After I was put out of the 2-day 8-ball tourney I played in back in early April, I was talking to a friend that had bought my half of the calcutta.
As we chatted, he told me I played well all weekend. Then he asked if I wanted a drink, as he was sitting there drinking a beer by himself. I replied thank you, but I had quit drinking. You never know how people will react to these little but important words, "I quit drinking," but his response caught me off guard: It was about POOL.
He reacted shocked, "What!? How did you play pool without drinking!?"
I stood there looking at him confused. Uh, What? What do you mean? I don't need alcohol to play pool. Do you? And then he shared well, it can calm my nerves and make one feel relaxed. And then I was like, "oh, yea, that's right."
Then I joked with him, "how the hell did I finish and play well without a few drinks!? Damn." Honestly, though, hadn't even crossed my mind.
Even though quite a few times I felt pressure and adrenaline in matches in this 2-day tourney, I didn't even think at all to take a shot to help calm my nerves. It's actually really cool to realize it didn't even cross my mind - tells me I'm not dependent on that "crutch" and that I can handle pressure and nerves in competition through (1) deep breathing techniques to calm down my adrenaline, (2) positive thinking affirmations, and also (3) staying in the present moment.
I'm not saying everyone who drinks does this - usually drinking while playing pool is just a habit - but what I am saying is that indeed just the right of alcohol can tame nerves.
He then shared he thought it was cool I wasn't drinking, and it was no longer about "how did you play well without it" to "that's really awesome for you."