After months of struggling with being bored by my matches and disappointed in my shooting, I'm settling into a good space with league again. I've finally accepted that as one of the lower ranked players on my team, it is for now, simply my job to play the lower ranked players from the opposing team, and win for the team.
My record against lower ranked players is not that good at the moment. When I get bored, I take risks to make things a little more interesting, and end up making mistakes that, in a short race, can mean losing. So winning means I have to make some adjustments. I've decided that in league, I'm not working on pushing the ceiling, but working on raising the floor. I'm not showing up anymore with the goal to play lights out pool. I'm trying to simply be consistent. Try to make each shot. Get some kind of shape. Play the right ball. Play safe when its smart and will win the game. Nothing fancy.
On league nights, I often show up tired and even if I'm not, if I don't feel challenged, I may not be focused. Most likely, I'm not going to be able to play at the top of my game. Instead of trying to fix this, but accept it, I've been playing better. As a perfectionist, I find this almost disappointing, but I'm enjoying league again, so I'm not going to argue with it.
So, I've found some balance in my expectations. But, in general, I've realized that if there is indeed one thing that will improve my game, it has nothing to do with my stroke, my aim, my pre-shot routine. For now, my number one pool goal is to get more SLEEP.