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TheDragon
06-23-2003, 11:25 PM
Its been about two years since I last posted on this board, and since then I have become a much better player. My shot making and position skills have improved dramatically, I now have knowledge of safeties and left and right-hand english I never would have dreamed of then, and although not textbook, my fundamentals are more consistent than they have ever been. I make it sound like I'm quite the young player, until you start beating me and I crack open like an egg. I have some major attitude problems.

I love the game of pool. I don't have the patience to practice much, but I play just about every time I can get a game. I play for money sometimes (anywhere from $10 to $50 a set). I don't really care about the money, its the action and pressure I like. But lately I haven't been playing much, for reasons quite obvious to myself and most of my opponents.

Its fair to say that my attitude sucks. When I'm winning I look tough and bold, but when I start playing bad and/or losing, I do two horrible things. One, I give up. I start hitting shots harder than I normally would and I play probably 2 or 3 times faster than my average speed. And Two, I get really really pissed. Sometimes I handle my anger better than others. On good days I keep it inside and you won't even know I'm flustered, but on bad ones I really go crazy. I'll bang my stick on the floor, throw chalk, cuss, yell, and obviously come across as a real pain to my opponents. It seems like there's a simple answer, just stop doing it, but I can't. I'm not crazy, and I've never had any serious anger problems, but this is getting bad. None of the other good players in the poolroom will play me for money anymore (and I don't blame them). The only decent player that will play me is my dad. In terms of shotmaking, there isn't a whole lot of difference between my game and my dads, but he outwits me and breaks me down every single time we play. He tells me if I beat him in a single race to 11, he'll buy me a car when I turn 16. I feel like I should be able to do that, but I can't. In fact, I dont even come close. Once he gets up 3 or 4 games I start thinking, "wow, if I can't beat him playing even, how am I supposed to do it when I'm 4 games down?" It seems like every time I play my dad I lose just a tiny bit more confidence from my critically small stash.

Like I said, I love the game of pool and I'm not going to quit. I qualified for the Junior Nationals and I intend to play in it about a month from now. I feel obligated to play in it, and I feel like I could now do fairly well in it. I played in it two years ago and did quite poorly. Aside from my bad performance, it was also a little embarrasing for both myself and my dad being the only player that cried when I lost my match. I don't cry anymore, and I'm a much better player than I was back then, but I wonder if I'll be able to control myself better this time.

Maybe its a maturity thing, and when i get older I'll be different, or maybe its an attention thing and I subconsciously like people watching me explode. I really don't know, but I do know one thing, I HAVE TO CHANGE!

Please post any suggestions, ideas, or solutions you have. I would really appreciate it.

-TheDragon

Rich R.
06-24-2003, 04:33 AM
Dragon, you answered your own question, in part. In a lot of ways, it is a maturity thing. Hopefully, as you grow older and more experienced, you will grow out of it. Unfortunately, some people never grow out of it.

It is very good that you have identified this behavior as a problem. Once identified, you can work on correcting the problem. It is all inside you and you have to correct it.

Keep in mind, pool is nothing more than a game and it should be fun, whether you are playing for money or not. It is not brain surgery and it is not life and death. You will win some games and lose others. With a little luck, and practice, you will win more than you lose. Keep it all in perspective and hopefully you will learn to control your temper.

Good luck at getting that car. Anything worthwhile, is worth working hard to get. You will appreciate it more, when you get it.

Kato
06-24-2003, 06:36 AM
Hey Dragon, long time no hear from. How's that Monopoly game coming along?

Listen, as Rich said, you've identified the problem. That's a very big step for a young man to make. As you've said, you've learned a great deal but but emotionally you are lagging far behind your physical and pool playing skills.

How do you beat your old man (I mean Chris)? Word has it that he plays pretty strong. Take it as a learning experience. If you lose, so what? Your Dad has beaten plenty of people. But you will win. Why? Because you will mentally prepare to win along with physically preparing.

You'll get that car. Stay patient, make one ball at a time. That's how your Dad gets that 4 game lead on you. Remember this, you can't win if you lose your cool.......ever!!!!!! But if you keep your opponent in his/her chair.........they will never win.

