Sometimes people post a post every day in November on Facebook for what they are thankful for. I've done this a few times on my personal Facebook page, but this time I did on my AkaTrigger Facebook page
and stated each day in November what I'm thankful for POOl-RELATED!
Well, here's all 30 of them for you:
30 days in November to state what we are THANKFUL for. Making mine pool
related! Day 1: Thankful for all the opportunities to play pool,
which means thankful for all the hard work of the Tournament Directors!
Day 2 of 30 days of Thanks. Today I am thankful that a few years ago I
finally figuring out how important a smooth stroke is, and that I do not
have to hit tough shots hard ("whack" at them). Once you figure that
out, it's a HUGE part to success.
Day 3 of 30 days of Thanks. Today I am thankful for all those damn
8balls and 9balls I missed in close, tough matches! Yep, I really am
thankful. Missing those balls in pressure situations led me to figuring
out / learning / how to NOT do that in future important matches.
Learning to stroke a few more times under pressure (or else I would rush
and jump up b/c of nerves), deep breathing to slowing down my
adrenaline, and learning to stay down on the pressure shots.
Day 4 of 30 Days of Thanks. My absolute favorite question I was ever
asked in an interview was who was my favorite player. I thought for
only a brief second and then replied, "my favorite player is every
competitor I have ever competed against because I learned something from
every single person I played." So today I am thankful for all the
players I ever played, who helped me learn something from every match to
help improve my game throughout the years.
Day 5 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am thankful for being able to play
Galaga for hours and hours on only one single quarter in my late teens.
Because I eventually got bored and decided to head to the other side of
the arcade room to the pool tables and see what all that was about.
Day 6 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am thankful for how I learned from
competing to contain my emotions, which led to me doing the same in my
personal life and at work. It's amazing how what you learn from
competing you can apply to every day life and how they all actually
Day 7 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I'm thankful for all the great
friends i met through the game we all love. They've had my back through
many, many tough times, and also been there through amazing bright
Day 8 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today i am thankful for learning from Phil
Capelle that when you are embarrassed or thinking too much or worried
about those around you or thinking in the future while playing, to
concentrate on your fundamentals and 3-ball shape to distract your mind
from thinking too much about non pool things at the table. That's NO
good. This has helped me immensely to be much more successful in
Day 9 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I'm thankful for FINALLY staying down
on my shots. TOOK years. There are so many tricks and tips to staying
down and not jumping up on shots. Some wait til the cueball stops, or
wait til the object falls, or just makes it part of their routine (which
isn't easy honestly). I finally learned how to stay down by watching
the object last. Also, the smoother the stroke the less likely you'll
jump up. Watching the object ball last helped almost overnight! Tough
to jump up if you're doing that. Try it, you'll like it
Day 10 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for Phil Capelle
and his amazing book /Play Your Best Pool/. I have mentioned prolly
over 100 times in my blog how much that sole book skyrocketed my 8-ball
game. SKYROCKETED. Thank you, Phil!!
Day 11 of 30 Days of thanks slipped past me. Yesterday I was very
thankful for the awesome cuemakers out there! How cool is it we can
have a dream of a design for a cue and then they create it for us! Or
they come up with an awesome display that make us fall in love with
them. I personally love Jim Buss and Jacoby custom cues the best, with
Day 12 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am thankful I always practiced on
9-foot tables. If I went to the pool room for general practice (I had a
goal once to practice 1-3 hours every week for a year), and all the
9-foots were taken, then I would come back another time. I feel THAT
strongly how much playing on a bigger table helped my game. Practicing
on 9-foot tables prepares you for the smaller sized tables (in addition
to playing on 9-foots, obviously). I felt SO much more comfortable on
8-foots and bar tables because I always hit balls on that large 9-foot
table. Remember to always do what's BEST for your game.
Day 13 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am thankful for my blog. It
became my online pool diary and I loved how I could go back and read
about tournaments I played in or tips I wrote about (yes, reminders are
really great!). It's one of my favorite things, honestly, about my pool
journey: sharing and remembering. It really means a lot when someone
mentions my blog and how they can relate to what I wrote about or how a
tip helped them win more matches.
Day 14 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today im thankful for learning about
3-ball shape. Truly transformed my game to think about figuring out out
how to get shape three balls ahead. Truly.
Day 15 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today i am thankful for the opportunities
to play in different cities and states and locations. Pretty cool to
play the game we all love in new cities we may have never been able to
visit in our lives.
Day 16 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today im thankful for the amazing people
we meet through competing. It's crazy to comprehend that our
competitors could eventually become our friends, some become great,
Day 17 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today i am thankful for reading /Mental
Toughness Training for Sports/ in the late 90s. There was a time in my
pool journey when i would beat myself up real bad after tournaments. I
would even dip into depression afterwards for dogging shots and not
doing well in matches. After i read that book, i learned that if i
tried my best, how could i be sad for a long time after? The book
gives a lot of great advice, but today I want to share how thankful i
am for learning how important it is to simply play your best, give it
your best, and no matter what happens, you will be okay because of
that simple but very important fact.
Day 18 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today i am thankful for all the poolrooms
that have great workers. When you become a regular, they take care of
you, while we take care of working on our game. They are much
Day 19 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today im thankful for Straight Pool! Even
tho the game makes me cuss like golf, lol, it is a very good game to
teach you focus, safeties, patience, and playing under pressure. It
seems like such an easy game, but trust me, you will cuss soon too.
