Sport of Billiards: Quite Fun, Quite Old, Quite Meditative

Billiards as a sport is quite old, with its creation stretching all the way back to the 15th century. At one point in history the cue sport of billiards was actually known as “balliards,” and in fact was referred to as such in Mother Hubbard’s Tale. As anyone should be able to effectively see, the name of the sport was originally derived from the relatively simple fact that it’s engaged in with the use of billiard balls.

Billiards probably will not be, any time in the near future, a first choice for many youngsters today as a source of entertainment with the easily-attainable entertainment offered to all of them in the comfort and quiet of their bedrooms with video games and television. However, because these video games can be utilized within the bedroom it enables young adults to effectively alienate themselves from the world that exists outside their home. Herein exists the beauty of the sport of pool: socialization is a prerequisite.

However, billiards requires a form of focus that is simply missing altogether from the ADHD-inducing video games and other varieties of on-demand, instantaneous entertainment that exist in this modern age.

Billiards requires manual dexterity. In order to play pool you must learn how to manipulate not just your fingers to form the various styles of bridges, but also the arching of the back,, the positioning of the shoulders, the angle of the elbows, and where to even grip the cue. There are a wide variety of other aspects of the physiology of billiards that can only be instructionally programmed into your brain and muscles through constant repetition, and with the assistance of professional instruction. The appropriate body positioning may, in fact, be consciously observed, but mastery does not occur until it’s a matter of strictly subconscious muscle memory. Muscle memory is the capacity for your body to effortlessly remember where to grip, and how to move to perform a given set of actions.

Billiards (or “balliards”) is challenging, but this greater challenge is part of what makes it enjoyable. A good player must be ready to mentally tolerate the shifting and changing environments from the quiet of a household private club room to the rowdy, loud bar where perhaps a few individuals have had too much to drink. Practices that necessitate greater allotments of focus to engage in often also require a greater amount of initial energy input to build up to even a novice level of skillfulness, but as the difficulty increases so, indeed, does the amount of fun that may be derived from the practice.