PDA

View Full Version : House tournament, house balls, house hell



Isshi
12-09-2003, 11:58 PM
Last Sunday, I tried another local tournament, trying to redeem my previous dismal performances at the last two I attended. It was a total
failure for me. Why?

1) I love to practice. I do drills for four hours straight with enthusiasm.
When I play alone, I never lose, and that's nice. I'm the best player in a one-player world.
1a= In competition, I'm so nervous my heart is pounding just sitting
in the chair before we lag. I've got a community of monkeys on my back
telling me to just hurry up and shoot, cause there's no way I'm gonna run out anyway. Get it over with, pull the trigger and sit down. And pretty soon, go home in shame.

2) I bring my own balls to the pool hall, polished and shiny. Man, I love the way they slide and spin. In practice, I can draw whitey three rails with reverse inside, God that's beautiful.
2a= Those house balls are filthy, cloth looks like dirty canvas, and I can't draw a thing, have to settle for follow. All the side spin acts weird, I feel like I've lost all my practiced skills when I'm playing on this equipment.

3) I like to show respect for the history of the game, I dress up nice, wearing a white shirt and black bow tie.
3a= probably look like a fool when I miss so much.

4) I focus on the game, no small talk, stay serious.
4a= That's partly because I can't understand what everyone's saying, I don't speak their language, don't have any friends here.

5) After five hours of sitting, I've played two matches, hill-hill in both,
and lost. What a waste. If I had gone to another pool hall, I'd have gotten
a lot of practice in.

6) A hobby should be beneficial, not agonizing like this is.

Should I give up trying to play in tournaments?

Looking for honest opinions, Isshi.

CarolNYC
12-10-2003, 04:27 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I've got a community of monkeys on my back
telling me to just hurry up and shoot, cause there's no way I'm gonna run out anyway. Get it over with, pull the trigger and sit down. And pretty soon, go home in shame <hr /></blockquote>
Hi there,
I do not know what kind of tournament this is,but I would play somewhere else,if not, wear earplugs and just ignore those "monkeys"-thats just plain disrespectful and mean!
And having to bring your own set of balls sounds like a "not too nice of a place"
It sounds like you love the game, so just keep playing but I'd play somewhere else!
Good luck!
Carol /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Chris Cass
12-10-2003, 04:42 AM
Hi Isshi,

Don't give up. Your day will come I promise. Just disregard what I said in my league posts. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif Seriously, remember that dirty balls and cloth grab english quickly due to friction. You must now think of the tournament as a challenge to test your practice skills under adversed conditions.

Don't take the advice of the railbirds. They, never miss. Just give your best and learn to breath when sitting in your chair. The "Monk" as a 4 tape set of how to control your mind and body under these type conditions and it might be worth your time to look into it.

Just don't give in to depression. The sun will shine when you least expect it. You will get tournament strong one day and realize it was all in your mind. Keep us informed please.

Regards,

C.C.~~needs to practice what I preach.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-10-2003, 07:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Isshi:</font><hr>
...Should I give up trying to play in tournaments?<hr /></blockquote>

No.

I've been in your situation many times. Still am actually. But some days you catch a gear, get a few good rolls and it makes it all worthwhile.

Read this:

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr>Don't give up. Your day will come I promise....

The sun will shine when you least expect it.<hr /></blockquote>

You don't appreciate the sunshine if you've never seen rain.

Isshi
12-10-2003, 10:28 AM
Thank you all for your encouragement.

Carol, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my first post- the 'community of
monkeys on my back' was referring to the voices in my own mind
in full panic mode. And I practice with my own balls because I
like polished balls, but of course in tournaments, we're stuck with
the equipment that's provided.

When I went through swim meets in high school, my first race was
similar- heart pounding, hyperventilating, etc. I'm really wondering
if I can overcome the level of nervousness that I'm prone to create
within myself.

Thanks to all, Isshi.

woody_968
12-10-2003, 11:00 AM
Dont give up, unless you simply have no desire to play in tournaments. I was in your shoes, as Im sure most players were at one time or another.
Several years ago I would go to tournaments and get put out in the first round by guys that would never think about gambling with me, I just couldnt play well in tournaments. Think it was because you had to be "on" as soon as you get out of your chair. Unlike gambling when I could loose a set or two and know when I get in-stroke I would win.
But once I finally got comfortable and won my first tournament the experience was all worth while.

Scott Lee
12-10-2003, 11:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Isshi:</font><hr> Last Sunday, I tried another local tournament, trying to redeem my previous dismal performances at the last two I attended. It was a total
failure for me. Why?

