Monday, October 7, 2019

Give Examples When Giving Advice - Project Hunger Games

A few months ago I sent Katniss a little tip via text before a tournament she was playing in.  I normally just say "Have fun! Enjoy playing the game we love to play!"

I never say good luck or kick ass - I just keep things upbeat and positive.

I looked online and saw that the pool room where the tournament she was going to play in, had diamond bar tables. I wondered if she had ever played on them before (we hadn't ever discussed it). I also don't know how many diamond bar tables are in her town. She doesn't live in Dallas / Fort Worth and I'm not privy to most other areas anyway.

But, I learned something that helped me exponentially one time, and I wanted to share that with her.

From a previous blog post (linked here), describing advice from my scotch doubles partner who was a pro:
"...he knew them [the 7foot Diamond tables] well. He stressed that the team who stroked the balls the smoothest would win. He showed me how he barely had to hit the ball to get it around the table."

While I don't like to give advice right before any tournament, surely not the morning of a tournament, I decided to this time. I broke my rule of thumb, went out of my comfort zone, and after I hit send on my phone, I was nervous.

REAL nervous.

Did I do the right thing? Maybe I shouldn't have done that.  What did I do?

You see, most players should already be prepared before a tournament and if you throw something at them new right before, it could throw their game off (not on).

But, I did something different this time.  Instead of just saying something like, "The tables are fast, so have a smooth stroke," I gave her an example to go along with the tip.

I told her (hold on a sec while I go look at my text, this was several months ago...…)

Okay, I'm back.

I told her: 
Goal today: have fun. And if you're playing on diamond bar tables, you don't need to hit the ball hard, just a smooth stroke to get around the table.  Picture Mister B playing on the diamond, he never strokes hard, just smooth and pocket speed.

('Mister B' is a top player in her area that she has seen on streams, that I already knew played with a smooth stroke well on Diamond tables)

She said thank you and I didn't hear from her again.

I wondered throughout the weekend.. how is she doing? Did that mess her up? Did it help or hurt? WHaaaaat?!


I heard from her the Monday after (that's usually when I get tidbits from her for the Katniss Project of my blog), and she shared:  "OMgosh that helped me SO much!"

Immediate relief came through my soul.

"It did, really?"

"Yes!" she exclaimed.  "It helped me to visualize him playing; helped a lot. I focused all day on the "Mister B mantra."  And I believe that's what helped me finish well in this tournament. "

I giggled at her words, "Mister B mantra."  Evidently, that's what she focused on throughout the tournament and it helped her on the tables.

I was relieved and very happy I didn't hurt her. I think the key was to share an example she could visualize.

Let me give an example (see what I did there?).  If I tell you to lower your body so that your cue is near your chin, and that will give you a more solid stance, you would think, whatever Melinda.

But what if I added, 'Picture Allison Fisher.'  The tip all of a sudden becomes more impactful because you can see in your mind her doing that.

Same for Katniss.

So, don't forget to use concrete examples people can picture in their mind, when giving advice.

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