Friday, July 13, 2018

The Rabbit Talk

I was watching a player in a match last year on the Sunday of an Omega tournament.  He really studies the game and practices, and it shows in his increasingly high finishes, even though he's not yet one of the top players.

I am very impressed with how much he has improved and how well he knows the game.

In this match, I saw him miss a crucial 8 ball.  He was trying to get shape on the 9ball, but he went for a tough shot on the 8ball and missed it in the side pocket.  As soon as I saw the shot, I thought to myself he should have used a different route to make the 8 ball (an easier shot) so he would for sure have a shot on the 9ball.  In other words, he took a risky shot and because it was a tough shot, it was missed.

Because I really like the guy, I decided to share with him (at the next tournament) my thoughts on his shot selection.  You have to realize I can't just walk up to some dude and start giving advice, I actually have to be careful how I even broach the subject.  Some guys take offense to a chick trying to show them something, so it can turn into a dicey thing.  But, I think you all know me well enough to know I am careful with how I word things to not embarrass him, upset him, or make him think I am better than him.  I am just offering advice.

Long story short, the conversation went very well!  We chatted about the different options and he explained why he made that shot selection (he wanted to get perfect on the 9 ball) and I explained why I thought it was better to go a different route (easier shot and still have shape on the 9ball).

After the great discussion, I shared with him I was glad he accepted my opinion so well, as sometimes guys don't react as receptive as he did.  He then shared something really cool with me.

He said that it's just like taking advice from a rabbit.

Uh, what?

He said in his country (Peru) there is a saying that you can listen and take advice from anyone, but it's up to you to decide if you want to use it or not.

I loved it!  But then I asked, "Uh, what about the rabbit, though?"

He smiled and explained, "Oh, the reason why the quote mentions a rabbit is because in Spanish it rhymes.  Un consejo hasta de un conejo."

I always find it fascinating when someone uses a phrase or quote from their childhood or country.  Makes me feel like they remain connected to their history and they let me see a part of it.  That day was a cool day for me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Being a Team Player Can Hurt - Project Hunger Games

I admit it.  I feel bad for my friend, Katniss of Project Hunger Games.

You see, she has a lot of talent, potential and love for the game.  However, she has a bit of a disadvantage.  What is this disadvantage I speak of?  Well, unfortunately, her own teammates.  

You see, she confided in me back in May that she doesn't get to play all 5 of her games on league night because she has teammates who complain about wanting to play, or feel they deserve to play, or whine they aren't being played more.  So, she gives up her 5 chances every league night to improve her own ranking on the league so her teammates get to play more.  Even though she's the top player on their team, she still does this selfless act.

So, what happens when people complain?  We get in a foul mood, get a bad attitude, and therefore can't compete well.  This in turn (oh the irony!) upsets her teammates because she's isn't winning all her games.  Little do they know, they are the ones affecting her play!

So, she is sacrificing not playing as much, not playing her best because she's upset and it not only affects the team standing, but her individual stats as well.

Katniss shared, "I get to the point that I don't enjoy competing....its not fun anymore. So I don't try, because I'm dreading it."

But a month later something really awesome happened.  She struggled with her unhappiness for many weeks and then decided to do something about it after giving it some thought and talking over options with her husband.  

She decided to have a team meeting and they set up ground rules about who should play and why (based on stats and future incentives).  This is another ironic thing as it not only helps her, it also helps the weaker players to give them incentive to help their own game so they get to play more!  So it was a much-needed change/decision that ended up helping the entire team!

Being on a team is one of the highs in life, but it can sometimes come with conflict and drama.  Once those are ironed out, watch out - fun times and better play ahead!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Quieting the Talker - The Danielson Series

Have you all wondered where Danielson was?  Yea, me too.  Finally heard from him, though.

The other day I got a text out of the blue, "You busy?"

I hastily replied, "Not really, just sat down at a poker table in the poker room of Winstar Casino lol.  What's up?"

Turns out he was about to play a guy who was a real talker - one that had in the past got under his skin for being kinda cocky, crappy,and just talking too much when they played.  I guess you could say their banter got out of hand and became personal and rude, instead of fun jabbing among friends.  And now it was down-right sharking.

Danielson said he wanted to talk about the match with him.  I told him via text, "The goal is to shoot his nuts off.  Doesn't matter who your opponent is.  If he talks smack, punish him.  And focus on 3-ball-shape, you'll be fine."

His reply was, "Gotcha - best way to shut him up is to run out."

I reiterated, "Yep.  Punish him for talking."

The thing I failed to remind him was to not get upset.  When I say, "punish" someone, it's not an upset reaction, more so you are laughing at them, I'll show you not to talk to me that way hahaha by running out.  

I asked Danielson a few days later if my golden words of insight were helpful (I'm an only child, feedback is key for us only children, lol).  He said it was when he thought of it, yes.  So, I patted myself on the back and typed up this blog entry :)

Btw, he ended up losing only hill-hill, so I consider that a success!  From his perspective it wasn't, as he lost, but to overcome an adversary who you know ahead of time can get under your skin, is a success, not a defeat.  Then again, that didn't affect my pocketbook, so I can call it a success easier than Danielson can lol.

Remember people, punish them with your art on the pool table.  Quiet them and don't let others affect you.