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View Full Version : Are the best players also good athletes?


9BallPaul
10-21-2010, 03:29 PM
Just wondering whether Earl shoots hoops or Django bowls, etc. Seems to me the best players I know also excelled in other sports. Here in metro Denver, longtime 9-ball king Andy Hudson carried a 190-plus average while bowling only a couple times a week. And I'm pretty sure that Billy Stroud was skiing in the mid-60's while he lived in Aspen.

And yet, Minnesota Fats never dunked a basketball, nor has Efren Reyes, so far as anyone knows. But do those guys play ping-pong, golf, softball, or anything else?

And finally, how does pool's history of fat men (Minnesota, Jackie Gleason, Omaha Fats, etc.) fit in with athletic talent? Of those three, I saw only Omaha, and even he moved around the table with grace and style while running a rack.

Curioius about your opinions.

greyghost
10-21-2010, 03:43 PM
I think it has to do with frame of mind not necessarily that they are physically any diff.......anyone can learn motions.....not everyone has the mind capable of taking the pressure of being a champion and competing with them.....thats what seperates them, a burning desire to be the best and beat the rest.

That tenacity just shifts its direction to other sports the person enjoys.....not to mention that a good pool player has and must know his body and most often have complete control over it. So its much easier from that perspective for that individual to pick something up quickly and effectively.

bud green
10-21-2010, 04:56 PM
John Schmidt is an excellent golfer, shot a couple of 62's or something crazy.

Earl, Archer, Deuel, and Putnam are all supposed to be pretty good at golf also. Single digit handicaps.

Some pool players are also excellent basketball shooters...not saying their rocking the pickup game in their home town, but I wouldn't bet against them shooting free throws or three pointers.

Dave Bollman was actually a pro at golf before playing top level pool.

Don Willis was supposed to be excellent at ping pong, running backwards, etc...

vincentwu817
10-21-2010, 05:29 PM
I dont know Oscar Dominguez personally but I read his biography and supposedly he played high school basketball. I know some Taiwanese pool players are also into golf, not sure if they are good at it or not. But considering that most pool there's in Taiwan spend 6 hours a day in a smoke filled room, not sure if they still have the lung capacity to do some aerobics, Lol

PoolBum
10-21-2010, 05:35 PM
Some pool players are also excellent basketball shooters.

I've heard this is true of Archer.

vincentwu817
10-21-2010, 05:40 PM
Well.. I hope Earl isn't into any contact sport like basketball, hockey, soccer, or football.. u know why

Fatboy
10-21-2010, 06:26 PM
yes they have superior eys hand coordination. they are born with a gift, they still have to pay their dues but they are better bowlers, golfers. JA can shoot free throws all day long and hardly miss. either you have it or you dont

9BallPaul
10-21-2010, 06:42 PM
yes they have superior eys hand coordination. they are born with a gift, they still have to pay their dues but they are better bowlers, golfers. JA can shoot free throws all day long and hardly miss. either you have it or you dont

Think you nailed it there, FB. As for me, I can't triangulate with both eyes (think it's called mononocular or some such) so I could never catch a fly ball in baseball or make a long shot in basketball.

In pool, I've got to be high on the table like Minnesota or a few others I've seen. Instead of depth perception, I triangulate. As for athletics, I was an exceptional skier, and made my living doing that for 20 years in Aspen, where it's as good as it gets. But pool? Banger, pure and simple. Didn't shoot hoops, although I practiced in my alley for years, and baseball, couldn't hit the curve, thrown my my first best friend Scotty Allen, and could never handle a rifle, as my drill sergeant could early attest.

But somehow, in pool, my talent came out. And yep, I play mean ping-pong, even if I'm living on Social Security disability.

Snake Plisken
10-22-2010, 12:56 PM
The main attributes that translates from traditional more physical sports (i.e. baseball, football, basketball) to pool would have to be hand-eye coordination and mental toughness.

Although all sports are largely mental, I believe pool is even more so.
It requires certain abilities that other elite athletes posess but in addition takes an intelligence for strategy similar to that of a talented chess player to see patterns and safteys. Then calls upon the physical requirements of being able to execute them with visual acuity in combination with proper speed and english. This type of coordination, as we know, is not easy.

To excel at most other sports there is a larger requirement for athletisism,
muscular strength and endurance, fast twitch muscle fibers, speed, physical agility/dexterity, etc...

The athletes that are able to excel at both pool as well as the more athletic and physically demanding sports usually posess all the attributes
mentioned.

You can make a "nurture vs. nature" argument if you wanted, but I feel to become one of the elite in any sport you need to have been born with a gift, both physical as well as mental, and have the discipline and drive to put in endless hours of practice to hone your ability.

Make no mistake, Earl would not be Earl unless he was born with his special gift as well as having put in countless hours of table time. He just happens to have the other physical attributes (as some other great pool players) that allows him to excel at other sports as well, such as tennis.

PocketPoint
10-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Danny D and Dennis Hatch were both boxers. I think I read an article where Danny said he was pretty good at several other sports.

PocketPoint
10-22-2010, 01:02 PM
Also from what I've heard Danny D retired undefeated and had a good chance at being a top ranked boxer, I'm not sure what weight class.

Joe Pickens
10-22-2010, 01:05 PM
Yes I am. Thanks for asking. :smile:

hustler
10-22-2010, 01:23 PM
I would think the number of pool players who are also good athletes would be a fairly short list. I know you might disagree with this but I think most pool players become pool players because they are not very good at any other sports.

