Day 2. Scotch Doubles. My normally supportive partner is replaced by his evil twin. He pouts when I miss. Tells me what I did wrong in the middle of the match. When I play well, and we pull off match #1 of the day, he's not excited or complimentary, or grateful for the lucky rolls. He acts like, "well, of course we should win." We lose match #2. I play well, but miss a few tough, but critical shots. He sulks, and then just takes off.
I'm probably making it sound worse than it was, but seriously, I was like WTF? I feel like crap. I went over the shots I missed again and again, and wondered, what happened? They weren't easy, but they were makable. All of them I missed by just a hair. Did I just not want to win? Did I just give it away? Did I choke? Were my fundamentals off?
After much analysis, I have come to one conclusion: I missed.
I'm tempted to look at my partner's behavior and try to figure it out. All I will say, is that I've seen his own game go south because he can't manage his feelings when he doesn't meet his own high expectations. But as a doubles partner, in the past, he's never imposed those expectations on me. Last year I played miles over my head in this tournament. This year I'm a stronger and more consistent player. I would say I played well this year, but I didn't vastly exceed my average playing ability. Maybe that was a factor. But, anyway, that's his problem to figure out.
My problem was, and is, that his attitude got to me. During the match, I think I did okay at trying to not let it bother me. The whole tournament there had been subtle changes in the way he coached and acted toward me. It was a little distracting, and I could feel it undermine my confidence ever so slightly. I don't think it affected my performance too much, but it really made it A LOT LESS FUN. Part of the reason I played so well last year, was that I let go and just really enjoyed myself.
Its hard, because, sometimes when I need a little extra confidence on an 8-ball shot, I imagine him giving me words of encouragement. Now, I feel like that's gone. Instead its replaced by his words of criticism and the look of disappointment on his face when I missed those shots. Ugh.