I Love This Game, But ......

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I love this game, but it’s very sad to compare my game now (at 64) as opposed to my game 20 years ago, despite still having the passion. Accepting this is depressing!
 

HNTFSH

Birds, Bass & Bottoms
Gold Member
Silver Member
I love this game, but it’s very sad to compare my game now (at 64) as opposed to my game 20 years ago, despite still having the passion. Accepting this is depressing!
Good thing your sex drive is that of a 16 year old.
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I love this game, but it’s very sad to compare my game now (at 64) as opposed to my game 20 years ago, despite still having the passion. Accepting this is depressing!

Excellent post. I have a good friend who is 74 (75 in a couple of weeks) and has had some serious medical issues over the last 6-8 years and he struggles both mentally and physically. I've been meaning to create a thread about how to help older players adjust to their skill but haven't had the time.

And he's about as stubborn as they get and he simply refuses to adjust his game to match his playing ability. I try to give him ideas to keep it simple like - keep the pre-shot routine to 3 steps (shot selection, get down, shoot), stop trying to run every table, etc. The worst one is his tip, for some reason he went to an 11.8mm tip and I told him he shouldn't have. He thinks because it's harder to shoot with he'll focus more and I keep telling him to use every advantage he can at his age.
 

jimmyco

NRA4Life
Gold Member
Silver Member
I love this game, but it’s very sad to compare my game now (at 64) as opposed to my game 20 years ago, despite still having the passion. Accepting this is depressing!
It gets very depressing when you can only play an hour or so because of pain. Any game you had deteriorates and it's next to impossible to improve.

If you can play comfortably, regardless of your ability, embrace it.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Well, as I'm only 63, I can't really relate.

OK, seriously, unless you play the game for a living, you should be playing it because you love it. If you love the game as much as you used to, then you haven't taken a step backward at all.

Do your best, and don't worry if your skills have declined. It happens to every player, and it is supposed to be that way.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Excellent post. I have a good friend who is 74 (75 in a couple of weeks) and has had some serious medical issues over the last 6-8 years and he struggles both mentally and physically. I've been meaning to create a thread about how to help older players adjust to their skill but haven't had the time.

And he's about as stubborn as they get and he simply refuses to adjust his game to match his playing ability. I try to give him ideas to keep it simple like - keep the pre-shot routine to 3 steps (shot selection, get down, shoot), stop trying to run every table, etc. The worst one is his tip, for some reason he went to an 11.8mm tip and I told him he shouldn't have. He thinks because it's harder to shoot with he'll focus more and I keep telling him to use every advantage he can at his age.
Older players adjusting to their declining skills is a tough one. Playing with other older players in the same sinking ship is not much an option that is going to give me any meaning.

I still try to compete regularly with our top (considerably younger) players in our weekly tournament, but unfortunately my handicap rating is still even with those top players, which I haven’t played up to for a while.

In a long session of numerous sets matched up with a player, I can usually get in stroke after an hour or two and play pool at least relatively close to my potential, and occasionally even hit stretches of playing extremely well.

As satisfying as that is, all that it serves is to give me a short-lived false sense of hope. In our weekly tournament consisting of very short races, often giving up games on the wire, I just can’t seem to get it going before being knocked out.
 
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GoldCrown

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I love this game, but it’s very sad to compare my game now (at 64) as opposed to my game 20 years ago, despite still having the passion. Accepting this is depressing!
How about from now compared to 3 years ago.. Eyes change. Concentration drifts. I try to play the best I can and be grateful for however it goes.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How about from now compared to 3 years ago.. Eyes change. Concentration drifts. I try to play the best I can and be grateful for however it goes.
Yes, I need to take your and Stuart’s advice and just enjoy playing pool and accept what comes.

5+ years ago before my most recent shoulder replacement surgery, I couldn’t play pool for any length of time without extreme pain, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to play pain free even after the surgery. Luckily now I can - my shoulder is now the least of my concerns.

I’m currently too fixated on the outcome - making or missing shots, winning or losing games / matches. The pressure and expectations of that is clearly working against me in my head. That is what I need to work on changing.
 

