Thursday, September 30, 2010


As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to my favorite pool room on Tuesday night to meet up with Ashley, and we ended up playing two sets for practice and pride, lol.

What I failed to mention was The Annoyer.  I don't normally snap back at people that make comments to me.  I either don't say anything and then run to my friends and vent about you (lol) or I will simply feel agitated and keep my thoughts to myself.  However, on rare occasions, I will say something in strong defense to the words coming out of your mouth at me.

This night, I snapped back.Granted, it wasn't an all out verbal fight (I wish no one to ever see that side of me), but I didn't keep my words to myself this time.

The Annoyer is otherwise a really nice gentlemen but he likes to pick on me about wearing my ipod.  When I would practice at my Fav pool room (Rusty's Billiards in Fort Worth, Texas) on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, I would be wearing my ipod so people would not interrupt me when I was practicing (FAIL).  The Annoyer would see me and walk up to me, knowing I couldn't hear him.  He would pretend to say something, moving his lips funny with no words coming out, and then he would point to his ears annoyingly, like "you can't hear me?"  Then he would finally say out loud, "Oh, you must be wearing your music thingy."

So Tuesday night he shows up and he tries to say something to me and I can hear him because I wasn't wearing my ipod during the sets with Ashley.  He points to me and asks, "Are you wearing your music thingy?"  He moves his hair to uncover his ear, like motioning to me, "is your ipod hiding under there."

"nope," I reply, already agitated with him by that one little sentence, lmao.

About 30 minutes later, he moves close to our sparring table and he's talking to a friend on the rail.   After I get out that game he all of a sudden he says, "oh, you finally showed up."  


"You finally showed up."

"Oh, you gonna talk about my game now?"

"Well, you look mighty good tonight, though. I like you in that shirt."

"So, you are gonna talk about my game and then try to give me a compliment?"

Mind you, I played real good the first few games and the next two games that he happened to watch I didn't play that well.  But, I had already "showed up" thank you very much.  He just didn't see the beginning of the set.

Ashley finally realizes after a few more snaps that I am not joking and she puts on her "don't mess with my friend hat" and starts telling him to stop it and leave us alone.

He slithers to the other side of the table and shares with another railbird, "What?  She does look good."  I snapped back again, "still talking crap over there?"

Yes, I know, this is a minor incident.  It even occurred to me during the 'word swapping' if it was anyone else but The Annoyer, I probably wouldn't have been so agitated so easily.

But, this is just one example of the kind of thing every single pool player goes through every now and then.  I hope to share more stories with you as these situations come up. They make for a good read, don't ya think?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Last night, Ashley and I met up at pool room because we needed to shoot a video for a website project we are working on, and also because she wanted to play in the weekly tourney.  But the 32-man field filled up in ten minutes, and she wasn't one of the 32 in line. :( But, we took advantage of the free time and decided to spar.

Ashley loves the word spar, she confided:  "Makes me feel like we had a medieval duel...." YES - she really does need a blog!  Her clever word choices always make me smile.  :)

Back on topic....I normally practice alone and she for-sure normally doesn't practice with a chick, so this was kinda new to both of us.  lol.

We played ten ball, because that's what I play when I practice. :) She didn't seem to mind, luckily.

I won the first game and then asked my good friend Steve for some pennies.  She looked at me funny and I said, "You're racing to nine in your tourney, right?  

"Yea," she replies.

"Then let's play like it's a match and keep score."


I normally wouldn't have played, but I really wanted to practice for two main reasons.

One:  I wanted her to get some practice time in because she would be playing in the WPBA Pro tourney in Atlanta in just two days.  This was a nine foot table, too, and I knew she could use the time on that size of table because her "home" pool room only has 8 foots.

