Some more than others, but generally billiard players are maniacs and superstitious. While we are playing, we deploy a series of tics that make us feel safer on the table. They are small routines, simple repeats, like a tennis player when it has the serve or a golfer when preparing a swing.
In today's article we talk about the 10 oddities that have many billiard players and probably you too.
By David Muñoz
1. Moving the index finger resting on the cloth just before shooting
More than an oddity, it is actually a tic or an unconscious act occasionally seen in the championships. There are some players who, just before shooting, move up and down the index finger of the bridge. What is this for? Perhaps nerves or simply because they have adopted it as a routine. Surely many do not even realize that they do.
2. Saving the chalk in the pocket after use
It is a very typical hobby in Snooker players. They use the chalk, keep it in their pocket and shoot. They use the chalk, keep it in their pocket and shoot. And so on. In Pool it’s more common to put it on the table, although some players also save it in their pockets. A variation would be to use the magnetic or leather chalk holder.
3. Using the chalk a specific number of times (always the same) before shooting
Some people always pass the chalk three times before the shooting, five and some others have enough with just two. In my case I always make 1-2 pause, 1-2 and shoot. Having a routine of this type well assimilated helps you a lot, but you must automate to run it without thinking.
4. Never leaving the chalk on the table
Just as there are billiard players who always want to have the chalk in their pockets, there are those who hate it on the table when they lose their turn. So they always carry it in their hand or wherever, but never leave it on the bands.
5. Set up the break cue first and then the play cue
Another typical sports craze: the order of preparation of the material with which you compete. There are billiard players who always prepare the break cue and then the play cue, or vice versa first. Like the football player who always ties the right shoe first.
6. Always with the same ball
The tap is usually also a focus of hobbies. Tap always from the same side (for example, left) to make always using the same ball (eg, six). Some people also need to use a ball of higher numbers than the rival. "If I do not do it, I will lose”, they think.
7. Get up if negative thoughts come just before shooting
Ideally we should go down to shoot thinking, but often we send ourselves messages like: "I'm going to fail, I'm shooting with too much effect, I do not know where the white ball will be,...". When negative thoughts come, it is best to get up and cancel them. Many billiard players have developed this highly recommended habit.
8. Staring at the white ball when the opponent is shooting
It is a great resource to never lose concentration. It is to look at a particular point of the table, in this case the white ball, and never give it away until it’s your turn to shoot again.
9. Sitting when it’s the rival’s turn
If when the opponent is shooting I keep standing and I do not sit, I'm not comfortable. I need to do my routine in the chair, not standing. This is a healthy habit for both: the shooter is more comfortable, he rests and makes the routine; and, at the same time, he doesn’t bother his rival.
10. Complaining when failing
And now the tenth and final point of this list of tics and superstitions, which we have all experienced ever: when we fail we complain, in a thousand different ways. Either by an instinctive reaction, a sense of failure or surprise, or being weak mentally, we make a grimace or scowl just after missing a shot. From all of this list is probably the only negative craze that should release any player.
Now your turn to confess what your weirdest hobby is while you train or compete. Write it down in the article comments.