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View Full Version : I think I have S.D.S. :(



Justin_Vegas
04-04-2006, 10:16 AM
I seriously believe I have S.D.S. which is Self-destructing Syndrome! I can't stop letting people back in the game and eventually winning... driving me B-A-N-A-N-A-S! How do I get over this? I mean, I definitely have the skills but mentally I am lacking something. Putting them away... I feel bad for people sometimes, just sitting there while I shoot. I look over at them and actually feel sorry for them. Why is this? Why can't I just focus on the game instead? I know they don't think twice about me or my feelings, so why do I care about how they feel? I guess I lack that killer instinct that the pros have. I can't believe how the simplest of shots makes me confused at times. I feel like it's the first time I have picked up a pool cue some days. Amazing to me, absolutely amazing how I can practice the same shot 1000 times and nail it 99% but in a game situation, I just fold. I am sure you've all heard this before but I am just venting(Sorry!). But I am honestly getting sick of taking myself out of games. It's also scary how my performance on the pool table affects my mood for the day...lol

I gotta get over my S.D.S.!!!!!

DickLeonard
04-04-2006, 10:34 AM
Justin Verrrry Verrrryyy Interesting disease that has afflected most of us at one time or another. I would check the GolfChannel.com there are many psycholigist lurking there with cures for the Golf Pros, a very lucrative spot for their profession, they would go broke hanging around on this site. Just ask the question as if you were a golfer and not a poolplayer.####

skyman
04-04-2006, 12:33 PM
I am in the same boat but its getting easier. A couple things I have done during league is:

1) buy the opponent a drink if I runout on the break or right after the break. Mean on the table, nice after the game.

2) Be evil and get internally angry at the opponent ( helps you focus vs. getting vervous )

3) Focus on executing each shot to perfection.

One thing that used to get to me is one guy would get extremely loud and pissed when he lost.

I used to think "I dont wanna piss him off, if I miss he won't get angry".

Now I think "Boy would it be funny to see him get so mad that he actually brakes his stick."

McKinneyMiner
04-04-2006, 01:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote skyman:</font><hr> I am in the same boat but its getting easier. A couple things I have done during league is:

1) buy the opponent a drink if I runout on the break or right after the break. Mean on the table, nice after the game.

2) Be evil and get internally angry at the opponent ( helps you focus vs. getting vervous )

3) Focus on executing each shot to perfection.

One thing that used to get to me is one guy would get extremely loud and pissed when he lost.

I used to think "I dont wanna piss him off, if I miss he won't get angry".

Now I think "Boy would it be funny to see him get so mad that he actually brakes his stick." <hr /></blockquote>

After a year or so in the same boat of letting people back into matches that I was supposed to win easily, I adopted the following philosophy and have held to it ever since...

I try and view each of my opponents as complete non-entities. Basically non-human for the purposes of our match. I am not mean to them, I don't hate them, I don't make friends with them, I don't joke with them. In my mind they simply aren't.

In the past I have been accused of being a cold fish at the table and a little distant during matches but that is the way I can focus. I am actually a very nice person away from the match and easily accessible. Its just that while the match is going on it is best for me to de-humanize my opponent.

Now, to be truthful, I have difficulty doing this against players of significantly lesser ability and sometimes women and children no matter their skill level.

I played a match against Vivian Villareal in the Texas State 9-Ball Open a number of years ago and couldn't blank her out they way I can other players. She beat me like 9-4.

Try and focus on that which is front of you instead of your opponent. It'll serve you well.

scaramouche
04-04-2006, 05:19 PM
Pool was not created as a physical exercise, an antidote to anxiety or a path to better feeling.

It is a systematic assault on the ego, an exacting regimen that teaches the player to abolish normal consciousness, with its errors and delusions, and replace it with The Zone, the discovery of the authentic self. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Everybody fights his own demons. Mine come in two varieties:

First, not hitting the cue ball accurately, for which I have no cure at the table. It requires time with my Stroketrainer

Second, the stroke rough and I am not getting a good hit on the object ball. The cure is to deliberately slow down the stroke. The transformation is immediate.

When I get into the Zone, which is rarely, I'm not thinking much about the stroke at all, only where I want to hit the cue ball to make it go the position for the next shot. Then I am the authentic pool player I always wanted to be and it all seems so simple. I don't play an opponent, only the table./ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Justin_Vegas
04-04-2006, 11:11 PM
Awesome replies guys! I love hearing about the way others deal with their demons. I wanna hear more! I wanna hear more! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Billy_Bob
04-04-2006, 11:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Justin_Vegas:</font><hr> ...I feel bad for people sometimes, just sitting there while I shoot. I look over at them and actually feel sorry for them. Why is this?...<hr /></blockquote>

Well sometimes it is good to not win. Some people will not play pool with you anymore if you win all the time for example.

