What can snooker teach us about obesity? Yes, it might actually have health benefits part two

If you haven’t already, Read Part One of this three-part series.

Many people are put off Tennis and other more physical sports because of the physical demands. That’s why so many people feel they can’t lose weight. Most people are convinced they have to bust a gut to lose the weight. They genuinely believe that no pain means no gain and also no weight loss.

Snooker is different. it has a different kind of physicality to the point that it is a relaxing pastime where sweating and showers are not required. Yet since the very top players keep their weight down, snooker is an example of how managing your weight can be relaxing and even feel effortless and not full of pain.

In snooker, I see normal people. Not superfit athletes pounding the pavement but ordinary people walking around a table and standing around while they enjoy themselves.

This got me thinking along the lines of being fit enough to do what you love and using daily life to make you fit enough. Is it just luck or is there something about competitive snooker that ensures only those with good BMIs can win.

A quick analysis gave some insights. Competitive snooker requires:

  • constant standing, walking and moving for 8 hours a day: top players train for 8 hours a day
  • a flatter stomach: A paunch would prevent you playing the tougher shots
  • good flexibility for awkward shots
  • exceptional mental stamina to win the 3-day final with repeated sessions of 2 or more hours in a row

Suddenly, I have a list of useful things that snooker requires and, therefore, selects for in its champions. These are all things that require decent training and fitness to achieve. I hadn’t thought much about it, but snooker is all about standing and walking for long, long periods. You have to lug around any extra pounds you are carrying and they will get in the way at crucial points because it will limit your flexibility and reach.

This is best highlighted by looking at things from the opposite angle: someone with more flexibility than anyone. Ronnie O’Sullivan has a truly unique game on tour because he can play with both his right and left hands. In other sports like soccer, being ambidextrous has become common, yet it is still clear that this extra flexibility gives Ronnie O’Sullivan the same benefit in snooker that it gives those at the highest level in football.

Tomorrow comes part three

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.