Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Monthly Goal Wont be Met

Well, I must confess I'm not going to be able to meet my goal of writing 10-15 blog entries a month this month.

Don't cry; it will be okay!

Normally when it's about midway through the month and I notice I'm nowhere near my self-imposed quota, I go on a rash of writing blog entries so I can be sure to meet the goal by the end of month.

I had every intention to start that rash of writing around May 20th, but things just got in the way.

I even missed last month's deadline for my interview column in Billiard Buzz because I just didn't have enough time to get it finished with the interviewee.  It was the first month I have missed in two and a half years.  Wow!

I have been busier at work, too, which means less time to write during the day (shhhh!).

I've also been preparing for a garage sale. Not just any garage sale, but a neighborhood garage sale. I mentioned several times in my personal blog that I'm going through every inch of my house de-cluttering like never before.

The other thing, as many of you know that I have talked about, is striving for less stress and more peace in my life. Therefore, when work ends at 6 pm, I had a choice - stay late and work on blogs or continue getting ready for the garage sale.  The garage sale had a hard deadline I could not avoid. And instead of staying late writing and then going home to try and work more through every crevasse of my house, I decided to take it easy and simply go home and work through the house casually, not rushed and stressed.

I've participated in two other neighborhood garage sales, and after each one I told myself it's the last one ever. Well this one will be the last one ever. This is the first time in my life I have felt comfortable enough to declutter at this extreme level - pretty happy to have less things all throughout my house!

But, this blog isn't about my garage sale. It sounds like it is, lol, but it really isn't.

What I'm sharing is I need to be okay with not meeting personally-set deadlines. I have learned I really do need more peace and less stress.  Therefore, it really is okay if I don't write 10-15 blog entries a month if I don't have the time.  Right?

I was actually surprised I didn't get disappointed or down on myself when I did not submit the interview last month. I realized I needed a break, and instead of rushing to get it completed, I simply accepted the fact that I wouldn't get the interview done in time.  And you know what?  I was okay.

Even the publisher, Mike Howerton, told me I deserved a break, which was nice that he didn't put pressure on me.

I guess I just want you all to know that while I'm sorry I didn't meet the monthly goal, I'm very proud of myself for not overtaxing or stressing myself or cutting myself too thin to try to meet that self-inflicted monthly goal.

I've had a few months were I only wrote 8 times, but otherwise for the last 10 years I have met my goal to write 10-15 times a month (which is actually pretty strong, right?).  And don't for a second think it's due to lack of material - my list of topics is still VERY long (and I add to it every week, lol).

My work has been extremely busy and that type of stress I cannot control. So, because I can control this kind of stress of being okay with not meeting self-inflicting deadlines, I actually think it's a huge maturity and growth on my part.

Before I head home, lol, I do want to say that if I had had time, I definitely would have met the monthly self-inflicted goal. I just simply didn't have enough spare time this month. You can go ahead and blame it on my past semi-hoarding tendencies, my past shopaholic addiction, and the fact I finally was okay with completely decluttering finally for the last 6 months.

I'm pretty sure I'll be back on track in June. I don't have a garage sale to get prepared for.... you know, the last garage sale ever I'm going to have in my life.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Being Sneaky/Clever Giving Advice

I wrote back in March that a friend didn't know I played pool.  After he looked through my pool blog, he would tell me later he could tell I played well just by seeing photos of me, because my chin was so close to my cue.  Read more about that here.

I have a confession. While that did indeed occur....And while my friend did tell me that that is the sign of a good player... I really only wrote about it as a way to remind another friend (who I know reads my blog) the importance of being low on our shots.

I know, shame on me for being sneaky and underhanded.

But I have an excuse!

Don't we all?  lol

You see, I am the type of "coach" that will not change anyone's stance or bridge or teach someone how to hold a cue or anything like that. I mostly talk about strategy. Therefore, I coach/help people who already know how to play pool. I simply fine-tune their knowledge about strategy.

I also talk about mental toughness and share advice that can help us be more confident.  I also might talk about how one "walks into a shot" or how effective sitting up straight is, things like that.  But I don't change mechanics.

I'm not an expert at that, so I share what I know best - strategy and mental toughness advice.  Further, changing up the physical part of someone's game can really throw them off. And because I'm not knowledgeable in that area, no reason to make them worse hahaha.

However, I AM an observant person. So when I see something, I might try and bring it up in a way to not affect someone's game.

And this happened back in January.  I noticed during a session that one of my students/clients/friend wasn't low on her shots when she was shooting. She doesn't get super low on her shots anyway, but I noticed during this session her body was up higher when she shot; more than usual for her.

I was hesitant to say anything, but thought better of it. I knew in my heart if she was lower on her shots, she would be more successful.

So I causally said about two hours into the session, "Hey, I wanted to show you something..." and then I got in my stance and was low on my pretend shot over the pool table.  I continued, "I wanted you to see that when I separate my legs a little more, I get lower on the shot, AND I am actually more solid in my stance."  And then I kind of bended my knees a little bit up and down (kind of like a soft bounce) to show how solid it really feels (and looks).

She looked at me and said, "Yea, well I can't see the shot well when I'm low in my stance.  And today I am real tight in my neck and shoulder area right now.  I think I need a massage or something."