I guess it depends on what is most important to you. If it makes you happy to win all the time, then win. If it makes you happy to let your friends win, then let them win.

You don't *have* to win every single game. You don't *have* to win ANY games for that matter.

Actually I have improved my playing quite a bit to the point where I can win against a lot of players in my area. Many don't want to play me anymore.

So I would say enjoy the fact the people want to play pool with you (for now). I kind of miss those days when I could walk in and everybody wanted to play pool with me.

Enjoy the moment! (Then after you have had a bit of enjoyment, run the table on 'em! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif )

Sid_Vicious
04-05-2006, 05:49 AM
"I guess it depends on what is most important to you. If it makes you happy to win all the time, then win. If it makes you happy to let your friends win, then let them win."

I think you've hit upon a dividing line between competitors, combatants, players and a$$holes. The gentlemen of this sport, IMO, can have fun with real people who have real lives and still turn on the win-machine against butt heads. I myself play people I've been around for years whom I know a bit about their families, jobs, and day in day out perils of health and economic strife. I call these types friends, and if I cough up christmas gifts in a game, I ain't a bit twisted over it. My team might squirm and grimmace if it's a team match, but it's unlikely I'll lose the compassion for the person just for a team score. It is not that serious to me, and I'll quit organized pool when I begin to let it be.

What it all comes down to is, "why do you play pool?" Is winning the end-all of end-alls? It is with many folks, but for me, I can allow someone to come back and get me, dollars or competition, and if I can see that the guy is a real person with real life issues, I don't dwell on myself or whatever was lost. Now if I'm hooked up with a jerk, nothing satisfies me more than performing to my top game.

I'd rather break even every time and everyone be happy and play again later, than be the top dog in any circle or event. That's the reason you'll find me playing pool friends and not pool hounds, playing new faces who hopefully become new friends. I suppose that makes me a true liberal on the pool table, maybe even a sap in somepeople;s opinions, but that keeps ME happy, and with future "fun games" to play.

Don't take the game so serious, it ain't worth it. Be real with yourself and you'll find harmony in your game for YOURSELF when you need it. Just decide what your needs are....sid

dg-in-centralpa
04-05-2006, 07:17 AM
This just happened to me Tuesday night. At the end of the league season, we have an individual players tournament.My bracket was filled with tough palyers and by far the toughest bracket. I ended up having to shoot one of my teammates. I had him beat but made dumb mistakes that I normally wouldn't make, and left him win. He knows that I gave him the games. This is how my whole season went this year. After the other league is finished, I will probably take a month off from pool and not go near the table. Then I will go back and start on fundamentals again to try and regain my competitive edge. I felt good shooting but just couldn't finish the games.

DG - fwiw

bsmutz
04-05-2006, 10:04 AM
I have to say that I don't like losing and that can sometimes affect my mood to some degree. What is most frustrating to me, though, is not playing well. What I try to focus on during competition is playing my best game. I will let up on friends and family in some instances, but during league play or at a bar just trying to hold the table, I'm going to be giving it the best I can. Don't even think about your opponent. Think about the game and what you need to do to give yourself the best chance to win. One time when I was playing my son, I wasn't moving the cue ball when I had ball in hand, just shooting from wherever it ended up. He asked me about it and I said that I was treating it kind of like practice. He told me that he would rather I play my best game, that he didn't mind getting beat if I was playing my best. He did mind that I wasn't treating the game seriously and was in a way disrespecting his game. When I think about it, I think that's what most of us want. We want to play in a game where win or lose, we both gave it our best shot. I would much rather my opponent ran out on me than both of us spend 10 or 15 innings at the table missing a bunch of easy shots. We want to see good pool and play good pool. Nobody wants someone to give them a game if they are a true competitor.

Snapshot9
04-05-2006, 10:59 AM
The goal of Pool for participants is to be the best they can be, and to enjoy themselves doing it. Winning is a by product of your jouney to gain Pool expertise.
All players have to seperate the social, friendly playing from the competitive playing.

