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View Full Version : O to excuse........Just a thought


gpeezy
06-24-2009, 09:01 AM
O to excuse......

Damn this tip, this cloth, this table, these pockets, these shoes, these pants, these balls, these, this, these, that, this! Itís always something isn't it? I say this because I'm as guilty as they come for ever missing a ball or playing bad to find fault in a outside source.
Itís never me. If I think itís me itís because of something else. I didn't eat good, ate too much, tired from lack of sleep, slept too much. It goes on and on with a lot of players. I really don't do this all the time but when I do I think about it later. What is my reason for a constant blame on an outside element? Why can't I just miss a ball and let it go? I do sometimes! There are times where I miss and sit down and wait for my next chance to redeem my last. There are other times where if its not one thing itís another. Everyone should be quite and not move until I complete my shooting. Makes me feel and even look at times Iím sure to be insane.
The question is why do we (I) do it? Iíd like to say itís because I want to keep my confidence up! Keep myself feeling like Iím playing well and it takes a freak of nature to cause me to miss a ball. Maybe itís the fear of acknowledging failure? Who wants to take their seat knowing that they dogged one? Then thereís just flat out trying to make your backer feel better. Iíve seen stake horseís sweat games as if their life depended on it. They could use a little relief from a missed ball sometimes.
Is it good or bad to do this? It sure doesnít look like a mentally healthy player when heís having a melt down (just a little exaggerated but ďmelt downĒ isnít far off) because of a waitress flagging them on a shot. When you think of it however, isnít it nice to have an excuse? What easier way to make mistakes than to have excuses for making them? Itís a lot easier to get over it when they occur. People will agree ďHeíd a made that ball if that guy would have sat still.Ē Look at the players that donít seem to ever get bothered. Ralph Souquet comes to mind. Iíve seen him play with no emotion but if he looks a tab flustered it is immediately pointed out. Earl can argue with a heckler and itís fairly normal.
I guess it comes down to playing with emotion or not. Some players can, were otherís can not. I guess it is just another add to the complexity of this game. Some have to vent in any way available and others just close it up or forget it all together.

Just a thought.

Tom In Cincy
06-24-2009, 09:10 AM
One of the most difficult accomplishments for a pool player to achieve is the grasping of the meaning of the word 'Accept'

All too often the player will not 'accept' the results of their effort/execution at the table. There has to be something to blame beside their failure to execute the shot.

No player is in the position to judge their self. Judges do that. A player can only compare their self with past performance or with other players. Either way, two of the 3 results aren't 'acceptable'. The results are either 'not as good', 'about the same' or 'better'. Most of the time, 'better' is not the answer.

pooltchr
06-24-2009, 09:18 AM
I try to spend time talking about this subject with every student I work with. Excuses simply rob a player of the ability to improve. If you missed because the table is too fast, you are powerless to do anything about it. If you missed because you shot too hard, you can correct that. If you missed because the pockets are too small, you are a victim of the equipment. If you missed because you didn't aim accurately enough, you can fix that.

When you accept the fact that everything that happens during your turn is the result of something you did or didn't do properly, you are in total control. When an outside source caused you (in your mind) to miss, you become a helpless victim.

Accept total responsibility, and you gain total control.

Steve

androd
06-24-2009, 09:51 AM
It's called looking for an excuse to lose ! many good players do it.

Big Perm
06-24-2009, 10:32 AM
Whatever it is, it couldn't be me :eek: :D

Unfortunately, it's 99% me......every rare now and again I get a bad roll or something, but that is just part of the game....."the balls roll funny for everybody"

The frustrating part is figuring out exactly which part of my game is at fault.....did put a poor stroke on it....did I have a bad stance....did I not take my time....did I take too much time....am I thinking too much....too little :D

I know it's my fault, but the hard part is figuring out what to fix as to not do it again....

DaveK
06-24-2009, 10:57 AM
If one spends much time shooting set shots and records their results then hopefully they would realize that yes, one can miss a shot. Naturally for better players there are shots that they can make 99 time in 100 tries, but other shots that they can only achieve 80 makes in 100 tries. Without this understanding I feel it can be difficult to accept misses. Note too that this form of practice, along with good observation skills, will help determin areas that need improvement / fixing.

