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ninerballmark
06-01-2004, 02:05 PM
I watched a friend of mine named Paul playing a match in a 9 ball tourney. He and his opponent were hill-hill. Paul ran the last rack beautifully and left a straight-in shot on the 9. The table had just been recovered that day & the cloth was brand spankin new. He shot at the 9 and the cue ball seemed to slide a little. The 9 ball jarred & hung up in the corner leaving his opponent the easy cheese.

Paul politely raked the 9 in the hole & gave the guy a big smile & hand shake. They walked off together laughing about it.

I sat there in amazement. If I was hill-hill and missed a relatively easy shot on the 9 for the match I would not be happy. No smile for my opponent. Sure, I'd shake his hand but I deep down I wouldn't even want to look at him. Handing over a game like that burns me up.. to Paul it was no big deal.

And he is right. I commented to another buddy of mine that with an attitude like Paul's he will be a champion some day.

The thing is that I know what the right attitude is. I just don't have it. I'm not wired that way. I'm deeply competitive and hate losing. Paul hates to lose too but when he does it doesn't bother him or at least it doesn't show. He just smiles & moves on.

I've tried to act like it doesn't bother me.. just hold it inside. I usually end up with a stress headache. You hold your emotions in and it has consequences.

Then Paul is off to his next match playing just as well as before. He probably doesn't even think about the last match. If I had missed that 9 I'd be angry about it for days.

Over the years of playing I've had to drink alcohol steadily to take the edge of these emotions. Paul may have one beer. Most nights he doesn't even drink.

So the bottom line is that I know what the right attitude is. I've observed it and I realize that I don't have it.. Never have, never will. I play guys who get put out with me because I'm not having "fun." It's hard to have fun when you play bad. They give me advice "just relax".

Much easier said than done.

Anyone else have the same attitude I do? Has anyone here ever overcome it? I've only played once in the past two weeks because I've been so frustrated with the game. Thinking of giving it up & planting a garden instead lol.

lemme know

PQQLK9
06-01-2004, 02:08 PM
See ya...wouldn't want to be ya! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

qstroker2004
06-01-2004, 07:45 PM
****
So the bottom line is that I know what the right attitude is. I've observed it and I realize that I don't have it.. Never have, never will. I play guys who get put out with me because I'm not having "fun." It's hard to have fun when you play bad. They give me advice "just relax".

Much easier said than done.

Anyone else have the same attitude I do? Has anyone here ever overcome it? I've only played once in the past two weeks because I've been so frustrated with the game. Thinking of giving it up & planting a garden instead lol.
****

Have you ever read "Pleasures of Small Motions?" It is a slow read, but there is a lot of interesting stuff on the mental game in there.

There is another thought. Don't take this the wrong way 'cause it's nothing personal. Maybe you are not as good a player as you think you are. What I mean by this is if you can run out 2 or 3 racks on occasion, it is easy to think that you should do this all the time. You have to give the game proper respect and realize that no matter how good you get there are still things you need to improve on. If you accept that this is not an easy game, and you are not the master of it, you might be less hard on yourself for messing up. You have to look at your game realistically and give yourself some slack.

In the case you talk about, let's say he missed the ball because some chalk on the cue ball threw the 9 ball off line, or there was a little chunk of chalk in the cue ball's path. You can look out for some of these things in the future on the money ball, or just accept that some things are out of your control, and they happen to both players equally. On the other hand, if the miss was due to a bad stroke, then you have to realize that there is something like not paying attention to the last shot, or getting nervous and swooping your arm out of line, and so on, that you can work on. Don't get mad, get even. Figure out why you miss and work on it knowing that you will be a better player for it.

Just some ideas,
dwhite

bluewolf
06-02-2004, 04:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ninerballmark:</font><hr> I watched a friend of mine named Paul playing a match in a 9 ball tourney. He and his opponent were hill-hill. Paul ran the last rack beautifully and left a straight-in shot on the 9. The table had just been recovered that day &amp; the cloth was brand spankin new. He shot at the 9 and the cue ball seemed to slide a little. The 9 ball jarred &amp; hung up in the corner leaving his opponent the easy cheese.

Paul politely raked the 9 in the hole &amp; gave the guy a big smile &amp; hand shake. They walked off together laughing about it.

<hr /></blockquote>

My dad always said 'it is not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game'. He was fiercely competitive, not a pro or anything, but a very good tennis player. He was like your friend. He would put his heart and soul into trying to win, but when he did not, would smile, shake hands and then that was it. He was a 'good loser and a gracious winner'. I think that too him, it was the joy and challenge of good competition but never forgetting that it was a game and it was supposed to be fun.

This was a good model for me. I really have tried to adapt this attitude. There will always be another match and sometimes you get the rolls, sometimes not. Sometimes I play better than other times. But, if it is a game, and I can focus on learning from my mistakes, enjoy it and move on, have found that I am a happy camper.

The players I have seen get the most upset are those who think they 'should have' done better, beat themselves up for their mistakes instead of trying to learn from them.I have even seen many of them (even the relatively good ones) not get better because they are too busy rationalizing that it was the rolls, the table and that they are really better, rather than trying to learn from their mistakes and being happy that they learned something new about their game.

I was once like the way you describe yourself and almost quit pool because I was beating myself up so bad, it was not fun. I learned to accept myself for what my play is and just play my best and then pool became fun for me again. To see my mistakes and learn from them kind of makes it fun for me because it gives me an opportunity to get better.

Good luck. Have fun, 'let the good times roll'.

Laura

piglit
06-02-2004, 06:10 AM
Paul is stoned!!

-pigy

ninerballmark
06-02-2004, 03:58 PM
Haven't read 'Pleasures of Small Motions' but a guy I know recommended it to me.. may have to give it a whirl.

thanks

ninerballmark
06-02-2004, 03:59 PM
I'd love to have your dad's attitude. good post.

thanks

Bob_Jewett
06-02-2004, 04:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ninerballmark:</font><hr> ... So the bottom line is that I know what the right attitude is. I've observed it and I realize that I don't have it.. Never have, never will. I play guys who get put out with me because I'm not having "fun." It's hard to have fun when you play bad. They give me advice "just relax".

Much easier said than done. ...
<hr /></blockquote>

There are two books on mental attitude. Gallwey's "The Inner Game of Tennis" is more about mental approach and sports than tennis. Fancher's "The Pleasure of Small Motions" is specifically about pool. I found both helpful.

woody
06-03-2004, 09:22 AM
You know the problem, that is a step in the right direction. My attitude is that I must take responsibility for all that happens. Doesn't matter if its on the table or in life itself. Remember this is the only sport where you can have no defense/offense if you never get to the table or you can do that to your opponent. There must be no emotion no matter what the result. Getting upset and carrying that around doesn't do any good so why do it. You must be focused on the task at hand. The shot is a hard cut, a long draw, need lots of follow, all of those things are just a part of the stroke, execute the stroke and speed and the leave will happen. Once the shot is finished you can't pick up the cue and move it, so why get upset over it. My opinion is to check out material by the Monk. His material has helped me and my mental game. Good Luck!