Sunday, December 23, 2018

Protect Your Table During the Holidays

Please don't let this happen with any relatives this season.

Oh, and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Mentality of Next Match After Losing

During the International 9 Ball Open back in October, I was reading some comments on Facebook about the tournament and players.

A big name player had just lost, but was still deep in the tournament.

Someone commented:  "Gonna be tough to bounce back right away after that tough loss.  We'll see."

A pro replied, "Easy to bounce back when you don't get to shoot....harder to come back if you dogged it. "

It was such an important exchange, I wanted to take a minute to talk about it.

You see, the pro was spot on.

In one sense, we can all agree that it can be difficult to bounce back right away after a tough loss.  But in all honesty, we do bounce back "easier" if our opponent simply outshot us, right?

It's when "we" are the cause of the loss that makes the next match tougher.

Because why?

Yep, because it's tough to stay in the present moment.

Plenty of players have won matches after a close, tough match.  But if a player missed balls, missed opportunities, or played bad, it's difficult to shake those ill feelings as you go right into your next match.  There sometimes isn't enough time to get over the embarrassment or sick feelings we have for dogging it in front of a crowd, or the feelings we have about ourselves for dogging it.  And therefore, it's tough to get ourselves into the "present" moment frame of mind in the next match because our body and mind are still reeling from the repercussions of the last match where we shot ourselves in our big stupid foot.

Just as I wrote about the other day - having a quarterback mentality of forgetting what just happened can go a long way to help you prevail in your matches.

Here's a really cool ending, though.  The person they were talking about was Chang Jung-Lin.  And guess what?  Yep, he ended up winning his very next match.  He was so determined because he didn't get many chances in his previous match, he actually went up 8-0 in his match before finally winning and moving on to the finals.

And then he defeated his opponent in the finals and won tournament!  $40K, baby.  Not bad, Chang!

That's some strong mental toughness that dude has!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Forgetful like Quarterbacks

I've mentioned this before in my blog, and I'm sure you have heard this before anyway, that the best quarterbacks are the ones who have short term memories and can forget right away any interception or dropped ball.  Those are the best quarterbacks.

If you can try not to think in the past when you're competing, it will help you immensely.  Because if you're thinking about that ball you missed six games ago and that you would be on the hill already.... that's not helping you here in the present moment.

And obviously the same goes for "future" thinking.  Thinking in the past or future keeps you from focusing 100% on the present moment.  And how can you play your best if you aren't committed to the shot in front of you?  Instead your shaking your head disappointed about what the score "should be."

But today I want to specifically talk about the past.... and, well, uh, trying to forget about it!  lol

As usual I compare things to everyday life when I talk about competing in pool.  And today is no exception.  Aren't you lucky?!

I think most of you know that I am a meteorologist (ie. weather person).  The other day a colleague shared with us he tried to boost the morale of our colleagues in Oklahoma.  He shared, "They need to have the mindset of a quarterback; forget quickly and get back in the game."

You see, early in the week, the forecast models were indicating that a snowstorm was going to occur across Oklahoma.  As the models adjusted through the week, the snow expectations became lower and lower.  Therefore, the forecasters in Oklahoma lowered the snow potential towards the weekend and put less snow in the forecast.

And of course they still got hammered on social media.


Everyone was saying that they missed the forecast "bad" because there wasn't any snow covering the ground like they'd imagined, come Saturday morning.

It's funny because when it snows people don't want snow and then when it doesn't snow, people wonder where the snow is.  But that's another story.  lol

The thing is, though, just like my colleague was saying, they need to not be worried about what's going on on social media or why the forecast didn't pan out.  They need to have the mindset of a good quarterback and get back to forecasting.

You see they can't sit there and second-guess themselves and wonder what they could have done (or should have done differently) because another forecast needs to be issued; we don't have time to sit there and feel bad about a bad forecast.

Now, don't get me wrong.  We do evaluations and after action reports and check stats, run scenarios on past events, etc.  But that is something down the road that we do.

The very next day we need to come on shift and we need to forecast the weather and have that quarterback mentality.

Same thing for pool.  If you are thinking about that shot you missed, that means you're not thinking about what's going on in front of you right now.  You're mind cannot do several things at once and you got to give yourself the best chance to play your best, and therefore you need to stay in the present.

I know I've said this a hundred times.  So, now today is 100 + 1.  :)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Senior Division Thoughts

Although I have retired from competing, one of the things I thought of in my 30s and 40s while I played along side the senior division at National league tournaments was, "is that going to be me some day?"

I believe the senior division starts at maybe 55?  But you can decide when you want to play in it.  In other words, you don't HAVE to enter at 55, that's just when players become eligible.

My thoughts on playing in the senior division have always been this: I'd still be playing the same players that I am now!

The men and women senior divisions have the same players I used to see playing each other 10-20 years ago, and they are just playing each other in a different division.
The advantage may be when the 60s approach, I would play in the senior division and I would play against players who are not as agile, who's sight is not as sharp, who have achy bones, bad arthritis... etc.  And then I would be the same creakily person across from them competing LOL.

I admit, I never considered that I would be playing competitive pool into my 60s. I know many close friends that still do and I admire them for still having that fire in their belly!  I just didn't imagine still playing another 20-30 years or so back then.

And now that I'm not competing, I am lucky I don't even have to cross that dilemma path now :)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Nicknames on Tournament Flyer

The title of this blogpost is probably confusing to you.


Because you've seen many-a flyers were two guys are in some big money match and the flyer states their nicknames. Like "T-Rex Tony versus Scott The Freezer."

Ugh, so why are you writing about this, Melinda?

Hold your horses, peeps!

Check out this flyer that lists the entrants of the Ladies Division of the Space City Open that was held in early December in Houston.  (click image to enlarge)

I admit I was pretty surprised and thrilled to see nicknames of the entrants!  So, if they did this back when I still competed, you'd see me listed as, Melinda "akaTrigger" Bailey.

That would be cool!

It's not just the pro's who have nicknames.  And to see a flyer with mostly non-pros and all their nicknames mentioned on a flyer is a nice touch!

I love neat and clever things like this!

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Green Eyed Monster

I was watching TV last month and a commercial came on. This very pretty blonde girl about 20 years old was driving an old light-colored pickup truck on a beautiful sunny day in the country. Here she is: 

A guy with a guitar was hitchhiking and she picked him up. They smiled at each other and flirted silently as she drove down the highway.

Then he notices on the dashboard a piece of paper. And the piece of paper was actually advertising a singing competition for country music. He indicated to her, as he patted his guitar, that he was competing in it too.

And then in the next scene, you see her dropping him off on the side of the road!

OMG, I love this promo for Real Country on the USA Channel!

I think most of us can agree that jealousy is not really a very pretty characteristic. Especially when it affects the relationships we are in, it's not a good thing.

But, let's face it, there are some good things about jealousy.

Can you think of one?

Okay let me just tell you, so I get to the point lol. It's actually opposite of the funny commercial.

I personally think that jealousy is a good thing when it comes to improving your pool game.

When you see other players excel or working on their game, it kind of makes you self-evaluate your own game and it can actually make you work on improving yourself. If you were playing even with someone for a couple of years, and then you see them placing better in tournaments all of a sudden, you are happy for them, sure! But you also wonder, hey, we played pretty even, why are they doing so much better than me now? And what can I do to join them in the winner's circle?

You see?

I, myself, have worked on my game to try and improve after I saw certain females excelling around me. It was the exact push I needed! Had I not seen them improve so much, I doubt I would have had the desire to work on my game.

So, being jealous isn't always a bad thing or negative situation. Sometimes you can use it to boost things in your own life! 

Monday, December 10, 2018

December 2018 Interview - Chip and Joey!

Well, Christmas came early for me... My DREAM interview came true! I've always wanted to interview these two guys together and this month it became a reality! HUGE thank you to Chip Compton and Joey Gray for allowing me to interview them both for this month's Billiard Buzz magazine. I had so much fun and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them better! I have been a huge fan for years and I am truly happy you all get to know them better, also! 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Cake Too Good to Eat?

Gabby is a teammate of a friend of mine in Houston who happens to make phenomenal custom cakes (and cookies, and cupcakes, etc.). She custom made this and it looked even more amazing in person I was told. But let's face it, even in the photo it looks pretty damn awesome!

Every detail was accounted for, right down to the Diamond decal, the cue ball return on one side, and the rack slot and ball return on the other!

You can find "Slice of Confection Cakes by Gab" on Facebook via this link.

If I'm ever in Houston and need a cake, I'm contacting this chick.  WOW!

Almost looks too good to eat.  I said *almost* lol.