This month's installment of The Danielson Series is about refocusing early.
One of Danielson's matches from the July Omega Billiards Tour stop was right in front of the tournament table, so I had no choice but to notice/watch/see.
I actually tried not to watch, as I don't really know if he plays well in front of me or not, or if he doesn't even notice I'm there. I've written about this before - sometimes we notice people around us and it affects our game.
But, being that I was right in front of his table, I did see some of the match. And I had noticed he was missing more than usual. And then I recognized immediately the reason why. Of course I couldn't take a time-out and
tell him, tho, during the match. So I sat there and watched him
struggle; felt so badly for him.
On the Monday morning quarterback conversation, Danielson shares with me, "I don't know what was going on... " he lamented. "You could tell I don't play often on these Diamond bar tables hahaha" he shyly admitted, a tad embarrassed.
I shared with him carefully, "It looked like you were trying to get shape more, instead of focusing on making the ball. And with those tables, shape is secondary because they are so freaking fast. You'd get shape almost every time just about anyway on the smaller table; if that makes sense."
He shares, "Yeah.. I have been really working on shape.. staying off the rail and playing to the middle of the table."
I exclaimed, "That's great! But those tables deserve attention on shot-making first, because shape comes kinda normal on them because they are so fast and small."
And then I shared with him the key:
"The key is to figure out right away what's going on. Why are you missing more than usual? What's going on? You could have recovered right away and won that match. Granted, it took me a couple of years to figure out and to realize DURING a match to think about what I'm doing wrong and fix it. Sometimes we don't think like that, we just get frustrated. Instead, though, figure out right away what's up."
And then I sent him these two links that delve further into "refocusing early":
He admitted, "You're right.. I just kept fighting it instead of correcting it. I could have beat that top player. I just couldn't get out of my own way."
Danielson did still finished 17th place out of 64 players, so it was still a successful tournament overall!
It takes huge self awareness to train yourself to figure out what's going on during a match real early, instead of letting the match get away from you.
Can you imagine the many different outcomes if you taught yourself to become aware of why you are missing, and then resolved it before the match finished?
I implore you to read the two links above to help you out in your very next tournament!