In my previous blog post I answered what might be the number one question that I am asked. If you’ve read that, you know that I’m not one to sugar coat my answers. My mentor took a tough approach with me, and brought me to tears many times, but that is what made me the player I am today. Here are some answers to other questions I frequently hear. If I miss any, please feel free to ask in the comments.
I’m playing like crap, and it sucks. Should I take a break?
For the casual player: Yes, take a break! Pool is your leisure time activity, and it should be spent enjoying yourself. Maybe a fresh perspective after a couple weeks off will bring you back to your regular game.
For the aspiring player: Hell, no. Get into the pool hall and stop whining about everything. The game has ebbs and flows, and you need to learn how to deal with them. Some of the best practice you can get is learning how to fight your way out of bad play. Try to learn what it takes to dig deep, and raise yourself out of a funk.
I play better with a couple drinks in me. Should I do a shot before my matches?
For the casual player: Absolutely! Relax and have fun! League night is only once a week.
For the aspiring player: Absolutely! Not! Unless you are also an aspiring alcoholic, I wouldn’t start relying on drinks to make you play better. It may work in the beginning, but pool is a very delicate balance of clear thought and physical precision. Drinking clouds both of those.
How can I get a sponsor?
For the casual player: You can’t.
For the aspiring player: Sponsorship is only about one thing. ROI. What do you have to offer a potential sponsor? Do you frequently play on live streams or in big tournaments with lots of visibility? Many players think they are owed sponsorship because they play well, but sponsors really want someone who brings visibility to their brand. Connect with companies via email or at trade shows, and tell them what you bring to the table. One more thing to note is that you can start with an endorsement deal. Companies will send you product for your own use, and in return you wear a patch. Real monetary sponsorship is usually only available to the upper echelon of players, and even then you may only get free product that you can sell, and keep the profit. One more thing…your conduct when you wear that patch should be impeccable. No one wants to sponsor an asshole.
Will gambling make me better?
For the casual player: Gamble will probably make you broke-er, but if you enjoy it, do it!
For the aspiring player: Gambling can be good for your game if it’s done the right way. Lopsided matches won’t do much for your game, so set the spots accordingly. Also, if you spend all of your practice time gambling, you may get stuck protecting your money, and not try new things. Like all things in life, it’s about balance.
How many hours a week should I practice?
For the casual player: Practice whenever you feel like playing. If you don’t feel like it, a quick warm up before your league match will do.
For the aspiring player: How many hours do you have free during the week? Can you sneak out on lunch break and hit a few balls? Keep in mind that your pool obsession can have a major impact on family life, so make a schedule that everyone can agree to, and stick to it. I know you want to get better, but it won’t mean much if you get fired from your job and kicked out by your partner. But then again, think about how good you could be!