Quesports

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yep it aint easy getting old, and does no good for your pool game. I turn 69 this summer and the first time age interfered was when I found out I needed glasses. That would be about 20 years ago. I tried glasses, then went to contacts, eventually I went back to the glasses. My game suffered somewhat but I adapted and got most of my game back. Time travel forward to the next speed bump, a far more sinister one.

Six years ago I was in a high pressure match on a team and was in a must win situation. My opponent broke, made a ball and ran 5 balls then missed. We were playing 8 ball and I had to get out to win this match and win the 1st round of five for our team. I was cruising along running the table and got to the 8 ball. It was a hard cut shot into a corner pocket and as I got down on the shot I felt my back hand shaking. Alarmed I stood up gathered myself and went back into my pre shot routine, there it was again an unmistakable shaking. I had no idea what was happening but managed to sink the 8 ball and secure that game and we won the first round as a result. Eventually we won all five rounds and won the league first place trophy.

Two day later I made an appointment with my internal med doc and he referred me to a neurologist. When I saw him at a movement disorder clinic I got the bad news, I had Benign Essential Tremors. At first I was WTF is that; my answer was not comforting at all. It is treatable but not curable. Many pool players have it, Stevie Moore, Mike Davis, and Mike Coltraine to name some I know personally. Basically you have shaking in your hands, arms and it can also show up in your head. It is involuntary and many folks that do repetitive motions over long periods of time develop it. Musicians are known to develop BET as well for the same reasons as pool players.

Treatment is usually beta blockers and moderate alcohol intake helps settle the tremors as well. I consider myself lucky to be playing at all now. My tremors are mostly controllable with an extended release beta blocker and I have been at the same dose since I started. I do have some higher dose ones as well and have just started using those but only when I am going to play pool. Others like Steve Moore have not been so lucky nor was Mike Coltraine. Mike Davis and I have spoken many times about it and so far he is holding his own pretty well.

So my game has taken two serious hits but I still play pretty strong and feel lucky to have as much game as I do. Nothing lasts forever, so I will enjoy the memories of running five or six games of nine ball on people. I did run three a year ago, so all is not lost yet!

Enjoy it while you got it!!
 

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
Tremors here as well...they are a nighmare, and they DO get worse. (apologies to Keith). Other medical problems as well...
Translation: I should stop complaining & be thankful I'm still alive. Alas, that's not easy because the mind wanders back to the things you used to do well. Oh...God willing, I'll be 78 this November.

For sure...the young should enjoy it while they've got it. Father time is a cruel bastid...
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well shoot, at least ya’ got that goin’ for ya’. There’s always somebody worse off than you.
It's difficult to find a lot of solace in that. I honestly do not know how I would have survived, without my faith in God. Many many days especially when I first got poisoned , I would rock myself gently in the chair, and pray all day long, for help to deal with the pain. The bible says God will only give us what we can handle , so far, that has been true. Thank you lord!
 

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Tremors here as well...they are a nighmare, and they DO get worse. (apologies to Keith). Other medical problems as well...
Translation: I should stop complaining & be thankful I'm still alive. Alas, that's not easy because the mind wanders back to the things you used to do well. Oh...God willing, I'll be 78 this November.

For sure...the young should enjoy it while they've got it. Father time is a cruel bastid...
Truest adage ever there was:
"Youth is wasted on the young."
They don't have any idea how good they have it.

Recently lost an Aunt at that I used to look after.
She was 101 when she passed.
I visited her once a week until Covid hit.
She used to say that getting old is not for the feint of heart.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I love this game, but it’s very sad to compare my game now (at 64) as opposed to my game 20 years ago, despite still having the passion. Accepting this is depressing!

It's tough.

I have bad knees and cataracts. But, I can get cortisone shots for the knees and surgery for the eyeballs. The only other issue is arthritis but I can deal with it. A couple of years ago I was playing in a 1pocket tournament in Chicago and made it to the finals. Gail was sweating it. So I start playing Piggy Banks and I'm standing next to Gail and I say, "Bad news." And she says, "What's up?" And I tell her, "My bridge hand is cramping up." Fortunately, she was kind enough to massage my hand in between innings and I was OK.