I can't recall if it's in Inner Game of Tennis or Pleasure of Small Motions, but the concept of non-judgemental observation is extremely important to improvement. Most people are terribly judgemental, and have egos that make them think they are better than they really are ... which makes them excellent candidates to make excuses when they miss balls.

Dave

blah blah
06-24-2009, 11:21 AM
DaveK nailed the term with non-judgemental observation. When I miss a shot I try try try to spent my sitting down time thinking about HOW I missed it (not WHY): whether I hit it too fat, too thin, jerked the cue, twisted the wrist...

This worked out in perfect clarity for me one single amazing time. A guy left me safe, and it was a near impossible shot. I thought the answer out carefully, went for it... and missed the ball completely. I sat down and, rather than stew in embarrassment and bad feelings, I forced myself to concentrate on the exact shot I had when I walked up, exactly how I hit it, and exactly what the reaction was. I concluded I needed to hit the rail half a diamond closer to have made the ball. The MIRACLE is that he was not out- AND he actually left me the same exact safe again. Exact same shot. I walked up amazed but rather confident, hit it to my new way of thinking, and made it.

blah blah
06-24-2009, 11:29 AM
I'm quiet and generally look calm when I play. (And sometimes I really could care less- I'm there in the tourney tonight just because I'm always there, every night.) But I am often a basketcase of nerves/ thoughts/ emotions/ randomness underneath all of that calm blandness.

I have sharked myself on some of the stupidest thoughts and images ever. After wiping my hands clean on my own jeans, I leaned into the shot thinking "pool clothes ought to be made of terrycloth. Not a towel- like a terry cloth robe or dress. The sudden image came as I shot and missed. Or reaching for a long shot I smelled my own deoderant and thought wtf? that doesn't match the perfume! and missed.

I am deeply worried that it's another way of making an excuse to lose, but I am doing it to myself, all by myself.

Luxury
06-24-2009, 02:06 PM
I have been so sick of hearing excuses that when I started teaching my star student I drilled it into her that she should never make excuses even when she got her breast augmentation. Teaching her this has forced me to stop as well. We love it. When we lose all we can say is that they played better than us.

We have fun listening to everyone else's pathetic excuses. I think it's because pool is not a team sport and you are totally responsible that people need an excuse so bad.
I showed her the hustler and she loved Burt's take on excuses.

gpeezy
06-26-2009, 10:43 AM
I've also heard excuses that didn't necessarily have an effect of the leading cause for losing a set. I've heard players, that include myself, come up with some bs as to why they didn't play perfect. I do think it is a bad thing to dwell over spilled milk in the middle of a match to the point where it consumes your focus and craps a basket case banger. But can it actually be considered good to never find fault in yourself. Is it a level of confidence or just plain insanity?

pooltchr
06-26-2009, 11:08 AM
But can it actually be considered good to never find fault in yourself. ?

If you never admit that you did something wrong, how can you ever hope to get better? You must already be perfect to not be able to find fault with your game. And I don't think anybody has a perfect game.

Steve

inside_english
06-26-2009, 11:30 AM
O to excuse......

