Age Related Decline

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Every person will have their own unique answer to this question. For those that played the game for hours on end in their younger days, those that made a living from the game, or stayed deep into the nights gambling at the game- their decline may come sooner just to natural deterioration of stamina, and the fact that the lifestyle contributed to a faster decline in physical and perhaps mental capabilities.

For some, who perhaps enjoyed the game their entire life, but had a more balanced approach to life itself ( work, family, etc.) and pursued a healthier lifestyle as a whole; their own specific generic aging factors will come into play, as well as their desire and ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they approach older age categories.

Personally, I fall into the latter category: worked and traveled worldwide for business for over 35 years, raised a family, but always loved the game and stayed active with it both recreationally and as competitively as possible, given my life style choices. Fortunately, my health and my active lifestyle, with an emphasis on good health, finds me enjoying the game at 67 more than ever before. My ability now to pay attention to all the little details of my game has made me a better player than anytime in the past; even though practice time is definitely limited by age related factors -(an arthritic back being my biggest culprit).

I think that if you look upon the game as a hobby, an outlet, an enjoyment, an interest, and embrace many facets of the game- the playing, following and enjoying pro level play, cue appreciation, the game's history, you can have a complete lifetime of enjoyment with it.

If one is blessed, you can still bring a good game well into your seventies and perhaps beyond that- good shooting!
 
Last edited:

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm 41. My back hurts, my neck hurts, my elbow hurts, my knee hurts. Basically everything hurts and I'm dying! ha ha. All that has affected my pool game. My speed isn't really any worse, it actually might be the best it ever was. But I only play a short while at a time now, because of all the discomfort I have. So I can't be practicing all the time to stay in stroke. And the days of playing long sessions are gone. And because things hurt, I rarely even have the motivation to play anymore.
That is the saddest thing I've read all day, buttercup!
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I think it boils down to two things.

I'm getting extremely close to 50. I don't move like I used to, my knees are shot, my back is hit and miss, etc... None of that really mattered though. I could make adjustments when the day required it, and still delivered the cue straight. What's failing now is my eye sight. Depending on how close I get the CB it's starting to blur.

When I'm playing on HAMB muscle/subconcisous memory, I still play at my usual spd. Once things start to go sideways, and I apply visual focus to addressing the ball it gets hairy... It's weird feeling when extra effort makes things worse...lol. This has started within the last year. Well... it's bad enough now that I've started to notice it.

So for me, my longevity is tethered to one of two things. Success with HAMB or if that fails, then my eyesight. Here's hoping my HAMB memory doesn't slide like my eyes are.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had a back problem and they did xrays MRIs everything imaginable. They said it was sciatica . It was so painful some times it made me throw up. I prayed to God for relief and started sleeping in my recliner , My back started to feel a bit better and I went back to the bed , a few days later I'm miserable again. Now I only sleep in the recliner at about half way back . My sciatica is gone {Thank you God } after about a week and although it is not really as comfortable as a bed , I can deal with it to get rid of that pain. You might try it and see if it helps you.
I’ve been sleeping in my recliner for 5 1/2 years since my last shoulder surgery. I’ve tried numerous times, but I just can’t get comfortable to sleep well in the bed, but I sleep awesome in my recliner.
 

9BallKY

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I just turned 54 about a month ago and I feel that I play my best pool at this point. I only play tournaments that work well with my work schedule anymore. Meaning I don’t compete as much as I used to. Simply because I don’t like being out all night or playing in tournaments that don’t have a good return on the money invested. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be by a long shot but I manage. I know the day will come but until then I’ll just keep at it.
 

chefjeff

If not now...
Silver Member
I play daily and I'm 68 and still getting better.

One thing to put into your shot is the ability and technique to change as you age. For example, the back. ow ow ow.

When it began hurting, I looked for a new set-up and stance and found one that didn't hurt so much and still allowed me the clearance and comfort necessary to shoot well.

That's my suggestion: Keep changing to compensate for what nature is doing to your body...oh and then practice the hell out of it to make it stick.


Jeff Livingston
 

mrpiper

Registered
This question has a VERY different answer in this age. Many if not MOST quite elderly people with just reasonable health can perform the basic mechanics of billiards. Why then is there this constant belief that your game goes down with age? Outside of the very real mental decline, and even mental disease such as Alzhiemer's, or significantly limiting physical disability, there is really not an obstruction to playing a great game and continuing to improve IF DESIRED!

Up until just a couple of decades ago, the answer was clear and simple. Vision. The inevitability of loss of visual acuity, coupled with the insidious and almost universal addition of cataracts with age, resulted in less ability to play well, regardless of mechanics. Play, yes... play at a very high level... not so much.

Now, with an outpatient procedure, my 82 year old father has 20/20 vision with perfect color recognition and depth perception. He plays as well, if not better than he did 40 years ago when he used to mop up the table with me any time we played.

YES, we get old, we creak, hurt, ache, lose stamina, and have to go to the bathroom between racks, but with perfect vision, and the ability to stand and hold a cue, most can play at whatever level they fight to get to. (All this in my humble opinion. your mileage may vary)
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Measureman kicks butt. Not even close. Mid 70's
Well thanks but you just killed my action! LOL
I'm 74 and play just once a week and my eyesight is still pretty good and I wear no glasses or contacts.
I play at about 75% of my best in the '80's.
But to compensate for my decline I try to play smarter.
 

loggerhead12

Active member
I think you can fight it to some extent. I'm purposefully doing things to try to counter the effects of age. Gary Player is my model. He's 85 now, but at any time in his 70's he could drop and do 100 pushups or sit-ups. Dexterity, flexibility and mental acuity are important. Since I turned 50 seven years ago I've lost most of 100 lbs, started juggling, snowboarding, flying airplanes upside down, and hit the heavy weights. I'm stronger and more confident in my ability to do anything than any time in my 40's and maybe my 30's.