Overall, my thoughts on playing and getting older are that it's very easy to get into bad habits and very hard to get out of them, PSR-wise. You start doing things a certain way and it really takes some time, effort, and self-awareness to figure out what's happening and correct the bad things that have crept in. I think it's a sense of familiarity, after having played the game for so long, that can very easily make you sloppy and unconscious about it all.

Lou Figueroa
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Do you have health issues ? If you are healthy, your game should be close to your old game. Its not age ( Imo ) its health that is the killer.
I am relatively healthy outside of my shoulder replacements in both shoulders and knees that need replacement. I’m buying some time on that with a prescription to Melozicam and cortisone shots when needed. My corrected vision is still very good.

I just can’t seem to deliver the cue straight back and straight through consistently. It could possibly be related to some early metacarpal tunnel symptoms which may eventually require surgery if it gets worse, but at this point that is only an issue while sleeping at night.

To say, if relatively healthy, I should be close to my old game at age 64 I would have to disagree with. It’s certainly not true in any other sport or hobby, other than possibly fishing!
 
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Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool is insanely. subtly, insidiously difficult to play well at a steady level & we just don't realize it when young.
When i started back a few years ago it shocked me that it in no way relates to that old chestnut "like riding a bike - you never forget" (related to many activities). Pool is not like that. You think you know and it all goes wrong for many of us, pretty much without daily practice. Which is easy to forget - some of us were playing 3 nights a week minimum, often 5 or even 7. Every week. For 6 - 8 hours a session. Now i go back & hope to play that way when i show up only once a week for league, or maybe twice a week if it is league and the tournament. & get punished badly most events.

Funny thing is, at 68, i decided to try skiing again this past winter, had not done that for 12 or maybe 15 years. It was embarrassing, humiliating, frustrating the first couple times. But after 6 or 8 days out, i realized i was skiing better than i ever had in my life. (partly a reflection of realizing through online videos how bad my technique was in the old days) Can't do the bumps well anymore, scared to jump much, legs won't move fast enough and one run of that will just about exhaust me for the day. But as far as control, and even a bit of finesse, i can ski slopes smoothly that intimidated me when i was younger and stronger. Being willing to slow down, and figure out how to use technique where strength allowed my really bad habits to get by in the old days.

Back at the pool table, it is up and down, mostly down worse than on the ski slopes.
Told my wife i am really not enjoying this league session (flex singles). Not because i am losing, but because i can't figure out any consistent way to get better. Even with practice. even watching videos to develop good habits. They evaporate without daily use because so many are eye and brain orientation that to me is essentially pool focused in ways that are not essential or are even counterproductive to daily use. (laser focus blotting out surroundings, almost a trance state when "in stroke")

Take-away: hopefully there are other things in your life that are still satisfying & let you feel more or less competent.
There are at least several in my life i am very grateful for.

smt
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I played my best pool in the 80's.
I played every day and was always in stroke and sometimes dead stroke.
Fast forward to the present and I'm older (74) and only play on Saturdays.
I think I'm playing at about 75 % of my prime.
I try to make up for the decline by playing smarter.
My body and eyes are still good.
I think if I could play every day I could get back to close to prime time.
Every now and then I shoot a hard shot and send the cue ball 3 rails and wind up with near perfect position and in my head I say "hello 80's".
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
A lot of things we blame on age are caused by other things. For instance, I hated the beta blockers I was on for about ten years for blood pressure. They didn't do much if anything for the pressure and they left me a little dull, very difficult to play well. I have found that all medications have side effects, mild or major. Having to take two or three medicines with "no side effects" may make the total side effects more noticeable.

Might be time for a visit to an eye doctor and a thorough physical exam to cath things that might be creeping up on you like diabetes.

Getting to the pool game, it might be time to change styles or even games to take advantage of your strengths while putting less pressure on your disadvantages. No accident that many older players focus on One Pocket. Straight pool or eight ball both might be better played than rotation games so that you can focus on the short and medium game without running the cue ball all over hell and a half acre to get to the next ball.

There are ages where our eyesight and/or our physical abilities typically take big hits. Forty and sixty being two of them. An individual may see these things happen a few years early or late but few escape them entirely. Experience can help offset these failings.
Hu
 
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