Kato~~~is going for a ride w/Drayton when he turns 16.

Ralph S.
06-24-2003, 06:45 AM
Dragon, the most key thing is you realize that the problem is there. It has already been stated that possibly it will pass as more maturity comes to you in life. One way I might suggest that you deal with it is to maybe talk with older, more seasoned players about the attitude problem.

This means, not your father. Try someone other than him that you have respect for. Odds are they have been there too. Many of us have, myself included. Just stay with it and try to always think positive. The negative will only hurt in long run. I hope this helps.

pooltchr
06-24-2003, 07:40 AM
You might want to seriously think about your motivation in the game. If you are trying to "beat" your opponent, you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself. When that builds into anger, you become tense. And when you are tense, you can't shoot properly. You know that you need to have a relaxed smooth stroke to be effective. You seem to be digging yourself deeper and deeper with the pressure. Try to focus less on the game and on the last shot, and start to focus on the next shot. Work on blocking out the score, who you are playing, what's at stake, etc. and just think about one shot...one shot...one shot at a time. If you make a mistake or miss a shot, think about what you will do to correct it the next time it comes up, not how bad it went. As your focus shifts to the positive aspect of your game, the anger will be replaced, and you will find yourself winning more games. You will be more relaxed and your game will greatly improve.

Steve~~~Not a psychologist

WaltVA
06-24-2003, 07:40 AM
Dragon, two things come to mind about attitude/temper. First, you have to be able to let the last shot/game/set go - the only thing you can control is your next shot. As you've found, when you get angry over a missed shot, your attitude changes, your rhythm and speed change, and your game goes south. It isn't easy to do, but you can think about the next shot instead of dwelling on the last one. If you're down, focus on the game you're playing, not on the ones you've lost, and you may be suprised at the comeback.

Second, think about rewards for your attitude. You may be right about subconsciously liking the attention when you explode, but it's not a REAL reward; you're not gaining anyone's respect...players are avoiding you, and your game is suffering.

On the other hand,you know you'll have to stay cool, focused, and have your game together to beat your Dad, but there's a very REAL reward for it....the car, sure, but also the confidence and respect of achieving that goal. I know he wouldn't have made the offer if he didn't want you to achieve it, and he'll be proud of your ability, but even prouder of the self-control you've developed.

Blowing up doesn't have any positives and will cost you in the long run; keeping control will help your game and your relations with others around you.

Sorry for the long post, but I've probably got 50 years on you, and I lost quite a few valuable things before I got a handle on my temper. Good to see you and your Dad posting again - best of luck to you both.

Walt in VA

Brian in VA
06-24-2003, 07:45 AM
Dragon,

If you've already discovered the problem, and you have, you have a good start on fixing it. The fact that you can see it so clearly at such a young age is, to me, very telling. I wish I had been that mature, back then!

As to a cure, you might find it useful to visit a good book store. In the self-help area look for some books that discuss how to turn all that negative energy into a powerful and positive force. There are several sport psychologists that have written books that could be very helpful to you. Take the time to read several pages in several books to make sure you've picked a book that feels good to you. Then purchase it and study it as strongly as you've studied your game. Practice the techniques as hard as you've practiced your pool. I guarantee you'll find success and more quickly than trying to work it out on your own. Many of us have suffered the same things that you are suffering now. Learn from a pro (a good author) how to fix it faster. (You could go to a library for this but I think that purchasing the book gives you a stronger investment.)

Good luck and let me know about your progress.

Brian

Steve Lipsky
06-24-2003, 08:00 AM
Hi Drayton. You must put that car out of your mind. It is very difficult to play this game well when you are thinking only of the reward. You must play to play well, and not to win something.

One other thing - don't leave it up to nature to stop you from getting mad. From my experience, most kids who flip out at the table turn into adults who flip out at the table. The ones that reversed this course did so as a conscious choice; they realized how self-destructive the behavior was, and set about changing it.

It seems this is what you are doing, so good for you.

