PDA

View Full Version : Comfort Zone



bluewolf
05-28-2003, 07:04 AM
I worried so much about pool, that I had gotten to the point I hated pool. I was thinking about going back to tennis and forgetting pool altogether.

In spite of how it seems, lots of my recent topics have been for conversation, like topics that might be interesting.

So I figured that I was just not going to be good at pool and it was okay to be a low sl. It made me more valuable to my team anyway. After getting to hate pool, I guess I just figured it was supposed to be a fun thing and not to worry. When I found myself starting to be too attached to feelings about how many balls went in, etc, I just pushed it out of my mind and told myself that it did not matter, it was for fun.

Since we have a pool table, I knocked balls around every day, but had gotten bored with drills, so just did them ocasionally. The only thing I really paid attention to was my stroke.

Well, until yesterday, when all those outside english balls went in, I did not notice that more balls were going in, so I was surprised.

In spite of whatever I posted recently, and you cant tell what a person is thinking or feeling on here anyway, I had gotten pretty comfortable. I knew that if I got promoted in APA, I would not have a big spot anymore, and I was not so sure that would be fun anymore. it was like what I used to want, now I saw it was not all that great and it would not be fun.

So when all those balls dropped, actually I think more were dropping than I noticed, it was weird.The long shots, the long cuts had become short when I looked at them. Nothing except for 80-90 degree ones and banks was hard anymore.Pocketing of balls had gotten ridiculously easy.

It was like being pleased on one hand, but then when I thought of how comfortable I had become, scared, not wanting to leave my comfort zone anymore.

Maybe it sounds weird, but that is what I have been feeling like. Scared.

Laura

Predator314
05-28-2003, 07:42 AM
I know what you are talking about with that comfort zone. We don't have handicapped tournaments in my area. The same group of guys always won the tournaments. I got good enough to play around with these guys, but not good enough to hang with them on a competitive level. I would play some cheap sets with them where they would spot me the 7 or 8 ball. I was comfortable with that spot. It gave me confidence. Before I knew it, I was getting too good for them to give me that spot. When I quit getting the spot, I went all to hell. I was out of my comfort zone. I hate losing. I probably hate losing more than anything in life. I'm not a sore loser. I just like to win.

Anyway, I took a break from playing those guys and just practiced. I took some time to get my head back in order. I worked on my game, but not too hard. I just worked on the mental part of my game. I could watch those guys shoot and they made the game look so easy. Finally I wised up and said "Hey these guys are shooting that good and they won't give me a spot. I must be that good too.". I got that in my head and started getting back into playing those guys. I was beating most of them consistently...even up. There's nothing that pumps you up more than beating someone "even up" that used to spot you. Beating them consistently. It shows that you've improved and made a big jump in your game. You have something to show for your hard work. It's better than any trophy.

A few years later, I can spot all of that group (with the exception of 2) at least the 8 and beat them. It feels great.

I guess the moral of the story is to break that comfort zone habit. Step out of the comfort zone for a little while and let your brain know you belong there. You might get smacked around for a while, but there is a reason you moved up.

Good luck and nice post.

Popcorn
05-28-2003, 09:01 AM
I think you have your pool game in the wrong perspective. Pool should not be the source of stress but the relief of it. Some of the best part on my day is when I go into my billiard room put on some music and play. Sometimes during the day, I will think about it and look forward to it. It almost makes everything else more tolerable, knowing I have something that gives me so much pleasure. I think your problem is the leagues, they are not for everybody. I don't like them. I don't like having to commit to being somewhere all the time and the stress of having to play, It just is not fun. You need to evaluate why you play. Go to any poolroom and you will see dozens of regulars that play and although they may take the game serious to some degree, don't live and die over it. There are people that don't like to read a book, they would rather turn to the back and see how it ends, then enjoy then journey of reading the story. People are all different. Some on here are fanatics, some could care less if they ever get much better and enjoy the game in their own way. Some may live and die with each nights performance. Don't judge yourself based on what you read here or compare yourself, we are all different, but we do have one thing in common.

05-28-2003, 09:23 AM
Think Popcorn's right about league play maybe being a problem. I would think that all the constant coaching, sandbagging and especially the defense-first, play-not-to-lose attitude could make it harder for you to improve your game.

Aboo
05-28-2003, 09:39 AM
Popcorn summed it all up very well. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Nice post.
All of us are different. I LOVE playing in my league. The way Popcorn talks about putting on some music in his pool room and shooting to relax... how he looks forward to it. That's the way I am with leagues /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I have had folks decide to quit playing league too, just because the atmosphere is just not what they're looking for in a night out.
One of the ladies on my team brings her husband every week, he loves to play pool so he plays with us and warms up before matches. But he hates leagues, so he won't play. He just plays for fun, has some beer and cheers for us and his wife /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Yes, pool is a sport. But it is also a game and it's meant to be fun! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

bluewolf
05-28-2003, 12:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I think you have your pool game in the wrong perspective. Pool should not be the source of stress but the relief of it. Some of the best part on my day is when I go into my billiard room put on some music and play. Sometimes during the day, I will think about it and look forward to it. It almost makes everything else more tolerable, knowing I have something that gives me so much pleasure. I think your problem is the leagues, they are not for everybody. I don't like them. I don't like having to commit to being somewhere all the time and the stress of having to play, It just is not fun. <hr /></blockquote>

Popcorn,

Yeah, you are right about league play. I like seeing my friends there and that is all I like about it. It is hard to have pleasure about being good cuz they punish you by making you a higher sl and then you have to beat like 5-2 or whatever.

I just wanted to have fun,I guess that is where I had gotten to. I was going to be bumped to the next level after the next two matches, but that is as far as I wanted to go for awhile. Leagues do weird stuff like if I beat someone in 3 innings with 2 safes, then they count that as one inning . Some people get bumped up all of a sudden like by 2-3 levels while some get to stay at a level for along time.

If i am making 80-90% of the shots on the table, even if my position skills are only mediocre, I was afraid they would bump me two levels. Not what I want. Which is to have fun without being punished for playing better.

These days I want to have fun and it is not fun if there is pressure.

Laura

Rod
05-28-2003, 12:58 PM
BW,
Being raised is not considered punishment. You should consider it a complement. They are telling you, you are a better player. Isn't that why we practice/play to be better? You consider it punishment because you'll have to try harder to win games. If you don't want to try then you might as well play at home or just for fun when your out. League as mentioned earlier can be demanding/stressful. Some find it fun for their reasons and some do not. If fun ceases to exist then you know the answer. League was never all that much fun to me. Not because of any pressure at game time I liked that. It was the commitment for that night and the travel involved.

Rod

bluewolf
05-28-2003, 03:46 PM
Rod,

I play everyday. I like to play but I guess I like to progress at my own rate. WW loves APA but will not play if I do not play, so i guess that is the reason I have stayed with the league. He knows everybody in the league and they, at least the sl5-7 have been playing together and against each other for 5 years.

I guess being promoted slowwwly is okay. As a two or three, you are helping your team by your low number which enables the good players to play. If you win, that is just icing on the cake but not a big deal if you do not win since just your number helps them.

My last ten matches I have done well by learning to let go of the importance of winning or losing and instead just concentrating on playing my best. Once I quit worrying about the outcome, and just focused on the game I was in, I started winning a lot.

The higher sl, even sl4, the team is really counting on them to win. Their number no longer helps the team because the number is higher. They only help the team if they win.
The ones at that level I see beating themselves up frequently when they lose. The pressure is on and to most of them it is not enough that they played their best match.

The pressure to win I see as much different as that burning desire to play your very best, win or lose. I worked hard to get to the attitude I have that in a match, I do not think about the outcome, just playing the best I can. To me that is what is important and makes the game fun. Being in a pressure cooker where winning is everything to me is not fun.

As an example, my dad used to play tennis twice a week with one of his best friends. They were fierce competitors and put their whole heart into the match. Sometimes one won, sometimes the other did, but it was the workout and achieving for excellence that was important.

