I didn't mention it a lot because it was a team event, and the entire team won us the title! So proud of my teammates!
A few people I did mention it to in passing, they told me that that will give me experience for the future.
To be honest, I fared well because of PAST experiences.
I'd like to explain.
With me being nervous and also upset that I was making some mistakes in the finals (both sets), I became nervous at the thought of playing the hill-hill game, lol.
I started to pace and wondered how I would do. I didn't think ahead about the what-ifs (thank goodness), but I did recognize I was nervous.
I took a shot of Jäger when the score was tied 7-7 in the short race to 9. I needed to be calmed down, lol. The deep breathing wasn't working. I don't know if the Jäger helped or not, but I did win that final game and I wanted to share some things that I hope will help others when they find themselves in similar situations.
As I was playing the final match, I was also watching my teammates' game next to me. Maria's match was taking a while due to safeties. I secretly wished her match would take longer and I would finish first so everyone would have to watch her game instead of mine, lol.
However, she won her game while I was still playing mine, and I knew it was all left to me.
I never got nervous, though, in that final game.
I don't know why.
I was in this position at Nationals, but the difference was I was playing the hill-hill game in the finals of the first set. I knew if I lost that game, we would just go to another set. No pressure at all. :) THIS TIME however, was different. The whole entire title was on the line because it was the second set and it was hill-hill. My little game.
I still wasn't nervous, though.
After I broke, I knew I wanted to be stripes and liked my chances. I missed a tricky shot in the side for my third ball, but I knew my opponent would have a tough run if I missed. If she got out, then I still felt good with my choices. I felt my teammates would understand if I lost and knew I gave it my all.
After a good safe by me a little later, no one clapped. I was like, "WTH? Did anyone not see that?" lol. I need affirmations, but I still felt comfy with my decisions.
She made a ball then had to play safe. She accidentally left me a shot. tho!
Not only that, I had a freaking out!
As Phil Capelle says in his books, "it's execution time."
I saw the entire 5-ball plan already in my mind. I had a run out!
I stayed down and stopped my cueball for the first ball (A).
I then sliced in the next ball (B). Got lucky it went off her ball, but I knew that was a possibility.
On the third ball (C), all I had to do was make it for natural shape to ball D. I made it!
However, ugh, I got funny on the ball before the 8ball (D). I couldn't believe it!
I studied it and studied it. My plan was to have a stop shot and then have a good shot on the 8, even though it wouldn't be the easiest shot in the world under pressure (although I felt no pressure). I couldn't stun the cueball over because the other pocket was blocked. I couldn't go forward, I might scratch.
I then saw if I was careful, I could draw the cueball past the side for now Option B, to make the 8 in the side.
I kept telling myself, I ONLY had to stay down and follow through. I don't do well with draw shots, but my boyfriend recently told me to really clamp down on my bridge hand. Not, clamp down on the cue, but to really tightened my bridge hand. I knew these shots could wobble in the pocket and they have wobbled a thousand times on me.
I fully admit draw shots are not my friend.
I just really focused on taking my time and seeing the shot and staying down.
I freaking nailed it!!
It didn't wobble, and I drew it right past the side pocket for shape on the 8ball!
Everyone starts clapping, but I tell ya; it's not over.
But, inside I was elated it worked out as I had planned in my head. :)
As I saw the 8 ball in the side, I could only think of one thing: I had a similar shot in the side, in this same venue, for teams, that I DOGGED! After I dogged it, I jumped up and up and up and down and said, "I am so nervous!" I felt so bad and embarrassed, as that made it hill-hill instead of us winning (we won the final game luciky').
All I could think of was that before I did NOT stay down and I knew from that horrible experience that even under the circumstance, to "just stay down and make this ball, Melinda."
OMG! I was more excited than anyone! I was so happy that all of the experiences led up to me being able to be there for my team!!
They all came up to me and hugged me and were so happy!
We were now Texas State Champs!
It felt good to finish off the match with a tough run under all that pressure. However, the entire team is responsible for our win! If they wouldn't have gotten me there, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do what I did to close out the match.
We were streamed live on the Internet. Here are a few screen captures of what I describe above:
Down on the shot before the 8ball.
Staying down well, watched the cueball glide nicely to the side rail.
Down on the 8ball
Me, jumping up and down!
Teammates ran up to me and hugged me!
The bottom line is THIS is why I tell people to play in as many events as you can. You can win hill hill matches due to experience. You can play in front of a crowd due to experience. The more times you put yourself out there, the better you will be for the next event.
I mean it when I say I only was able to NOT dog it because I have dogged it a thousand times before due to nerves. We keep learning and learning and the more instances you have competing, the better you will become. So, put yourself out there, Ladies! (and gents) Learning experiences go all long way in every aspect of life.