Saturday, January 15, 2011

Team Play Topic for PoolSynergy

Gary Frerking over at is this months host of PoolSynergy.  As a reminder, PS is a group of bloggers who write about the same topic each month.  One of Gary's duty as host is to pick a topic and he chose "Team Play."

What a team player!  :)

While I assume most people will write about wonderful team experiences, my blog entry will not be about that.  Have I won great team events with great team members?  Of course.  Do I have special stories of amazing team feats?  Of course.

But it's that one bad team experience that haunts me to this day, and affects me for every team event I now play in.

Back in 1997, I was on a team with members from Dallas and San Antonio.  We played in the National BCAPL 8-Ball Championships in the Women's Open division.  We placed 2nd!

What a wonderful finish!  My highest finish to date in anything!  The team members were wonderful, the experience memorable, but after the tourney in Vegas, I found myself depressed.

Our team captain is a very nice woman.  She was helpful, supportive, and even bought us a keychain after the tourney to show her appreciation for how well we did.

However, her actions during the team event have stuck with me so negatively, that they follow me to this day.  I wont be on a team with her ever again nor will I put up with someone who did the same thing she did.

What did she do?  Well....

Our team was playing in Vegas at the Riviera against other women's teams from other states.  It was a very exciting atmosphere!  And when my teammates were at the table playing against one of the other teams, you could hear my captain cheering and clapping loudly!  "Good shot!"  "Excellent!"  "Way to work it out!"  etc.

I was all pumped up.  :)  We all were!  Hearing affirmations how well we playing and also pleasing our captain at the same time were so powerful; an adrenaline rush!

Then I noticed something disturbing when I wasn't at the table.  She would whisper to our co-captain "What is she doing?"  Talking about one of my teammates as she debated about a safe or shot during her match.

Then when my teammate would run out, the captain would get all excited and yell and clap loudly, "Good out!"  Like, really?  First you question her behind her back, now you are all excited because she actually got out when you didn't think she could?

The captain did this repeatedly - whispering (not low enough, obviously) to others, questioning shots and positions of her OWN teammates.  So, when I was at the table, naturally, I started to second guess everything I was doing!  I was no longer confident and proud when my captain clapped and yelled for me, instead I wondered if I was doing the right thing.

Obviously that this was a long time ago.  I was not confident about my game back then and did not have a lot of knowledge about the game as I do now. 

It might sound minimalistic, but she repeatedly questioned my teammates and I throughout the whole event.  If it was one or two times, I could understand.  But her constant, negative, two-faced actions were unnerving and downright uncalled for.  She has NO idea how bad she actually hurt us by not having more confidence in us and instead talking behind our backs, yet telling us "good try" as we walked away from the pool table to our seats as she patted us on the back.

Ironically, last year we were looking for a 4th teammate and her name came up as a potential.  I replied, "absolutely not."

I never want to go through that again.  I was depressed when I got home after that trip, when I should have been ecstatic for placing 2nd in the Women's Team event.  I am damaged; and my memory is long for crap that like.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

Great article this month, as usual! :)

I often wonder what my teammates are thinking when I'm at the table - because, like you, when I'm not at the table, we're discussing what the person on the table is doing. Sometimes we all agree, other times we're all thinking "WTF". Most of the time, I try not to worry about it, but if I'm struggling that night, before I even start the runout, I'll call for a coach and see what their thoughts are.

I expect this happens in all team-based events; maybe not to the extent you've experienced though.