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Harold Acosta
11-01-2002, 07:33 PM
This info can be found at the www.playpool.com (http://www.playpool.com) site but I came upon it and thought could be useful to some of us here at the board.

[b]The Luck Trap
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You're in the first match of a nine-ball tournament. You get to hill-hill, and your opponent breaks and is running out the table. He leaves himself tough on the 8-ball, hits it hard, and the 8 ball misses the pocket, but goes three extra rails and drops in a corner pocket. He is left with perfect shape on the nine, and wins the match. You shake his hand but can't help muttering, "Boy, you got lucky." Upset, now you're in the loser's bracket. You drop your next match to someone you often beat. Now you're out of the tournament. Another unlucky day.

When you think that luck has worked against you, you naturally get upset. "It's so unfair." "It always happens to me." You speak failure phrases in your mind. You poison your mind to success. It is very difficult to start over with a positive attitude, and expect success. Besides damaging your attitude, focusing on luck causes you to miss the real lessons you should have learned. How did you get to hill-hill? Did you miss some shots that could have won the match earlier? What should you have done differently? Played a safe instead of going for the bank? None of these things come to mind when you focus on luck.

Good luck is just as damaging as bad luck. If you think you are having good luck, you start to take more chances. You may loosen up. Become overconfident. All of these feelings may be fun, but they are not successful. They lead you down a path to failure.

Surprisingly, there is a very simple solution to the luck trap. Recognize "luck" as an unhealthy concept. Eliminate it from your vocabulary. Don't let it enter your mind. Whenever you want to think about luck, instead try to imagine how maybe it wasn't pure chance. Sure, your cueball went two rails, kissed off a ball, and fell in the side pocket. Was that really bad luck? Did you know it was going to hit the object ball? If not, why not? Why are you shooting shots without a good idea of where the cueball is going? Did you really have to go two rails? Should you have foreseen the possible risks, if not of scratching, of getting hooked, or maybe overstroking the cueball and getting bad shape? What could you have done to prevent this unfortunate event? This is how you learn from a mistake. You never learn from bad luck.

You've probably experienced the luck trap. Here's an example. You're gambling in a bar, and taking your opponent's money regularly. He complains over and over that you are lucky. What do you do? You agree with him of course! "Boy I can't get a bad roll today. You should have seen me yesterday, everything was going wrong then." The more he believes that luck is the deciding factor, the more he waits for it to change. The more he waits, the more he keep coming back and throwing money at your feet. Your opponent isn't using good judgment. He
isn't trying to determine what he is doing wrong, or whether he is in a fair match, he is blaming fate for his failure. As long as he continues, your "good" luck will continue.

Pool is a game of strict physics. Collisions between the cue tip and the cue ball. Friction between cloth and the ball. Cue ball and object ball impacts. Wind, rain, and dice don't come into play. Don't let yourself fall into the luck trap. Banish it from your vocabulary for the greatest success.

[b]<font color=green>Billiard is a passionate sport for the mind and soul!
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