I had not been planning on entering it, and I felt rotten when I woke up the morning of the Big Quarterly 8-ball Tournament. I didn't get much sleep at all. I was listless, and unfocused, and when I tried to hit a few on my table, every shot missed by a mile. My vision was fuzzy. I figured there was no way I was going to win the tournament, so why even show up for it?
But, the deciding factor was that I kinda missed hanging with the guys who frequent the room; I hadn't competed in this tournament since I won it 9 months ago. That was the second time I won it, so I have been staying away in order to not wear out my welcome.
So, with my fuzzy vision, and well over 2 years of not practicing at all, this was a good opportunity to show up and let them beat up on me, and we can all have some good fun, and then the Next time I'll try for the 3-peat. This was my humble plan.
Strangely, I won it anyway. I wasn't happy with my game at all. I missed some shots that were inexcusable, giving my opponents many opportunities. I lost one match to "Lefty" Bob, who won it last quarter. But somehow I just hung in there until the end.
So what can you learn from all this? I guess it kinda proves what Woody Allen was saying: "80% of success is showing up". Thanks, Woody!
I was going through an old computer that I used for recording some of my practice sessions and found a file called "Pool Notes". It got me curious, so I opened it to find some thougths you may find interesting. Here it is in its entirety:
Enjoy giving each shot your full, consistent Attention.
Practice the way you want to play.
Don’t pick up the cue unless you are going to give the shot your full Attention.
1.Breathe – Oxygen: brain food
3.Self Talk: Relax, Breathe, Confident stroke, follow through
4.Walk around the table
5.Plan 3 balls ahead
6.Touch the position target
7.See the shot
a.See the shot, the stroke, the follow through
b.See the ball go into the pocket
c.See the cue ball go to the position spot
A. The night before the match:
1.Get fully rested.
B.The morning of the match
i.See yourself winning
ii.See yourself being relaxed, smiling, breathing
1.I am in the match for what I will learn from it.
2.I have all the tools.
3.I can make all the shots.
4.I have the experience.
5.I have the knowledge
During the match
a.Focus only on the table
b.Composure: Confident, Emotionless
c.Continuous positive self talk
e.Bear down from the start.
A.Everything is going extremely well
B.I am breathing easily
C.I am remaining calm and relaxed
I use my high intelligence to play percentages, see opportunities, natural patterns.
I know how to win. I have an excellent record of going undefeated.
I never give up. Never.
I have an excellent record of success in my Life.
A. When there are only a few balls left on the table, and no easy runout: