From The Cueist:
So, I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Not just pool-wise, but just with things going on in my life and around me. Not a depression-type funk. But, still a funk nonetheless. Coincidentally, I found myself wanting to go to the pool rooms more often. Maybe not to play, or get in action, or play a tourney. Those things are nice, sure. But I went to the pool rooms just to go hang out with friends I've made over the years. From all walks of life, ages, colors - this beautiful game that we love to play has a way of bringing people together.
I remember being younger and being in the pool room practicing 6-8 hours a day when I wasn't working. There were always 2 "old timers" there having coffee. Being that I was in my early 20's, I'd say hello, chat with them a while, then go practice. See, I love talking to these "old timers" in the pool rooms. Some of these guys have been in the pool rooms for 50 years and have seen many different things both inside the pool rooms and outside of the pool rooms. Some are veterans, some are millionaires, some are widowers, some are former top players.
While I'm not at the "old timer" status yet, I have seen my fair share of things at the pool rooms. Been a part of many stories that I'll be able to tell years from now. Learned life lessons in the pool rooms that apply to personal and business life. And most importantly, I've made friends from all walks of life that I enjoyed visiting with during this "funk" of mine.
Much to my surprise, these friends of mine knew something was going on with me right off the bat. See, this is how much we've gotten to know each other over the years. And almost all of them offered great life advice. But when it came to advice on how to get out of the pool slump, they all pretty much said the same thing.....don't take pool so seriously. All of us are so competitive that sometimes it's easy to get engulfed in the pool scene and become overwhelmed. Next thing you know, you're not playing your best because of the pressure, then you get down on yourself, and then you may end up quitting the game that you loved so much.
My point is this....while we all want to see results on the pool table after hours and hours of practice. Don't forget that time away from the pool table is just as important. Once you get past that hump in your pool game and remember why you fell in love with the game again, I guarantee that you'll be playing great again!
And be sure to say hi to those "old timers" at the pool room next time. You might be surprised to learn a few things from them, not to mention hear great stories.