Now that the doubles tournament is over, I have returned to the normal one-on-one league matches. Its kind of interesting to see the contrast.
When my partner and I were playing our best, it really felt like one person playing, not two. I didn't overthink. I didn't play too conservatively. I beared down when I really needed to without fear of selling out. Now, I am back to being truly only one person, and I think I'm a stronger player, but I sometimes feel like I'm two people battling over which shot to take.
Last night, in league I saw the difference. I took the first game easily--I focused, planned my run out and executed. Second game I had a lapse of concentration and a funny layout--that one slipped away. Case game I had a makable out, and a couple of different ways to go. Neither was perfect, so I chose the slightly harder first shot, thinking "Its okay if I miss this, he can't get out." Had I been in the same situation in Vegas, I would have never thought that way.
I think I chose the right pattern, but I had never noticed before how much I let down on my execution when I go for a two-way shot. I can see that I do this a lot. Whether I take the make-it-or-sell-out route or the better-safe-than-sorry pattern, I should be putting my all into getting the f*%k out. I missed twice trying to play two-way shots. I didn't miss by much and I left him tough both times. The last time, as I prepared for my next turn at the table.... he made two banks in a row, and got the f*%k out.
Lesson learned. Thanks. I plan to bring a little more of my Vegas doubles identity to the table with me next time.