Saturday, October 8, 2011

Trust issues

I wanted to make it at least a month without posting now that I'm retired, but I also really wanted to share an interesting thought from Dr. Patrick Cohn's Sports Insight Newsletter:

Trust in your skills is the ability to let go of controlling thoughts during execution and rely on what you have already trained in practice. Trust is not the same mental skill as confidence. Trust happens during execution, whereas confidence precedes execution. The more confidence you have in your ability to hit the jump shot in basketball, for example, the greater likelihood of you trusting your shot.


I guess I had never really thought about the distinction between trust and confidence...but I can think of moments where I got down on the shot and I was confident I was going to make it. For some reason, I wanted to make sure I made the shot, so instead of trusting my stroke and letting it flow, I tried to control it, and missed.

Having made some changes fairly recently, I don't really trust my stroke right now. Its a new, unproven relationship. If I fall into a rhythm where I'm not really thinking about anything, my stroke works great, better than ever, but to trust it in a moment where I'm thinking "I need to make this ball," I can't help but try to grab the steering wheel (sending the ball crashing into the rail). Trust can take time do grow, I guess, but its just so strange that when things are most important, our instinct can be to do the thing that will mess us up. And that's just one of the reasons why we can't stop playing this crazy game, I guess.

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**Dr. Cohn is a sports psychologist who coaches junior and professional athletes and has a number of mental toughness training resources, including a podcast, newsletter, a subscription website (which has some free stuff on it), CD/book programs (which Tyler Eddy mentioned in an interview with Samm Diep). His podcast "Get Psyched For Sports" alternates between answering a listener question and interviews with athletes or other sports psychology experts--its a great free resource.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The time has come the walrus said

More than a month has gone by since my last, very brief post. In that time I've considered a topic here or there, composed a few lines as I waited for the bus, figuring at some point, I would sit down at a computer and post at least something. And then yesterday, I realized that maybe, perhaps, for now, I was done. Not that I don't have anything more to say, but for whatever reason, I'm not drawn to say it here. So, I am announcing the retirement of Pool Minnow, sort of.

Having a blog is a little like having a goldfish. It doesn't have to be high maintenance, but you do need to feed it a little bit every now and then. It can survive awhile without changing the water, but even if the fish is okay, you feel guilty and if you wait too long, well, it just dies. The whole time it takes up space on your counter and on your to-do list, and even if you stay on top of the care and feeding, someday, its still destined to be a floater. (I don't know if that's really a good analogy, its been over 20 years since I owned any fish.)

I was a true beginner when I started this blog, and I'm still several trips to the sun and back away from being an expert. I've managed to fumble my way towards the mediocre middle...still waiting for the day when I'd feel like I earned the right to even wear one of OMGWTF's "HACK" shirts. (I still consider myself "sub-hack"). But somehow it seems right to kind of finish things here, and move on to a new phase. I'll probably post from time to time, pimp the latest RadioLab story, that kind of thing. Maybe at some point I'll be inspired to come back or start even start a new blog (although I'm kind of attached to the name).

Blogging has been a great experience in ways I never imagined. I always knew it would be a good way to record my experience and reflect on my life in pool, but my favorite thing about it has been connecting with people (both virtually and in person), who I would have never otherwise met, most of whom are in my blogroll. So thanks for reading, commenting, subscribing and allowing me to be a part of your online procrastination. It has been an honor.

Well, see you in the pool hall! (But don't interrupt me when I'm practicing!!!:-)

Whee!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Determination

A super quick blog post....I watched the end of the British Open today (yes, golf, not pool). I'm not a big golf fan, but I enjoyed watching Darren Clarke's last couple of shots to win his first major at the age of 42, on his 20th try in this particular event. He apparently gave credit to his success to this piece of advice: "Don't let your game determine your attitude, let your attitude determine your game."

Perhaps easier said than done...still inspiring to see it happen.