During the weekend of that 8 ball tournament I played in at the beginning of April that I wrote about, I received a lot of compliments for some reason.
I am not sure if it was because people hadn't seen me in a while or what, but while it can make one feel good, the timing of them can be kinda of brutal.
I have been through so many experiences (ups and downs) while playing that I can actually handle what goes on around me pretty well and not let it bother me (or, I am at least better prepared to handle them because of all the experiences). It's the one of the main reasons the biggest tip I give to players is to play in as many tournaments as you can. The lessons are endless and will help you in future matches.
The weekend was kinda weird in general though because of all the people I hadn't seen in a while or didn't know. And it wasn't just because I hadn't been playing league, I think it was also because this pool room was pretty far north west of where I live and I hadn't been out that way in several years. And also I think because I was this chick who people had heard won titles, so people were just sharing things to me they had heard.
At one point, someone said to me who I haven't seen in a few years, "I heard you have been playing really well." And I gushed and said shyly shrugging my shoulders, "I guess so." One of my friends (and recent teammate) pipes up and says, "have you not seen her play lately?" The guy says no, and my teammate declares, "you are missing out if you haven't seen her play in the last 2-3 years."
I walked away feeling amazing I admit!
Wow, did he really just say that? Awwww!
Fast forward to the next day and I find myself on the winner's side still. As I'm IN THE MIDDLE OF A MATCH, I hear two people talking right behind me. One is a bystander watching and the other is a player who I defeated the previous night and had just won his match that morning. The bystander is asking him questions, did you just win, are you still in, are you on the winner's side?
The player says, "I'm on the one-loss side. But it's okay, because I got beat by the best player in here."
The bystander asks who and he points to me, "her - she's the best player in here."
Mind you, this is a huge compliment right? "Why would that bother you, Melinda"? You are asking yourself right now.
Well, because I'm in the middle of a match and that actually puts pressure on a player. It can give you either too much confidence or for some people, they would now want to "perform" well in front of this bystander that just heard I'm the nutz.
Have you ever played well with too much confidence or trying to show off? Nope; me either. I have written about this before, but thinking about things like that can actually take you AWAY from your game. You get a little big headed or aren't as focused and you don't play the same.
See where I'm going with this "compliment"?
It's actually a pretty weird phenomenon. If you tell someone who is running out and free-stroking against you in the middle of the match, "my goodness you are playing so well and staying down good!" it actually THROWS their game off. I have seen people use it as a sharking technique. Because the player then is thinking more about how they are playing instead of free-stroking like they were.
Of course, the seasoned players aren't deterred and may even laugh about the possible "move."
Luckily, I consider myself a season player and I have been through so much during competitions that the experiences I have gained taught me to simply ignore what the guy said and concentrate on the game at hand.
So, don't let words get you over confident. I try not to listen or hear anything when I play - it can throw your momentum off.