Good luck,
Steve

Tom_In_Cincy
06-24-2003, 08:58 AM
Drayton,

I agree with the other replies, that it's good that you have realized that you have this problem. It's the first step to eliminating it.

There are players that I know that NEVER get over this problem, they are the least likely to improve and make themselves any type of decent player. They are the players that no one wants to play.

The are usually older, less confident (negative about most things) sad people that don't have many friends.
YOU are not one of these people.

You know this and you also know that POOL is not the most important thing in life. Your positive attitude towards your goals and obstacles is one of the most important attributes you can have to become a productive person. You can do this by taking the first step in the 'right' direction.

Play more ONE Pocket.

Eric.
06-24-2003, 09:23 AM
Hi Drayton,

I feel that the "Inner Game" is sometimes harder to master than the game on the table. I used to have a bad temper too. To some degree, I still do, although it takes ALOT more to push me over.

I usually have "recovery plans" when I feel myself losing it. For instance, if someone runs off a 2 pack, I'll make a mental note, then say to myself "Self, you can do that too, just wait for your opening." If someone locks me up in a tight safety, I'll say to myself "F***!", then get over it and figure out how to make the kick.

What I'm trying to say is that this is something that YOU can fix, right now, today. You don't have to wait til you're 80 years old, nor will it come to you by then(if you live that long). You need to get over things quickly. Acknowledge the event, assess the damage, decide on an action, move on. It's a mental process. You need to be able to shift gears and get away from dwelling on what happened.

Good luck.

Eric

Fran Crimi
06-24-2003, 09:35 AM
Hi Dragon,

I like to read stories about champions of different sports and how they got to be champions. What I learned was that they all faced some kind of problems along the way. The thing that made them stand out as champions is the way they handled their problems. Instead of thinking of them as problems, they turned the problems into challenges.

It's kind of like looking at a 9-ball layout and figuring out how to run the table. Sometimes the answer comes easily and sometimes it doesn't. A champion will always keep trying until he finds the solution to the puzzle or challenge.

Many champions faced hardships and attitude issues on their way to the top. They overcame them by not getting too emotional about them and looking at them as puzzles to be solved.

Try something. If it doesn't work out, try again. If that doesn't work, then try again. That's what makes a champion a champion.

Dragon, here are two types of people who can never be champions:

1.) People who have problems but refuse to face them so their problems keep coming back over and over again.

2.) People who know they have a problem and constantly complain about it but never do anything about it, or they give up too soon. They are always unhappy.

I think you are at the perfect age to teach yourself to look at your problems as challenges to be met. I think that if you do that, you will find your answer to your question and I, personally, wouldn't want to be matching up against you in the future because you will be a force to be reckoned with!!

Good Luck!

Fran

Qtec
06-24-2003, 09:40 AM
[ QUOTE ]
love the game of pool. I don't have the patience to practice much, but I play just about every time I can get a game. I play for money sometimes (anywhere from $10 to $50 a set). I don't really care about the money, its the action and pressure I like. But lately I haven't been playing much, for reasons quite obvious to myself and most of my opponents.

Its fair to say that my attitude sucks. When I'm winning I look tough and bold, but when I start playing bad and/or losing, I do two horrible things. One, <hr /></blockquote>



Sorry . I dont believe a single word of this garbage .
What kid plays for $50 a set and what kid under 16 uses the word "bold ".

This is the same as the "My pool story ", by cue stick .

Am I the only one .????

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

06-24-2003, 09:43 AM
Remedy for a terrible attitude problem:
1. Practice
2. Control the Cue Ball
3. Practice
4. Understand and execute Safes totally accurate
- no exceptions; (Reference Efran Rayes)
5. Practice
6. Never let your opponent on the table until
you put him on the table. (Dont miss shots, execute
safes accurately).
7. Understand mistakes - why .

In a recent relavent article in Golf Magazine, they measured brain activity of a Professional verses an amature immediately prior to a shot.
For the Pro, almost no activity - execution is mechanical, once you commit.
For the Amature, brain activity was contineous and active, reflecting a lake of confidence in their decission ?
Therefore: Your initial assessment and plan are critical,
then: Decide, Commit, Execute.