Two:  I had been playing REALLY well since July, but my last two sessions on the pool table (which happened to be straight pool matches) didn't indicate to me that I was still playing well, so I was concerned.  In one, my excuse was I was tired.  In the other, I didn't get to see if my fundamentals were still strong because the guy got me tipsy.  So, I wanted to see if my good play of the last few months was a fluke or still a notch up.  I figured this spar would help me figure that all out.

Long story short, we played for 4 hours.  Race to 9.  She won the first set 9-6, I won the second set 9-7.  We both played good!  We were neck in neck most of the time, too.  She had many brilliant outs and I would sometimes shark myself with my own good play, lol.  Lots of bar flies were watching - some we knew, some we didn't - so it was cool to play under that atmosphere of people standing around watching - it toughens up the skin.  I few times I had to bear down and refocus and I was happy I was able to do that successfully.  That is what helped me win the second set - realizing I wasn't playing my best and refocusing my mind to play better.  My mental toughness is strong lately, too, not just my fundamentals.

After the two sets, I figured out I do still have some talented fundamentals left in me after all (whew).

Ashley is on her way to Atlanta - have fun and enjoy your pool journey, Ashley!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

3 Chick Photo Shoot

I thought I had a really cool idea for a particular pose for pics on a pool table. Yea, yea, everyone has prolly already thought of some cool pose already, but my idea was to lay on my tummy with my chin in my hands with my elbows on the table. And of course, no shoes on. :) Complete with a nice pair of jeans and a cool top - that sounds awesome, right? Feet in the air, smiling to the camera.... ahhh. :)

You can tell I'm a HAM and not shy, huh? LMAO!

Well, I had talked about this "photo idea" with a couple of photographer friends in the pool industry the last two years, but there was never the perfect time or atmosphere to really do this.

Then voila!

On Sunday night after the September OB Ladies Tour stop was over, hardly any of the patrons were on the non-smoking side of the pool room AND most of the players and fans had already left except just a few of us: Andy, Kody, Amanda, Ashley, myself and Zeke.

Zeke happens to be a photographer!

So, with the room mostly empty I remembered my photo shoot idea and convinced Zeke to take these pics of me! I asked the bartender ahead of time if it was okay (I wouldn't be leaning on the table, I'd be on the center of the table, helping it be level (eeek)) and he replied hesitantly, "just make sure you take your shoes off." Well, what do you know - that was already in my plan!

Zeke took many shots - some with flash, some without flash, and a few dif poses. Ashley and Amanda thought it was cool and hysterical all at the same time, lol. Then of course since they are HAMs themselves, they wanted to get in on the photo shoot, also.

So, we all climb on the pool table and Zeke snaps photos of us as we posed, laughed, posed, laughed, posed, and laughed some more!

I don't have the photos yet of just me, but Zeke graciously already shared the awesome photos of us three being goofy and serious on the table. It was a BLAST and so much fun!

So, I thought I would share the fun we all have with our journey through pool!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reverse Sharking

I wrote about a straight pool match last season where I joked with my opponent that I would have to get him drunk in order to beat him and I wondered out loud in my blog if I sharked him.

Well, Monday night I played a straight pool match and lost, I think, because my opponent bought me two shots that I didn't turn down.

WTH was I thinking???

I realize it's my fault - I should have had only one on my empty stomach, or neither, but I was playing good and thought I could handle it, I guess. But, I started to miss a lot and he played better than I did and he beat me 100-72. I normally beat him, but I missed too many shots after the shots and then scratched a lot toward the end.

I admit I'm embarrassed and upset, but it's my own fault. Chalk it up to a learning experience.

Here are some questions in my mind:
  • Would I have taken the shots if it was the start of the season? I hope I wouldn't have risked it then.
  • What was I thinking?
  • Would I have taken the shots if I was in the lead for my division? Gosh I hope not!! I'm in 3rd place with one match to go, which means no trophy b/c only 1st place gets the trophy.
I told my opponent when I missed a shot around my 50 to his 65, that I was never going to take a shot from him again.

He looked at me confused and he obviously felt bad. He said, "I thought you drank." I said, "I do, but not during matches."

He replies with, "sorry, I thought it would relax you."

I reply, kinda snappy, reiterating again, "No, I don't normally drink when I play pool."

"I didn't know," he shyly said.

He apologized several times after the match but I told him it was my own fault for taking the shots AND also told him he played well.

I was very impressed, actually, with his shot selection this match. He would go for dead balls to break out the stack instead of cut shots. It really worked for him, and he had a lot of dead caroms that came up that he saw and took advantage of.

So, it really was a combination of things, but the score would definitely had been closer. Learning Experience...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sept OB Ladies Tour Stop Recap

I went into the OB Cues Ladies tourney in Arlington, Texas (the very next weekend after the Texas Open) with no reservations, no concerns; I felt confident, not overly confident, not nervous. My numbness, which is so difficult for me to describe, was not in my body this time. Although numbness allows me to play well, for the first time I simply felt confident and secure in my ability. Whether the numbness was there or not didn't matter to me because I didn't need it this time - I knew my fundamentals were steady and I would be okay.

Smokey and Jeff - the most amazing dog (and awesome owner!)

During the players meeting, we all celebrated Orietta Strickland's birthday with cake and flowers. Her boyfriend, Bert Kinister, also brought sandwiches for everyone. Then he announced "and let her win on her birthday." I chuckled to myself, "like she needs help" - she's already a good player!

The matches were called and I get to play the Birthday girl first! I was sad to say, that even before I got to our table I felt bad for her because I was going to beat her on her Birthday. And it happened - I beat her 7-3. She played good in the beginning but I played very well in the middle to put some pressure on her to win.

I then played Tour Points Leader, Jennifer Kraber. I had no worries still - felt confident and secure and went to my match with no butterflies or nervousness about who I was playing. I played good again and won 7-3. WOW! Tough bracket so far for me!

I was hoping to run into a non-champion at some point, but then instead had to play Amanda Lampert next. Ugh. lol. The tough bracket kept coming! She was playing well this tourney, but so was I. We went hill-hill and a sloppy safe on the 3 ball by me let her to the table with an out and she did just that. She got out well and won 7-6. I still felt very good for my play so far all day!

I then waited around for my one-loss side match. Several hours later I played Tracie Volkering and played really well in the beginning and middle enough to win 7-0.

I was guaranteed 7th and still in on Sunday!

I love fuzzy pictures! Here is Michelle Prince and I laughing it up! :)

I had a few Jager Bombs during my last two matches. I drank those during a couple of matches during the Texas Open too and hoped that the red bull would wake me up a little as I did get a little sleepy late in the day. I have noticed that my walking 2-3 times a week is really helping my endurance though! I have noticed this since the August stops.

I stayed at the pool room to watch my roomie-for-the-weekend, Rebecca, win her final match to make it to Sunday for the first time! I was so proud of her. We then hung around with friends until almost midnight and decided we should prolly go home to get some shut eye, lol.

Roomie Rebecca!

I woke up around 3am and tossed and turned all morning. Too much on my mind from recent events that kept my mind thinking. :( Nothing related to this tourney, but we all still have things going on away from the pool table, huh?

I felt pretty good though as I stopped by Taco Cabana to get Rebecca and I some potato and egg tacos. Yum! I got to the pool room AT 1030, match time.

I ate my tacos on the way, so all I had to do was wash my hands and pull out my Jim Buss cues to get started. My opponent? Orietta Strickland. Yes, again.

I played good again/still and even though its been tough for me to win my first match on Sundays, I beat her 7-5. My solid fundamentals are really working for me (yay!). In addition - no nervousness, just playing good pool, seeing the runnouts, staying down, and smooth stroke. :)

Me, workin' hard but lovin' it!

I then had to Michelle Ram. She usually beats me, but today I felt that would not happen. Sure enough, I played good again...but I fully admit she got every bad roll that could happen. :( I tried to not feel bad and instead just kept plugging along. I could have won 7-0, but I got something on my contact and didn't focus too well the last couple of games but then all the smudging finally dislodged whatever it was and I won 7-2.

Wow! Still more tough opponents and yet I won TWO matches already on Sunday!

The awesome Heather Puflord was visiting us from California and I had to play her next. We both played well against each other and had a fun, smart match but I lost 7-5. I wont forget the dang 8ball I missed, thinking too much about shape, to go up 4-3. :( But, I played well again!

Heather Pulford (2nd) and Winner, Amanda Lampert! Amanda played good all weekend to win the title!

I placed 4th with the toughest draw! And I played well every single match!! I didn't mind the draw at all - during the Texas Open I had the easiest draw in the world, so it didn't bother me I had a tough draw this tourney.

Tourney Description: Pleased!! (as punch!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Texas Open 2010 Recap

Since I hadn't been on the practice table, I still prepared for the Texas Open by watching my FAV dvd! I swear this player review by Buddy Hall and Grady Matthews truly prepares my game because I get to watch such smart pool, along with the "why's" of the shots. I love it!

I was looking forward to the 37th Annual Texas Open but also a little apprehensive. I had a funny feeling about the weekend, not about my play, but instead about "things," so it was a mix bag of emotions going on.

Quick summary: I drank too much each night, didn't get enough sleep, and yet still managed to play POOL somehow (I honestly don't know how, lol).

On Friday I got an hours-worth of one pocket lessons from Sylver Ochoa. Then we all went to the Men's Player's Meeting which took a long time, but we ended up at another pool room to drink with friends, where I had my first-ever Jager bomb, courtesy of the Fast Eddies Billiards area manager. Uh oh, I liked it!

Teresa, Yvette, and I!

Teresa, and I along with Ming Ng - winner of this tourney!

The men's event had 116 players in it. Charlie Bryant would win his first-ever Texas Open with Gabe Owen coming in second. On the women's side, for the last few years, the top 32 pros were forbidden to play (that's such a wild word to me, "forbidden"). But this year the pros were allowed to play again. So, Vivian Villarreal and Belinda Calhoun showed up to compete with us this year. On Saturday night, after the Women's Players Meeting, I was stoked I got a bye! Only two byes and I got one! However, my excitement was short-lived as I read on the chart that my match was scheduled at 12:30 --> 12:30AM! Eeek! However, looking at the bracket, I had a pretty lucky draw - I was nowhere near Vivian, Belinda, Ming Ng, Jennifer Kraber, Helen Hayes, or Nicole Keeney. They were all battling out against each other in the bottom bracket, lol.

Since I didn't have to play my first match for HOURS, I went to dinner Sat night, then went to another pool room, and even got another two hours of one pocket lessons. I then sat around and had a few drinks. I don't know what I was thinking - it's the dang Texas Open and I'm drinking before my matches? But I had fun hanging out and socializing, and my match was still 4 hours away. But admittedly, I knew I yearned more for a "fun" weekend, not necessarily just a "serious" pool weekend.

After the lessons, Sylver had a pep talk with me and reminded me that the tables at the Texas Open are fast and therefore a smooth, non-forced stroke is best on those tables.

Sylver Ochoa - we tried a photo shoot for him for websites.

My adrenaline was running full force later on that night during my first match, which ended up starting late - at 1am! I was super on edge and wasn't sure how I would get through the match, but I ended up playing SO good! Even with nervous energy and my adrenaline racing through my body, I was staying down and focusing on the outs and I played well! Thank you Buddy and Grady! I won 7-3 I think. At 3-3, I was about to lose momentum because a mistake led her to run out, but she scratched on the 9 ball. Then I just won, won, won with good play.

