Went into this weekend thinking I was playing good. By Saturday night, watching so many people miss, my confidence went down. LOL. Before my first match on Sunday, I spoke with a guy , Tom, who I am sure I have seen but hadn't spoke to before. We started to talk about the mental game of pool and we shared experiences. He was talking about how we think about "status" when we play pool and we need to stay in the moment to not let that get to us.
He also said how he likes to have an opponent that plays well. Welcomes it in his mind and wants that competition.
I play my first match against Cristina Dela Garza and even though she hasn't been playing, she ran the first rack beautifully! I wasn't nervous at all, though, and knew in my heart, based on past experience, that running racks would not continue for 7 more games. I didn't really play all that good, but she missed a couple of nineballs or scratched/missed late in the rack and I was able to capitalize. However, I decided before this event I would wear my ipod, because I wanted to try it and because some of the other tours don't allow it. Instead of meshing with the music, though, I instead found myself thinking that other people were thinking I had to use it to focus. By the 3rd game, I took it off and just played pool.
I then played Heather Lloyd next. I saw in the stand a person who *I think* judges me so when I played Heather, I wasn't playing pool. Heather was missing late in the rack and playing unlike herself - thinking a lot and playing slower than I was used to. She gathered some strength and tied it 3-3 after giving me the first three games. Then she missed a nineball and although I was straight in I was thinking too much about, "I don't want to win this way." I missed the ball; probably didn't stay down, hit it too hard, etc. I have a tough time with straight in shots anyway, but I wasn't thinking about pool anyway. She was then up on me and then led the way in the match. At 6-5 or 6-4, she missed a nineball and although it was a tough leave (deliberate tough leave from a missed bank - good shot, Heather!), I missed it even though I breathed deeply as I stroked and "thought" I was thinking positive. I missed it, and left her an easy shot and she won.
I get called immediately to play my next match and I'm still affected by the previous match. I play Jennifer Kraber and I know she hasn't been playing much but she's still a threat. She is wearing an ipod, so I grab mine and we are both just zoning. I miss an out the first game and she gets out. I can feel the last match still on my shoulders - pissed I let the mental game get to me. I win the next game and in the short race to 5, I am starting to play well and take advantage of opportunities. I am up 4-2 but she gets two more games and we are hill-hill. Several misses by both of us leave me with a tricky shot on the 7 ball and I am down on the shot still trying to decide what is best to do when I pull the trigger and shoot, and don't hit a rail. LOL! She gets ball in hand and gets out. 17th place out of 34 or so.
The drive home was terrible. I was sick I let the mental game get to me in my match with Heather. Just simply sick.
However, Shayla played in the men's event and lasted a round on Sunday in the men's event!