Have fun........ /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

bluewolf
06-24-2003, 09:44 AM
Dragon,

Seems like you are very talented and it is hard having all that talent in such a young body. You are a mature, honest, and a courageous person to come here so open. That says a lot about the person that you can become.

Anger is always rooted in something. That is why i am not so keen on all of those anger management classes, they lots of times treat the symptoms, not the cause.

Unfortunately, no bodyelse can figure out the source of your anger but other people can sure talk to you and maybe help you to figure it out. I will say this, though. When a person has a parent that is so good at something, then that young person pursues the same interest, all kinds of things can come up for all kinds of reasons. There can be other things going on too.

I have worked with some people who were explosive on trying to get to the bottom of their anger. It was not easy, it did require a bit of soul searching, but they did succeed in figuring it out and then in gaining control over their anger.

I am very confident that you can do this too.

Take care,

laura

Fran Crimi
06-24-2003, 09:53 AM
Q, he's the real deal. He was here long before you were and many of us know him personally and think very highly of him. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Fran

Kato
06-24-2003, 10:13 AM
Sorry Qtec, you don't know this kid. He doesn't have to impress us and he doesn't need to lie. He's a good kid and he's well respected on the board.

Kato

Tom_In_Cincy
06-24-2003, 10:39 AM
Qtec,
[ QUOTE ]
Sorry . I dont believe a single word of this garbage . What kid plays for $50 a set and what kid under 16 uses the word "bold ".
<hr /></blockquote>
I understand why you made the comments you did about Dragon. They do sound questionable, but, Dragon is a known player by many of the long time posters.

But, I don't understand how a 'snooker coach' could post such a quickly biased opinion. Your response is closer to 'garbage' than Dragon's post.

IMO you owe Dragon an appology.

Brian in VA
06-24-2003, 11:20 AM
Tap, tap, tap. Well said Tom, as always.

California doesn't know what's about to hit it and Ohio doesn't know what it lost. Travel safely.

dooziexx
06-24-2003, 11:20 AM
Dragon,
I agree with most of the posters here. You have identified the problem and now you have to fix it. Treat pool like its a game. Dont treat it like a job. Once you do that, there no fun anymore. Pool has to be fun and enjoyable. Once you lose that, you should hang up the cues!

Also, theres too much emphasis placed on winning. In our society today, winning is everything. Well I believe that winning is not everything. If you played your heart out and get beat, thats ok. Just need to improve on your game to overcome that bump. You cant win them all.

Dont show anyone your weaknesses. You mentioned your dad broke you down when you play and you end up losing. Maybe he won because he's a better player but maybe he won coz he knows how you think. He's not only a student of the game but he studies people as well. If you show no emotion whatsoever win or lose, then there's nothing he can pick up on.

Hope this helps.

Kato
06-24-2003, 11:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dooziexx:</font><hr> Dont show anyone your weaknesses. You mentioned your dad broke you down when you play and you end up losing. Maybe he won because he's a better player but maybe he won coz he knows how you think. He's not only a student of the game but he studies people as well. If you show no emotion whatsoever win or lose, then there's nothing he can pick up on.

Hope this helps. <hr /></blockquote>

I think this is very strong advice. I'll use this myself.

Kato

Tom_In_Cincy
06-24-2003, 12:00 PM
Kato,

Too late, we've seen you play, we all know your weakness.

Did you really think we'd forget?

Rich R.
06-24-2003, 12:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> IMO you owe Dragon an appology. <hr /></blockquote>
I'll second that. An appology is definitely in order.

As others have said, Q, you don't know the Dragon and we do.

To briefly answer your questions:

What kid plays $50 sets?
<font color="blue"> A young, but very accomplished player, with a lot of experience. The Dragon's father also owns the pool room. </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

What kid under age 16 uses the word "bold"?
<font color="blue"> An intelligent young man, with a better vocabulary than the average pool player. </font color>

Kato
06-24-2003, 12:02 PM
Tom, you are old, I thought you'd forget!!!!!

