December 10, 2012 – Mantra

Posted: December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boy! What a week! My list of Behind The Rock Tour scores this week has shown a marked improvement resulting in some valuable benefits. It reads like this:
Tuesday I shot a 105 in “198” taking first place and $23 for the week.
Next that day I shot 53 in “220” taking second place and $35 for the week.
Saturday I shot a 72 in the First Round of the BTRT Tri-annual Tourney.
That same day, I shot a 57 to sneak into the finals by just 0.15 points.
Then Sunday I shot a 71 to take first place and $298 in the BTRT Tri-annual Tourney.
Pretty proud of myself. AND it feels really good to be able to see improvement in my game.

I attribute this recent success to three changes I’ve made. First, my new shaft that I’ve mentioned before; it’s given me inspiration and stroke consistency. Second, the time I’ve invested in drills that I’ve also mentioned before. And last, my current mantra. It goes, “Table, Stroke, Hole.” It is a reminder of the things I need to do to succeed on the Behind The Rock Tour.

“Table” means “Focus on the table.” One thing I’ve determined is that I have the attention span of a 4-month old puppy. I’m scatter-brained and the slightest commotion is enough to pull my head away from the task at hand. Someone laughs across the room and I wonder what I missed. The crack of a rack breaking and I wonder how it turned out. A waitress walks by and I wonder what she’s carrying. It takes only the slightest noise or visual distraction and the conversations in my head take a different tack and I lose focus on playing the game that is in front of me. So “Table” is my key word that tells me to make the table my world and push everything else out.

“Stroke” means “Manage your stroke.” Through my drills, I’ve learned that sometimes I get lazy and let my stroke get sloppy. Other times, when I think I need to do something special with the cue ball, my stroke gets a little crazy or downright “Wild-West-out-of-control.” Elbows fly, wrists tweak, shoulders skew, and cue sticks twist. I know I don’t have to hit anything hard, but sometimes it’s hard to remember. To keep that from happening, I have to really concentrate on the stroke I want to produce and keeping the stick movement smooth and in alignment. It’s really hard for me, so “stroke” is my reminder to keep that stroke under control.

“Hole” means “Put the ball in the hole.” Obviously, this is what the BTRT is all about. If I miss, I’m done – so all my energies need to be concentrated on putting the ball in the hole. Sometimes I get so worried about the position of the cue ball after the shot that I forget I need to make the shot in front of me first. Next thing you know, the object ball is careening off a bumper corner and that game is over. “Hole” reminds me when I’m shooting that this is the most important thing I need to focus on. That ball must go down!

We all carry thoughts in our head. Like the boisterous knucklehead in a bar with a few too many drinks in him, I believe mine tends to talk more loudly than other peoples’. My mantra is just my way of simply and quietly asking the loudmouthed knucklehead to settle down and allow me to stay in the game and focus on what needs to be done. This week it worked. I’m hoping it keeps on working!

Old “220” Average: 45.45
New “220” Average: 50.45
Goal “220” Average: 70

Old “198” Average: 54.00
New “198” Average: 79.50
Goal “198” Average: ??

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