In my Scotch Doubles blog post, I stated I don't feel like it's mandatory to practice with my scotch doubles partner if we both know 8ball well.
Well, I think this time it may backfire! I am playing in the Masters Scotch Doubles with Sylver Ochoa. Even though he is a friend of mine and we have been at countless tournaments at the same time over the years, it doesn't mean we have ever played pool together before. lol. Am I nervous to play with him? Yes. Should I be? No. But, it's Sylver Ochoa; a pro; a well-known pro. He would laugh at me if he knew I thought this way about playing with him. I have played scotch with top pros before, but not in a big tournament against other big players. And if I did, I either was just as nervous and don't remember, or didn't know who the top players were at the time, or it wasn't a big event.
Every time someone asks me who I am playing with in Vegas and I state his name in response, every person has replied, "Really? Wow. " Then they might add, "how did that happen?" "he's a pro!" "wow, he plays really strong." "well look at you." blah blah. lol. Like I'm not nervous enough already. Ugh.
Am I nervous to play against the names on the bracket? Yes. Should I be? No. I am human, though. And although you may be laughing at me, I can't possibly be the only person who has ever been nervous in this situation! I keep thinking, "I wonder how Borana felt before she went overseas and played with Mika in that scotch doubles tournament?" And yet I am not even playing in front of TV cameras like she did!
I know I do not have a strong mental attitude all the time. I have not yet been put under enough pressure situations to just play the table every time and not the name across from me or to stop yearning so badly to win title tournaments. Sometimes my mental game is dead-on confident; sometimes it is not. I can't quite comprehend why throughout all these years my nervousness comes and goes; why my mental angst goes up and down; why it resurfaces the way it does and other times is contained. I would think I would eventually stop going backwards. I have had great periods of time of playing pool with a strong mental attitude, yet then some tough moments crop up.
Am I worried about falling on my face? Yes. Should I be? No. I should go in to have fun and accept this as another great opportunity.
I fully admit I do not have the killer instinct. I fully admit I am nervous right now. I want to have fun and so by the time I get to the tournament in less than 6 days, I hope to calm my brain and focus on enjoying the challenge.
I surprise myself that I can give a talk/presentation/speech in front of a hundred people for my job, yet I'm nervous to play in this tournament? lol.
Like I said, I will review my notes and get my mental toughness prepared to focus on pool for the tournament so I have a chance to not let the negatives of my mind win. However, I never really know which Melinda will show up - the confident one, the nervous one, the nonchalant one, the zone one. Eeek. lol.
I did call Sylver a couple of weeks ago to tell him I was nervous about the tourney and he laughed at me and simply stated, "it's gonna be fun." He knows what to focus on and what not to worry about. Thank goodness, lol.
I am glad for my blog right now - besides feeling very vulnerable letting you all ride with me on my roller coaster of emotions from confidence to tips to nervousness to disappointments to successes - it allows me to consider the things I need to work on.
I hope this week I will have time to share in my blog what I can do to overcome this. I really do know some good tips to help out and I know writing them down will help prepare me even more. :)