Saturday, September 6, 2008

Win some - Lose some

My league matches this week were not especially remarkable. I played okay. I won once and lost once. When I focused I played pretty well, but I had a little trouble sustaining focus. In general, I didn't feel super confident at the table. I don't have much earth shattering to say about the play. So here are some random observations:

Some things I did well (mostly in my second match):

* I did check-in to see how I was feeling and tried to adjust my thinking. I stopped myself from being irritated by how "nice" my opponent was. (Its funny, I wonder if these people realize how much they succeed at sharking their opponent by doing this. Is it really necessary to apologize for leaving your opponent tough, even if you didn't mean to. We are, afterall, competing). I stopped thinking about that and focused on the game.

* My speed control was pretty good, when I thought about it. I didn't always make the shot (which is a problem), but I'm definitely getting more comfortable moving the cue ball two and three rails for position. This is a big step forward. One shot in particular, I messed up the pattern and ended up with a shot in the side on my last ball, and the 8 on the end-rail, the wrong-end rail. I almost pocketed the ball, and the cue ball came three rails, and landed almost perfect on the 8. And luckily it also ended up being a good leave (no apology was issued however).

Some things I'd like to learn from:

* I just got to get over my heavy cue ball issues. Even just warming up, I was getting grumpy. Really grumpy. Someone should organize a mud-ball banger box open championship. Playing well with this thing, is truly a skill I don't even come close to having.

* I'm improving on being more disciplined in my thinking....but that's only part of it. I want to develop my ability to get "that feeling" - focused, relaxed, positive, engaged having fun. Being in the moment. And having fun. Yes, its not Vegas. But nothing wrong with being a bigger fish in my small pond.

* I've been trying to play the table and not the player lately. I've also experimented with really not paying that much attention to the other person when they're shooting. Going back to my seat, chatting with my teammates, socializing. I've had people do it to me, and really there's nothing wrong with it, but on some level, I just think its a little disrespectful. So, I think I only end up feeling guilty about it and sharking myself. I need to focus on the match, but be a little detached while my opponent is shooting. And when I walk up to the table for my turn clear away my thoughts about the other player.

So, that's all for now....

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