Saturday, October 6, 2007

Still focusing on focus

Well, I was able to recoup my double loss Monday with wins in 8-ball on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Wait a minute....doesn't that mean that I played three times this week? After I whined about how I need to play less pool? Yes. An exception to the rule. And I bring this up, in part, because I want to stay committed to not over-committing. The plan is to alternate weeks between Wednesday and Thursday teams. In fact, I showed up Thursday night for the captain's birthday, intending not to play. But as it turned out I was needed. So I played. And then I was having such a good time I stayed and kept score until the end. There may have been some Patron involved as well.

Anyway, Wednesday's match was against a new league player. A decent shot but not familiar with the various ways you can foul or defensive strategy. I won in straight games. In my warm up game against our captain, I had a nice clean 3-ball out which I executed it exactly as I planned it. That felt good and I came to the table with a lot of confidence, and almost ran out after the break. ( In fact, two people I don't know referred to me as being confident). My focus did wane eventually, but I was able to get it back. I really like the way this captain coaches. I feel calmed having her in my corner. I wish I could generate this on my own. But lets face it team dynamics make a difference.

Thursday, I played another even race against a league veteran. Last time I played her, she beat me 0-2. I was not happy. Although, I was not set on revenge, it felt great to win. The layouts I got meant I played a lot of defense. Which means some people get irritatied. I think it was trying for my opponent. But, look, if my last two balls are clustered around one of your balls towards the end of the rack, and you keep leaving me up table so I can't try a bank. What do expect me to do? Break your ball out so you can run out? If you don't want me to play safe, then break your own damn ball out, okay? But until I figure out a way for me to win, I'm going to play defense. I am not going to smack and hope I slop something in and not scratch. I don't care how many balls you have run, I have as much right to win this game as you do. Okay, the end. (Actually this is a more general rant, than truly directed at Thursday night's opponent).

Anyway, we went hill-hill. My oponent made a fantastic long, ultra-thin cut on the eight in the second game - kudos to her. Last game the 8-ball was pinned by one of her balls along the side rail. I thought I was done for, but then she scratched. I used my last ball to get a perfectly straight shot on the 8 along the rail. I had to look at it for awhile, to make sure that the cue ball, which is only slightly smaller than the planet Jupiter, would actually slip through the obstacle ball. It did. And I put it away.

Okay, but the real significance of that last shot, was how focused I felt. I felt confident. I was aware of the perils of the shot. Hitting the obstacle. Not stopping the ball. Accidentally adding spin. But I was focused on the result. I figured out what the shot had to be. Saw it. Felt it, RELAXED and executed it.

I wanted to write more about how I'm seeing that focus has more to do with relaxing and that I'm beginning to be able to connect to confidence rather than just either feeling it or not. And how all of this and being focused on results also has to do with how I'm improving my situation at work. But, I need to go and do something non-pool related. Its Saturday after all.

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