By Jim Meador

I've noticed that people look like their dogs. Even their personalities are similar. I guess they just pick a pooch that fits the image they have of themselves. It's no different with people and their pool games. Show me an accountant that shoots pool, and I'll show you a game that is carefully calculated. Tough guys try to muscle the balls into the pockets. Girls cause their opponents to lose concentration (the same way they cause them to lose everything else).

Billiard Digest Magazine, in their June 1996 edition, published a "Best In Billiards" section that included a best dressed category. Needless to say, Jeanette Lee and Jim Rempe made the list. Ewa Mataya-Laurance, C.J. Wiley and Kim Davenport were included. If you have ever seen them shoot, you've probably noticed that their game demeanor mirrors their immaculate attire. Jeanette Lee approaches the table like royalty (which she is, in my book). Her stroke is smooth and consistent. Her attitude is that of a winner. All of this spells confidence, in herself and her game. "King" James Rempe looks great on and off the table. He is a man with positive expectations. He is justifiably proud of himself, and this relates to confidence. Confidence leads to victory. Willie Mosconi epitomized the well dressed pool player. Did his mastery of the game have anything to do with the way he dressed? I believe it did. He dressed for success, and shot the same way.

I wear blue jeans everywhere. I don't iron my shirts, because the label says I don't have to. I don't do anything I don't have to do, unless Pat tells me to. My game would probably improve if I dressed like a winner. I would at least look better on the way out after losing. But I shoot for the pleasure of it, and I feel uncomfortable when I'm all gussied up. Maybe winning just isn't that important to me. I do know I enjoy myself the way I am, and that's good enough, win or lose.

I am convinced that the way your opponent looks could be a tip off to his or her game style. This kind of observation just might give you just a little edge; small maybe, but any advantage can help. Thinking about anything other than making balls is probably a serious mistake, but I automatically make a visual evaluation of my opponent. If they are well dressed and look confident, I play a different kind of game than when I am up against a bum like me. For one thing, I take them very seriously and make an extra effort at focusing. I know I should strive to be 100% in focus all of the time, but I can't seem to manage it, unless Pat tells me to.

So what is the point here? There isn't one. Like my other stories, this represents only an observation. I do not advise giving too much thought to your opponents attire. The only guarantee of winning is making all of your balls when you're at the table. Your opponent could be in drag, and it wouldn't make a bit of difference if you're out gunned. But maybe, just maybe being observant about your opponent's general appearance isn't a totally bad idea.

Pat just told me I'm finished.

Happy Shooting! Jim & Pat

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