Playing pool is known for its ubiquitous presence in bars and pubs (even coining the name pool hall), its true name of billiards is a catchall term for the tabletop game played that requires pool sticks (or cues) to hit hard balls into one of six pockets. The game can be played casually, as an amateur and even on the professional level. Each round of billiards, whatever game type one chooses to play, is unique and requires players to be mentally agile and physically adept.
Slows Aging in Adults
Playing a game of pool while sharing a drink has become a staple for socializing among many adults and with good reason! Studies have shown that enjoying a beverage while playing a game of pool with friends can help keep older adults active. With both the active play of the game and the passive social enjoyment during a round of pool the habit of sitting watching TV and doing nothing is removed. This can help slow the aging process by providing adults a casual activity that still utilizes the use of their muscles.
Helps Build Focus
Playing pool requires a great amount of focus and concentration. Your ability to focus on a given objective is essential in achieving happiness and attaining goals. In billiards, players must focus on their targets (the cue ball and the target ball), the angle of their own cue, the angle the cue ball will move in once it is hit and if the cue ball will strike the target ball.
Playing Pool Burns Calories
There is a surprising amount of beneficial walking involved in a round of pool: a typical 2-hour 8-ball or 9-ball session often provides 100 trips
around the table’s perimeter, which is about equal to walking nearly three-quarters of a mile. Playing multiple games of pool will stack up these distances and burn even more calories!
Enables Stretching and Balance
Playing requires a lot more stretching than a person would not normally do. Having to bend across the table top to reach the cue ball at a desired angle requires a player to be a bit flexible, especially with complex shots. Pool also enhances balance as the game requires you to stand on one foot at certain times, promoting stability.
Helps Build Control
Studies have shown that individuals who play cue sports like pool are less likely to panic amid crisis – imagine. The levelheadedness of those who play concentration games are able to think clearly and logically, enabling them examine the most pertinent facts and details and encourage them to go into action without becoming hysterical.
Playing Pool Sharpens the Mind
Those who frequently play pool often have sharper minds. Pool requires performing mental mathematical estimates and calculations, such as basic geometry and physics. These skills are necessary to calculate precise angles and trajectories and to determine how much force to apply during a strike so as not to under or overshoot a target. Having a sharp mind enables one to think on their feet faster and pick up on little details.
Promotes Good Hand-eye Coordination
Playing pool can also increase your eye-and-hand coordination. Having that sharp mind becomes redundant if the player cannot apply those calculations to the table. The hand-eye coordination involved is a crucial factor in winning a game of pool. Your hands become swift and agile and can perform minute, finite tasks.
The physical benefits of playing pool include low-impact toning of the back, hip and leg muscles pertaining to continuous bending and reaching to facilitate arm/hand setups and the exercises found in cue-stroking movements.
Improves Cognitive Skills
The mental stimulation of pool is rich and variable, owing to the virtually infinite table layouts that each broken rack presents. The layouts in pool challenge the player’s imagination, visualization and creative problem-solving skills and requires constant improvisation in order to pocket balls and achieve good position on further shots as skills increase.
Playing Pool is Fun for All Ages
Anyone can play this activity regardless of age and sex, so playing pool can be a regular family event. From your youngest nephew who wants to stab the 8-ball into a pocket, to your spouse’s great grandmother, pool is a leisure activity that anyone can learn and anyone can play, ensuring that everyone gets a turn around the table.
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credit: Veronika Kovecses