Next match – thank you once again to my team for putting me in the situation of HAVING to win. (Gosh you guys are great). As I played this one out, I was once again feeling as if I was just going through the motions and this surreal world was taking over. It gets to double hill and my opponent’s sloppy missed shot leaves me one of the most ridiculous back cuts into a corner pocket that I’ve ever attempted. I take a time-out, confirm I’m about to take the right shot on this and get into position. Oh yeah, by the way, there is the 8-ball left on the table. I’m out if this goes, he’s out if I miss. Ready, aim, perfect execution, my ball drops and the cue ball……slowy…..doesn’t stop…..and rolls back into the side pocket. I lose. I give him f’n ball-in-hand on the 8. WTF?!?!? As my teams is still excited we got some money back and played well all weekend, I pack up my cue, shake my opponents hand and walk out of the tournament room. As I started to see and hear reality again, I feel tears of anger swelling and I swore I’d never play again.
Just as I was beginning to feel (more like KNOW) I had played some of the best pool in my life, it was ripped from me - straight from the heart!
Present day: Knowing that not playing again was really only in my head (though I probably didn’t play for almost a month after that horrid scene), it has finally occurred to me that the metal state of being in that ‘zone’ is something I need to learn to control. How do I get there when I NEED to get there? I’m not talking about focusing to win on league nights or every time I get on the table to play. I’m talking about when I’m playing and I WANT to ultimately kick your ass!
Hhhmmm, miSsioN underway!