Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Giving and Receiving Advice During a Tourney

As the main photographer of the Omega Billiards Tour (I wear many hats running the Tour, lol), I know probably more than anyone which players stay down well on their shots and which do not.

Of course we may generally recognize which players shoot fast or maybe don't stay down.  Or maybe you might recognize players that exaggerate staying down on their shots (whether intentional or not).

As the photographer, though, I know EVERY single players' normal shot routine.

During the last Omega tourney, I was taking photos and immediately recognized that a player was staying down longer on his shots.  In the past, he tended to falter sometimes in matches due to misses (not due to choice selection or safeties), but today he was staying down so well and taking his time more than I'm used to seeing, and it was clearly related to his positive score in this tough match, because he was making more shots.

I debated on telling him or not that I noticed this.  As I've written before, bringing awareness to someone about their game can actually be detrimental during a tournament, as they then begin to focus too much on that, instead of playing pool.  So, I decided to just kept the compliment to myself.

The player won that match, but then lost his next match.  He came over to the tournament chart, waiting to play his next match, and I decided to finally give him the compliment. 

I told him I noticed he was staying down really well and was taking his time more than usual in his earlier match, and that he made more shots than usual.  I told him I was pleased to see this change, as it really benefited him.  I also shared, in comparison, that in his next match he didn't stay down quite as well, to shine on the reality that his staying down and taking more time was indeed beneficial to him.

And then I recognized right away my compliment was kinda lost.  He wanted to explain to me why he hadn't stayed down in that last match and why he lost.  Every time he would say something like, "He hooked me 3 times in a row by accident," I would counter with a chuckle, "What does that have to do with staying down well?"

And then he shared more of his frustrations with me, "Well, he had me down and then shit in a ball."  Again I asked, "What does that have to do with staying down?"

I tried to really reinforce that him staying down was a beautiful sight and that he played so good taking his time.

Okay, folks, I could easily end this blog post right here.  But for some reason, I think it's intriguing to delve into this exchange some more.  Sure, it makes for a longer reading (sorry!), but I like evaluating aspects of situations.  It's the leadership classes I've had over the past 20 years that begs my mind to evaluate and contemplate the different aspects of communication.  

You can stop reading now if you wish, or read on for my opinion of the leadership/psychology aspect, lol.

At this point in the conversation, I knew there were many factors affecting his absorption of the compliment or not.  It was now a matter of his personality on if my words would sink in or not, or maybe my timing was bad, or maybe my choice of words wasn't good, or maybe comparing it to his next loss was not smart on my part, etc.

Further, it's actually tough for some guys to take advice from anyone, much less a chick.  Further, he wanted to really explain why he lost.  That's his personality; and I'm okay with that.  He might have heard what I was trying to tell him that would help him, but he didn't acknowledge it; which again is fine.

But he seemed to brush it off, and instead wanted to counter with the reasons why he lost (many bad rolls and his frustration over that). 

I am fully aware that some people take advice, some don't, some don't think I know much, some don't acknowledge positive things, etc.

The whole conversation was really about two personalities and also if the words I choose would help the compliment be received.

Further, what frame of mind was he in to receive the words of advice?  If I told him over dinner, I bet the convo would have been different.  Instead, I might have picked the wrong time to tell him because it was right after he lost a match.

Timing, personalities, ego, acceptance, choice of words - all these things go into giving/receiving advice.  Even if it's a compliment.

I am hopeful he thinks about the compliment the weeks after, and shows up at the next tournament ready to take extra time on his shots and kick more ass!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Introducing: The Danielson Series

I mentioned that I have been helping a friend with his game, mostly by just talking about the mental aspect of the game and such, and usually right before or after tournaments.

Well, his progress has been such that he and I thought I should also be sharing this information all along this year with you all as well.  Kind of like a progress report.  And also so you can learn along with him. 

Sure, I wrote about this "coaching" a few times already (here and here), but after every tournament, he and I chat about something new that came up for him from the previous weekend's tourney, and he's telling me it's really good info that I should share with others.

Most of the time I've already written about it in my blog because I've gone through the familiar situations already in my pool journey, so I find him previous links to blogs I've written.  It's actually really cool I've written about many of the topics already; proves we all go through similar mental situations in our pool journey.  But he suggested I reintroduce these links to you all as well, as a sort of series of learning blog posts.

I'm going to label this "Danielson," like the eager student in the movie Karate Kid who was a quick learner as he applied the lessons from Mister Miyagi.  So, in the blog pieces, I will be referring to the player as "Danielson" and not use his real name.

I'm even going to make a tab on the top of my blog so you can follow along when I update you all of his progress (which I will do this week).  Today is just to introduce the concept to you.

Dainelson and I hope you enjoy this journey of learning!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Got a Little Table Time In

I normally don't even consider anymore playing in an Omega Tournament because I'm too busy.  With over 90 players a stop, it isn't really fair if I try to play and also run the tourney because there is too much to do.  Sure, I have helpers, but photos still need to be taken, raffle tickets sold, and break and run to be held, all the while running the bracket and posting results online.  So, I just don't feel right leaving so many duties to the helpers so I can play a little.

However, at the last Omega stop, I sure did have the itch to play!  I was secretly hoping we would have one opening so I could play, because the tournament was being held on diamond bar tables!  Omgosh I play well on those tables!

Further, this event was limited to 64 players because they only had 8 tables, so the tournament was more manageable and I knew I could step away and play.  You know, if the need arose that I needed to help out fill a 64-person bracket.  LOL.

Alas, the field was full.

And that's okay!  Still had plenty to do.

Come Sunday, the itch is still there.  Strong.

I don't think I've even played a game of pool since April.

Later in the afternoon when the tournament is winding down with only a match or two left, I ask a friend if I can borrow his cue.  He happens to also shoot with an OB shaft, so it felt really comfortable.

I ran out the first rack (with a mulligan lol), then ran out two more racks.  Many people are watching and asking me why I didn't play, and I shared, "sure wish I could have!"

As I'm handing the cue back to the player, a veteran on the tour and someone who knows how I play quips up to the guy, "and that wasn't the cue that made her shoot that way."


I was cracking up!

Many Omega players don't even know I play pool or that I play pool kinda good, so some were shocked how well I played just in those few games they witnessed.

And normally people joke, "Wow, that cue doesn't miss!"  But this guy immediately shot any notion or thought down that it was the cue with his really cool compliment.