So I sent her a sweet text (because I'm sweet like that - hey, don't laugh!). I didn't ask her how it was going, instead I simply told her I hope it was going well and that she was having fun. Oh, and I asked her who her partner was.
She replied, "Thanks for checking on me! I am playing with BB.* "
I asked her BB's last name, as I wasn't sure which BB it was. She tells me and then says, "He knows you...but you are famous...so no surprise there. "
I replied, "Omg, you're silly, lol. Have fun!"
But in my mind I was doing cartwheels! It was the BB I knew and he is a fantastic player! I was SO excited for her to be playing with a top-notch bar table player. I knew they had a great chance to win.
She said she was suppose to be playing with someone else, but he backed out on her. I told her, "Good! You will have fun with BB."
Continuing my focus on the fun part of playing pool (i.e. no pressure).
She shared, "I'm having a great time... and we are shooting good together!!"
Well, "duh" I said to myself. She already plays jam up and so to add a scotch partner who also plays jam up, it's like Christmas in July!
The next day she told me they won - went undefeated! I knew they made a great team, but did you notice I never told her that?
Come on, did you?
I hope so, because that's the point of this blog post.
Sometimes giving compliments can affect our game. We can get OVER-confident which can affect our routine and then we miss more. Further, overly confident thoughts and expectations can fill our head - which is a distraction and takes way from our game.
Just like negative emotions can interfere with our performance, so can highly positive comments.
I have played a lot of matches and lost because I was too confident. It's a weird thing that happens to us, but it does.
Players have actually used this as a sharking technique. A player may deliberately comment to their opponent during a match how well they are playing, because that might distract them from being in the zone. It causes the opponent to start being more conscious about how well they are playing, and then they start to miss.
Of course, the other obvious reason I didn't show my excitement for them as a great scotch team is because that can sometimes add pressure.
Sheesh, Melinda, can we say anything to our friends?
So, my advice is to wait until after a tournament to give all the accolades and compliments you wish! But during or before tournaments, simply focus your support by telling them to have a good time and enjoy the game we love to play (see what I did there?).
*not real name to protect the innocent