Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Not Afraid to Fail or Succeed - Tips

One of my friends mentioned he tried to leave a comment on my blog.  I asked him for which post, and he said the one about not seeing results.  I didn't see the comment through Blogger, but luckily he gave me the Cliff Notes version:
"It is harder to get tournament results now than it’s ever been... Players are just flat out better now than they were 25 years ago and there are so many more of them. No result is guaranteed. The guys that do consistently well are the ones who put in the work."

Good point!

However, I then keyed in on his final sentence:  “The guys that do consistently well are the ones who put in the work.”  

The reason why, is because he himself has been finishing higher than I’m used to seeing on the tour he plays on. You all know my curiosity, so of course I asked him about it (smile).

I asked him, “Does this mean you are putting in work? You are placing higher than before, and more consistently – not just lucky or random high finishes.”

I was expecting his normal witty repartee, but instead he was serious.  And the info was really eye-opening.  I'm excited to share this conversation with you all!
“I practice at the house before big tournaments. But, what has happened to me is my whole outlook has changed. I just play... Very aggressive and confident. And I don’t quit. LOL.”

“That's really awesome,” I told him. Then asked, him why he starting doing that.

He replies,
“Life... LOL. I’m not a wound-up person, so I can just concentrate on playing. I’m not afraid to shoot anything anymore because the result of any given shot means very little to my life. I know that sounds fatalistic and yet weird, but it works for me. I like playing and I like competing, but the truth is: the results mean nothing to me or my life. I used to be afraid both to fail and to succeed. Now I’m neither.”

Interesting, right?

I then asked him what made him decide to start playing that way.

He explains,
“It’s that fear thing. I used to be so afraid to fail. Now I’m not. And, truth be told, I’m a more talented and polished player now at age 51 than I have ever been.” (he has great fundamentals he’s worked on for years and they are very solid now.)

I prodded more, “Did you wake up and realize that? Or just figure that out one day?”

He said,
“It just kinda happened. No figuring. It just seemed silly to be afraid to lose a pool game. Or afraid to win one for that matter. Funny thing is I still have little moments of crisis of confidence. But they don’t last long and the balls keep going in whether I have them or not. No explanation for that. 
Observation about confidence: Am I playing well because I’m confident or am I confident because I’ve reached a predictable level of playing well??

Hmm, good internal questions.

I then asked him one final thing about this really intriguing discussion, “How long ago did this change in thinking start?”
“Let’s see. I guess I really first felt it about a year ago. Maybe around the time I realized I was at a terrible job with not much hope for better.  I just know that when I turned my life over to a certain feeling of resignation it carried over to my pool playing and all fear was gone. No fear of losing, no fear of embarrassment, and no fear of winning even. It somehow freed me to just play. And to play a style that I enjoy. Because I was resigned to the fact that none of it really mattered.”

He added, “I doubt that makes sense.”

Actually, it does.  And SO wanted to share this with you all.  Enjoy!

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