I think that there are people like that here on CCB. You have people you meet at the poolhall and compete with. You all are achieving for excellence and trying your very best. After the match, you shake hands as real friends and have a beer or go out to eat.

So it is fun when I can just try my best but do not want to be in that pressure cooker where winning is everything.

Laura

Rod
05-28-2003, 04:53 PM
Laura,
That sounds good to me. Play your best, if that means you win, then you do if not then you don't. There is nothing more to it unless one makes it that way, which you don't.

When you progress to the next level, treat that the same. You most likely won't win as often because you would be in the early stages of that level. Keep the same attitude and forget the number, just play your best game.

We have ratings out here based on player performance. The difference is members ( room owners, bar owners, maybe a league operator etc ) vote on whether a player should be raised. Some players play well enough to be raised to the next level. In the begining some may have a hard time competing at their new level, while others adjust and move on.

Of those players being raised many feel it is a compliment that their peers would vote them to the next level. However some may feel it is unfair or not ready, usually it's not, but a mistake can happen. Then we have the few of the unfair group that is trying to lay low just to cash in on tourneys, league handicaps etc. Well that is not fair to the thousands of others but they only care about themselves. I'm not pointing at you or anyone, just explaining. When it's time to go no matter the system a person gets raised. It will never be 100 percent, mistakes happen with any system, but it's close.

Don't put yourself in a pressure cooker or let anyone influence your thinking along that line. If they know your feelings and respect you they won't.

Rod

bluewolf
05-29-2003, 04:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Laura,
That sounds good to me. Play your best, if that means you win, then you do if not then you don't. There is nothing more to it unless one makes it that way, which you don't.

When you progress to the next level, treat that the same. You most likely won't win as often because you would be in the early stages of that level. Keep the same attitude and forget the number, just play your best game.

<hr /></blockquote>

Thanks Rod. The thing that has kept me a low sl in APA is that I was such a nervous wreck the first 10 matches that I lost most of them like 7 out of 10. Then when one day the light came on and i was able to just play my best and winning and losing did not matter, I started winning and had a 60% or 70% win out of the last 10.

APA is based on numbers and matches played and a computer formula. I am two matches from going up anyway, unless my captain plays me against all sixes and good fives to keep me at my current level.

It is not a skill thing, is a matter of emotional readiness. I had prepared myself to go up one level, but to go up two levels would be a major shock to my system. I guess I am hoping that they will let me be a three for a session before I have to play as a four.

Even though I am playing good now, in some cases making shots I never did before, I am still in a state of ahock and disbelieve. It is like a pair of shoes, you have to break them in.So I want to be emotionally ready and confident in this new jump, instead of everytime a hard shot goes in, kind of feel like it was a fluke even though it happens frquently, because I am still somewhat in a state of disbelief.

Laura

ArtMetcalf
05-29-2003, 12:04 PM
Bluewolf

Apa skill ratings mean absolutely nothing. If you are chasing skill ratings, you will frustrate yourself. I have played APA for several years and though I am rated a 6, I believe that the rating system does not accurately describe my overal skill as a player. Within the confines of the APA system, that is where I am at. My skill rating is not something I really worry about at all. As a player, my job is to get the balls into the pockets and help my team. Anybody can run out a rack if the balls are spread open, and even 7's get lousy rolls sometimes, which according to the system can make things look worse on paper than they actually are. My advice is to play straught pool or equal offense or fargo and chart your progress that way. No system is perfect for rating your skill, but the apa system is the last one I would use to describe my level of skill, or to chart my progress as a player.

Deeman
05-29-2003, 12:25 PM
Art,

Please send us a pound of Memphis Bar-be-que and a quart of slaw. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Laura,

I hope you get over this endless facination with SL. Just for your sanity and to preserve some love of the game you might consider quiting your league, stop posting so many hours a day and just go play a little casual pool with friends. If you are making 80~90 % of your cuts under 80 degress, you are much more than a SL 2 anyway. Just learn to enjoy hitting balls once again and give up the attempts at master's disartations on advanced terms, techniques and methods. Don't take this wrong but you need some balance in your life here.

Dee