I was so excited! Afterwards, one of my friends told me, "I'm tired of you acting surprised when you play well. Stop that." Hmm....? I thought that was a very interesting statement, so I am now going to try not to think OR say that out loud to people. :)

James Davis, Jr. He caught me taking his pic while he was practicing on the stream table!

On Sunday, because I stayed up late again, I decided to hang around in the hotel room and watch tv until almost 5pm to rest up. Even though I was still exhausted even after resting, at least I TRIED to get rest. Everyone was at the pool room, but I knew the smokey atmosphere was not good for me to be hanging around all day until my 830pm match.

Here is Nicole Keeney - check out that crowd in the background!

I finally arrived and then mingled with friends for a couple of hours before my match. I got another Jager bomb, like I had the previous night during my match, hoping the red bull would help me wake up - I was still SO tired. My 8:30 match was delayed and we didn't start til 915 or 930. Ugh! This is the match I already spoke about (read it here) - I was down 1-5 and came back to win 7-5! Stoked again! I started off stupid, but then played SO well again!

I then sat with peeps and drank some shots with them, as some dear friends opened up about some tough issues they had been going through.

Audra, Helen and I. Good times!

Then we all traveled over to the other pool room, which I never should have gone to, because I ended up having a difficult conversation with someone and lost a friendship. That of course meant more lack of sleep! Ugh.

I wont give specific details, but I want to point out that obviously a lot more goes on at tournaments than just playing pool sometimes. There is more than just the physical aspects of playing pool and focusing on the shot in front of us - sometimes there are trying things on our minds that are taking up mental space, as we try to stroke our cues and pocket balls.

So... Sunday morning comes way too early - even though I had to play at a decent time of 1145am, I of course get up around 730am. :( I get up between 7-8am every day no matter what time I got to sleep the night before. And since I tossed and turned all night, it would lead to a very exhausted Melinda.

Today is now Monday - last day of the tourney. I don't feel tired yet....(during my first match, lol). I'm playing for 5th place and my mind wanders only a few times, luckily. My opponent played good in the beginning but I tied it up pretty well at 3-3 then go up 5-3. I then make a few mistakes and she gets out to tie me 5-5. I can feel a little bit of pressure but still play well. I am running out after her miss on the 4 ball and I see the out, know I'm about to go up 6-5, etc. I stay down well the entire run... until... the dang 8ball. It's sitting in the hole and yet I still whack at it, don't stay down, hit it too hard, no smooth stroke to be found, and I miss it. She is left with two stop shots, lol. In the next game, she misses the 6 ball but I am left with a table-length straight-in shot that I can only stop my cue ball on. No cheating the pocket was available at all. Ugh. I was then left with a tough back cut on the 7 ball, with only the 9ball left on the table. I stand there and laugh and say to myself, "yep, that 8ball I missed is gonna cost me the match." I stay down on the 7ball, but still miss it and again she's left with two stop shots and she wins 7-5. SOOoooo close to the hotseat match! :(

This was the stream table. The equipment, cameras ,and crew are in front of that whiteboard.

I then play my friend Helen and we have a great match in the beginning - we are both playing well and both appreciating each others shots. However, I start to overwhelmingly feel the lack of sleep and I'm getting mentally and physically SUPER exhausted. I tried to bear down and I do okay to tie it 5-5 but I just have no energy whatsoever to keep going. Helen misses a tough 9ball and I'm left with a straight-in, long shot, and I miss it. I am just SO tired, I can't even function. :( It sucks that exhaustion can kill me that way. :(

I placed 5th, though, in the Texas Open! I played really good for most of the event, too! Wow! I know, I know - I'm not suppose to be surprised. lol.

Tourney Description: Unforgettable (for many reasons)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


During the Texas Open on Labor Day weekend... (I know, I have yet to tell you how I placed 5th, but I will some day!).... I played an extremely nice woman my second match. She used to play on the tours many years ago, then took some time off for her family, and is back to joining the competitions with us.

