Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cheering on a Team

One of my teammates pointed out one night, "we don't cheer much, do we?"

And that was it!

I couldn't put my finger on why there didn't seem to be any team dynamics or support.  I felt like I was ON a team, not PART of the team.

And the cheering was a major factor, I think.

The captain talked to a few of us about this - that we should prolly cheer more.  But what bothered me most was:  I didn't realize or recognize that we all weren't cheering.  :(

I could have easily helped!  Well, anyone could have.  But I felt like I could lead the clapping and kudos and cheering, and I should have been since I have the most time in the game.  I felt bad I wasn't helping the team more.

Instead, I just sat back, played my games, and felt uncomfy about the lack of support, when in reality, I could have been the shill to get my teammates more animated and excited about our games!

If you see or feel something is off, take the lead and help out!  Learn from my mistake.  And help your team by leading the cause.  It will be better in the long run for everyone involved.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A New Clutch

On my women's teams for the last several years, I have been the clutch person.

I do not mind at all anymore, and would prefer it for two main reasons in tough competitions:  (1) I feel like I can play under pressure, and (2) If I don't win, I'd like to be the teammate that can handle that disappointment.

I've written about these two things before (mental side and experience).  And the only reason for BOTH, is because I have been in those situations enough to be able to handle them now.

I mentioned to my captain the other day that we should rotate the clutch spot to a few of the girls on our team.  They get nervous when they are in that position on LEAGUE night.  Well, if they get nervous just on a league night, how are they going to be during playoffs or state events?  Sure, I would still be the clutch in those positions, but MANY times I have already won my match and we are waiting on them to finish.  This means their match is very crucial still and now they feel pressure to win and perform.

So, I suggested she rotate that final game on league nights so the girls get more experience at playing in tough situations.

Usually the best player on the team is put in the clutch position.  But, in order to get better, we need to be put in tough situations.  It doesn't magically appear - it's from lots of competition. 

As I have learned - I am only good under pressure because I have been in the position a 1,000 times now.  Because I have dogged the 8ball on the hill and learned from it.  Because I finally know what to do because of all my experiences.

So, let's not keep me in that spot all the time - let's rotate it out and give everyone the experience of being in that position.  Even if they lose, league nights are not the end of the world.  I think it's the perfect opportunity for them to practice it, actually.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Apology Accepted, and Impressive

A couple of months ago, I was running the Omega Tournament and an exchange between two players caught my attention.

During one of the matches, one of the guys was getting animated and expressing his disappointment verbally when he would make a mistake.  Or sometimes even physically by slapping his hand on the table.

He would eventually lose that match and afterwards he shook his opponents' hand and quickly walked out of the area with his things.  He didn't stick around at all and bolted.

He was pretty upset with himself.

After about 30 minutes, I hear his voice behind me.  He had walked back in (I thought he left the scene of the crime) to talk to his opponent.

"Hey, I've cooled down now.  Wanted to say I'm sorry I got so heated, but that was really a nice match and you played well.  And I wanted to wish you luck now that I've calmed down."

I thought it was really cool that he came back and talked to his opponent.  He could have easily just left and drove off, but this player isn't like that.  He genuinely likes to congratulate his opponents and wish them well, he just wasn't in the right frame of mind to be nice and friendly right after his tough loss.

He needed to cool off and after he was calmed down and no longer super upset at himself, he turned his attention to his opponent to wish them luck in their future matches.


And, he complimented his opponent in front of several people.  It was very nice of him.

More Desire For Change

While I won all five of my matches last Tuesday AND last Thursday, I did not fair so well last night.

(editors note:  I wrote this blog entry last Friday)

I put pressure on myself, which didn't help.

I was sneaking up literally decimal points away from the top shooter in the league with my 5-0 last week, so each game this week was crucial, and yet I only won 2 games.  :(

I was in a pool room I hadn't been in in MONTHS - maybe over 8 months actually.  They had a tourney and so I saw people I hadn't seen in a long time.  While I gave hugs and said my hello's as time went on in the night, I realized so passionately that I did NOT want to be there anymore.  I don't want to hang out there, I don't want to spend my time there, I don't want to waste my time there.

Then I ran into people I didn't want to see, that affected my pool game.  I realize *I* let them bother me, but I am just at this point in my life that I just don't want to be around certain pool players.   And when this girl wouldn't move out of my way for me to shoot, or when she came over to read our score sheet - she shouldn't have even been around us.  We weren't even playing against her - she just came to visit certain people (I guess).

I am pretending so hard to want to be at league, but it's not working.  And, I think that's unfair to my teammates.  They aren't getting my full potential, and I'm also very quiet and well.... melancholy-acting.  Who wants to be around that?? 

I was upset after the league last night because I'm tired of coming home late, tired of smelling like smoke, tired of drama, tired of not being happy after I leave league, etc.  I lost sleep because I know I need to do something about this unhappiness.

I have a lot of things I'm trying to work on and playing in this league is not top priority for me.  I feel bad about it because I feel like I'm letting my team down, but I'm just not happy going to this league.  And life is too short to do things you don't really want to do, right?

One of the guys there asked where I had been, and I said I was slowing down playing.  His reply was, "Yes I understand, I was in a rut too."

I countered with, "No, I'm playing really good, I just really don't want to play that much anymore."  I wrote about this before back in April.

He then went on to say he had been playing in all these weekly tourneys at local bars and placing well lately.  All I could think of is that is NOT what I want to do anymore with my evenings.

I guess it didn't help that I had looked at the ACS Texas State rules and decided I really didn't want to play in singles this year.  So, why go down just for teams? (I haven't just played in teams in a state tourney in over 15 years).  Therefore, I don't need 6 weeks on this league any more, and even mentioned to my captain last night I may not go to ACS State.  I just can't see myself spending all that money on a hotel with no reward.  Thinking of my finances for once.  

Maybe part of my angst is that I want to try and get out of debt, travel more for outdoor things, be more healthy, work on my soul (not my pool game).  I also think that because I'm not drinking, pool isn't that social for me anymore.  And, it's not fun for me.

Sure, I know lot's of people that don't drink and love league and love to play pool, so I don't think that's the main catalyst of me wanting to step away from pool.

I honestly think the main reason is (1) there are now unpleasant people in my pool circle and I just simply don't want to be around them, and (2) I just want to do other things with my life now that I have been lucky enough to have been successful the last few years in the pool arena.

Even when I won all five games last Thursday, I still couldn't wait to get out of there and get home and rest up for work.

I've said before - if I hadn't of been so successful the last few years, I'd prolly still want to play.  But I really do NOT want to be in bars playing pool into my 50s.  MAYBE every once in a while, but not every week for the next five or even ten years.

Last night was tough on my heart.  Being around people that annoyed me, not winning all my matches, wanting desperately to leave and go home, not smiling or having fun, only wishing I could quit.  And, I'm afraid that is where I am heading with this league.