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dave
10-23-2006, 01:40 PM
The other day when asked by a reporter, the golfer Phil Mickelson said that he never makes comparisons between himself and Tiger Woods, or any other golfer for that matter. He felt it was counter-productive, and that his energy was put to better use by concentrating on his stroke and shot selection. That got me to thinking about how much emphasis in pool is placed on rankings, or handicaps, or whose the best money player, or where you stand in the local pecking order. In your opinion, is this kind of comparison a barrier to self improvement or is it a motivating factor for progress? Is it merely about ego and status or not? Mickelson seemed to feel it it was a harmful thought process at that level. What do you think?

Deeman3
10-23-2006, 02:08 PM
I think competition and comparison is more important for younger and less expereinced players but important for anyone wanting to measure their progress against better players. Some of this is huff and puff but if competition was not important most people would be happy playing a bunch of games of Equal Offense. Especially in local environments, who a player and who can beat whom is vital to people learninng more in a competitive environment or at least should be. That being said, I so often see guys who play their hearts out and continue at a lower level. They do seem to want to win badly but won't listen to more advanced players or even "study" why they continue to lose to them. Like the majorily not seeming to want to learn or posturing that they already know much, it takes a very special person to make good progress without cmpetition at least beyond a certain point. Phil Michelson is so advanced a player he is disciplined enough and knowledgable enough to simply spend time working on his game. I have my doubts it would be as effective for most pool players.

DeeMan

Fran Crimi
10-23-2006, 02:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dave:</font><hr> The other day when asked by a reporter, the golfer Phil Mickelson said that he never makes comparisons between himself and Tiger Woods, or any other golfer for that matter. He felt it was counter-productive, and that his energy was put to better use by concentrating on his stroke and shot selection. That got me to thinking about how much emphasis in pool is placed on rankings, or handicaps, or whose the best money player, or where you stand in the local pecking order. In your opinion, is this kind of comparison a barrier to self improvement or is it a motivating factor for progress? Is it merely about ego and status or not? Mickelson seemed to feel it it was a harmful thought process at that level. What do you think? <hr /></blockquote>

Have you been reading Fancher's book? I haven't read it. I just heard he addresses the issue of status.

I think that sometimes status can be a motivitating factor and sometimes it can be detrimental. obviously, for Phil right now, he feels that it is detrimental for him to focus on it. I'd bet there were times when he felt otherwise.

So how does one determine whether it's a positive or negative thing at any given time? I think that if you're focusing on status and it makes you feel badly, then it's not the time to focus on status. If focusing on it makes you feel motivated and positive about yourself, then maybe it's the right time for you.

Fran

dave
10-23-2006, 04:49 PM
No, I have not been reading his book (though I own one of his). The longer I play (and I have been playing for a few decades now), the more meaningless rankings or status, tournament wins or trophies become to me. There is no such thing as someone consistently being the best. Anybody can win or lose on a given day. Ego based playing is a bottomless pit of self-involvement. It's only the love of the game, the focusing on the moment, the joy of learning something new and the challenge of continuous self discovery and development that keeps me playing. So, Mickelson's statement about setting aside comparisons while still in a competitive environment was appealing to me and worthy of note.

Fran Crimi
10-23-2006, 05:47 PM
With all due respect to Phil, I think his mental state is a work in progress. Maybe his comments about status have to do with putting Tiger out of his mind. I've seen his opinions about things fluctuate over the years.

Fran

dave
10-23-2006, 06:13 PM
I very much liked your reply that, it is not so much the act of comparison with others, or concern for status that it is important, but rather how you CHOOSE to use that experience as a positive or negative force. Very thoughtful.

BLACKHEART
10-23-2006, 07:39 PM
I agree with Phil. When you are new to a sport, you have to have stepping stones, to tell you whether we are progressing. League rankings or compitition against others, help to tell us how far we are progressing. BUT, once you reach the highest level of your sport, concentrating on YOUR game, is the only way to go from number 2 to number 1. I think that is where Phil is right now. At my age I have been near where Phil is &amp; now find myself trying to beat those, I used to beat regularly. My steps are smaller now &amp; sometimes falling backwards. I've come full circle. Take it from me, it's more full to play, when you feel you are the best...JER