In the first three games, I missed two 9balls and then scratched on a 9ball. Ugh. I then found myself down 5-1 in a race to 7. :(

I was playing so badly, was nervous, and was too worried about a certain person watching me. I had played so good in my previous days' match, therefore because I was playing so horrible now, I was sick about it! SICK.

I decided to check my phone, and a text message revealed that my friend from California went to another pool room. Whew. Once I knew he wasn't watching anymore, I immediately felt the nervousness leave my body. I normally do not get nervous or worry what others think when I play, but he had told me ahead of time he would be cheering me on. Then, once I missed the two 9balls, I became embarrassed, which led to negative/nervous feelings, which led to wobbly arms that can't function. Ugh. Hate that!

When I scratched on the 9 ball in the third game, my opponent grabbed the balls and started to put them on the table. I reminded her that in this tourney, conceding will cost an extra point/game. She looked at me funny and said, "oh, okay, that's right. Thanks."

After the text message, I could tell my body was "on;" my mind was "on;" and there was no stopping me because I was no longer embarrassed and could feel the focus and determination fill my whole soul. I ran out the next 4 games SO beautifully, solid, and smart to tie it up 5-5. Honestly, I was playing lights out again (just like the previous day). It was like a new me had emerged in the middle of that match! And, she had no chance - I was playing that spot-on.

At 5-5, I broke and made the 9ball on the break. Up 6-5, I don't make a ball on the break (it's winner break) and so I go sit in my chair. As I'm sitting there watching her play safe, I look up at the score beads. 6-5, me.

"6-5 me?"

"I thought she was on the hill. Hmm... that's weird. "

"So, I am on the hill already and she isn't? "


I kinda sharked myself sitting there with all that realization for some reason. That game at 6-5 took forever! I was no longer focused because I was a little relieved at the score, I guess. I missed some shots but we had a lot of safes that game - but I swear it was the longest game in our match. After her and I missed the 7 a couple of times, I finally had an out and won 7-5.

Admittedly, I was stoked!

We shook hands and as I put my cues in my case I told her,

"good luck in your next match."

She replied nicely, "thank you."

Move forward a week later and I'm playing in an OB Cues Tour stop. I run into this girl again at the tourney; she stops me to talk to me in the bathroom.

"Hey, Melinda..."

"It really meant a lot to me you reminded me in our match last weekend that conceding the 9ball would have been a loss of a game."

"Oh, you are welcome," I reply.

"You didn't have to do that and I appreciated it."

I looked at her funny and said, "well, I thought it was the right thing to do. I'd hate for you to loss a game because of that."

Then she went on:

"I also wanted to tell you thanks for telling me good luck in my next match."

Huh? I thought to myself.

I said, "well, of course!"

She added, "well, not many people say that and it really meant a lot."

I was so surprised she was thanking me for all these things that I thought everyone should do and/or already do, but she seemed genuinely surprised with my comments from the previous weekend.

I told her, "well, I did wish the best for you in your next match. People really don't say that a lot?"

And she replied, "no, not really."

I then told her thanks for expressing all this to me and she told me, "thank YOU."

I am still very surprised by that conversation we had. Do not many people be nice to their opponents? I wonder, had I been slackin' off on my niceness?

I had no idea the impact I had on this woman, just being myself. I am very thankful she stopped me in the bathroom to tell me all that, because it reminded me how much "consideration" can affect someone.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's in My Case - PoolSynergy

The awesome Samm Diep is this month's host for PoolSynergy. Her topic is What's in Your Case and Why?

I was able to capture this month's article via video diary!

Check it out here:

Hope you enjoyed seeing What's In My Case. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a typical pool playa's necessary equipment.

Was this my only take? Of course note! I made you all a Bloopers Reel! Lol......

Monday, September 13, 2010

Different Rack - Video Diary

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of weeks - a lot has been going on so I haven't had the time to converse with you all.

