Sure, you may have never considered billiards outside of the context of a few beers and some bonding time with the bros. And it’s probably even less likely that you’ve pondered the numerous health benefits associated with playing a good old-fashioned game of pool.
Here are the 6 top benefits of regularly playing a game or two of billiards:
1. Helps you build focus
Playing pool or some other game of billiards requires a lot of concentration and focus. Your ability to maintain laser focus on the game is essential to winning it. You have to be able to focus on your moving targets (the target and cue balls), the angle of your cue, the angle of the cue ball’s trajectory once it’s been hit, and on ensuring that your cue ball will hit the target ball.
2. Slows the aging process
The next time someone criticizes you for playing way too many billiards games with your boys while downing pints upon pints of beer, you should cite the recent study that came from the University of Copenhagen.
The study claims that engaging in social drinking with friends while playing an active game of pool with friends actually helps in keeping older men more physically agile, because of the alternation between mobile and passive activity during the average game of pool.
This helps fight against the natural aging process by allowing elderly men to continue using their muscles, even if in a seemingly minor way.
3. Promotes balance and stretching
You may not realize this, but playing billiards requires stretching the body more than it normally needs to be stretched. Note how you have to stretch your body in certain angles and to certain lengths in order to hit the cue ball as precisely as possible. The more complex the shot and its trajectory, the more flexible you need to be in order to execute the shot.
You also have to master the science of balance when playing pool, because you often have to shift your weight to one side of your body onto one foot while aiming for certain shots.
4. Builds control
Studies actually show that people who play certain cue sports similar to pool have more control over their emotions in a crisis.
Concentration games like pool require a certain level of level headedness in order to think logically clearly, which ultimately allows pool players to calmly examine the facts of normally panic-inducing crises and move toward solution, as opposed to an emotional shutdown.
5. Sharpens hand-eye coordination skills
It’s almost a given that regularly practicing and playing pool helps sharpen the average player’s hand-eye coordination skills. In fact, this is a crucial skill to perfect to assist in winning as many pool games as possible.
6. Improves cognitive skills
The game of pool provides a lot of potential for mental stimulation to a player, provided that they play enough to a point of being able to use their visualization, imagination, and creativity to creatively problem solve and improvise ways to hit and pocket their target balls.