the game. This can’t be said about many other types of games or even sports. While it can be difficult not to get ruffled when playing under pressure, it is important to keep in mind that under no circumstances can your opponent play until you give them the opportunity. This is a critical piece of information to keep in mind. The key to holding that off as long as possible lies in making sure you are prepared when your turn does come around at the table.

A great way to get started is to make sure that you have gotten in plenty of practice, preferably on the actual table on which you will be playing. Of course, having your own pool table at home is also a great way to get in some practice but to really prepare there is nothing like practicing on the table on which you will actually be playing, especially for tournament play. If you like to hang out at a local pool hall, make sure you get in plenty of time there just practicing. Even if you’re playing in a tournament, not only is this extremely important but it is critical to the game. Be sure to ask the director of the tournament about the table postings so you will know which table you’ll be playing on and be sure to get some time in practicing on that specific table. This gives you the opportunity to check the quality of the cloth as well as the speed. You can also get a feel for the rebound of the rails and the level of the table. All of these details and information are critical to help you become a better player and making educated decisions when the time calls for it.

The next step is to take the time to study your opponent. You need to observe their style of play. You can either do this watching them while they practice or observe them in a competition prior to your own match if you’re playing in a tournament. The key here is to measure their ability. Gain an idea of whether they are an accomplished player, whether they have somewhat average skills or whether they are just starting out. Observe them to see if they have a knack for shooting certain shots well or if they have difficulty with them. Get a feel too for their emotional state. This can play a tremendous role in how the game turns out. Watch them to see if they let how the game is going effect their play. Unfortunately some players get angry when things do not turn out well and they let it show. Others can easily become distracted depending on how the balls roll. Having this information at your disposal can be important when your turn comes around to play.

Remember that no matter what happens, which way the balls roll or how the game is going the one thing that you do have control over is your own level of preparedness. You have control of the game when it is your turn and there is nothing that can take that away from you.

Taking the time to prepare ahead of time and keeping these tips in mind the next time you are up for a game of pool can make a difference in how you assess the game and ultimately how you decide to take your shot.