Saturday, January 13, 2018

Danielson's 2018 Goals

As promised, the Danielson Series continues!  "New Year, New You."  No, no, none of that crazy bullshit.  How about New Year, New Learning!

Danielson reached out to me and said he was thinking about his goals for 2018. 

Now, if you are a regular reader, you know I already blogged about goals a couple of weeks ago since it's the new year.  However, Danielson never reads my blog unless I send him a link to one of my posts lol.

So, it made me smile he was thinking about goals on his own, without any prodding.

Because he had such a successful year last year and working to improve his game more this year, one shouldn't set too high of goals or goals with tangible expectations.  Even he said, "I have a lot of changes this year and to try and put any kind of performance goal on myself could be disastrous."

So, he suggested his goal should be, "Play Smart."

OMG that's perfect!

Absolutely perfect!

And of course I told him, "add that to your checklist."  LMAO.

I think this is a really great goal for him and one that will prove to help him have another successful year.

Play Smart. 

Love it!

I am super excited for him!

In the last few years he said his goal was to improve in the ranking, which he did.  And currently he is borderline moving to a new handicap level and so Play Smart is a very smart (sorry) goal!  Danielson shared, "I just wasn't sure what I should be aiming for this year, but regardless of a ranking if I play smart and keep mistakes to a minimum, it will all take care of it's self."

Ahhh, Grasshopper! 

They grow up so fast, don't they?  :)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Where Everybody Doesn't Know Your Name

One of the coolest things I experienced in a long time playing in the OKC tournament last weekend was I only knew one single other player in the tournament!

Talk about fun!  That was SO cool and relaxing.  And less pressure, too.

I normally play in Texas and we all know each other.  And when I used to go play out of state, I normally played in larger events or women's events.  In the larger events, all the top players are there and I know them and also run into a ton of friends or acquaintances.  At the ladies tournaments out of state, we also all know each other.

But since this was a tournament for players rated 575 or below in the Fargo Ratings, I didn't know many of the players there since it was out of state and not open to the top players who normally roll in to steal the show.

So this tourney was completely different and a joy to play in because of the atmosphere.  It was so relaxing and refreshing to play somewhere where no one knew me and I didn't know them.  I could focus on my game, not on the expectations of others.  Nor did I have any predictions of my opponents as I had no idea who they were or how they played lol.

Sure, there were some whispers that Tina and I heard: "the Texas girls" or "they came all the way from Texas to play."  But it was nothing like the accolades (while flattering) I hear in Texas tournaments or national events that can be a added pressure if one doesn't hone it all in.  

I'm not trying to brag, I promise.  But I think it's important to share that a lot of players (no matter the sport) who have had success are very aware that success can actually sometimes add pressure.  

So, I guess my point is it was a really treat to be able to focus all my attention on playing good pool. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Opinions Before or After Matches Should be Off Limits

I don't know why I find it so intriguing and confusing when people make comments that I feel can be detrimental to our games.

I guess I just wonder WHY.

Why say something that can affect someone's play?

I know, I know - some people just don't realize this.

While I stated a few times (either in print or my video blog) that my mental toughness isn't want it used to be, I am still good with not letting some things bother me.  And I was lucky, too, because a couple of things over the weekend at the Oklahoma City tournament could have really derailed me lol.  Although I am distracted with my own thoughts while down on shots, I AM still good at not letting things get to me from others that could potentially be pressure type things.  And thank goodness!

My friend Tina and I went to OKC for this tourney and it was a really cool trip.

Of course several things happened I want to blog about, lol.  Come on - you all knew the blogging was coming!

Here is one:  As I walk to my table for my first match to play a guy named Victor, the Tournament Director for some reason walks right by me and tells me with a soft, cavalier tone, "I told the guys, "Watch this girl from Texas run all over Victor." "

Uh, WHY?!


WHY say that to me.

Now, I know from experience not to let that bother me or get to me, but come on now, why tell me anything.  And as a Tournament Director, I would expect one would know not to say anything to a player before or after a match.


Isn't that obvious? 

Oh, guess not.  lol.

While waiting to play that said match, a friend from the area told me I should do well in the tournament, as they looked around at the competition.  Again - pressure much?  LOL.  But, like I said, that part of my mental toughness is still solid.

But, it does bring up the fact we just shouldn't really say, well, anything.  It's really one of the best things you can do for a player, friend, whatever - shut your mouth, hahaha.  Any type of words that have to do with future thoughts or opinions of them or their opponents should be off limits, lol.

Reminds me of this gem:

(Unwelcomed) negative reinforcement is described well by this AWESOME story by one of my favorite psychology and sports psychology authors, Denis Waitley, in The Psychology of Winning:

The World Series, in the 1950s.  New York Yankees, Milwaukee Braves.  Warren Spahn, the great Milwaukee left-handed pitcher on the mound.  Elston Howard, the great Yankee catcher at the plate.  Score tied.  Two men on, two men out.  Three and two.  A critical part of the series.  And a critical part of the game.  
The manager walks out of the dugout to give Warren Spahn, the great pitcher, some encouraging motivating advice.   “Don’t give him a high outside pitch, he’ll knock it out of the park,” said the manager.  And walked back to the dugout.  
Warren Spahn said to himself, “why did he have to say it to me in that way.”  Let’s see, “don’t give him a high outside pitch.”  “The reverse of that is…” too late.  Like a neon sign, high and outside came as the dominant message.  Out of the park went the ball.  A 3-run homer.  
Because of that one dominant thought Milwaukee almost lost the World Series.  But Eddie Mathews came in with a home run to save the game and the series for the Braves.  Warren Spahn, to this day says, “why would anyone ever try to motivate anyone with the reverse of what they want?”  
That’s like motivating and office staff by saying, “firings will continue until morale improves.”  You know, it just won’t work.  
I know many series for the coaches who unwittingly set up their players for losing performances every day.  Here’s an example and basketball.  “Missing free throws is what loses big games, team,” yells the coach.  “You’re all going to stay late during practice and shoot free throws until you stop missing them so often.”  While the winning coach would take advantage of the positive motivation opportunity by saying, “teams with high free-throw averages win ballgames.”  “I want you to put an extra 15 minutes a day making your free throws in practice, so that when we get them during next week’s game, we’ll make all we can, and will win the game.”  
You see, this is the right way to motivate.