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DSAPOLIS
02-26-2003, 11:44 AM
Hidden Enemies
by

Blackjack David Sapolis

"The human species has the unique distinction of being the only species on the planet that is capable of interfering with its own growth."

All of us basically know what are weaknesses are when it comes to our shot making deficiencies. Obvious chinks in the armor are easy to see with the naked eye. But what about the chinks in the armor that lay beneath the surface, eating away at our growth as if it were a rapidly spreading cancer, hell bent on destroying us? In this writing, I will discuss the hidden enemies that dwell within all of us. The main goal of these enemies is to destroy us from the inside out, mainly by attacking us where we are least protected: Our egos and our confidence. In order to win, we need to be free of psychological weakness. I believe that almost all psychological weakness stems from FEAR which has based its roots in a lack of confidence. Now, I learn slow but I learn good, and what I've learned best I've learned the hard way, And I have learned this: anybody who lacks confidence in their chosen field will ultimately face that problem somewhere down the road. We can either choose to be prepared, or unprepared. It can be a weak or wild break shot, or that tough rail biter you've been missing consistently for the past couple of weeks. It all depends if we decide to do something about our weakness (turning a weakness into a strength) or we can choose to avoid or ignore that the deficiency exists, blaming it on a lousy table roll, claiming that the pocket moved, etc. We should deal with problem/deficiency directly. Putting a band-aid on a gun shot wound usually doesn't stop the bleeding, but that's what most of us do. If there is a particular part of your game that is a definite Achilles heel, work at making that weakness your strength, so that when faced with the situation, A LACK OF CONFIDENCE doesn't creep up and whisper "Oh no! I'll never make that shot!" or "damn it, it's that length of the table bank, again. I'll never get out from here."

How do we get those reactions to leave our thought patterns? First, we have to realize that we have deficiencies. False pride in inferior abilities won't help you a bit. Picture in your minds eye that your are in a tournament against the best player in the world. He has rattled off 8 racks in a row as you sit helplessly in the electric chair. Chances are you feel helpless as you watch him sink ball after ball, and chances are, that as far as playing goes, you feel a bit inferior in skill. The inferiority gets multiplied by the fact that you want to run out of the room. Chances are that if you BELIEVE that you are inferior to (insert a name), you probably are. And with those thoughts you are doomed. I believe that I can win under the worst of circumstances. I believe that I always have a chance to win no matter what the score is as long as I don't quit. A lack of confidence is found in almost every quitter I have ever met. This is because quitters rely on justifying their actions by blaming it on an outside force instead of an inside deficiency.

Doubt is what leads to a lack of confidence. I believe it is that simple. When you have doubt, you have a lack of certainty. The best definition I could find for doubt is this: to hold the truth, validity, or reliability of "as uncertain"; to hesitate to believe or accept. I kept seeing a lack of certainty being at the root of doubt. Certainty is the opposite of doubt. Certainty means absolutely confident; convinced; BEYOND DOUBT; indisputable; a known fact (I like that one). Which of these definitions can be applied to your abilities to make any shot?

I have used a visualization technique for years. I imagine the task or goal that needs to be accomplished. I create a mental image of myself ATTAINING the goal. By utilizing this technique, I visualize my victories as accomplished facts before my matches even start. I put a picture of certainty in my mind, such as the shot that wins the match for me, or raising the winners trophy over my head, whatever works. I make it an accomplished fact. The visualization is the hard part. Usually, for someone who who is new at the technique, the picture is a little fuzzy at first, but with practice the picture becomes clearer. This technique could be used on every shot. It's all designed to produce a positive image and a positive result. Is it fool proof? Not at all. It projects positivity. We're always giving ourselves a chance as opposed to writing ourselves off into Doomsday. If we believe that we can win, we probably will. If we believe that we will get squashed like a bug, we will. Imagination and visualization are powerful tools that can assist you in accomplishing any goal that you set for yourself. Positive reinforcement and positive visualization can combat all of the hidden enemies that lurk beneath the surface, such as lack of confidence, doubt, laziness, and doom. These enemies can only follow through with their attacks if you give them the opportunity. Do not be discouraged if the visualization technique lets you down every now and then. We can't win all the time. If we never lost, we wouldn't appreciate that winning feeling.

bigbro6060
02-27-2003, 11:49 AM
great post Blackjack mate , good to see you back on the board /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif