: Samm Diep
With the summer months just around the corner, who couldn’t use a tip on staying cool while playing pool? When you notice your body temperature beginning to rise and your hands getting clammy, take action before you break a sweat. Here are some tips on maintaining the basic Three C's (Calm, Cool, and Collected) during a match.
Dress cool and comfortably. If your body is sensitive to temperature changes, it may be time to do some shopping. Look for tournament apparel that is loose-fitting and comfortable to play in. Get in your pool stance while in the fitting room. How does it feel? If you want to win, always think "function over fashion."
Wash your hands. Before or during your match, wash your hands with cold water. Not only does it help lower your body temperature, it will help wake you up. Once you dry your hands, place that damp paper town on the back of your neck and forehead. This will instantly help cool you down.
Drink lots of water and make sure it's always available. Most large tournaments supply water for the players. You can bring your own water bottle and refill it before matches. That way, you'll always have it with you and you won't have to wonder if you're drinking from the right cup. Drinking cold water hydrates and replenishes the body better than soft drinks or beer, which do the opposite.
Remember to breathe. Long, slow, deep breaths between shots help supply plenty of oxygen to the brain and slow down your heart rate. Find a relaxing breathing pattern for yourself and maintain it during your match. Always make sure you breathe when you're shooting. Don't hold your breath.
Walk/stroll between matches. Keeping the circulation moving between matches is always better than sitting around, waiting to see who your next opponent is. It also helps to keep the muscles loose and relaxed. Don’t overdo it or wear yourself out but get that blood flowing. It will do wonders.
Get a towel. Keeping a towel in your case can be very useful. Not only can you use it to keep your hands dry but you can also use it to wipe down your cue and shaft as needed.
Get some extra help. Some people just have naturally clammy, moist hands and there is nothing that will change it. If your tacky hands are affecting your ability to create a smooth, steady bridge, it may be time for reinforcement. It may be time to consider using a glove or hand talc.
Staying calm, cool and collected helps your body perform at high levels. Give yourself the best chance to win. Don’t let a little head and sweat keep you from the finish line. The next time you begin feeling a bit warm and flush, stay it cool while playing pool.