Monday, June 14, 2010

Stop Talking, Stop Listening

Sometimes interesting situations occur during a tournament that I want to share more than my 'tourney recaps' I write about, lol. Many 'intriguing' things happen over the course of a weekend and in tournaments that we can all maybe learn something from... I swear I don't have enough time to blog about them all to the Internet world!

Last weekend I attended the 4th OB Cues Ladies Tour Stop. I didn't feel all that good mentally going into the tournament for some reason, even though I knew I was playing well. Overall I had a great weekend spending time with friends, but my play on the pool table was very disappointing.

However, let's talk about Pam.

I am playing okay and feel pretty confident going into my third match on Saturday afternoon, but during the first game of my match, I hear a lady behind me talking loudly. Let's call her *Pam.

Pam was cheering her friend on on the table right next to mine. Okay. I don't mind. What I DID mind was she cheered pretty loud throughout each game of their match. Pam and her huge mug of draft beer were really excited for her friend (I will call her friend, *Sally). Sally is a doll of a woman. Her opponent (who I will call *Donna) is a really nice tour member who would never have a cross word to say to anyone. I figured Donna probably didn't want to tell Pam to be quiet, but it turned out because Donna was sitting further away from Pam (Sally was seated next to me), I could hear Pam clear as day talking and rooting on Sally while Donna only heard a little bit of her cheering.

Pam would cheer and yell out throughout every game, on almost very shot that Sally made. I don't think I'm exaggerating, either. Then, at one point, Sally goes back to her seat after a missed shot and Pam tells her, "Breathe, calm down, relax." Granted, she's not whispering, I can clearly hear her. This tells me she obviously doesn't know she's not suppose to do this. Right? If she knew she wasn't suppose to "coach," she would have whispered it to her.

Sally goes to shoot again and Pam continues with her cheering. Poor Donna never got a woot or clap, but that typically happens during prejudicial matches like this.

When Donna won the next game, Pam says loudly, "do it now, Sally, you need to do it now!" And Sally tells Donna she needs to take a break.

Yes, this is all going on while I am still playing my match. I was playing a match? LOL. I can tell you more about what Pam said than what my opponent and I shot on our own table.

So, at this point I finally can't take the "coaching" part and turn to her nicely and say, "you really aren't suppose to talk to the players."

"What?" Pam says taking a sip.

"You aren't suppose to talk to the players."

"Oh, I didn't know. "

"Yea, and you are borderline coaching."

"I am?"

"Yes, and I don't want you to get Sally in trouble."

"She is my best friend. I don't play pool. I didn't know," she coos at me while she kinda sinks her whole body behind her draft beer.

She apologizes again and I just try to get back into my game.

Sally comes back to her match after her break and I notice Pam is now not saying ONE word anymore while Sally is shooting.

Meanwhile, after each of my misses, I walk back to my little wooden stool and look at the floor. I was taught this "technique" as the best way to avoid looking at the crowd. However, I swear I can FEEL her eyes on me and after about the tenth trip to my stool I finally look up and yep, she is definitely staring at me.

A short while later one of the board members walks by and Pam proceeds to talk to her about the "situation." I can now hear them talking about all that has happened and the board member explains to her that yes indeed you shouldn't be talking to the players during their match. Pam apologizes again and again, over and over.

As this point, instead of me being frustrated, I now feel BAD. She is there to see her best friend play pool and now I've ruined her day of what should have been a fun time for her. Ugh!

Then she bumps into some guy and she apologizes. Then a cue ball hits the floor and she exclaims "I didn't do that! I finally didn't do it!"

Really? Come on now.

I shoot some more shots in my match, walk back to my stool, and she's eyeing me still. She looks so mad, but maybe it was the beer? You know how beer makes our eyes look funny after a while?

Anyway, I finally turn to her and say "Don't be mad at me." She replies, "I am SO sorry." I tell her to forget it, it's okay, blah blah blah. She keeps apologizing, all the while I'm losing my a$$ in my match. She explains herself and I keep telling her not to worry about it.

As a previous board member, I thought I should say something. As a courtesy to Donna, I thought it was appropriate. It really was very disruptive, of course the aftermath wasn't a piece of cake either.

After I lose my match 4-7, I am really upset b/c I didn't play well nor give my opponent a lot of competition. :( Then as I walk by Sally to leave the area, she apologizes to me for her friend (I guess her friend told her after the match I said something). I felt bad about the whole thing. It was a mess.

I obviously was not mentally focused at all and therefore easily distracted. It's my own fault, I know. But what will I do next time? Be a good steward of the game? Ask a board member to take care of it? Not say anything at all? Ignore it and remember what happened during this situation? Or, try to still ask them nicely to not talk to the players?

I do not know what I will do....

(I know if Sally reads this she will understand me sharing the story because it is part of life's pool journey and it is not meant to hurt anyone's feelings.)

*names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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