Thursday, January 19, 2017

More About Asking The Score

I wrote the other day how asking a player their score during a match can sometimes throw them off.

I want to be clear though and point out the obvious:  that players with a strong mental toughness will not be thrown off by your question.

Further, IF they are rattled at all - they will recover from it quickly.  In other words, they may think about it for a bit, but then they will get it out of their mind and get back to the task at hand:  focusing on the table.

Not everyone is distracted with questions.  But no reason to test that, right?


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Get Your Own Score

(Since we can't hear tone reading words, I need to point out I am being sarcastic in the way the title reads).  :)

I've written many times how when I'm in a match I don't look around the room to see who is in the crowd.  Well, the same thing happens when I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of a match. I don't take long breaks; I take care of emptying my bladder and then head straight back to the table.

And as I am walking briskly to the bathroom and back, I never look at anyone. I look down or look at my destination. I never look into anyone's eyes. I never even acknowledge anyone around me as I walk by.


Because I don't want to give anyone the opportunity to ask me what the score is.


Can be a distraction.

I was watching the Omega Tour matches on Sunday and one of the players was in a really close, tough match and it was his highest finish yet on his Omega Tour journey.

One of his female friends was watching who isn't really around pool too much. He had just missed a shot and he was down in the match 5-3 I think and then he took a quick bathroom break. And before he even walked past her, I thought to myself, "omg, please don't ask him the score."

The thing is you really just shouldn't ask anyone what the score is. It can throw them off - whether they are winning or losing. They need to go to the bathroom or go smoke their cigarette and then they need to get back to the table. They now do not need to be thinking about who is watching, confessing that they're losing, or even "celebrating" that they are winning by providing you information. All of these things can be distractions just because you are being selfish and wanting to know their score (I kid, I kid!).

If you see me walking briskly to the bathroom please do not stop me to ask the score.

And I beg you, when you see your friends walking to the bathroom during matches, please do not ask them for an update. Let them focus. Let them get back to the table and get to business. Don't distract them. If you want to know the score, ask a friend or check out where the coins are.

Thank you in advance from all of us :)

(and yes, she interrupted his focus to ask him the score)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Help From The Arnold

Arnold Schwarzenegger that is.

I wrote a week or so ago about how making mistakes helps us become more successful.  I was dissecting Colin Powell's quote:  "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." 

If one really looks at my statement about "making mistakes helps us become winners," it seems awfully negative, right?  It's actually been bothering me what I said.  Even though it's true, I wanted to talk about it more and try to explain it more.

And then I came across this great quote last night that kinda seals what I was tried to get across:

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."

I think this explains it even better.

Here's to the mistakes we make!  No, no, no.  What I mean is, if we make mistakes or if we come in 2nd place, or if we lose because of emotions, we learn from each of those things.  And we carry those over to our next tournament.  We remember.  We learn.  We don't give up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Quote: There's No Courage Without Fear

If you're deep into leadership like I am, you see and hear things in your daily routine that reminds you of things to help you personally, and of course that leads directly into pool and competing.

Since mental toughness is high on my list, I loved when I heard the other day this quote from the movie, Edge of Tomorrow:

"There's no courage without fear."

And just ignore that this quote is spoken by Bill Paxton right before a lot of the future-soldiers are about to die from a future spaceship landing onto a beach infested with aliens.  Okay - don't think about that part!

Seriously, anytime any of my friends get nervous or have anxiety, I remind them that those feelings just mean they care.

Let me say this another way - when your heart is racing, you are getting nervous, or you have anxiety, it means you care about something.  And, that's not a bad thing.  Right?

There's no courage without fear.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Watch Who You Watch

I got a kick overhearing some players lament about the opponents they just played in the Season Finale of the Omega Tour back in November.

Turns out they had great advice and they all agreed and where laughing together:  Don't ever watch a match of the opponent who just beat you.  Why?  Because they in inevitably won't play as perfect as they did against us in their next match!

After they beat our ass, never miss a shot, and kick us to the curb, they go on to their next match and miss easy shot and are no longer running out.  Wth?  lol  It's like they aren't even the same player, lol.

The players were joking how these opponents never missed against them, yet they then go on to their next match and can't make a ball!

The solution to their sickening feeling was to just simply never watch their opponents' next match. Just don't torture yourself!  DON'T DO IT!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Technical Explanation of Nervousness

Leave it to good ol'e Dr. Oz to help me out with a billiards blog post.  :)  I subscribe to his magazine, "The Good Life" and I always read great little tidbits.

Today I share about, "Nervous Flutters."

I have written a lot about having "test anxiety" and I freak out sometimes during interviews, tests, and also of course vying for that coveted state title.

What I read in Dr. Oz's magazine was WHY this happens.  And, of course it all makes sense now:
"It's your turn to make a speech at a wedding but a cloud of butterflies are dancing around your gut.  What you're really feeling is blood leaving your digestive system - it's part of that flight or fight response that occurs when adrenaline spikes, sending blood to your extremities in case you need to say outrun a bear or a mugger. Yes, it's a bit of an over reaction when when all you need to do is take the mic."
Now I understand what is going on with the blood in my body during my episodes of test anxiety.   My brain can't think clear - because all the blood is busy making me run from a bear!

No wonder I can't think clearly or get things accomplished well during those few (but crucial) anxiety moments that cross my path in life (and well, you, if you have them at times, too).

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dissecting Colin Powell Quote

I love this quote from Colin Powell:

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

This is so true as I reflect back on my pool journey.

I didn't just show up to tournaments hoping I would do well.  I prepared; I put in work; And, yes, I indeed learned from failures.

I had a goal one year to practice at least 2 hours a week.  While that may not seem like much, it was dedicated, solo, determined practice.  I would arrive first thing in the morning when the doors opened either Sat or Sun and grabbed a 9 foot table, put in my earbuds, and then try and run 10-ball racks for at least 2 hours straight every weekend.  For a year.

This is just one example, but Yes, I put in the work.

I also had goals were I would watch a certain number of videos a year, play in more weekly tournaments, and read a few key books to help my pool journey.

Yes, I prepared.

And the more I played in tournaments - weekly, regional, league, league payoffs, state or national tourneys either in singles or teams, the more I learned from my mistakes.  That 8 ball I missed at state for my team doesn't haunt me anymore.  Why?  Because I learned from it.  I carry the reason why I missed forward and it helped me be more in control of the successful table run I accomplished hill-hill at ACS Nationals to capture my first, ever, singles, National 9-Ball Title.

Yes, I learned from my failures.

The more tournaments you play in, the better you become.


You naturally put in the work so you finish better in them (practice, watch videos, etc).  You naturally get more prepared, too (read books on mental toughness, play in more leagues, etc).  Again, playing in more tournaments has a cause and effect.

You play in more league events and tournaments and you don't just hope to do well - you prepare, you put in the work,  And because you are putting yourself in more tournament situations, you make mistakes and have losses and failures, which in turn you learn from. Which in turn makes you successful later.

Pool is a Journey!

Let's go full circle with his quote:

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."