February 5, 2013 – Mix It Up!

Posted: February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Last summer I played in a golf league.  Every Monday night at 4:30 our team would lace up the spikes, grab our clubs, buy a beer (or several), and tee off against another team for 9-holes of pretty friendly competition.  At first, the averages and handicaps started high, but as we shook off the winter rust and settled into our old forms and habits they eventually fell, settling at a plateau that was pretty similar to where we all left off at the end of last year. 

 It was fun to be out there on those sunny Monday afternoons, swilling beer, smacking the ball, telling stories, and looking forward to the “19th Hole.”  So much so, that we’d kind of forget that we were in a competition ultimately playing for a first prize of over $1,000 for the winning team at the end of the season.  After the first couple months, we had all become a little complacent.  We were all in a bit of a rut.

 The middle of summer is when those fund-raiser scramble tournaments start coming up.  I probably play in half a dozen or so a year, and by chance, I was invited to one with some reasonably competitive guys who played at my caliber.  We knew with our team we had a shot at scoring well, so we worked at scoring that day.  We took second place in the one-day tournament and took home some loot for our effort.  It was good to be on the podium again!

 The next time I showed up for the Monday Golf League, I noticed I had just a little more desire to do well, a little more focus, a little more intensity.  The drive and competitive juices from the scramble tournament a few days earlier carried over, and as a result my average rolled off that plateau that day and my handicap started falling over the rest of the season.

 Last week, I showed up at the pool room for the weekly Behind The Rock Tour tournament night.  I bought my beer, hit some balls early to warm up, and signed up for the regular matches.  I shot OK in “198” then did poorly at “220.”  I did bad enough that I figured I needed to play another to redeem myself.  It didn’t happen.  Overall, it was a pretty blasé night for me.  I was going through the motions.  Things felt OK when I was down on the ball, but there just wasn’t that vision or drive or that something that forced me to focus and pocket the balls the way I know I can.

 The next day, DW emailed me and said “I think you need to spice up your pool life. Having a date once a week with BTRT is getting boring. You need something to spike your interest.”  I laughed and replied, “What?  Gamble?  Play One-Pocket?  Another room?  Get some instruction? Scotch doubles?  Play a tournament?”  And with that last sarcastic entry it struck me: I had done just exactly that to accidentally spark up my golf game six months ago – and it worked.  She was right: I need to do something different now to keep me fired up for the benefit of my pool game.

 “Variety is the spice of life,” as the saying goes.  I think that applies to everything.  So my suggestion is that you try something different.  It might just be the kick in the pants you need to improve your game.  Change up your competitions to get and keep that fine edge, to keep that interest so you can look forward to working on your game and improving.  To keep the fire in our bellies, we all need to mix it up!

 “220” Game –   Old Average:  50.45      New Average:  49.35      Goal Average:  70.00

 “198” Game –   Old Average:  68.33      New Average:  67.00      Goal Average:  90.00


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