I decided to play in an 8 ball bar table tournament last December.
It really is a tourney way out of my league, but I wanted to get out of the house, be around friends, and also buy some players in the calcutta if I had a chance.
Oh, and I decided to play.
I have played at this location a 1,000 times (leagues, weekly tourneys, big tourneys, playoffs, etc). And in big tournaments, I usually falter pretty easily. I get too distracted by my thoughts.
So, the week of the tourney and especially the 30-minute drive to the tourney on that Saturday morning, I prepared myself. I thought about the things that cost me before, and tried to think about what I could do to prevent it this time to give me a better chance from going 2-and-out like usual, lol.
I told myself to learn from the past and to try and not worry about people around me. Who is watching, what they are thinking, who I am playing, are people even watching me, people judging my decisions, etc.
This place has a rail around the entire room so it's easy for so many eyes to be on you. Not that anyone is really watching little 'ole me play, but for some reason at this place it REALLY gets in my head. And it doesn't help I'm suppose to be a top player in 8 ball, and also one of the few females playing. So, I do over-think things and let my surroundings get to me there.
So, this time I prepared and thought about it a lot on the drive there that crisp morning, and reminded myself to REALLY REALLY focus on just the game in front of me; just the balls I'm shooting at, not who is watching.
It is tough after a match when you don't even realize people are watching and someone says, "you should have beat that guy" or something like that.
So, this tourney, I dressed comfy, had a small breakfast, was prepared mentally to just focus on pool.
I beat a good player my first match who went for about $100 in the calcutta (someone would tell me after I beat him), but I didn't know who he was. He wasn't very happy with me. I went hill-hill next match and should have lost but I won after a bad shot by my opponent late in the last game. Next match I'm up 3-1 and then I lose focus and so it goes hill-hill but I manage to win that match as well. WOW!
Then I play again and win AGAIN!
I'm 4 matches deep on the winner's side!? REALLY? I lose my next two matches but at that point I don't care b/c I'm guaranteed 5th (out of 43 tough players) and wanted to have fun with my friends instead (ooops). I got an extra $100 for Last Lady... AND a trophy!! (nice touch by the TD!).
Those pep talks really helped me out before I even got to the tournament. I'm not saying that's why I placed so high (because I admit I didn't run into a heavy hitter until my 5th match), but I know it for sure helped my frame of mind and my focus!
Here I am below with my cute trophy, and my scotch doubles partner, Greg's (he won the tourney and got one, too):