In the meantime, here is a video I did from one of my recent tournaments about a different rack one of the pool rooms uses. Check it out!

(thanks to one of my AZB Forum friends who helped me with the audio!!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fundamentally Stronger

After my second loss of the season last Friday in my Straight Pool League, I still have other matches to play so I had an appointment Monday night.

I had little concerns about my opponent and even though I was tired, I still felt okay. Ashley came by and sat with us and for some reason she doesn't bother me. I think it's because she knows my game and knows straight pool well, so I actually enjoy her watching. She doesn't distract me, if that makes sense, like others have done before.

Chuck and I start playing and boy are we having fun! We foul six times in just 15 innings, lmao. We started to joke aloud with each other, wondering if there is a stat on the league for Most Fouls in a Game, LOL!

Although I was scratching, I can't begin to express how great I feel right now about my game and my fundamentals!! I was staying down well, not moving my body when I stroked, keeping my eye on the object ball - it felt so beautifully. Yes, I still flubbed some and missed shots, but I am in awe right now about how solid my fundamentals are right now.

I even told Ashley, "I know I'm scratching and stuff, but boy I'm playing well. " She said she could see it too, but she might have just been agreeing with me, hehe.

I had many GREAT breakout shots. Smart breakouts - thinking of where would be the best area to hit the stack and what English to put on the cueball so I would have a next shot. I'm finally not only seeing things clearer when it comes to the breakout shots, but WHY. It's an awesome feeling, btw!

I also nudged balls into position for break out shots - more than once, too. I was really playing smart and playing well, too.

Ironically, I did foul even MORE as the game progressed, though, lol. Lots of scratches and a couple of times I didn't hit a rail playing safe. In a race to 100 with 40 innings, I fouled NINE times, lmao.

I had a 14 ball run and an 18 ball run. :) I won 100-55.

With three matches left til the end of Sept, I have my best record so far of 9-2. It wont get the the trophy, though, as two people are ahead of me. But, I still have next season! hehe.

What I really wanted to share was how happy and pleased I am about my fundamentals. I don't know why or how they seem more solid, but they are and for that I am grateful. I know under pressure they may not "show up," but... I know that I am capable.

Lesson Effects

It's funny to me that when people take lessons, they don't want anyone to know.

"Hey," a friend will confide in me because they want to share it with someone, "I am taking lessons from xxxyyy."

I will reply, "That's great! How much do they charge?" (because I am a curious beast)

They will state the amount of funds and then add, "but hey, don't say anything to anyone, okay?"

"I wont say anything. So, how many times have you met with them?"

And the discussion will ensue about the lessons.

I remember being in the same boat when I took lessons a few times. I didn't want anyone to know, either!

What I want to vulnerably share is how it affects me when I hear others have taken lessons.

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but when I hear someone has taken lessons, it makes the intimidation factor rise when I play against them. A little added nervousness shows up in me sometimes when I play someone who has recently taken lessons. It doesn't stop there - sometime I get that way when I know my opponent recently played in a pro event. It sounds a little silly, I know, but it does intimidate me some.

Rationalization helps calm my nerves because reasonable thought makes one see things in a better perspective.

So, let me explore this with you today because I just found out someone is taking lessons who will be at the same tournament I am playing in this weekend. Go ahead and laugh at my pre-jitters! I don't mind; it's the truth (insert embarrassment here).

But rationalization really does help me. Will you go through this with me?
  • She was already a good player.
  • I may not even play her!
  • If I do play her and lose, so what? It's not the end of the world. No one will judge me.
  • Play my best.
  • Be happy for her that she is wanting to improve her game!
  • There may be many other players taking lessons, and I just don't know about it, lol (I crack myself up sometimes).
  • Watch her games; learn something.
  • Remember - nerves get in my minds way and hinders me from playing decent.
Thank you for letting me brainstorm my thoughts with you today!

(vulnerability off)