Thursday, April 5, 2007

I was THIS close.....

I lost 2 games and won only 1 last night. My worst score, in the Wednesday night league. But I am so proud of myself. That last game, even though I lost was a breakthrough for me.

I was a little nervous going up against the other team's best shooter. I had watched him execute a fine table run on a difficult table in the previous round. I had been shooting kind of average--the way I have been shooting, lately. I'm ususally strategic enough, I can still pull out a win, but I just haven't felt that I was shooting up to my potential. But this time I tried to prepare myself mentally a little differently. I didn't think about winning, but I tried to think about what it FEELS like when I'm in the zone.

I lost the coin toss and watched him break and begin to run the table. I stayed focused on the feeling of being in the zone and knowing that I had no influence on the outcome, but being ready to perform if I got a chance. And then I got lucky. He missed a position and then rattled in the pocket. One of my teammates said "you've got him now. A clean run out. You can do it."

And I had a moment of fear, felt the pressure. And then I looked at the table and I thought. Yes, I can do this. One shot at a time.

I took care of a cluster with an easy combo, and then missed, but left him safe. I was disappointed my table run had ended so early. But I stayed focused. I was lucky enough to get ball in hand. The choice of where to start was a little intimidating, but I took one shot at a time, staying in the snooker zone until I had cleaned up one end of the table and then got the position to move to the other end. Before I knew it, I was on the key ball. Not a super easy shot, but it gave me position on the 8. I had good form, good speed, and got perfect position on the eight, but I missed the pocket by a hair's breath.

I had another one more shot, but it was not meant to be, and he sunk the eight.

I keep seeing the one I missed. The nine just hitting the corner of the pocket. But I think that was probably the best run in a competitive game. I guess it was five--and it was almost seven. So, I try now to visualize the shot going in. Next time it will.

Now I know I can clear the table, and that opens a world of possibilities.

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