I attended a talk by Chad Hennings, former A10 pilot and Dallas Cowboy. He touted the benefits of hot yoga. That's next on the list for me early next year as part of my rehab for upcoming back surgery.

My 57-year-old self could wipe the floor with any of my other aged selves at just about anything, pool included. My goal is to be that guy who looks kind of old but shows up on the crotch rocket bike and does amazing stuff he shouldn't be doing.
 

Logandgriff

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I'm 72 and I'm playing about as well as ever. I have to say a prayer and shoot in slow motion to make table length shots, but since I have retired I can give more attention to pool - practicing, reading and watching Youtube videos. In my last two matches, I slammed two straight backs and made two complex caroms, things I probably wouldn't/couldn't have done when younger.

PS - among the greatest things to come to pool instruction in my opinion are the Earl Strickland Billiards Network Youtube videos where he narrates a match and explains the english the player will use on every shot.
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It's more important than ever to spend regular time at the table just to stay tuned up. Also get your eyes checked regularly. I try to spend at least an hour a day downstairs on my table.

I've developed a problem with my grip hand where if I use a cue with a wrap it causes a problem with the fingertips so I bought a wrapless cue. I have two great cues I can't use because of the fingertips. Weird stuff starts happening when you age.
 

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
It's more important than ever to spend regular time at the table just to stay tuned up. Also get your eyes checked regularly. I try to spend at least an hour a day downstairs on my table.

I've developed a problem with my grip hand where if I use a cue with a wrap it causes a problem with the fingertips so I bought a wrapless cue. I have two great cues I can't use because of the fingertips. Weird stuff starts happening when you age.
Weird things huh?
Yup.
Woke up about 3 weeks ago with a trigger finger on my left hand.
When I went to bed it wasn't there.
Woke up and viola, there it was, and still there.

"Trigger finger is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. Your finger may bend or straighten with a snap — like a trigger being pulled and released."
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Enjoy what you can from life, and appreciate it, I only wish I had learned that long ago , instead of late in life, but, better late than never, right?
To your point, I worked in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch region for a short while and always liked the apt frankness of their charming saying:

"Too soon we get old . . . too late we get smart."

Arnaldo ~ One of our local seniors recently quipped: "No need to complain about old age -- it doesn't last very long."
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Turned 64 a few months ago . . . I’m dealing with a sciatica nerve problem on my lower back, three weeks already . . . I still lift heavy weights in the gym.
Sometimes a well-wishing reader can beneficially highlight a thing into a logical sequence that helps us.

Helpfully intended.

Arnaldo ~ Avid & seasoned weight trainer, now a sensible training-for-tone senior.
 

DJKeys

Sound Design
Gold Member
Silver Member
When I played in college, I won the 14.1 tournament and had a run of 47 and out to win the SemFinal. I sold the cues I had and did not play again until 30 years later. I never thought I would equal that run, but in 2010 I ran 59 in practice which was my high run of all time. That was after taking some lessons. So, I think I am as good a player now as ever, and luckily, I am not in any type of severe pain, which I attribute to 45 years of diet, vitamins, and exercise. Although I wear glasses for the computer, reading and driving, I cannot get used to them while playing pool, so the long shots are tough. I also find that insufficient lighting makes it more difficult for me as well.

-dj
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Weird things huh?
Yup.
Woke up about 3 weeks ago with a trigger finger on my left hand.
When I went to bed it wasn't there.
Woke up and viola, there it was, and still there.

"Trigger finger is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. Your finger may bend or straighten with a snap — like a trigger being pulled and released."
I'm an avid DIY-er & home workshop metal/woodcraft guy. Every other year or so, I get a temporary "trigger finger" when I tug too hard on an object or tool (like an Allen wrench or similar) that exerts extreme pressure on the palm side of a given finger joint. That's an area where the inadequately-cushioned long control tendon/cable runs thru its very thin-walled container sheath.

I always successfully get rid of the finger-lock via a thrice-daily, week or two of direct, gentle massage of that bending "crotch" area, with the index finger of my opposite hand. This progressively rids the inflammation and the finger's normal open-close function returns -- usually within about a week or 10 days (for me). The massage is essential.

If the compromised sheath & cable (and digit bones) are, in fact, possibly severely damaged and don't respond to the massage I've outlined, then proceed to let a hand surgeon X-ray and comment on it. If they are medically conservative, prone to avoiding surgeries when possible, they will sometimes initially try a strong steroidal anti-inflammatory injection into the area during two four-days-apart office visits.

Arnaldo ~ Btw, the name of the condition came about not because the effect resembled the feel and sound of a trigger snap, but precisely because the condition so frequently arises among cohorts of continually trigger-pulling people (hunters, soldiers, recreational marksmen, ex-godfather associates :) etc.)
 
Last edited:

DynoDan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The multiple physical breakdowns are bad enough, but learning/remembering gets tougher as well. If only ‘youthful enthusiasm‘ could be bottled & sold…..!
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
At what age do you feel that age related decline in ones game is inevitable ,assuming general good health and average eyesight? Can lots of practice help offset decline or is it just a fact? Thanks

I'm playing better now at almost 50 than I ever did before. Eyes are for sure worse but I'm playing better due to other factors like changing how I actually shoot (alignment, stroke, etc...), finding a shaft that I can play with well and studying patterns and position more.
 

ribdoner

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED
Silver Member
Don't doubt that you won't play at a level you enjoy playing, however, achieving that goal requires table time which can vary greatly based primarily on hand to eye coordination, vision and health.

"playing" pool which is more fruitful than working at the game.

Have fun
 
Top