I don't play 'all out' all the time, I play good enough to win, and I make that determination depending on the situation, and my opponent. Yes, I let some guys back in so I can win a set 7-5 instead of 7-2 or 7-3, so they will stay on the line longer. I guess that is the 'Hustler' in me since I have benn playing for money so long. But their are many times when I play all out, and I know when I have to.

I like to win, and have more fun usually winning than losing.
If I play my best in a match, particularly a tournament match, and lose, then I know I played ny game.

Winners have reasons why they won, losers have excuses why they lost. You have to decide which you want to be, and it takes a lot of hard work and discipline. Discipline DOES NOT
happen overnight or a few months, discipline happens over a lifetime, and usually starts when you are young, in many areas. If you want to be better at Pool, then make YOURSELF
better, and better things will happen for you. Pool is a sport, and you have to train as athletes in all sports train.

Nothing will make you realize this more than going to Nationals, and playing 10-14 hour days for several days on end. I guess inside my chest beats the heart of a Purist about the sport.

Some things that have helped me in my life towards being a good player was discipline about exercising, being competitive in several sports, wrestling in High School, transcendental meditation (mind, body, and spirit), 3 martial arts training, and being little growing up.

slow_roller
04-05-2006, 12:48 PM
I've been having this problem recently myself, though hopefully I'm getting a little better. It dawned on me that letting a win slip away was particularly unpleasant, somehow more humiliating than simply losing a close fought game or one where I never really got into it. Humiliation is a very unpleasant thing, and it's easy to get spooked when you have one of these experiences (or a few) to the point you anticipate it coming and start tightening up. In fact, you can see it coming when it may not be: maybe your opponent gets a few good rolls or makes some good shots and you see it as him turning the tide, whereas it's just really a bit of a surge. So for me it's helped to try to recognize and relax about feeling humiliated, plus using my opponent's comeback surges as a prod to focusing my concentration a little better. No miracles, but it's helped.

Stretch
04-05-2006, 06:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Justin_Vegas:</font><hr> I seriously believe I have S.D.S. which is Self-destructing Syndrome! I can't stop letting people back in the game and eventually winning... driving me B-A-N-A-N-A-S! How do I get over this? I mean, I definitely have the skills but mentally I am lacking something. Putting them away... I feel bad for people sometimes, just sitting there while I shoot. I look over at them and actually feel sorry for them. Why is this? Why can't I just focus on the game instead? I know they don't think twice about me or my feelings, so why do I care about how they feel? I guess I lack that killer instinct that the pros have. I can't believe how the simplest of shots makes me confused at times. I feel like it's the first time I have picked up a pool cue some days. Amazing to me, absolutely amazing how I can practice the same shot 1000 times and nail it 99% but in a game situation, I just fold. I am sure you've all heard this before but I am just venting(Sorry!). But I am honestly getting sick of taking myself out of games. It's also scary how my performance on the pool table affects my mood for the day...lol

I gotta get over my S.D.S.!!!!! <hr /></blockquote>

Justin, the good news is you don't have S.D.S. The bad news is you think too much. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif All matches have momentum shifts where a player is hot and gets all the rolls, then suddenly it turns arounds. The situation is only magnified if one player starts believing he's on a sinking ship. I know....it's like the feeling of being lost and then you panic and all rational thought leaves you and ya can't find your stroke. When you get that flat feeling take immediate action. Call a time out, or take a bathroom break. Some players think they can just ride it out and somehow get it back. Bad move IMO. Take that break. Maybe the other player will cool down, or you can get your game back before it's too late after rebooting yourself in the bathroom mirror /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

When you come back get that first rack. Refocus on the game, and nothing BUT the game. One ball at a time. St.

Justin_Vegas
04-07-2006, 12:04 AM
<hr /></blockquote>

Justin, the good news is you don't have S.D.S. The bad news is you think too much. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif All matches have momentum shifts where a player is hot and gets all the rolls, then suddenly it turns arounds. The situation is only magnified if one player starts believing he's on a sinking ship. I know....it's like the feeling of being lost and then you panic and all rational thought leaves you and ya can't find your stroke. When you get that flat feeling take immediate action. Call a time out, or take a bathroom break. Some players think they can just ride it out and somehow get it back. Bad move IMO. Take that break. Maybe the other player will cool down, or you can get your game back before it's too late after rebooting yourself in the bathroom mirror /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

When you come back get that first rack. Refocus on the game, and nothing BUT the game. One ball at a time. St.

<hr /></blockquote>


This was the best advice ever... thanks so much!You are absolutely correct, I do think way too much...