When in Rome, Do As the Professionals Do

Posted by : Samm Diep

When visiting foreign soil, it can be advantageous to conform to the customs of the land. When it comes to playing pool, there are some dead giveaways that can let your opponent know that you’re still an amateur. Okay, so you are still an amateur. That doesn’t mean you can’t pass for a professional now, does it? Well, not if you follow these tips during your match.

1. Refrain from cursing, yelling, or abusing the equipment. These unprofessional characteristics are screaming, "I’m not a professional!" Work on staying calm, cool, and collected no matter what happens.

2. Sit up straight in your seat. Practice having winning posture. Your body language says a lot about your confidence and ultimately, your abilities. A player that looks and feels confident will play with confidence.

3. Tidy up. Dress to kill. Save those torn jeans, sweat pants, and wife beater shirts for doing yard work. When you’re competing, you’re an athlete. How can you expect anyone to take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously and dress appropriately. Professional events require collared shirts and dress pants. If you ever desire to participate in one of these events, you’ll need to get used to dressing to impress.

4. Always shake your opponent’s hand before and after the match. Greet your opponent with a handshake, lag or flip for the break, and wish them a nice match. When it’s over, shake their hand and simply say, “Thank you.”

5. Stay in your seat when it’s not your turn at the table. It’s never necessary to get up and down in your seat to check out a shot or get something from your case or talk to your friends. A simple reminder: Do unto your opponent as you would have them do unto you.

6. Remember to place the chalk on the table blue side up. Respect the equipment by keeping it (and your clothes) clean by never chalking over the table and keeping as little chalk dust on the rail as possible.

7. Practice good sportsmanship. Never cheer for your opponent’s misfortunes. You can think “Scratch!” or “Get in there!” in your head all your want when their cue ball is going toward the corner pocket but it’s just not polite and pretty bad karma to say it out loud.

8. Keep the small talk to a minimum. If your objective is to do your best to win the match, don’t be a chatterbox. Save the thoughts and comments for when the match is over.

9. Look like a pro at the table. Stay down, stay smooth, and follow through. Be controlled and deliberate with your stroke.

10. Turn off your cell phone during your match. Stay in the game. Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

So remember, the next time you want to play like a professional, start by acting like one. When you’re in the mile high area and looking for a Denver billiard instructor, please look me up.