Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pool Table Like a Hot Tub

Someone mentioned something funny the other day.

We were talking about home pool tables, and how people usually practice on them at first, and then they pretty soon become a spot to put your laundry. 

One of the players said, "It's kind of like getting a hot tub.  You are all excited at first and use it in the beginning, then you never get in it again until friends come over."


But, spot on! 

The few people I have heard that actually practice on their home table regularly are really not in the norm at all.  And they should pat themselves on the back for using it as was intended, instead of an expensive laundry basket like most.  :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tournament Director is Like a Supervisor

One of the things I have learned by running a large tournament, is it's very similar to being a boss or supervisor at work or a company.  The players are kinda like coworkers and many things can be going on in their lives.  As a supervisor or Tournament Director, we have to take care of tough situations (bad behavior) and also be friends and understanding to those who are going through tough times.

I think people just show up on weekends and play pool and think it's easy to run a tournament.  But, there are not only the logistics of running a tournament, but there are some leadership principles that much be utilized.  Especially empathy, servant leadership, speaking up for others, communication skills, understanding, etc.

To give a flavor of the type of situations that can come up, that not many people realize, I'll just list a few from the past 3 months.

I want to be clear I am not complaining about my role - if anything I think I have the temperament and leadership experience to handle situations.  Further, I also learn quickly which helps in this role.  What I am trying to do is just express there is much more to running a tournament than just moving names around on a bracket, calling matches, and figuring out the payouts.  There are PEOPLE and EMOTIONS and LIFE involved.  And as the Tournament Director, you are kinda responsible for handling these situations that may come up.

Again, just in the last 3 months:

  • One of the players found out two days before a stop he has throat cancer.
  • A player contacted me that there was a restraining order against her ex, who might show up at the tournament.
  • Someone had a tough break up who helps out with the Tour.
  • Someone got married.
  • Someone tried to forfeit at the end of the tournament in front of a large crowd.
  • A player lied to the Tournament Directors.
  • A player snapped at one of the helpers of the Tour.
  • A player called the week before a stop to let me know he could not play because his wife has lung cancer.

You can see the range of emotions and life situations that came up in just the last 3 months.   These are NOT examples. 

Just a different perspective to think about....

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pool in Their 70s

There are at least two players who play on the Omega Billiards Tour regularly who are OVER 70s years old!

Blas Andrade is 78 and Michael Vaught is about 73 years young.

I remember the first time Micheal saw Blas at one of the tournament stops.  "Well, darn, Melinda.  I see Blas over there.  I thought I would be the oldest player here." 

It was quite cute to hear him say that, actually.

Michael has a very dry sense of humor with a soft voice, yet when he laughs, it comes from his belly and his eyes light up.

Even Blas will elude to his own age (being in his late 70s) and still out competing in the game he loves.  I guess when we get to that age and we still get out, we kinda brag about it (hopefully I will have the humor at that age to see it's cool to BE that age).

Blas will comment to me in his (also) soft voice (and ALWAYS with a smile) how he is still walking on his treadmill every day.  "Walked 30 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, Melinda, after I got home from work,"  he tells me bragging :)

Here is a photo of Blas:

And here is a photo of Michael:

One other player is in his 70s:  Charlie.  I believe he is 75.  Charlie shows up at almost every tournament (only has played once; he normally just watches).  He also has a REALLY great laugh and talks often about his multiple girlfriends lol.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Amanda Lampert in Lights

My bestie Amanda Lampert has won NUMEROUS titles in her short pool life.  Just to name a FEW:  Houston Open a few times, Texas Open a few times, OB Cues Ladies Tour stops a few times, OB Cues Tour Champion, Regional Tour Champion, BCAPL Open Champion, etc.

However, I think I was MORE proud of seeing this!

She was so honored when CSI/BCAPL asked her last year if they could take her pic for the Walk of Fame at the Rio that they put up during BCAPL Nationals. 

2016 was the first they put it up and she was right up front!  Where she still belongs (and in life).


Monday, August 15, 2016

Learn From Others' Pain

I was quite impressed the other day when a high-level instructor shared his heartache (and lesson, tho) out in public on Facebook.  It is really great advice, and I wanted to pass it along to others via my blog, too.

From Randy Goettlicher, Professional Billiards Instructor at Pool School:

Just want to share a Life Lesson that just occurred.