I confided carefully, "You know I don't like to talk about mechanics..." She replies, "Yes I know."
I continued, "And you kinda of already shoot not being real low in your stance, and that's your style. But I noticed you seem to be higher than usual on your shots today."  And she added, "Yea, besides my neck being stiff, I'm a little hungover, too."  ahahha

Yes, that will do it as well - if we don't feel good, we don't always get in our same stance.  Remember, the stance is part of the all-important pre-shot routine, so anything that disrupts your usual form is no bueno (I will write about this in a future blog).

At the end of the session, I brought it up again. I shared, "Okay, I'm just going to show you this one more time." I get down low on my shot, pretend to shoot with my cue again, just holding my stance for her to see.  I bounce a little again so she sees with my legs apart how much sturdier I am and lower on the shot I am.

I felt like she was apprehensive about the subject. I could tell she didn't really want to talk about it.  I decided not to press it any further; she was used to her stance and I was okay with her being okay with that.  Plus, the last thing we want is someone to NOT try something b/c we are bringing it up a lot lol.

And then she went on her marry way, and a month later I wrote that blog post deliberately. lol.

It seemed to me she really was okay to not be low on her shots. And while I get that is part of her routine and she had been successful all these years not real low in her stance, I knew from my own personal experience about this very thing, that she would feel more solid on her shots and consequently make more shots if she was lower on the ball.

Fast forward two months from when I wrote about "That Chin", and we had lunch together. We talked about pool (of course!), but we also caught each other up about what is going on in our lives at home and work.

At one point she told me she had been getting lower on her shots. I looked up from my ham steak, "Wait, what did you just say?!"

"I've been getting lower on my shots."

I then felt I needed to confess....

I asked her, "Do you by chance remember that blog post I wrote where I shared photos of top players who have their cues close to their chins, and how being low on their shots helps them by more consistent?"

"Yes, I remember," she confirms.

"Well, I actually wrote that because I know you read my blog and I was trying to give you examples of the importance about being low on shots."

She replies, "I have been doing that more and I am starting to feel much more comfortable being lower on my shots.  And I have noticed a difference!  I am playing a lot better."

"Omg really?"

I was so happy for her!

Maybe this wasn't sneaky after all and instead a clever tactic!

After she reads this post, maybe we can find out from her why she even started to try to get lower on her shots.  What was the catalist?  What helped change her mind to try it?  Was there more than one reason?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Female Matchup Live Streamed

I saw this match up advertised on Social Media and thought it was really cool!

It's going to be live streamed on Sunday May 19th, and it's local females playing each other a race to 11 of ten ball.

I haven't seen too many chicks do this - nice surprise!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pool is now Handicapped

I get surprised when I read or hear people complaining about pool tournaments being handicapped. Whether that's State league tournaments, National tournaments, or Tours.

The one thing I keep hearing from players who excelled about 10-15 years ago is that most are adamant against handicapped tournaments. These top players (not professionals, but high-level players) explain they got good simply by playing better players all the time, and they put in the time and got beat for many years without a handicap system.

They see that they eventually excelled and became very good. So, in their eyes, they see it as why should there all of a sudden be a handicap system?  They had to play everyone even when they were younger and got better just by playing better players and getting beat - that's how they got so good.

Almost every sport has a handicap system. Chess, bowling, golf... I could go on and on with how many sports have a handicap system. And light bulb moment here:  they are all actually very successful and mainstream!

So, it confuses me when people complain about pool having a handicap system, when in reality every other sport has a handicap system. The only difference about pool is:  we are starting later in the history of the sport instead of having it all along or from near the very beginning like the other sports.

However, pool players from Arizona and Oklahoma hardly complain about any handicap system because they have had a tradition of a state handicap system for quite a while. But run into Texas players and many are still apprehensive, concerned, and vocal about it.

And as I wrote back in 2017, using the Fargo ratings helped me immensely when I ran the Omega Tour (read that blog post here). Just in one tournament, I had a new player from CA and from another country play who were already "established" in the Fargo ratings. This made it easy to rank them on the Tour instead of guessing what they should be ranked.

In the personal viewpoint of Melinda, my thinking is complaining about handicapped tournaments isn't going to stop pool tournaments from becoming handicapped.  That ship has sailed. So, why not simply stop the complaining and just play pool?


Simple, right?

(Note: and see below for the updated worldwide golf handicap system, which still includes weekenders to pros [click image to enlarge])

click image to enlarge

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Tony Robles Pool Clinics

I saw this the other day on FB and could not WAIT to share it with you all.

It's not because Tony Robles is conducting the lessons (which is super cool and he's a great instructor!). It's also not because there are several dates to choose from.

It's because each clinic is dedicated/focused on either the level of the players in the class, or certain games of pool.

I just love this!

So if we all lived in the New York area, we could take the clinic on July 19th because it's about 9ball, and then we could join the clinic on June 7th because we think we might be a beginner. Oh, and we've always wanted to dabble in straight pool, so let's take that lesson on Sept 6th.

I really appreciate the different types of clinics he is doing! Such a smart idea and SO helpful to us pool players, right?

I am so thrilled about this!
(Click image to enlarge)