9BallPaul
10-22-2010, 01:46 PM
The main attributes that translates from traditional more physical sports (i.e. baseball, football, basketball) to pool would have to be hand-eye coordination and mental toughness.

Although all sports are largely mental, I believe pool is even more so.
It requires certain abilities that other elite athletes posess but in addition takes an intelligence for strategy similar to that of a talented chess player to see patterns and safteys. Then calls upon the physical requirements of being able to execute them with visual acuity in combination with proper speed and english. This type of coordination, as we know, is not easy.

To excel at most other sports there is a larger requirement for athletisism,
muscular strength and endurance, fast twitch muscle fibers, speed, physical agility/dexterity, etc...

The athletes that are able to excel at both pool as well as the more athletic and physically demanding sports usually posess all the attributes
mentioned.

You can make a "nurture vs. nature" argument if you wanted, but I feel to become one of the elite in any sport you need to have been born with a gift, both physical as well as mental, and have the discipline and drive to put in endless hours of practice to hone your ability.

Make no mistake, Earl would not be Earl unless he was born with his special gift as well as having put in countless hours of table time. He just happens to have the other physical attributes (as some other great pool players) that allows him to excel at other sports as well, such as tennis.

Fabulous response and just what I was looking for.

vincentwu817
10-22-2010, 01:50 PM
The main attributes that translates from traditional more physical sports (i.e. baseball, football, basketball) to pool would have to be hand-eye coordination and mental toughness.

Although all sports are largely mental, I believe pool is even more so.
It requires certain abilities that other elite athletes posess but in addition takes an intelligence for strategy similar to that of a talented chess player to see patterns and safteys. Then calls upon the physical requirements of being able to execute them with visual acuity in combination with proper speed and english. This type of coordination, as we know, is not easy.

To excel at most other sports there is a larger requirement for athletisism,
muscular strength and endurance, fast twitch muscle fibers, speed, physical agility/dexterity, etc...

The athletes that are able to excel at both pool as well as the more athletic and physically demanding sports usually posess all the attributes
mentioned.

You can make a "nurture vs. nature" argument if you wanted, but I feel to become one of the elite in any sport you need to have been born with a gift, both physical as well as mental, and have the discipline and drive to put in endless hours of practice to hone your ability.

Make no mistake, Earl would not be Earl unless he was born with his special gift as well as having put in countless hours of table time. He just happens to have the other physical attributes (as some other great pool players) that allows him to excel at other sports as well, such as tennis.

I couldn't agree more with you. A great deal of talent and natural mental capabilities is required for professional sports, especially on the major sports. Some need to put in a lot of hard work, and some require less. Ralf Souqet comes to mind here. I don't know how much talent he had when he started out playing. I'm pretty sure he is very talented. His discipline and mental toughness amazes me. It seems like he always prepare himself in the best possible condition to approach tournaments. I respect Ralf a lot, but don't like watching him play... :D

tom mcgonagle
10-22-2010, 02:20 PM
I was better than average at every game I ever played, except for golf.

Candlepin bowling, a game exclusive to the New England States, was my second best game. Funny thing, it was in the same building as the pool room I grew playing in.

___________________________________

http://tommcgonaglerightoncue.com

ridinda9
10-22-2010, 05:54 PM
I played football for Penn State , and was 58th ranked US Biathalon competitor . That was then . . .
Now I am one of those FAT players of which you speak - and no , I don't appear too graceful as I hobble around the table on my bad knee . . .

PoolBum
10-22-2010, 06:06 PM
Danny D and Dennis Hatch were both boxers. I think I read an article where Danny said he was pretty good at several other sports.

Danny could toss a cow-pie through a goal post from 110 yards.

PoolBum
10-22-2010, 06:09 PM
I would think the number of pool players who are also good athletes would be a fairly short list. I know you might disagree with this but I think most pool players become pool players because they are not very good at any other sports.

The original post was about the best pool players. I think the best pool players become pool players because they are great at playing pool.

PistolPat
10-23-2010, 05:24 AM
I dont know Oscar Dominguez personally but I read his biography and supposedly he played high school basketball. I know some Taiwanese pool players are also into golf, not sure if they are good at it or not. But considering that most pool there's in Taiwan spend 6 hours a day in a smoke filled room, not sure if they still have the lung capacity to do some aerobics, Lol

Yeah I've talked to O about this and if my memory serves me right, he holds the school record for 3 pointers in a game??? Its a pretty high number, just cant remember what it was exactly...In any case yeah Oscar is a true bballer

Side note: Not that I'm a pro at pool/billiards....but I was scouted to play pro basketball overseas....blew out my acl and mcl in one shot...career over....next in line...back to pool/billiards haha...

StrokeofLuck
10-23-2010, 07:47 AM
As another poster said it's not about athleticism (strength, speed, etc) but hand eye coordination is the key. If you take someone that doesn't play pool but has that hand/eye thing in their arsenal you can teach them to make a ball and move the cue ball much faster than someone who doesn't have it. If you look at the replies here, golf, ping pong, shooting a b-ball, bowling, all games where you have to deftly deliver a ball with touch to a given area kind of sums it up. Some years ago I entered a horseshoe tournment for fun and won the thing. Obviously there wasn't any world beaters in it but lots of old school players that had played most of their life. I had only played like twice in my life but the process of delivering that shoe to the stake just came easy to me.