The great athletes are usually born with an innate ability to win. This ability, coupled with hard work, is what put Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and the great Joe Montana over the top. In the game of billiards, the household name is Efren "Bata" Reyes from Manila, also known as The Magician. "Bata" is a a two-time world champion and has the same resolve, the same killer instinct on the pool table as Jordan had on the basketball court.
Let us not forget about the guy who put billiards on the United States map, Michael Phelan. He is known as the ancestor of American billiards and is credited with taking the game from the pool halls and introducing it to the American sports fan. So how do you go about becoming a top notch billiard player?
First and foremost, you must have a love for the game. As long as you have a strong affinity for billiards, this love for the game is what will get you off to a good start; it will keep you motivated to practice, and as the adage goes: practice makes perfect. You must practice every chance you get in order to hone your skills.
Second, join a couple of billiard clubs and/or pool leagues. The more you play and compete, the better you will become. As you begin to distance yourself from the pack of average pool players, you will begin to get the attention of potential sponsors. This is important because, like a professional bowler, you will need a sponsor or two to compete in the national and international tournaments...unless, of course, you can afford the 5-figure entrance fee of most major pool tournaments. Not only will you likely need the financial backing, you will need to be good enough to qualify for the tournament.
Third, pull out the old camcorder and have someone videotape your game. Highlight some of your most creative shots along with one of your best games. Then, take your game to YouTube. That's right! Solicit your game and your skills over the internet. Create a blog, then place your video on the blog and submit the URL of your blog to as many free search engines as you can.
This will get your blog, with your video, propagated throughout the World Wide Web. Update your blog weekly so the search engines keep your site high in the rankings. As your blog and video become more popular you are bound to get a sponsor. Make sure you have your video on YouTube by itself, and make sure you cross-promote by having the same video on your blog. Promote both via emails, social networking, and word-of-mouth. You'll get a sponsor because they will know that they can make money off your skills. Thus you will have a win-win situation. Your sponsor will get a percentage of your winnings and you will begin to move up the chart as one of the world's most successful billiard players. As you get better and better, the need for a sponsor will decrease. That's when you'll know you have arrived!