My first APA game, I went up against a lovable old man. I didn’t want to beat him. I thought I’d “go easy on him”. But in the end, he ended up beating me and I learned a valuable lesson.
Tuesday I was up against another adorable old man, Wally. He had an oxygen tank and everything.
Me thinking – “Not this time old timer, not this time.”
I beat him. He’s actually a decent shot too.
Every opponent I’m up against, I take seriously. I take each shot seriously. I’m training my mind to “get in the zone” for each ball I go for.
Tuesday I arrived an hour early for my match and left at 2AM – way after it was over. I played a man named Dave for a couple hours after the match and towards the end of the night, I started beating him at every game. I was getting better with each game we played.
I drank a lot of beer, but it didn’t seem to effect me. I know that sounds like crap, but beer has no effect on my pool skills what-so-ever. As long as I keep my focus in check (which takes a little more effort when inebriated).
The only thing that effects my game is my level of confidence and applying everything that I’ve learned.
But the best thing that helps me sink my shots is in telling myself, “Just get the fucking ball in the hole.”
It’s like I wipe the slate clean. I don’t think about anything that I learned, and instead I focus on getting the ball in the pocket. But at the same time, I’m aware of my body mechanics and knowing the precise place to hit the ball because I learned how from past experience – it’s all there, just subconsciously there. I forget it all and focus on the main goal – to get the ball in the pocket.
I don’t know how or why this works, but it works. I want to write about it so I don’t forget it – that’s how important it is.
Get the fucking ball in the pocket, Melanie.
My favorite part of the night was arriving early for my match. When nobody else was there yet. I popped in my wireless headphones and tried making the same shot over and over again. The exact same shot, just over and over and over – whether or not I make it in.
Everyone else, they like to practice by shooting the balls wherever they lay, but not me. Same shot. Over and over.
And then I find myself with that exact same shot during a match and I think to myself, “just like practice Melanie, Just like practice.” And I make it in.
I actually have fun when I take the same shot repeatedly. I don’t get bored with it. I get confused, curious, proud, all in that order.
I love pool. I have trouble understanding why not everyone enjoys it.