Damn this tip, this cloth, this table, these pockets, these shoes, these pants, these balls, these, this, these, that, this! Itís always something isn't it? I say this because I'm as guilty as they come for ever missing a ball or playing bad to find fault in a outside source.
Itís never me. If I think itís me itís because of something else. I didn't eat good, ate too much, tired from lack of sleep, slept too much. It goes on and on with a lot of players. I really don't do this all the time but when I do I think about it later. What is my reason for a constant blame on an outside element? Why can't I just miss a ball and let it go? I do sometimes! There are times where I miss and sit down and wait for my next chance to redeem my last. There are other times where if its not one thing itís another. Everyone should be quite and not move until I complete my shooting. Makes me feel and even look at times Iím sure to be insane.
The question is why do we (I) do it? Iíd like to say itís because I want to keep my confidence up! Keep myself feeling like Iím playing well and it takes a freak of nature to cause me to miss a ball. Maybe itís the fear of acknowledging failure? Who wants to take their seat knowing that they dogged one? Then thereís just flat out trying to make your backer feel better. Iíve seen stake horseís sweat games as if their life depended on it. They could use a little relief from a missed ball sometimes.
Is it good or bad to do this? It sure doesnít look like a mentally healthy player when heís having a melt down (just a little exaggerated but ďmelt downĒ isnít far off) because of a waitress flagging them on a shot. When you think of it however, isnít it nice to have an excuse? What easier way to make mistakes than to have excuses for making them? Itís a lot easier to get over it when they occur. People will agree ďHeíd a made that ball if that guy would have sat still.Ē Look at the players that donít seem to ever get bothered. Ralph Souquet comes to mind. Iíve seen him play with no emotion but if he looks a tab flustered it is immediately pointed out. Earl can argue with a heckler and itís fairly normal.
I guess it comes down to playing with emotion or not. Some players can, were otherís can not. I guess it is just another add to the complexity of this game. Some have to vent in any way available and others just close it up or forget it all together.

Just a thought.
Great points, but none of what you described is unique to pool & billiards.
We all make excuses, some in an extroverted and / or embarrassing fashion, while others choose to seethe internally.

Just last night I lost to someone to whom I can easily spot the 7.
I just told myself it was a race to 3 in 9-ball and anything can happen.
Was that an excuse? Sure it was.
Can this person play better than me? No.
But this person played better, or got better rolls, or "whatever" at the right place at the right time.

I am sure books have been written and sports psychologists have been consulted about this aspect of competition...the excuse for poor performance.

We all do it. I don't think trying to analyze why we do it will help.
I think a more productive approach may be to analyze why we react the way we do.

alstl
06-26-2009, 12:58 PM
I watched a 14.1 match between Strickland and Everlino in which Earl didn't leave the cue ball exactly where he wanted it for the breakout shot and then accused the referee of moving the cue ball while he was racking.


It was so stupid it was funny although the referee didn't seem amused.

pooltchr
06-26-2009, 01:45 PM
I think Earl probably brings a whole new meaning to the word "excuses". But I also think his personality allows him to feed of anger and perform at a higher level, so maybe it is good for him to find something he can perceive as being unfair.

I'm no psychologist, so that's just a laymans guess.

Steve

Fast Lenny
06-26-2009, 02:18 PM
I was playing a tourney the other night and had a good excuse, my cue was rattling. I was messed up from the feel of a rattling cue and how strange it felt plus I was not happy my cue was screwy but I was lucky that it was only the weight bolt that came loose. Maybe down the road I will use that excuse again. :smile:

juegabillar
06-26-2009, 02:46 PM
I try to spend time talking about this subject with every student I work with. Excuses simply rob a player of the ability to improve. If you missed because the table is too fast, you are powerless to do anything about it. If you missed because you shot too hard, you can correct that. If you missed because the pockets are too small, you are a victim of the equipment. If you missed because you didn't aim accurately enough, you can fix that.

When you accept the fact that everything that happens during your turn is the result of something you did or didn't do properly, you are in total control. When an outside source caused you (in your mind) to miss, you become a helpless victim.

Accept total responsibility, and you gain total control.

Steve


Excellent advice Steve.....

gpeezy
06-27-2009, 07:54 AM
a noisey cue would mess anyone up i would think,lol.

JimS
06-29-2009, 05:46 AM
Thank you Blackjack: "The best thing to do after you miss a shot is to keep your mouth shut." -
Cisero Murphy, as quoted by Blackjack David Sapolis

Then, as Tom In Cincy said, learn acceptance and how to mentally move on and learn from what has happened in the past... be it the very recent past or yesterday... it's all the past. Now is NOW.

gpeezy
06-29-2009, 11:47 AM
I agree that you should get over a missed shot as soon as possible. WHat I'm saying is that it's funny how many players feel a need to make excuses.