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Do You Prefer Competition or Solo Billiard Play?

Do You Prefer Competition or Solo Billiard Play?

Do you like to compete with others all the time, sometimes, or is competition not your cup of tea? I mean, I guess we're all "conditioned" to want to "win" in competitions and pool tournaments, but I've been realizing that some of the funnest times at the billiard table are had when I'm just shooting the breeze with buddies. You know, if you are playing a hard shot and you miss, the buddy says, "just take the cue ball and put it back, and try again" I just love that. It makes playing pool so much more fun, and you learn a lot. And its more fun usually that practicing by yourself.

Do You Prefer Competition or Solo Billiard Play?

Replies & Comments

  1. billiardsforumquickshot on 10/25/2008 3:55:55 PM

    I enjoy playing competition but it has to be a better player than me. I also like just bouncing the ball around with friends. As you mentioned, if you blow a shot you can get a do-over and get some discussion. And it my belief, that the do -over shots are the ones you will remember when you see it in competition.

  2. billiardsforumGinger on 10/25/2008 4:50:32 PM

    Quickshot, as usual, hit the nail on the head. When doing anything in life, you'll grow and learn by surrounding yourself with those who are much better than you. I've alway been a strong believer in this concept and billiards is no different.

    I mean, think about how you feel when you are at a pool hall and you just see a really good pool player. Doesn't have to be a pro or anything, just someone who makes more shots than they miss. Someone who executes shots with style. You know what I mean. You just watch them, and sub-consciously, you just start trying to mimic their style and skill.

    Instead of distinguishing between playing in competition and playing by yourself (which I picture as you just in your basement shooting by yourself, or maybe with a cat) you should distinguish between your skill level, and the skill level of those you play against, whether casually or formally. (as quickshot indicates)

    Although, nothing compares to the thrill of competition though.

  3. billiardsforumthedoc on 11/8/2008 8:49:21 AM

    Consider the psychology behind competition. You could even break that out into a few categories. In billiards competition (tournament and/or league play) I have noticed that the pool players can be broken into a few groups.

    • Billiard players who have a killer instinct and feel the need to "beat" others. I noticed that "winning" on this basis seems to be a key component to thier self esteem and self identity.
    • Billiard players who are just out for the night to be social, and have a "good' evening with friends. These players are seen as less competitive, and generally don't worry about whether they win or lose. Although they are technically competing, to these pool players, it's all in fun.
    • Billiard players who are similar to the first type of player in the list, but lack self esteem to even get started. They typically "bad mouth" competitive play, in order to diminish it's importance to others. Because they feel inadequate, and like the first type, they get esteem from winning if they could, they avoid competition.

    Now, with that said, I should mention that I'm not looking to "generalize" or anything, there are obviously pool players out there who are hybrids of two or more of the above. I'm just saying that when considering the question that @billiardsforum posed, we must consider that there are many degrees of how a player views competition.

  4. billiardsforumbilliardsforum on 11/8/2008 8:53:38 AM

    Thanks everyone for the extremely insightful replies. In looking at @thedoc's list, I'm probably a hybrid of the 2nd type of player and the first. I like the social and fun aspect of getting together in a league and I like the camaraderie with the other players. (I guess not all leagues would experience this) But also, I do feel good winning. (who doesn't?) It's just not everything to me.

    And I think we've all seen the billiard player who has a short fuse and gets very angry when he or she loses. They start throwing their cue around and kicking the floor. I just look at those people and wonder.

  5. billiardsforumsmichael on 11/8/2008 9:08:07 AM

    I thought I'd jump in on this one a little bit.

    Good points made by quickshot and thedoc. I consider myself reasonably competitive, especially in billiards (and in hockey) but at the same time, I consider myself a very good appreciator of other people's successes. I don't get all bent out of shape if someone beats me. I get kind of stressed out by the pool players who look at everything as if it is a "do or die" situation, you know, like cutthroat competition. I just think what a bunch of baloney. Sad lives, in my opinion.

    Even for those who are lucky enough to make a living playing billiards - they have to be humble. You can be the best, but if your image is that of an asshole, your sponsors will be gone in a flash.

  6. billiardsforumquickshot on 11/8/2008 5:47:30 PM

    @smichael - Solo play should be two things: fun and the groundwork for competition.

    @thedoc - Well put Doc.

  7. billiardsforumbumped on 12/20/2008 9:11:52 PM

    I've been playing 4 hours a day 3 times a week with neighbors at our community club house. Big fun. I do enjoy an informal tournament here and there. Nothing too serious. No gambling.

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Do You Prefer Competition or Solo Billiard Play?

  • Title: Do You Prefer Competition or Solo Billiard Play?
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 10/25/2008 2:10:03 PM