Kato~~~younger than Tom

highsea
06-24-2003, 01:22 PM
Hey Dragon,
From your post, it sounds like you have worked hard the last couple of years to develop your game.

Ask yourself this; "how long has your dad been playing?" I would guess a lot longer than 2 or 3 years. There is no shame in losing when you've put out your best effort. Shake his hand and say "thanks for the game, Dad. I'll get you next time."

There are a couple of things I would ask you to consider. First, when you choose to get upset about something, whether it's pool or something else, remember, it's a choice you are making. When you understand this, you can begin to make your emotions work for you instead of against you.

Second, consider this. You say that when you are winning you look "tough and bold". Are you showing off at the table, talking trash to your opponent, or acting like a big shot? If so, this is just as much bad sportsmanship as having a fit when you lose. If you want to enjoy the game, and have others enjoy playing with you, you have to learn to be a humble winner and a gracious loser. Always offer to shake their hand and say "good game", win or lose.

A true winner is not afraid of failure. You can play opponents below your skill level, but what do they teach you, compared to playing someone that is a much better player? How much fun do you have when you know your opponent has no chance? It's the challenge.

I will always take the toughest opponent I can get, for as long as he or she is willing to play. I watch everything they do on every shot. When I get to the table, I play my heart out. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't. But I always feel like I came away from the game ahead, because I learned more from them than they learned from me.

You may want to think about taking the gambling aspect out of the game for awhile. Go back to playing for the pure enjoyment of it, and take that pressure out of the equation.

Finally, good luck in the Junior Nationals. Have a great time, and be sure to come back and let us know how much fun you had!

-CM

eg8r
06-24-2003, 01:29 PM
Huh, you are the only one showing your ignorance. Go back and read through the archives. It might help if you knew who you were talking about.

eg8r

eg8r
06-24-2003, 01:32 PM
Harsh stuff Kato. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

tateuts
06-24-2003, 01:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>
Sorry . I dont believe a single word of this garbage .
What kid plays for $50 a set and what kid under 16 uses the word "bold ".

This is the same as the "My pool story ", by cue stick .

Am I the only one .????

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif <hr /></blockquote>


Yes. You are.

Kato
06-24-2003, 01:49 PM
Yes eg8r, I have the ability to be quite evil from time to time. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Kato

marek
06-24-2003, 04:43 PM
Hi Dragon!
I was in the same position as you two years ago. I got REAL attitude problem. Then I bought my copy of Phil Capelle "Mind for pool" and it help me tremendously!!! Basically I had two problem areas: 1) The result of the match was much more important to me than the performance 2) I had an I-must-be-perfect syndrom as I call it myself. The cure was simple: you MUST be able to forgive yourself any mistakes you do at the table but at the same time you MUST be able adress the reason of the mistake (stance, grip, concentration, aiming...) - it helps you not to make them next time. When you adress the reason of the mistake you wont become so mad at yourself.
Go out and buy yourself a copy of the book I mentioned above, its fun to read, it will help you with your problem and it will give you some valuable advices which will help you at the nationals.
Good Luck!

tateuts
06-24-2003, 07:25 PM
I'm impressed with the good advice these folks have offered you.

If you ever saw "Crazy Bruce" play, you would be cured permanently. He was a very good player and was a normal, nice looking, well dressed guy. This was back in the 1970's in Hollywood. So it was kind of shocking to see if Crazy Bruce missed a shot under the right circumstances, he would bang his head against the wall. One time, he ran head on into the wall and knocked himself out. They had to cart Bruce off in an ambulance! Hence the nickname "Crazy".

Nobody wants to end up like Crazy Bruce, so it's better to patch it up now.

Chris

Qtec
06-24-2003, 07:39 PM
Dragon ,
Please accept my appologies. I obviously put my foot in it this time .[ probably wont be the last ].Its just that there has been some weird posting of late . Your post was so well written , I mistook you for someone older .No offence was intended.

As to helping you with your problem ,I think the guys have said it all . You should print out the post from buckshot 4900 .Put it on your wall and look at it everyday.Its the truth.There is no quick fix.

