Monday, December 5, 2016

I'll be Darned.... Played Well, Finished Well

I played in the OB Cues Ladies Season Finale just this last weekend at Rusty's Billiards in Arlington, Texas.

I didn't know how I would do.  How could I do well since I have not been playing pool hardly any at all this year?  I had no expectations at all (and that prolly helped).  While my internal "wish" (goal? hope?) was to last until Sunday, I would be pleasantly surprised.

I posted this on facebook the morning of the tourney, so if I didn't do well, peeps would know why lol:  True statement btw:

There were 33 ladies and I didn't get a bye while 31 others did, lol.  I lost that first match to the 3x-time Tour Champion 3-7 and there I was on the one-loss side right away....  Facing death.  No, no, not death, lol.  Facing a long road indeed, tho.

I suggested to a friend that in order to gain more experience she should play in this in-town ladies tournament, too.  It would be her first time playing and so we went together.  You know what that means, right?  Yep, we had to play each other.

Tina and I

After I won my first match on the one-loss side I had to play my friend, Tina.  It was a great match and we went hill-hill!  I won and although I was very happy how she played, I wish she would have got to play more matches.  While I'm not suppose to feel sad I won, I did indeed feel bad.

I then found myself down in my next 1-4 as the girl shot REALLY well.  I had to dig deep and I won 7-5.

I won my next two matches 7-0, 7-0 and found myself in til Sunday!

I had for some reason slept well ALL week and I know that sleep is KEY for me to do well.  I never got too tired and of course I also drank water like it was going out of style lol.  I kept hydrated all day long both days and I loved the feeling of not being tired, hungover, or mentally drained.

The other thing I noticed about both days was I felt no pressure at all.  That is a very great non-feeling to have, honestly.  No worries or concerns, just playing pool.  I've stated 1,000 times (maybe I'm exaggerating) that not thinking ahead or worrying about things you can't control is the epitome of being able to play well and focus completely on the game.  This past weekend was a clear example of that.

I didn't have to compare my last finish or wonder who my next opponent would be or wonder how I would explain my bad finish to others, etc.  The sense of no pressure was amazing.  Every win was just a bonus and every round I moved closer to the finish line was peer joy and surprise.  If I lost, I lost.  If I won, I won.  No pressure.  I hadn't played a two day tourney that I lasted into Sunday since April, so I was very raw with my expectations.

Again, prolly a good thing.

I won a 2 1/2 hour-long marathon match Sunday morning hill-hill.  Guranteed 5th.  Then I won 7-4.

Next up was another long and nail-biter hill-hill match.  This time I had to cut a long tough 8-ball and then bank the 9 ball which I was lucky enough to make both.  Guaranteed 3rd now.  I then played a tired opponent and won 7-4 I think.  Now I'm in the finals!    NO WAY!   I met up against the Tour Champion again and she played really well and won 7-3.  But I placed 2nd!

I still can't believe how well I did.  The very few times I played this year I saw roughness in my game and so I wasn't sure how I would do this event.  But I was pleasantly surprised how well I saw the runs and patterns and how well I made balls.  Don't get me wrong - I made plenty of mistakes.  Just also made a lot of outs that were needed at the right time.  And I am positive that recording this video review helped - because I saw angles a lot more this weekend than usual.

Oh!  And since I played in this tournament for two days I have a ton of things that came up with I will write about here in my blog.  Can't wait to share!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Learning by Watching Others

One of the coolest things I saw on a Sunday morning in October during an Omega tournament was this:

A player who is up and coming and ADORES the game, was sitting front-side of the row to watch the matches that Sunday morning.

Normally the people in the crowd on Sundays are significant others, close friends, fans of the game, or people who happen to stumble upon the tournament that day.

Why was this cool about this particular guy?

Because this player is working hard on his game.  He's taking lessons, does drills, plays in all sorts of tough events to get better.  AND now watching matches on Sunday of an Omega will also help his game.

I had never seen him there before on a Sunday.  He has never come in on a Sunday to simply stay the day and absorb all the learning.  I was tickled to see him add this to his learning plan.  Not many players are aware how valuable and effective watching great matches can be.  And if they do know this already, many don't go out of their way to do something about it like this player did.

