A few days ago I asked my friends at AZbilliards this question and I got some really good, candid answers.
The question—“What is the worst thing that you have had happen to your game? The one thing that has had the most negative impact on the way you play.
Was it a bad beat, drugs, getting old, eyes going bad or a accident that left you impaired? Or maybe you got married to someone who didn’t share your love of the game.”
Now you might think that it is a negative question, but I have a good reason for it. How can you possibly fix the problem without knowing what the problem really is. Obviously some problems are not easily fixed, but a lot of our issues are self inflicted. And if we take a serious look at ourselves it wont take long to spot the problem in most cases. Some of us may have a bad back that has limited our ability. And some of us have had issues with drugs or alcohol. Maybe you have gotten burned out on the game or maybe you suffered a bad defeat that has sapped your will.
So whats the cure for your problem? In my opinion, most problems can be conquered. You just have to have one main ingredient, and that ingredient is DESIRE. Desire is one of the most powerful motivating forces in the world. When you have a strong desire, you can accomplish almost anything no matter what road blocks lie before you. When I first started playing this game I had an incredible desire to be an elite player. I had almost no skill, no one to teach me (that knew what they were doing!), no instructional material that was easily available like there is today. No table at home. No cue. And for the most part almost no money! But I had desire, and with that I managed to overcome the obstacles in my way. And, slowly but surely, I improved.
But then a terrible thing happened. The single worst thing that has ever happened to my game. In some way, on some level, I became satisfied. I think that after awhile I realized that trying to be the best is really hard! No matter how good I got there always seemed to be someone that came along and was better. So I got discouraged a little, and probably a little lazy too. And eventually I guess I settled. It happened so subtly that I didn’t even notice it at the time. I lost my hunger, my desire and some of my passion. When that happens your in for a bumpy ride.
Don’t let this happen to you. Never become satisfied with your level of ability. Set new goals and work hard to reach them. And if you do loose some of your desire you will need to figure out what it is about the game that gave you that desire in the first place.
For me it happened in an unexpected way. I found my desire through teaching someone else about the game. By teaching them I was able to see their improvement and the desire that grew in them made me hungry again. Watching them experience the game with fresh eyes got me excited about the game like I was when I first started. And before I knew it the game became fun again, almost easy in fact. My whole attitude was changed. Even my friends noticed that when I played I had a smile on my face instead of a scornful look of concentration (or disgust!) I was enjoying it again and that’s what it’s really all about isn’t it?
So now I am happy with myself but not satisfied and I hope I never will be!
Click here to read some of the responses from the AZbilliards community