Day 20 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today i am thankful for the book /Winning
Ugly/ by Brad Gilbert that helped me gain a killer instinct. I didn't
play sports in high school so I wasn't competitive until I started to
play pool. And because being competitive was new to me, I didn't have
that killer instinct or mental toughness that many players already had
from competing that they learned from other sports in high school. Yep,
I was the type of player who felt bad for their opponent! For example,
if I was defeating them 6-0, or if I was playing a friend, or if they
were having a rough time, I would cater and lose focus and care more
about their emotions than me winning. All that changed (luckily) after
reading /Winning Ugly/. This tennis book is NOT about winning ugly,
it's more about being prepared to take down your opponents. To really
have that mental toughness and killer instinct to want to really defeat
them, which I hadn't had for most of my pool journey. I still re-read
all the highlighted parts of my copy before each big title tournament I
play in. It helps me THAT much. I highly, highly recommend his book. http://pooljourney.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-poolsynergy-recommendations.html
21 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for stepping out of my
comfort zone and playing in tough tournaments. One way to improve your
game is to
play against tougher players in different/bigger/tougher
environments. It makes you tougher and gives you amazing experiences for
when you play in your other regular tournaments or leagues. Don't be scared - go for it!
22 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for finally figuring out
how VITAL is it to have solid fundamentals and a solid pre-shot
routine. Condition your pre-shot routine and fundamentals! Repeat
after me: Condition your
pre-shot routine and fundamentals. Repeat after me again: Condition
routine and fundamentals. Trust me, you'll like it.
Day 23 of 30
Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for learning to prepare for a
tournament BEFORE I even get to the tournament. It's important to
realize that things may not go as planned. The A/C might be broken. Or
something or someone at the event might really affect you. Basically,
prepare for the unprepared. Know that it's okay if the tournament isn't
running smoothly.... because you are there to play pool and not be
worried about things out of your control! You can't focus on playing
your best if you are bothered by things you can't control. Playing your best IS something you CAN control, so focus on that and don't let things bother you.
24 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for realizing what I can
and cannot control. I cannot BEGIN to express how helpful this has
been for me. During a tournament, if it's too cold in the pool room,
why bitch? If it's too hot? Why complain? Here's what I KNOW: If you
are too concerned and thinking about the temperature (something that
you canNOT control), then is your mind on the task at hand: playing
pool? NO. Same with rolls. If someone shits in a ball against me,
watch my reaction. Yep, there is none. I cannot control the rolls. I
can only control what happens when I step up to the table. And if I'm
wasting brain cells on still thinking about the shit-in ball from my
opponent, then how can I give 100% to the shot at hand?
of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for taking my time. I
figured out that when I was under pressure in tournaments, I would rush
my strokes. That affected my fundamentals and pre-shot routine.
FURTHER - rushing my shots caused me to jump up and NOT keep my head
down. One of the biggest things I learned is that under pressure, take a
few more EXTRA strokes. It really, really will help you from jumping
up which tends to happen when we feel pressure or nervous. Staying down
on shots every time is one of THE most amazing feelings in pool.
26 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for learning how to slow
down my adrenaline. Let's face it, we get nervous. We feel pressure.
We get "scared" we might lose this match. You can feel the adrenaline
rushing through your veins. That's not good in competition! So, you
need to slow it down and I learned how to do that: Take deep breaths in
and then HOLD. Hold your breath until you can feel your heart beating
through your neck veins. Then let the air out S-L-O-W-L-Y. Repeat this
and it will slow your racing heart and the adrenaline. Try it - you'll
notice a difference.
Day 27 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am
Thankful for billiard publications! Being interviewed is something I
cannot even put into words how awesome it makes one feel. It's super
cool to see our name printed in billiard magazines after winning a big
tournament! Heck, it's even cool to see our names if they are only
mentioning us because the winner defeated us, lol. We still tell our
friends, "did you see my name? Yep... made it in Billiards Digest."
Print magazines spend a lot of time caring about the players and writing
articles and following the pool scene. To do this monthly is tasking
and a lot of work, but we the players are EXTREMELY grateful for their
dedication to the sport. How else would we ever see our name in
lights? Special shout-out to Mike Panozzo of Billiards Digest for
becoming a great friend and mentor to me.
Day 28 of 30 Days of Thanks. In order to do well in tournaments, you must play in as many as you can.
Please hear these
words. So, today I am thankful for playing in
the plethora of tournaments available throughout the years. You cannot
learn to handle pressure or learn
mental toughness with only a few tournaments a year. You need
conditioning over and over in a tournament environment to give yourself the best chance to gain experience!
29 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful for NOT having a pool
table at home. Sounds weird right? Well, I would rather play pool in a
DISTRACTED atmosphere. I want to practice under the same conditions as
in tournament play! So, a table at home gives me peace and quiet, but I
don't want that. I would rather condition myself to playing under
unexpected conditions around me, just like in a pool room. Further,
when we play at home we tend to not dress the same as when we would out
in public. Well, I don't want to practice in my slippers (as an
example). I really need to practice in the same shoes and clothes as I
would wear in a tourney. Don't get used to playing in the wrong
Day 30 of 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am Thankful
for all my fellow pool players who have read or commented on my blog
and/or this Facebook page! Means a lot we can share our pool journey
together! Hope these posts the last 30 days weren't annoying and
instead even slightly helpful for your pool journey. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!