On my ACS Nationals Team, there were 4 total players (including myself). The three other players also truly love the game of pool and want to learn as much as they can and improve.
In order to do that, we need experiences.
Not just more experience playing in tournaments, but more experience via BIG tournaments. More experience with a good team, too.
And I was honored we were going to get to do that together at ACS Nationals!
So, when someone (a 5th person) was interested in coming to ACS Nationals with us to be on our team, I said no.
While this player is looked up to, I didn't think we needed her on the team and quite frankly I didn't want her on the team.
Because I didn't want to sit out any of the original teammates. With a 3-person 9ball team and 4-person 8ball team, I thought we had enough players, talent, and heart.
I told my teammate I didn't want her on the team and "I don't want to sit anyone out." She replies, "We are used to sitting out."
I snap back with disgust and honesty, "Well, you all should NOT be sat out."
I wanted to build their confidence, not have another player come on board to take away from them playing. I was adamant about it and actually a little miffed I was even being asked.
I didn't want to take away any thunder from the original team and if I didn't have faith in them, I wouldn't have asked them in the first place.
Would this person have helped us win more matches? Probably.
But, that wasn't the point to me.
Plus, we placed 3rd in 9ball all by our little selves!
I would have loved for my teammates to be National Champions. But at what cost? To not really get to play? Plus, this person was not a guarantee of that anyway, so why add more people to the team?
For some reason, I really treasured the opportunity for my teammates to play in the Open Women's Division of a National tournament. I would rather my teammates get that fantastic feeling of nerves and excitement playing in a national tournament, than being sat out watching their teammates. What kind of experience would I be teaching if my teammates didn't get to play a lot on the national stage at this event?