Its easy to play well when you are playing well! Its when you are not playing well that your practice will come through. Having faith in your stroke and your technique will give you the confidence to keep it together.

Keep it positive .

If you miss or lose . Get over it . Its gone.

If you want that car , I suggest you play your dad at his own game . Play the same game as he does , but with a little more dare . Get in front and make him sweat . /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Qtec

Tom_In_Cincy
06-24-2003, 07:43 PM
Thanks Qtec.. very good post. Good going.

Qtec
06-24-2003, 08:13 PM
No problem Tom.

Q

eg8r
06-24-2003, 08:33 PM
Great post Q. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

Qtec
06-24-2003, 08:48 PM
I,ll bet you just loved that , didnt you !
Did I make your day ? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

JMD in VA
06-24-2003, 08:52 PM
Dragon:
This might be helpful. I have the same problem sometimes. Last night I was at a friends house and we were playing some sets. Not for cash, just for pride; just as costly. Anyway, the first set goes on, my kicks were off and he was getting out on my mistakes. He had me stuck 5-2 and I came back to lose 7-4. I hung in there with him. Next set, same secnario, same outcome, but the score was 7-6 this time. I found also when I got into a funk I start shooting some crazy shots instead of using my head. Sometimes they worked, most of the time not. My buddy,Brian in VA,mentioned getting some books. There is a good book out there I picked up. It's called "The Mental Edge" by Kenneth Baum. I heard Alex Pagulyon read this before he played in the US Open last year and he finished in second place. So, it sounds like it has some useful info in it. Check it out. I haven't had a chance to read it because of school myself, but I am going to pick it up this summer. Good Luck! Good Playing! Hope to see you at the US OPen this year!

JMD in VA

eg8r
06-24-2003, 08:54 PM
I was hoping you were doing it for yourself. If you desire to please then that is alright also. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

It takes a good man to say what you said, however to our avail, I guess it takes a better man to mean it.

eg8r

Rich R.
06-25-2003, 04:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Dragon ,
Please accept my appologies. I obviously put my foot in it this time .[ probably wont be the last ].Its just that there has been some weird posting of late . Your post was so well written , I mistook you for someone older .No offence was intended.

As to helping you with your problem ,I think the guys have said it all . You should print out the post from buckshot 4900 .Put it on your wall and look at it everyday.Its the truth.There is no quick fix.

Its easy to play well when you are playing well! Its when you are not playing well that your practice will come through. Having faith in your stroke and your technique will give you the confidence to keep it together.

Keep it positive .

If you miss or lose . Get over it . Its gone.

If you want that car , I suggest you play your dad at his own game . Play the same game as he does , but with a little more dare . Get in front and make him sweat . /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Qtec


<hr /></blockquote>
Tap, Tap, Tap. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

bluewolf
06-25-2003, 06:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TheDragon:</font><hr> In terms of shotmaking, there isn't a whole lot of difference between my game and my dads, but he outwits me and breaks me down every single time we play. It seems like every time I play my dad I lose just a tiny bit more confidence from my critically small stash.

<hr /></blockquote>

If your dad is even close to your ability, he does has a mental advantage. He has known you since you were in diapers. He knows how you tick better than you know him.

If playing him the way you are playing him is hurting your confidence, I would try playing him for fun or playing another pool game, until you are not so vulnerable or playing your mom for fun. Until you can get to the point that your dad cannot defeat you on the mental court, I would recommend a change.

There was a time that I was so bad, I could not even practice when my husband was around and cussed him out and so forth saying all his suggestions were put downs, and got mad saying when he watched me he was gloating and he did not think I had any potential etc. It was all about me and my problem with self esteem. You are not a beginner, I was a frank beginner and I had a temper, especially around him, and I was 50 years old.

It was very bad, my temper and I was not having fun. I do not worry about that part anymore and can now listen to him without being threatened.I now know that he was sincere and was trying to help.It is low self esteem or struggling self esteem that can result in a person being angry against the very people who are trying to help.

You sound like a very nice young person who has a lot to offer others in addition to your fine pool talent.

Laura