Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I mentioned in a previous post that evaluation during a match is one of the keys to success in getting through it successfully during rough patches.

This happened to me during a team event last weekend. This time I was able to overcome some major emotions and I wanted to share WHY.

I have been reading a book called, SOS - Managing Your Emotions. Although I am only a smidgen of the way into the book, so far it has talked about the ABC's of emotions:

A: Action/activity
B: Belief or Self Talk
C: Consequences (emotional and behavioral)
D: Dispute

What normally happen is: an activity or action takes place, we have self talk, and then we go into emotional and/or behavioral consequences. The B - self talk - can definitely lead to an irrational emotional response, but if you can either dispute the self talk and/or evaluate WHY you are feeling a certain negative emotion, then you can sometimes control your emotions a little bit more b/c you understand them. Understanding why can lead to a reevaluation; a positive reevaluation. This happened to me last weekend.

Click to enlarge

To summarize, A activating events plus our B beliefs and self-talk largely cause our C consequences, emotions such as anxiety, anger, and depression and our behavior. This mainly explains the cause of our emotions and behavior.

I played a girl in the singles who can come with her game and be a fierce competitor so you never know how the match will go. I had forgot, though, that she also likes to talk. No talk with me, but AT me. Well, not just ME but to everyone she plays (lol).

In the singles match she said things like:

Nice out.
Oh, you finally missed a ball.
Good run.
You can't leave me a shot?
You are mean!
How can you get a roll like that when are about to beat me?

She went on and on. I never once got upset or let her get to me.... during the singles event.

I had her down 4-0 in a race to 5 and then she started to play REALLY good safes and got 3 games. When she was about to make it hill-hill, that's when she said "How can you get a roll like that when are about to beat me?" Which I thought was crappy considering she might tie it up hill-hill with this game. She came with additional great safes and but I was able to barely see the last ball and won 5-3. Whew. Admittedly, after the match, we both were complimentary of each other's game.

We played her team last on Saturday night (like at midnight (seriously)) and while we were all super tired, it was a good match. When I had to play her during that team match, she made a comment about me beating her in singles. She then broke and was running out but got bad on the 8 ball. She missed it and of course made another comment about it - kinda of expressing her disgust, explaining her miss, and barking at me about what I was gonna do when I approached the table. I wish now I could remember her exact comment, but I don't.

Anyway, I played a safe on her, but instead of hiding the cueball, lol, I left a very clear shot on the 8 ball. She walked up to the table, saw she had a clear shot, makes it, shakes my hand, and then loudly says, "WTF!?" I promise you, she was kinda yelling at me for some reason. I could go into the many reasons why I think she yelled "WTF" at me, but that's not what this blog entry is about today.

Anyway, I walked away HOT! I was so f'in mad I can feel it in my veins as I type this. WhyTH did she have to say that? Why did she have to yell it at me?

I made a few rude comments about it to my teammates - told them I was fine with her comments til she said that at the very end and I mouthed off a lot about her under my breathe because I was so mad. Blah Blah. I was really upset. I even thought to myself I didn't want to play on the table in front of the other team because I was SO mad I didn't know if I could play.

As I stood there waiting to play next... I thought about what I was feeling.

Why was I so upset? What exactly was I feeling? I figured out, as I had my arms crossed and my forehead crinkled, that what I was feeling was embarrassment. I was embarrassed that after she beats me, she said something crappy to me. When I already lose, why put salt on the wound? That's what I felt she did. Intentional or not, that's what it FELT like. Once I figured out I was only embarrassed because I lost and she barked at me, I got over it - quickly! I no longer felt the knot in my chest of embarrassment, my blood pressure went down, and I was able to play pool when they called me back up to the table to play.

ABCs, Baby. :)

This summarizes the ABCs well:

"If you are pained by an external thing, it is not the thing that disturbs you, but your own judgement about it." -Marcus Aurelius

BTW, we won that match and went on to place 3rd in the event! (after losing our first match, too) :)


BeckyJ said...

This is a great topic. A problem that the majority of female pool players have to deal with (and some men). In fact, I think the emotional aspect of the game can be one of the main roadblocks to being a consistently winning player. Sure it's easy to stand there and tell yourself that a comment doesn't and isn't going to bother you, but in most cases the emotional seed has already been planted. Certain people and certain things said are easier to dismiss and maintain your dignity, but then there are certain people or comments that strike a personal nerve and the reaction happens so quickly, that it is almost impossible to reel back in. With hindsight, I always regret allowing another player to effect me emotionally. I am working on being more like Lisa #1, who instead turns the emotions into a power to overcome her opponent rather than allowing it to overcome her.

R Riley said...

I liked the quote you used at the end of the article..