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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The New Improved FastMikie

Shot some pool with El Maestro today, at Family Billiards in Oceanside, where the tables seem to produce random results from cushions with dead spots, unlevel slate, and torn cloth. It was challenging, and even laughable, but it reminded me that I need to play on such horrible conditions because this is the Real World, a world apart from the perfection of Mikie's Fun House.

It is the Real World where competitors are waiting to test me. So I must be able to play, and win, under such extreme conditions.

Afterwards, we talked at the local Starbucks, where El Maestro made it clear that I must work on my mental game. He readily admits that I can make the shots, but my overall game will improve as I improve my ability to focus and stay positive.
As an example of my failing in this regard, he referred me to my last post on this blog where I allowed myself to accept 3rd place because I was tired, and of course that is completely unacceptable.

As he is telling me these things, and reminding me that he has mentioned many times before the fact that pool is 90% mental, I found myself fully agreeing with him, and realizing that I have heard this many times, and realizing that I am one of the most positive people I know... but in the case of Thursday night, I was not positive enough to fight the fatigue, to hang tough, and to find the way to win.

I had been looking at this past Thursday night tournament as just one of many tournaments that I'll be playing on the long road to the US Amateur Championship in September. I was just going through the motions, getting some tournament experience after several months of no competition, I wasn't expecting anything extraordinary, I wasn't expecting to win, and with an attitude like that, of course, it would be highly unlikely that I would win anything.

What I learned from talking with El Maestro today is that I need to treat every shot, every game, every tournament as an opportunity to prove, and improve, my ability to focus, to concentrate, to ignore distractions, to fight like a junk yard dog, and to win.

I know I can do this. My success in business has been the result of highly focused behavior over long periods regardless of distractions and fatigue. I know that winners never quit, and quitters never win. I know that not just pool, but all of life is 90% mental. My challenge is to demonstrate that I can master the mental game.

And so it is, that on this day I do begin life again as the New, Improved FastMikie, who will never again offer an excuse, or speak negatively in any way, and will continue to look for every opportunity to improve my ability to focus and improve my mental game.

Gracias, El Maestro.



Anonymous Martin said...

Great post, just what I needed to read before heading out the door for a local 8-ball tourney!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 3:47:00 PM  

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