Beta blockers, anyone?

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would argue that taking a prescription drug for a known condition isn't akin to being blind and having to drive. I would say that allowing the medication would be a reasonable accommodation. Think of it as more of the blind cab driver can have 20/20 vision with glasse, which would be an reasonable accommodation.

The conditions arent equal, the administrative response is.

And I wouldn't say 'legally blind' covers all levels of blindness either.
 

ShortBusRuss

Short Bus Russ - C Player
Silver Member
There are players who perform best under pressure - maybe adrenaline fuels their focus (or something).

pj
chgo

Performing well under pressure could very well be because the person does not have a normal adrenaline response. This is something one can figure out on their own. Ever been driving, looked away for a split second, and when you looked up, you noticed the car was drifting towards the other lane, with a car coming? Plenty of time to respond, and smoothly move the steering when back a touch.


When that happens to me, I can feel the adrenaline immediately surge. And this is the same thing that happens to me when I hit a shot on the table, and perhaps from the angle I am bent over the table, or a slight mishit, if the shot "looks bad" on the way to the pocket, I get that immediate surge of adrenaline, completely involuntary.

So people like me have to practice a lot more to tone down theadrenaline response, through sheer repetition under the heat, so the brain learns that pool shoots going bad are nothing to dump adrenaline over.

THEN, you got people that never seemed to succumb to the pressure, from the time they picked up a cue. Adrenaline is about FEAR. If you have no fear... There is no adrenaline dump.

Now.. Go and look at some of the pure talents in your area. Ever notice any reckles behavior? Like they are the type to just bulldoze forward in life, with lessened concern for consequences? That fear of consequences serves a very important purpose in the human brain. Without it, we might play good pool, and make one bad decision after another in our lives.

Back to the original comment: Adrenaline primes the muscles to move, and move FAST. Which is horrible for a pool stroke. Adrenaline itself, I don't think it helps anyone's pool game. Responding well to pressure is almost 100% about lack of "fear", whether that might be a natural part of one's psyche, or practiced. I think beta blockers work against the fear itself, which stops the adrenaline response from kicking off in the first place.

Edited to add that ShootingArts stated that beta blockers (or maybe the other medication?) act to physically lower the heart rate at rest, so I interpreted that to mean that the adrenaline response is still there, but the meds stop the heart rate from going too high. From what I heard, however, people who've played on them, say they felt like superman.

I do want to make a point, however... ShootingArts seems like he was already born with "it", so yeah, messing with that natural mix with a drug is gonna be counter-productive. But, we should consider the idea that there are some who have all the other tools, except the heart rate/adrenaline thing. And that may pretty much ensure they never get above a certain level. Interesting topic.
 
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Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) has released the 2020 list of banned substances. Beta blockers are specifically listed for billiard sports in competition. You can use them if not in competition. By contrast, archers are not permitted to use beta blockers out of competition.


I now have to take beta blockers for my heart. For what ever biological reason I have to take massive doses compared to a “normal” person for them to do what they need to do to keep my heart arrhythmia(not dangerous) in check and for a normal beat.

I understand for archery that being absolutely stable before you release the arrow is very important similar to shooting a gun in a bench rest competition. Hu can speak better in that than I can, I have however had a good bit of experience with that. So with a calmer heart beat they could potentially help in certain disciplines.

In pool 99.9% of players I’ve seen stroke the cue back and forth before pulling the trigger-shooting the shot. Which would imo negate any benefit of beta blockers. I knew one good player in Sacramento at Great American, who passed away in the 80’s who didn’t take warm up strokes. I can’t recall his name. I called him “point and shoot”. He was a low A player, maybe Richard was his name.

I think WADA and these anti doping agencies are way out of control and over stepping, I’ve rreaching
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think doping control in sport is necessary.

Perhaps it infringes on an (some) individual, but for the integrity of the sport and for the well-being of aspiring athletes, necessary.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
different beta blockers

Did a little homework, according to the reading I did there are three forms of beta blockers that basically take the place of adrenaline so it has no place to land. They work in various parts of your body including your heart. I didn't see any mention of working in the brain so perhaps that was the other medication that is normally in the same pill as the beta blockers, perhaps I am confusing pills after these many years. At any rate, if wiki is correct, the beta blockers only prevent adrenaline from finding a home. That assumes that only beta blockers are in the pill you get that someone says is beta blockers. In the past the pills included another drug, may still. If you decide to try beta blockers know exactly what you are taking and research it on the net. Bouncing off and on the med that messed with chemicals in your brain can be very dangerous.

