Monday, April 20, 2009

Wait for my Cue, Please

I have been playing pool for 20 years. The last 13 years (the number of years I have taken the game serious) has taught me one valuable lesson that most of my friends know - I learned this through much, tough-love experiences. I bet you have a similar "rule," too.

If I lose a match, I do not want to talk about it until I am ready. This means, until I bring it up, it means I don't want to hear people's comments or questions or evaluations or suggestions. I have lost many matches and right afterwords someone will say, "why'd you shoot the 8ball like that?" after I just lost hill-hill. I honestly cannot take anything anyone says constructively after a tough loss. Especially if it's a tough lose.

It's just best to not talk about the match until I bring it up to you. If people are watching my match and I lose but played well, they may still want to say something like, "good tournament" and all I can think of is the two 7s I missed. I simply haven't had enough time yet to absorb that I really did finish well in the tournament.

I don't know how to explain it well, but I have too many emotions going through my body to hear properly any words coming at me. I even realize most people say things that are not rude, maybe even want to be helpful, or just want to know what I was thinking when I chose to hit a ball a certain way. However, I am too upset to talk about it.

If 30 minutes go by, I may finally say, "Hey Shayla, did you see that one 5 ball I missed?" Or I might finally say to Amanda, "I played okay I think."

Sometimes I only need 5 minutes, sometimes I need an hour. It depends on the match.

So, just wait for my cue - give me some time - eventually I will want to talk about my match and am ready to take advice then and will want to talk about shots and choices. I do love learning, but I admit I need to be in the right frame of mind for it to be beneficial.

P.S. I return this philosophy to all pool players and friends. I don't talk about their match or say anything to them about their loss until they bring it up. Instead, I let them gather their emotions for as long as they may need. If I do talk to them, I will talk about anything else but their match - which sometimes helps distract the pain of the loss.

1 comment:

R Riley said...

I try not to ask someone why they did something that cost them the match... It irritates me too... especially when you cannot see the angles from where you are sitting often times... I will tell them positive things though... I will say however that I know from experience that even positive things sometimes aren't heard because you are still upset.. I think we all sometimes say things too soon.. we might ask how a ball was sitting or if you could shoot it in a particular pocket.. but I try to only do that with people I know don't get upset.. maybe Dalton.. hehe