The elite players of any tour are playing on Sundays.  If you want to improve your game and learn from the best - that's when to come watch.  Sundays the best players are fighting, competing, battling and we all get to watch their mastery.  You will see more hill-hill matches on Sunday than Saturday.  You will see emotions and mental toughness, but you will also see GREAT runt-outs and CLEVER safeties.  These guys want to WIN.  And they will give everything they have to do so.

So, the lucky ones (like me who have to be there on Sundays) and fans who come watch on Sundays get a real treat of adding ammunition to their arsenal of tools.  Watching run-outs and safeties all day long from great players automatically helps our game because we are watching and absorbing and learning so much from these players.

I seriously feel that my game was helped A LOT after I started running the Omega Tour.  In 2014 I had my best pool year as far as titles won (State and National) and it happened to be the second year I ran the Omega Tour.  Watching all these players stay down on their shots, smooth stroke, seeing awesome safeties and great patterns of runs helped my already good game become great.

And I know that that player I saw visit that Sunday morning and watch matches for hours and hours will also improve his game, too.

I love it!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Water and Exhaustion

Watching players compete intensely on the Omega Tour for the last 4 years, the most important thing I have witnessed is how exhausted the players get towards the end of the tournament.

At that point, it truly is about who is less exhausted.

Here is the situation on the Omega Tour:

On Saturday, the day is chalk full of matches and waiting around for matches.  You can be there for 8 hours and play only 2-3 matches if you stay on the winner's side.  If you get on the one-loss side, you get to stay even longer on Saturday and play even more matches - easily 12 hours some times.

That is exhausting - either playing a lot or waiting, both are tasking both physically and mentally.

Then here comes Sunday.  We start at 10:30am and usually finish around 10:30pm.  If a player stays on the winners side, it would go like this:  Play for an hour or hour and half then about an hour break; play for an hour or hour and half then about an hour break ..... and repeat all day until the finals.

If you are on the one-loss side, there are no breaks.  You play back to back to back.  If you make it to the finals, you have just played pretty much non-stop for 12 hours (a few breaks of 10 minutes between matches, but nothing more).

One stop this past season a player told me after he lost the hosteat match, "Man, I am exhausted."

I shared, "You know, at this point every single player is exhausted.   You've all been playing all day. What I witnessed and learned is the player who is the least exhausted does best."

He looked at me, taking in my words and agreeing.

Then I shared even more, "what I have seen is drinking water wakes a player up a little bit and gives them energy."

He ran immediately to get water.  And he won the tournament, too.  I'm not saying I helped him win, but I AM saying that the refreshing feel of water in his system helped him feel better and less exhausted with a clearer mind.  His opponent did not hydrate himself and was just as exhausted as he had been in the last few matches.  So, the player who was the least exhausted won.

We have all heard the benefits of water and hydration.  

And as most people know, hydration is key for thinking clear and being able to compete well.  The important thing of course is recognizing you are exhausted and then remembering water can help invigorate you and your senses.

Drench on, people!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

4-Ball Run Video Review (Amos Bush)

4-ball run?  What's the big deal?  Ahh.... but so much to see in just running these 4 balls.

Hopefully this helps even one person see maybe some things we hadn't considered before:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Remembering Connie O'Heron

I was very sad to hear of Connie's passing earlier this month.  She was a fierce competitor and yet the nicest woman at the same time.

She'd kick my ass, and then I'd give her a hug because she did it so eloquently because she was so dang sweet.

As I have been away from tournaments, I did not know she had been sick with cancer.

I remember her as this:  (3rd on the right, standing next to her daughter).

She loved every minute of pool and she had such a great talent for the game.  While I hated to run into her on the table, I loved seeing her smile in the aisles as we would pass each other and give smiles and waves.

She will be terribly, terribly missed.

I can't fathom what her daughter and family are going through.    May they have peace.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

City Council Experience

I attended my first-ever City Council meeting earlier this month!

Can you say Mayor Bailey?  lol

Although I live in the Dallas-Fort worth metro-plex, I physically live in a very small city so we have our own small city hall, with a Mayor, and once a month they have city council meetings.

It has been on my (what I thought would be a very distant) to-do list to attend one of these to get more involved, and I finally had the time to attend my first time.  I attended more readily because my next door neighbor is the mayor and that helped break the ice walking into something completely new - I wasn't alone and sat with his wife.

It was a pretty interesting experience to say the least.

And ironically, it's just like running an Omega Tour!  Meet once a month, some people give kudos, some people get upset, issues are looked into or resolved, and it's for the people.