The "Most Improved Player" Award is a touchy little award to win. It's a valuable award to those who win it and to those who crave it. However, to those who think they should have won it, they feel defeated - even though they had a good year!
Even if my friends do not set a goal to win MIP, it still hurts me deeply when they deserved the award but did not get it. To me, some recognition for being in contention when the MIP is announced is also warranted. When that doesn't happen, it bothers me. I do not know how they feel, but I personally know how tough it is to think you should win something and everyone else thinks so too, but then the close contenders aren't even mentioned as being in the running.
As a previous Board Member, I can state emphatically that deciding the MIP is NEVER an easy decision. The MIP award has so many facets to it. It's not simply, "Hey, who moved up the most this year in the ranking compared to the previous years?"
Attendance is considered, the number of top finishes are compared against all contenders, the number of times they have played on the tour, sportsmanship and attitude, and overall pool game improvements which includes skill, mental focus, and consistency over the years.
It's one of the most difficult choices! Also, the award is decided by ALL the board members, not just one person.
I do feel that each friend and fellow competitor who wins the Most Improved Player award are MUCH deserving of it! Don't misinterpret my comments. But I also have some heartache for my friends and fellow players who obviously also deserved the award.
In 1999, a fellow player on the Ladies Spirit Tour out of Florida shared very valuable information. I told Karen that my goal that year was to get MIP. Well, instead of supporting me, she got mad at me! She scowled, "how can you have a goal which you have absolutely NO control over!" I was taken aback, "huh?"
Although I HEARD her, I didn't listen. I STILL craved that award; I wanted it badly and worked my butt off that year.
And sure enough, I improved in the standings and even jumped up more than any other player that year, but yet I still didn't win the award! The Tour Directors knew how much I wanted that award, but they gave it to another player who also moved up in the rankings that year.
The Tour created a new award and called it something like "the Best All-Around Player." The description on the certificate read something like, "best dressed, most professional, most considerate and thoughtful player who has also improved."
I accepted the award with sincere disappointed and hurtfulness. I did NOT listen at all to Karen. :(
Can I hear her now when I feel sympathy for my friends who don't win the award?
Nope, not at all. (Sorry, Karen!) The hurt is still there for them.