I have just finished Team competition in Las Vegas. Our team played outstanding. I played way below my skill level.

This past year I had many great things happen to me. Whether it was family, China, and of course I was extremely busy in Pool School or a lot of golf, I failed to do what I preach. I went into competition thinking that I was going to play at a high skill level. Boy, do I ever teach it correctly.

I had abandoned my three times a week practice routines. I didn't even play on any local pool stops, I didn't need to. I have played for 55 years, why do I need to practice! Well I just got my ass kicked and I don't like it.

All Champions hone their skills daily, That's what makes them perform under pressure. But no, not me. I forgot how much I love pool.

So, starting on Sep 1st, I go right back to my old practice routines. I will practice my drills and test my skills. I am ashamed of my performance. I just hope my team will have me back.

Thanks for listening. Playing like that is embarrassing.

Never happen again, NEVER!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Nagging During Tournaments

I know I've written about this before, but since it came up with a friend over the weekend, I thought I would write about it again.

I fully admit I have been a bad girlfriend in the past.  I wasn't very understanding at times, I nagged a lot, and my timing to pick a fight was not very smart to my boyfriends.  I was selfish, immature, and wanted attention at all times.

So, because I dated pool players, that meant that they were playing in a lot of tournaments.  And, that also meant that they were gone a lot on the weekends.  That gave me a lot of time to sit at home and wait for their calls and texts, only to get upset when I didn't hear from them often enough or quick enough.

Being immature, I didn't realize that if I was upset about something, I could just WAIT until they were either out of the tournament, or at the end of the tournament to pick a fight to let them know I was upset.  It was all about my emotions and how I felt at that EXACT time.  I didn't realize that because they are competing, I should wait to express any frustrations or disappointments.

Over this past weekend, one of my friends had to forfeit out of a big tournament because his girlfriend was chewing him out via text in the middle of one of his matches.  He was obviously upset, distracted, could not focus, was mad, and irritated at the fact she was in a fight with him while he was trying to compete.

My only quesiton to him was, "how old is she?"

"22," he replies mad and frustrated.

I just shook my head and told him, "she's too young to understand that she should wait to express she is upset."

He went on to say, "I couldn't play at all!  I had to forfeit and go home and handle the situation because she kept chewing me out."

Now, I don't know why she was upset, but they are still together and after he came home and they talked it over (after some words) they were okay.  That tells me it could have waited.

There is nothing I can put in this blog to help females (or males) understand that it's okay to wait to express you are upset.  That when a guy is competing for money, he needs to focus on pool.  It doesn't mean he doesn't care about you, he just needs to focus on the game at hand.  You ARE still important, but right now he is trying to make money and compete - and that's okay, right?

Don't get me wrong, I was the constant texter, too.  I would get on to my boyfriend all the time and he was a pro!  It was his lively hood and yet I still didn't understand to not bother him while he was playing in tournaments.  Not sure why he stayed with me for 5 years over 20 years ago, lol.  I wasn't very understanding and nagged all the time at him when he traveled. 

I didn't realize I should be more aware of his situation.  I was more so not aware that it really IS okay to NOT have to state your anger right then and there.  It's actually better to wait to express yourself because you give your head and heart some time to think about your hurt (or whatever is going on).

This isn't just about pool, I hope people see.

I'm not denying your emotions or pain or hurt, I'm just saying as you get older you will see that it's okay not to vent right away.  It's okay to reflect for awhile.  It's okay to WAIT.   Your feelings wont go away, and if you allow your sig other to go through their important day, and not ruin it, it will be best for you both.

I am the first one to admit it took me a LONG time to figure all this out.  WAY into my late 30s.  WAYyyyyy.

Takes time.

Good luck :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Humor Among Friends

A friend of mine emailed me on Monday and he has a great sense of humor (and a way with words!).

He stopped by the Omega Tour Stop last weekend to watch some of the great matches going on.

He tells me:

Apparently Barry Emerson has had a long run of getting beaten by Tony Sulsar, apparently 8 times in a row!  

Two strong players, for sure.  

So this time Barry beats Tony, 8-2.  

Barry’s comment to Tony is classic pool humor among pool friends. 

Barry to Tony: “Nobody beats me 9 times in a row!”