Thursday, October 28, 2010

Opponent Applause Help

As many of us well know, when people cheer loudly for our opponents, it can get under our skin.  It can get under our skin to the point where we get angry, disturbed, and can't play pool anymore because our emotions are so upheavaled by the rooting and cheers for our opponent. 

If FEELs like their friends are rooting against us because our opponent gets all the cheers.  It FEELs like the the crowd doesn't want us to do well; they are against us!  Eventually we may even notice that they clap for their friend for mediocre shots but when we make a miraculous shot with perfect shape, no one claps for us.  WTH!?  Our opponent wins a game and the applause is loud for them; we win a game and we only hear crickets.

Our emotions can easily start to roll downhill and every.. little.. thing then bothers us which then begins to affect our game.  And then we aren't playing pool anymore!

And we get more upset.  Our mind gets fuzzy.  We have negative thoughts and emotions.  We stop focusing on our pre-shot routine and fundamentals.  We are so focused on the cheers our opponent is receiving and the obvious lack of support to our own game, that we get negative, angry, tense, and aggravated.  This leads to bad play and missed shots.  We sit down with our shoulders humped, eyes on the floor, and thoughts tormented.  OR we turn around to shoot the audience a bad look (yea, that does a lot).  Sometimes, we may get so upset, uptight, and embarrassed, we actually spew words of anger out of our mouths at the cheerers (our defense mechanism).

A few friends of mine recently went through this type of unfortunate, resentful situation.  I hadn't been subjected to the torture in a while and somehow wanted to experience it again.

I wanted to test what I knew.  Test how I overcome the raw emotion of FEELING like everyone is against you.

I have learned to view the clapping and cheers as the obvious:  their fans/friends are cheering FOR my opponent/ their friend; NOT against me.  Rooting against me is a completely different action.  Cheering and rooting for my opponent is NO reflection of me at all.  IF I can see this, then I can play my game.  Then I redirect my focus to my fundamentals, so I can shoot better - which leads to less claps and cheers for my opponent because I am winning.  :)

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