Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winning Breeds Confidence

From September 2011: 

Winning Breeds Confidence

I am sure you've heard this quote before:  "Winning Breeds Confidence and Confidence Breeds Winning."  This quote is from Hubert Green.  

Hubert Who?  Who the heck is that?

Well, he's a professional golf player who has won many, many golf championships and tournaments.
The reason this quotes resonates so much with me is because I am going through a little issue right now.

On Friday nights, I play in a weekly 9-ball tournament that is handicapped.

(BTW, I don't know how they came up with the handicapped #s, but the numbers aren't anywhere near the APA handicapped #s.  We would all be ranked higher in the APA.)

When I started to play in this Friday night tourney, I was rated a 5, but I couldn't get anywhere against the other 5s.  These 5s are male players that place high in all types of tournaments all the time.  Sure, there is one 7 and a couple of 6s, but there are a ton of 5s that I cannot beat on a regular basis that I have to play.... even.

I finally got verbally upset about it one night after losing again for millionth time to another 5, and going out in two or three.

I started to whine to the tourney director and he moved me down to a 4.  I was relieved and thought I would have to bitch more, to be honest, lol, but he for some reason gave in pretty easy.  Maybe he knew it wasn't a good handicap for me.  I dunno.

The thing is, while many are of the opinion I should have stayed a 5 to better my game, I disagree right now.  My confidence is shot.  Instead of feeling the urge to get better and fight more competitively, every Friday night I felt kicked to the ground, wounded and bruised, and very upset and so freakin' frustrated... repeatedly.

Then I remembered way back when.... when a friend of mine named JoAnn "The Wiz" gave me great advice.

She shared with me in the mid 90s that I should play in "weak" tournaments.

At the time, I was very frustrated with going two and out in big women's tournaments.  Obviously, this was when I first started to compete in pool, so I wasn't as seasoned as I am now.

She told me I needed to build my confidence.  And her advice was spot-on.  Play in tournaments that I have a chance to be successful in.  She went on to say not everyone can just throw themselves in tough tournaments all the time and expect to do well right away.  Not-as-experienced-players needed to gain some confidence somehow, too.  A confidence booster.  It's tough to want to keep competing if you keep getting kicked down over and over.

And what helps more than gaining experience at winning, than WINNING.

Yes, it sounds kind of like a wild concept, but I believed in it (for me).  And even now.  I need confidence boosters.  I need wins.  The wins help me be confident, and the confidence helps me win.
Just like when I show up at little ladies events in my area and look across the room and I know I am the best female player there....I immediately gain some confidence.  And then when I win, it helps me for my next tourney; the tougher tourneys.  

Winning isn't easy.  Winning takes just as much practice as practicing pool.  

Sure, I could have kept playing as a 5, but I wouldn't have placed well OR it would take me much, much longer to finally place well.

And guess what is happening right now?  Yep, I'm getting in the money in that Friday night handicapped tournament.  And yep, I'm gaining more confidence.  I would like to earn that 5, not just be thrown into a 5.  I like hearing the threats, "We're gonna move you up to a 5."  It makes me feel so good!!  


What is that feeling?  

Yep, that feeling is confidence.

I am earning the confidence which is leading to winning, and winning matches on Friday night is giving me more confidence.

JoAnn "The Wiz" was correct and so was Hubert Green!

Now... you might be thinking these things about me: 

Aren't you already a seasoned player?Why would you need any more wins to build your confidence?Shouldn't you already be a 5 anyway in that tournament based on your pool career?

Well, to be honest, I'm not as good in pool as I used to be.  I was a Master player once.  Once.  That was many years ago.  I have never won an OB Cues Ladies Tour stop.  I took off from focusing on my pool game the past year.

And to be fair, I never competed against guys regularly until this year.

What I notice is of course this new avenue of experience playing against guys is helping my game, helping me.  But, I also haven't practiced in over a year.  Seriously.

So, a combination of a lot of things has rolled into one big large yarn of pool mesh, lol.

And that my friends is why I AM a 4 right now and feel I NEED to be a 4 right now.

Trust me, I can't wait for the day I can compete with the 5s on a regular basis and I pray that that day will come.  I hope I haven't lost my ability.  But until I work on my game, this is the price you pay:  acceptance of where your game is.

So, do what you can to build your confidence!  Remember:  "Winning Breeds Confidence and Confidence Breeds Winning."

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