I still feel the best option is to manage pressure naturally. Times will come when the beta blockers aren't handy. Also, our bodies dump adrenaline for a reason. Our alertness level rises, our muscles are primed, we see more acutely, our coordination increases. Of course too much adrenaline creates problems and the opposite can be true. Managing adrenaline for ourselves is a key to better play. Also as mentioned earlier, looking back on a win isn't the same when you know you won by using a crutch. Don't cheat yourself out of your best moments.

Hu
 

LWD

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Anyone who takes heart medication they don’t need in order to win a pool game, is a fool.
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
All this brings up several questions.

Do tournament winners (or any other players for that matter) ever get drug tested? And how? Urine analysis?

Are there any real-life stories of any drug testing done at pool competitions?

Maniac
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Philippines

All this brings up several questions.

Do tournament winners (or any other players for that matter) ever get drug tested? And how? Urine analysis?

Are there any real-life stories of any drug testing done at pool competitions?

Maniac



I have never heard of drug testing at a pool event in the US. Seems like maybe one of the chinese eight ball events mentioned drug testing, forget where it was at. Europe or Asia.

There is a youth program, a major project, being put together or may be active now in the Philippines. Youths in that program will be drug tested according to the write up I read.

No drug testing in the USA as far as I know but if we get serious about pool being a sport drug testing will have to be part of the package. Lends credibility. Of course there are many levels of drug testing. Some are simple and quick, some very expensive and time consuming. I don't think pool needs to go to the extreme of testing for blood doping and such, just catch the worst few.

Hu
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have never heard of drug testing at a pool event in the US. Seems like maybe one of the chinese eight ball events mentioned drug testing, forget where it was at. Europe or Asia.

There is a youth program, a major project, being put together or may be active now in the Philippines. Youths in that program will be drug tested according to the write up I read.

No drug testing in the USA as far as I know but if we get serious about pool being a sport drug testing will have to be part of the package. Lends credibility. Of course there are many levels of drug testing. Some are simple and quick, some very expensive and time consuming. I don't think pool needs to go to the extreme of testing for blood doping and such, just catch the worst few.

Hu
Good thing they didn't DT in the 70's-80's. Half the field would have been dq'd. ;)
 

RiverCity

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good thing they didn't DT in the 70's-80's. Half the field would have been dq'd. ;)

Im going to not name names, but this story is too good not to share.

A buddy of mine used to play pro tournaments back in the 80s-90s, and was hitting balls one night getting ready for his match the next morning.

The top player at the time was on the practice table next to him, with a large pile of white powder on his drink table. It wasnt Johnson and Johnson baby powder.....

My buddy was offered a bump, but he declined saying he needed to be up early for his match. He left around midnight, and came back in the morning around 9am.

The top guy was still there running out like a madman. His pile of powder was gone by this point, as he had been there all night. He went on to win the tournament with ease.

When 'chemical warfare' was the norm, some guys were demons.... If they had their mix right of course. :thumbup:
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks BB.
Do you know who was testing or why?
Who pays for testing?

If pro mma has taught me anything its that
those tests are expensive and easily passed
by most that care to take precautions.

Pool doesn't seem to pay well enough for the
players themselves to be paying for good tests.

The WPA pays for the test for pool. (Snooker and Carom must also test.) Any player who plays in a WPA sanctioned event is eligible to be tested at any time. A urine sample is obtained from the player. It's not a blood test. The players are guarded during the time they are providing the sample so there can be no switching of samples.

Testing can occur at a tournament site or off site. A top ranked international player may be notified ahead of time that they may be approached to be tested at any time. Yes, somebody can literally ring your doorbell and request a test at that moment.

Players who play in WPA international events are aware of this and accept this condition. This is a requirement in order for the cue sports world to remain in the Olympic grid. It's not just about the Olympics but it's also about being eligible to compete in other important international events like the World Games, which we do compete in.
 
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Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Im going to not name names, but this story is too good not to share.

