Points of View by Allison Fisher

Ask Allison

By Allison Fisher

Points of View

Hi everyone!  I will do my best to answer them in my articles. I hope these articles help you to learn and understand the game.

I don’t see many professional pool players wearing eyeglasses. Are most of the pros well-sighted, or are they wearing contacts? If so, what kind?

There have been, and still are, some great players who wear glasses when they play. From experience, I notice players wearing mostly oversized glasses so that they can see the shots very clearly. If you just use regular glasses, your head position will determine how you see the shot, and you probably cannot see very well o­n the longer shots. The larger glasses are raised up more o­n top so that you can see the length of the table. I have seen some players wearing bifocals so that they can see distance and close-up shots differently.

My friend and competitor Gerda Hofstatter had very bad vision but opted to have laser surgery not so long ago. It was a huge decision for her, as her livelihood depends o­n her eyes. Now she has perfect vision and doesn’t have to go through the process of cleaning lenses day and night. Karen Corr wears glasses, but I don’t think she feels comfortable taking the risk of having laser surgery. It doesn’t stop her from playing great pool. There are quite a few pros out there wearing contact lenses. Nick Varner is o­ne who generally wears glasses, but when he plays pool, he switches to contacts. I haven’t had my eyes tested, but you have just reminded me to, as I am no spring chicken!

In another article, I discussed sighting. I have my chin o­n the cue when I shoot, but some players, such as Mike Massey, have their heads at least a foot above the cue. Our vision of the shot is very different, yet we still have the same results. There is no right or wrong, just different ways to view the game.

I have never seen anything in pool articles o­n proper breathing. What and when is the right time to take a breath when playing pool? I know than in most sports, proper breathing is very important?

This is a good question, because o­nce you start becoming aware of what you are doing, you will probably notice that you may be holding your breath when shooting. My opinion is that you should get as much oxygen to the brain as possible. When you are under pressure, you tend to start breathing shallow. If enough oxygen isn’t going to the brain, then it is hard to think clearly. If you watch players like Karen when they play, you will notice that at the height of pressure she makes sure she starts breathing much deeper.

This is not o­nly to get oxygen flowing but to slow the heart rate down to stay calmer. The best thing to do is take a deep breath and exhale before you shoot.


Visit InsidePOOL for pool lessons and tips o­n billiards o­nly from the pros.

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