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The Benefits of Playing Billiards

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Hey, Sharks.

If you’re at all like me, then Billiards—or Pool as it’s more commonly known—is your game. Of course, I had the advantage of growing up next-door to my grandfather who had a pool table in his basement, so I had the opportunity to play pretty much whenever I wanted. But, it’s a popular enough sport that many summer camps across the country offer it as an available activity during your camp stay.

Pool is played on a rectangular table. A Pool table has six pockets—four in each corner and two in the middle along each long side. It’s played with as many as 16 balls. Each ball is numbered except for the blank white cue ball which is the ball used to hit any other ball with the cue stick. The number of balls in play depends on the type of pool you're playing. Some games, like ‘Eight Ball’ call for all the balls while others such as ‘Nine Ball’ only require the nine balls in play along with the cue ball.

Pool goes back to medieval times (sometime around the 15th Century in Northern Europe). It was played by kings and commoners alike. Men and women alike enjoyed it. It basically had an immediate following because it (like Table Tennis) originated from a popular lawn game known as Billiards. The game was moved indoors and shrunk down to a wooden table with a green cloth to simulate grass.

Much about the game has changed over time, but its popularity has remained. Maybe that’s because of the way it helps us build our own character. It does so in a number of ways. For example:

Fixes your Focus
In order to be successful in Pool, you need to apply yourself to each situation you end up in on the table. Planning and making your shots requires patience and undivided attention.

Clearer in the Classroom
This game honestly could help you in math class, particularly Geometry or Physics. As your skills develop, this sport helps you discover your own natural understanding of dimension, angles, and the basic laws of physics.

Aids Assurance
As you get better at the game, you can start to ‘feel’ if your shots are successful or not before it all plays out. Somehow you just know the outcome before it happens. The feeling is confidence-boosting, both on and off the table.

Whether you ever play enough of the game to actually develop any of these benefits, I highly recommend you play when you have the opportunity too. It’s fun for both a first timer and for any pool "shark"! Enjoy your time at the table and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John




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