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  • Old Age

    With the legendary Steve Davis retiring it got me thinking, at what stage should us mere mortals give up?

    I (perhaps wrongly) assume that at home Steve could still knock in 100's all day long, but for some reason can't replicate that form in tournaments, but how do club players find age affects them?

    I have always played pool and very occasionally snooker, but at the ripe old age of 35 and finding myself having a bit of time on my hands I thought about getting back into playing pool a bit more, last time I went down to play however only snooker tables were free, so I ended up trying to pot 3 reds and blacks, which I finally achieved after about 90 minutes :-(

    Anyway, that got me thinking, if most pro's finish up around the 40 mark, then for the rest of us, is there really any point in even trying to get better, are we doomed to failure, or does the deterioration that seems to occur with age only really make a significant difference at the top level?

    I guess what I'm trying to weigh up, is hypothetically if I decided to play (for arguments sake) snooker 3 times a week, regularly for the next 20 years, would I continue to improve, or in a few years would I simply tail off and it would all go to waste?

    I appreciate its a sort of impossible question to answer, but for club level players, at what point does improvement (generally) stop?

  • #2
    Old Age

    35 old age?!
    b***** **f
    as can be seen with some of the top players who are not 40+ and still playing top snooker

    club level - as other members of TSF over 40 can attest, you are never be too old to learn and improve - if you put the effort in
    I think the only time I heard someone say "I can't try to improve anymore"
    and he was 90+!


    and he did not stop playing, he just stop trying line ups etc to improve his game
    Last edited by DeanH; 21st April 2016, 10:10 PM.
    Up the TSF!

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    • #3
      There are more players in the top 16 over the age of 40 than under the age of 30!

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      • #4
        Well you will never be a pro( sorry to be the one to break it to you ) but there is a lad on here who took the game seriously around your age, his name is Tedisbill on here and YouTube ,go and watch what he achieved in a couple or three years, you will be surprised. Infact here's a wee taster of what he achieved.
        This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
        https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

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        • #5
          If you can do a break that equals your age, there's no need to give up. That's my motto. I turned 36 and made it very same day. There's always a year to try it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by randomjorma View Post
            If you can do a break that equals your age, there's no need to give up. That's my motto. I turned 36 and made it very same day. There's always a year to try it.
            I'm 147 year old, so god knows who that's going to pan out
            John Lennon : Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

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            • #7
              As you get over a certain age, there is probably a ceiling that your skill level can potentially hit for one reason or another. But I think that ceiling is higher than most people of any age will ever get near, which means as long as you are healthy you will probably always improve. I know one gentleman in his 70's who is still capable of centuries, he's not as consistent as he once was but still a great player.

              The idea that a pro can't compete at the age of 40 I think is due to last few generations of players raising the bar and older players not adjusting well enough. There are a lot of great players today, but the overall standard of the top players isn't really higher than it was 15 years ago which I think is why we are seeing more players in their 30's and 40's doing well.

              As long as you remain healthy, practice efficiently and believe you can improve, you should be fine. And even if you decline for one reason or another, it should not have been a waste of time because it's a bit of fun anyways.

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              • #8
                There's a guy in our club who's 72 and every time i go in the club he is doing line up and that has been for the last 4 years.

                He knocks regular 30'3, 40's and 50's in and has a safety game to die for with also being well known for long potting. He ties every good player up and is the best safety player locally and drives people mad where he doesn't leave anything and although you are always on the cushion he is great at potting off it when he is on it.

                Everyone has their level but he can always try and improve it's just a matter of will...............it's also worth mentioning when people say I have to drive a fair way to the club, in the summer he walks the 4 to 5 miles to the club and then back!
                Snooker Crazy - Cues and Equipment Sales Website
                Snooker Crazy - Facebook Page
                Snooker Crazy - You Tube Channel

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                • #9
                  Well you will never be a pro( sorry to be the one to break it to you
                  nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, my dreams are shattered ;-)

                  As you get over a certain age, there is probably a ceiling that your skill level can potentially hit for one reason or another. But I think that ceiling is higher than most people of any age will ever get near, which means as long as you are healthy you will probably always improve
                  Thats a very positive thought, I was a lot more negatively minded than that, but its re-assuring to think thats the case.

                  For the avoidance of doubt btw I have no pro ambitions, or even serious amateur competition, I just don't like to start something with zero to minimal chance of improvement!

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                  • #10
                    Fred Davis qualified for the Crucible when he was 70. Think he was still playing professionally in his 80s, or nearly 80.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vjmehra View Post
                      Thats a very positive thought, I was a lot more negatively minded than that, but its re-assuring to think thats the case.

                      For the avoidance of doubt btw I have no pro ambitions, or even serious amateur competition, I just don't like to start something with zero to minimal chance of improvement!
                      I don't think there should be any concern of that. At 35 years old I have to imagine you have a century in you with some hard work.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Csmith View Post
                        I don't think there should be any concern of that. At 35 years old I have to imagine you have a century in you with some hard work.
                        I'm happy with that as a goal...will report back in 35 years ;-)

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                        • #13
                          You should not confuse the age at skill levels deteriorate with the age at which professionals stop being able to compete. They are quite different.

                          In order to compete, professionals have to be able to compete under stress. This takes a certain mindstate - broadly one in which their greed for the 'prize' (whatever that may be - fame, money, respect etc) overcomes the fear of failing. Young pros are greedy. But older ones cannot sustain that greed and fear takes over; they get to whatever level they are capable of and their dream bubble starts to deflate. They realise they cannot climb higher and start looking over their shoulders.

                          The reason why this is important in snooker is that it affects your game. Snooker is all in the mind: it is all about getting the mind state right and attention focussed to the right things, in the right way, and at the right time. If you play under stress you have a problem. Without greed, or some other powerful driving emotion, the fear will start to upset that mental state and and will encroach on your focus an attention. You will start missing shots you should be getting 10/10. And when that happens as a pro, you are toast.

                          But if you are playing recreationally, all this is irrelevant. You are not playing under stress (or at least you do not need to be, and with experience you can learn how to avoid it or manage small amounts of it). So you can keep performing at whatever level you are capable of. This is why you see former professional snooker players who do not have a chance in hell of winning a competitive match still playing 'for fun' at a very high level.

                          So in answer to your question, yes. Go for it.

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                          • #14
                            A friend and team mate of mine is in his 70s ...plays billiards to a very high standard and is a good snooker player . Also a 7 handicap at golf .

                            I'm 33 and p1sh at all 3

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                            • #15
                              I had a bad trot once and asked this good player what I should do he said - take a few month off I thought yeah have a break from snooker bit of sun some gym maybe golf have a holiday ... so I said great idea ...what about after that?

                              After that he said with a smile .....Give up completely

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