Billiards and “Take a Cue”
Physics, aside from being a challenging high school subject, is also the main governing force of all matter in the universe. It also governs how much energy you need to exert on a pool stick when making a break or what direction a ball will bounce off to when it hits another. Of course, we are not going to count the numerical value of energy one has to exert. There is just no way for our mind to convert that information into muscle signals. Instead, this information is learned through practice and experience of playing the game.
Pockets on Every Corner
While it can be said that practice is the essential building block of any good athlete, practicing the game of billiards is an entirely different matter all together. The idea of the game itself is simple, using a stick; a player must poke a white ball -and only the white ball, towards colored balls in an attempt to make them fall into any of six holes on the pool table. For now, let us put aside the fact that there are rules that dictate the order of colors a player must successfully land in the holes, also known as pockets. This leaves us with a very simple of a knock-balls-into-holes kind of game. Is it simple enough?
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource
Not always. In a basic nine ball set up, there will be ten balls in play. One cue ball, and the nine colored billiard balls. These nine balls will not conveniently place themselves in a straight path between the cue ball and a hole. Even if some did, it does not mean that landing one good shot will place your cue ball properly for the next shot. This means that on a basic level, the average pool player is considering how he or she must make the cue ball hit another billiard ball which in turn, would both cause a billiard ball to fall in the pocket and leave the cue ball in a desirable position where it may knock another target into the hole. That alone may seem plenty. There is more though.
Rack ‘Em and Shoot ‘Em
Now we reconsider the previously set aside fact that there are certain pool rules about the order of balls that must be hit.
All that is missing is the fact that if a player fails to successfully pocket a proper ball in his or her turn, then they will lose that turn. So in the event that the player knows that there are not good shots to be made, the player must then play the round with the consideration of placing the cue ball in an equally inappropriate location so the that opponent would not be able to score.
This is why playing billiards is not easy for beginners. There are plenty of things that can only be learned through constant practice. It is amazing when we consider how fast a pool player’s mind quickly calculates the different factors of this game. In tournaments and other major competitions, these players show tremendous ability to concentrate and zone out from the cheering crowd which allows them to pick up that cue stick and still make good shots; and for all the scientific physics that occurs in every game, watching a round of pool is akin to witnessing magic. GP