1) I love to practice. I do drills for four hours straight with enthusiasm.
When I play alone, I never lose, and that's nice. I'm the best player in a one-player world.
1a= In competition, I'm so nervous my heart is pounding just sitting
in the chair before we lag. I've got a community of monkeys on my back
telling me to just hurry up and shoot, cause there's no way I'm gonna run out anyway. Get it over with, pull the trigger and sit down. And pretty soon, go home in shame.

2) I bring my own balls to the pool hall, polished and shiny. Man, I love the way they slide and spin. In practice, I can draw whitey three rails with reverse inside, God that's beautiful.
2a= Those house balls are filthy, cloth looks like dirty canvas, and I can't draw a thing, have to settle for follow. All the side spin acts weird, I feel like I've lost all my practiced skills when I'm playing on this equipment.

3) I like to show respect for the history of the game, I dress up nice, wearing a white shirt and black bow tie.
3a= probably look like a fool when I miss so much.

4) I focus on the game, no small talk, stay serious.
4a= That's partly because I can't understand what everyone's saying, I don't speak their language, don't have any friends here.

5) After five hours of sitting, I've played two matches, hill-hill in both,
and lost. What a waste. If I had gone to another pool hall, I'd have gotten
a lot of practice in.

6) A hobby should be beneficial, not agonizing like this is.

Should I give up trying to play in tournaments?

Looking for honest opinions, Isshi. <hr /></blockquote>

Isshi...The mark of a real poolplayer, is the one who has mastered their own physical and mental game. Afterall, it really does just boil down to YOU vs. the table, doesn't it? The "monkeys" you describe can often result from pressure to perform in competitive situations. Many players play great by themselves, or with friends, but fold under pressure playing strangers (or someone they KNOW is better). This is also true about gambling. I have seen many players who could gamble up a storm, but couldn't run three balls in tournament play...and vice versa. How do you overcome this fear? IMO, the only way is to continue to put yourself in "combat" (in your case, keep playing in tournaments where you are uncomfortable). During each one, try to keep your mind blank, and just on YOUR own play (sounds like you do that, but the voices are telling you that 'you'll never get there'!). Try to keep your heartrate down with deep breathing, or possibly some kind of internal meditation (don't laugh, many top players do this while they are in the chair waiting their next turn at the table).

Next, you must be able to honestly trust in your stroke. You say you practice diligently, and it seems that, mostly, you have a great attitude about the game. However, honestly, there's NO way you can draw the ball three rails under perfect conditions, and not be able to draw 2 feet with less-than-perfect conditions. The best players learn how to adapt to the playing conditions very quickly, even from table to table within a single tournament. You seem to be telling yourself that "it just ain't gonna work" in your head, and then it naturally plays out on the table. STOP doing that. Start giving yourself positive reinforcement, and you'll see a difference immediately. For example, if you missed a shot by just a little bit...instead of looking at it like "I f*cked up...I suck...I should just quit", try to say to yourself, "I hit that shot 95% GOOD...and next time I will strive for 100%"! This really does work. I have taught students this mental technique for many years, and if you give it a chance, it WILL help you overcome your negative thought process.

You say you played two matches and lost hill-hill. Instead of looking at that as failure, see it as an opportunity to improve (i.e.: "boy I played pretty well...if I just hadn't missed that ONE shot!...and then don't take it personally! I know, easier said than done! LOL)...both mentally and physically. Examine your tournament play (the best way is to videotape yourself, but that may not be practical, since you're by yourself), and practice the shots you missed, or ones that seem to regularly give you trouble. I can understand the frustration with not understanding the language, but you're getting yourself more worked up, than just not being able to understand what everyone else is saying.

Lastly, QUIT caring what somebody else might "think" about how you play, and concentrate on how well you KNOW you CAN play. The mental side of the game really only should come into play after the physical side has been taken care of. From your descriptions (quite vivid and believable, btw), you must overcome the thought that "it's all in the equipment". It's NOT...it's mostly in your head. Trust me on this. I play on 100 different tables every year, and I'm under pressure because it's in front of a crowd every time! I know my physical game is there, and that takes the most pressure off...simply being confidant in yourself! Like Chris said...hang in there, and your turn WILL come! Best of luck to you!

Scott Lee

Wally_in_Cincy
12-10-2003, 11:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> ...The mental side of the game really only should come into play after the physical side has been taken care of....<hr /></blockquote>

Fred Agnir will give you a trophy for that line /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif