View Full Version : How long can someone go without playing b4 they start losing their skill?

03-15-2008, 10:13 PM
Is pool a sport that requires the player to play or practice everyday? I have taken a day or two off and my game seems to slip a little but after an hour of practice my game starts to come back. I have a friend who took a week off and he still struggles to get his game back. How about pros, could they ever take a vacation from pool? Would it be too risky?

03-15-2008, 10:20 PM
12 to 18 hours?

03-15-2008, 10:27 PM
I think skill level drops fairly quickly when someone stops playing, maybe only a couple of days, and how long it takes to regain depends on your level of play. An A player will be able to get back up to where they left off fairly quickly, while a C player will take more time.

The King
03-15-2008, 10:31 PM
I would be interested in hearing more answers.... I quit playing for 18 years and it is hard trying to get it back... I still remember alot of the mental stuff and the english and all but the physical part or making the ball takes the most time for me ...

03-15-2008, 10:44 PM
Sometimes taking a week or two off helps me play better when I come back. On the other hand, when I quit for a year it took a long time to get back to where I was before.

03-15-2008, 11:07 PM
Sometimes taking a week or two off helps me play better when I come back...

I found the same to be true for me. Over the past year I took a few trips ranging in lenght from 5 - 12 days (where I didn't play pool while I was gone). I was expecting to be a little rusty when I returned, but I was amazed at how sharp I felt when I resumed playing again.

03-15-2008, 11:51 PM
pool aficionados from manila always says.. "its just like riding a bicycle...you learned when you were a kid...and you will never forget how to pedal even after 10 years of not riding one.":)

you pro'lly don't lose the skills.. more likely you lose the stroke or the touch..jmo

Fast Lenny
03-15-2008, 11:54 PM
Well im playing tomorrow in a tourney,damaged my foot and havent hit a ball in 2 weeks so im curious as to how i play.I have cashed 5 out 7 times at this tournament and always have finished top 6 out of 30 players so if i go 2 and out i guess i have an excuse,dont all pool players. :D

03-16-2008, 01:08 AM
I can lose all my skill inbetween shots!

03-16-2008, 02:56 AM
There are things that you have to remember when playing pool unless you are so good that everything just comes natural. Long layoffs seem to affect me more when the pressure is on and the shots are difficult. If I don't play for a few days, I do fine until I get into a position where I have to make a tough shot. As long as the layoff hasn't been so long that you've actually forgotten certain things, it's just a matter of practicing to get your stroke back to 100%. But if you've forgotten things, it could take several days to get it back together.

03-16-2008, 03:36 AM
Is pool a sport that requires the player to play or practice everyday?

Yes it is. I've some good days when I play like 4-5 times a week. But I regular don't play that much. Right now it's like 1 time a week, and that really sucks.

I have taken a day or two off and my game seems to slip a little but after an hour of practice my game starts to come back.

I don't think a day or two off would been a problem. You just need warm up your stroke. A novice palyer need more time to get into the stroke.

How about pros, could they ever take a vacation from pool? Would it be too risky?

It will hurt there game. I've seen some pros going down when they play or practice lesser than regular. If you want to be a good player you need to play more often.

03-16-2008, 05:02 AM
I think it largely depends on why one took a break in the first place. If they took it because they were bored and didn't really care about the game anymore, it might never come back. If they got hurt, they might just be itching to get back, and no skill will be lost. It all depends on the mind, and the fire in the belly.

With enough 'fire in the belly', the fine-tuning can be back in a day or two. Or even a couple of racks if not off for that long. Sometimes you will even find yourself playing better if you had been thinking about pool a lot while not able to play. The reason for that is that your mind goes over and over the right way to do it. And it gets ingrained. The bad habits can be gone. Unfortunately, most do come back within a few days of playing again if you aren't careful.

The King
03-16-2008, 09:24 AM
I have not played for a week and when I come back shooting better at times ... I think sometimes you get burned out and a break is not bad then when you come back you have the eye of the tiger so to speak...lol...

But for some reason no matter how tired I get or what life holds I can walk away for a while but I can never totaly walk away from the game ... I will always play I'm addicted... A darn pool junky and slave to my cue ...lol..

03-16-2008, 09:54 AM
When I was in the military I had to go 6 months without playing pool several times while on deployment. When I got back there was a period of several days where I had problems finding my stroke, but it came back. As a matter of fact, I think that the layoff helped me because I had forgotten my bad habits and was able to rebuild my game without them.

These days I find that only playing once a week keeps me in the best stroke as I do not get burned out and it is more of a special event that I enjoy. If I play too much it becomes work and I don't play as well because of that. Just makes me appreciate what the pros do all the more.

I have heard that "Babe" Cranfield would only practice for two weeks before going to a major tournament sometimes with layoffs of several months/years and still be competitive with the best of them.

03-16-2008, 11:06 AM
If you are a banger then it's not going to degrade your game much to take a break. IF you are like an average B player then sometimes taking a week or two off will help your game, especially if like Neil had mentioned, you do a lot of visualization while your away from the table. If you are an A player, short stop/pro, if you take even a couple of days off it can throw off your stroke a little. The good thing about that though is that usually the skill is still there and it won't take too long to get back into stroke.


!Smorgass Bored
03-16-2008, 11:20 AM
I haven't played any pool in a little over three years now and dare say that if I decided to resume playing tomorrow, my game wouldn't be any worse than it was when I quit.

03-16-2008, 11:30 AM
I played alot during the late 70's and 80's supporting a family with it. Not a pro or anything by all means but a pretty lucky bar and hall player. Then just kinda burnt out after playing nite after nite and games getting harder to find. Just started to play again after a 17 year lay off and let me tell ya its been rough. I know how to shoot the shots & see the table but that just makes my game worse. stroke way off feel even worse. Started practicing about three hours a day 4x week game starting to come along but I doubt I ever will get back what Ive lost over the years.now Im happy with a 2-3 ball run:D

03-16-2008, 12:26 PM
I think it depends on your goal. If you want to elevate your game taking time off will hinder yourself. If you want to maintain you can take some time off without a adverse affect.

Also, taking time off shouldn't affect your strategy and shot choices. You should retain that over time. Its the stroke and position play that will be affected.

03-16-2008, 01:14 PM
When I was near the top of my game playing 50-60 hours a week I had surgery on the shoulder of my bridge arm. Arm in a sling for six weeks and I found a nice ring game during that time. I was chomping at the bit to get in that game and the day the doctor told me I could take my arm out of a sling I went and took down the ring game that night.

After a few years lay off it took several months of playing one or two days a week to get to decent speed. Now I have taken twenty years off and I was hoping for somewhere around 85% speed. So far that seems like it isn't going to happen but I have not been able to play with any regularity either. This is on nine footers. On bar tables which I very rarely play on, I am either hot or cold. When I am on I'm probably 85% or better of my old game.