Tips for as­pir­ing pub pool sharks

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - RUBY NYIKA

When you think of pool, a middle-aged man in a pub might spring to mind, pint in one hand, cue in the other.

Alexan­dria En­dres, 13, and Alyxan­dra Jones,14, are the an­tithe­sis of this.

But the teenage girls – world­class pool play­ers – would prob­a­bly beat ev­ery man in that pub.

Iron­i­cally, glug­ging too much beer won’t help sharpen your pool skills.

It’s the pair’s first top tip for be­com­ing a pool master – focus is cru­cial. It’s a game of prob­lem solv­ing and in­tense con­cen­tra­tion.

So, a liquored-up brain won’t help.

Men are usu­ally sur­prised when the two girls, from Hamil­ton’s Masse Pool Club, beat them.

Al­though they shouldn’t – it’s a sport in which age, gen­der and fit­ness mean noth­ing.

The girls first be­gan play­ing a few years ago, at pool camp.

Now En­dres and Jones are two of New Zealand’s 15 top ju­nior pool play­ers head­ing to the US to com­pete in the VNEA Ju­nior Pool Cham­pi­onships this month.

Play­ers from all around New Zealand gath­ered for their fi­nal camp on Sun­day at Hamil­ton Masse Pool Club, where En­dres and Jones shared some of their top tips.

It’s a mind game, so you need a straight face, the duo say.

A serial-killer stare could wob­ble your op­po­nent’s con­fi­dence.

And take your time – if your op­po­nent is in a rush, wan­der around the ta­ble and take even longer to put them off.

Next, you need to get your po­si­tion­ing right.

Line up your cue and imag­ine a ‘‘ghost ball’’ right where you need the ball to travel.

Lastly, think good thoughts, En­dres says.

At the tour­na­ment, En­dres will think of Dis­ney­land – which she’ll visit in the US – to keep her mood right.

Other times she imag­ines win­ning.

Alexan­dria En­dres, left, and Alyxan­dra Jones are two of New Zealand’s 15 top ju­nior pool play­ers.

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