Thursday, April 7, 2011

Title Tournament Jitters

I am heading down to the BCAPL State 8Ball Tournament today, and the jitters started almost a full two weeks before! 

As I've mentioned just about every time before this annual tourney, title tourneys mean more to me than monthly tourneys or tour stops.  So, the invisible pressure is already pressing against my heart.  I can feel it strong, too.

It's one of those tourneys I know I am capable of wining, but can I finally let my skills overcome my mental anxiety for THIS event?

I have gone over my eight ball reminders, had a good and intensive practice session with my boyfriend, played in several eight ball weekly tourneys the last few weeks, and read parts of Phil Capelle's Play Your Best Eight Ball.

My skills are there.  I know that.

It's overcoming my desire to win and taming those nerves of the yearn to win this important-title-to-me that will be they key.

Looking over a blog entry I wrote about a year ago, I have now reviewed my list of overcoming nerves.  And yesterday I shared tips for handling pressure.

The thing is, I know I have enough knowledge about the physical and mental aspects of the game, but I ashamedly admit I cannot always put into action my own advice during an event if my mind and heart are blurred over the desire to win.  Obviously, I am not staying in the present, which is crucial for competition. 

But why is this tournament so important to me and causing all this angst?
  • Well, I know I can win it but haven't yet done it.  
  • It's a title tournament and it would mean so much to me to finally have a little title that I can associate to my pool career.
  • If I become a Master player in Vegas in May, I wont be able to play in this event again because Master's aren't aloud.  So, I would have missed my chance to win it...
One of the best tips I give to my friends before they play big matches is to recall vividly their best played match!  This actually can put you in the zone.  Reading the above upsets me a little.  I have played well under pressure before!  I can recall those great matches where I played well and overcame mental obstacles.  Well, to be fair - I trusted my skills and simply PLAYED pool and didn't have unconfident thoughts.  THAT's the person I want to be this weekend.  Dammit.

I don't want to be the timid player thinking I might miss out on another opportunity to win this tournament.  I want to be the player who loves competing, be the player who is suppose to do well, DO WELL, and be the player who trusts their skills and enjoys the game - not be paralyzed by nerves or future desires of the win.  In order to do well, I must stay in the present.  Thinking of my tough opponents or the chance to win is not allowing my true skills to shine through.

I want to be that person who was in the zone when I triple dipped my opponent in the finals in 2008.  The one who won her first pro match back in July 2010 because I had no expectations or pressure to do well. 

I want to love to play the game I love.

1 comment:

Milica said...

I took 2nd and became a master at ACS-IL... opportunity lost. :(