A buddy of mine used to play pro tournaments back in the 80s-90s, and was hitting balls one night getting ready for his match the next morning.

The top player at the time was on the practice table next to him, with a large pile of white powder on his drink table. It wasnt Johnson and Johnson baby powder.....

My buddy was offered a bump, but he declined saying he needed to be up early for his match. He left around midnight, and came back in the morning around 9am.

The top guy was still there running out like a madman. His pile of powder was gone by this point, as he had been there all night. He went on to win the tournament with ease.

When 'chemical warfare' was the norm, some guys were demons.... If they had their mix right of course. :thumbup:

Wacky. Never heard of a tournament ending by 11am.
 

ShortBusRuss

Short Bus Russ - C Player
Silver Member
Im going to not name names, but this story is too good not to share.

A buddy of mine used to play pro tournaments back in the 80s-90s, and was hitting balls one night getting ready for his match the next morning.

The top player at the time was on the practice table next to him, with a large pile of white powder on his drink table. It wasnt Johnson and Johnson baby powder.....

My buddy was offered a bump, but he declined saying he needed to be up early for his match. He left around midnight, and came back in the morning around 9am.

The top guy was still there running out like a madman. His pile of powder was gone by this point, as he had been there all night. He went on to win the tournament with ease.

When 'chemical warfare' was the norm, some guys were demons.... If they had their mix right of course. :thumbup:

You know that there was a certain player popped with some powder boarding a flight either from/to Japan during this time period, if I am not mistaken. Names and all were discussed. I am not encouraging you to do so, but I have a feeling I know who this player could be. :)
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) has released the 2020 list of banned substances. Beta blockers are specifically listed for billiard sports in competition. You can use them if not in competition. By contrast, archers are not permitted to use beta blockers out of competition.

So I take one 2 times a day for BP and your telling me that disqualifies me from competition. What a fking joke.
 

ShortBusRuss

Short Bus Russ - C Player
Silver Member
So I take one 2 times a day for BP and your telling me that disqualifies me from competition. What a fking joke.

I don't think it's generally a big deal unless you are snapping off (or getting in top 10) of WPA events. Huidji See only got caught because he won or placed top 3 in an event, I think.

I highly doubt they are testing anyone below top 8. The test prolly costs more than the player earned in the event.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
So I take one 2 times a day for BP and your telling me that disqualifies me from competition. What a fking joke.
Do you believe that beta blockers can give an advantage to a player who does not need them for BP control?

If you are competing in most sports, including wrestling and synchronized swimming, you are free to use beta blockers at will.

For billiard sports, beta blockers, like cannabis, are only forbidden during competition. I suppose there are details about the residual doping level at the time of testing and whether you have been hanging around snowboarders.:wink:

And I think the ban only applies to WPA/WCBS-sanctioned events, but I'm not sure.
 

couldnthinkof01

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The WPA pays for the test for pool. (Snooker and Carom must also test.) Any player who plays in a WPA sanctioned event is eligible to be tested at any time. A urine sample is obtained from the player. It's not a blood test. The players are guarded during the time they are providing the sample so there can be no switching of samples.

Testing can occur at a tournament site or off site. A top ranked international player may be notified ahead of time that they may be approached to be tested at any time. Yes, somebody can literally ring your doorbell and request a test at that moment.

Players who play in WPA international events are aware of this and accept this condition. This is a requirement in order for the cue sports world to remain in the Olympic grid. It's not just about the Olympics but it's also about being eligible to compete in other important international events like the World Games, which we do compete in.

Thank you Fran for the insight.
 

Gunn_Slinger

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Do you believe that beta blockers can give an advantage to a player who does not need them for BP control?

If you are competing in most sports, including wrestling and synchronized swimming, you are free to use beta blockers at will.

For billiard sports, beta blockers, like cannabis, are only forbidden during competition. I suppose there are details about the residual doping level at the time of testing and whether you have been hanging around snowboarders.:wink:

And I think the ban only applies to WPA/WCBS-sanctioned events, but I'm not sure.

Yes ! BB's definitely give one an advantage . Taking them keeps you calm and
reduces heart rate so you don't shake under pressure. Pro golfers used them for many years to calm the nerves coming down the back 9 on sunday. I refer you to my post on page 1 of this thread.
 
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