: Liz Ford
Taking a Pool Holiday
As an APA league operator who's constantly pressing people to PLAY MORE POOL!, it feels weird to write an article promoting NOT playing pool (on a site that promotes and sells pool products, no less.) However, sometimes it's necessary to take a little breather in the best interests of your long term relationship with the game. Don't let your FOMO (fear of missing out) keep you from giving your brain and body a restorative rest. Here are five signs that you could benefit from taking a one or two-week vacation. Believe it or not, you'll come out stronger in the end.
Signs you need a break:
1. Your positive attitude fails you and you can't get it back.
Pool frustration happens to all players. There are times when the hits just keep on coming and can test even the most chipper people. If you're routinely labeling yourself with 8-Ball-itis, scratch-itis or some other sort of -itis, it might be time to give yourself a time-out. When you return, you can take delight in all things you do well instead of focusing on everything that goes wrong.
2. You've been playing or practicing like crazy and you lose your sense of feel.
If you've been logging serious hours recently, your body will need to repair itself in order for you to see a sizable improvement. Muscle building is a system of tear and repair. Fundamentally, building your fine muscle control is no different from weight training at the gym: rest is required for results.
3. You have repeated trouble seeing aiming points, angles and patterns.
Your brain can suffer from fatigue, too. When you train, you're burning new neural pathways into your brain, which will need time and rest to process the new learning. Taking a break will allow your brain to sift through all the input. It does a very good job of keeping the good and discarding the bad. You'll probably find that you see everything with fresh eyes and can enjoy a return to simplicity in your game.
4. You care TOO much.
Pool is a game and by definition should be fun. If you put too much pressure on yourself to get results, chances are you aren't going to have fun anymore. A short break can help you reassess the reasons why you play and allow you to set a goal of ENJOYMENT. Your game will thrive if you try to enjoy the ride.
5. You're letting other parts of your life fall apart in order to play pool.
Recreation and benign distraction are necessary to sooth the stress of our day-to-day lives. As with anything else, you can have too much of a good thing, though. It's possible to develop an unhealthy addiction to pool. Don't let your relationships, finances or work suffer in order to feed the need. It's good to miss the game – it will always be there to welcome you back with open arms when the rest of your life is in order!