So, after last week’s post about needing to get more practice, I didn’t actually make that goal.  What did I do? I made an all-around game with a local kid who shoots okay, but I had to give him some serious weight to make it fair.  I wanted to make it tough for me so I would be forced to really bear down.  I also wanted to make it a game that would he feel comfortable taking.  I think I gave hime a little extra weight in one of the games, but not all of them.  The game was this: 3 sets. 8-ball race to 7, spot him 4 games. 9-ball race to 7, spot him 3 games, one-pocket race to 3, 10-6 ball count.

I felt like that was pretty fair game, maybe even to his advantage – definitely the 8-ball spot.  The spectators that know both of us agreed it was a pretty fair match, and tough for me. We got started around 10pm, after both of us had been there a few hours already.

I’ll spare all the gorey details, but that’s because I can sum it up really easily: I might as well have spotted him 6 games and the break with bih and 4 shots.  I completely forgot how to play.  Maybe I was tired, or hungry by that time, or just had used up my mental energy earlier in the day, but it was exhausting, frustrating and most of all, embarassing.  He won the first 3 games of the 8-ball, so that closes out that set.  In the 9-ball set, I played a little better, not much, but far too often, I left him with 2 ball outs, or jarred the 9.  He got that one as well.  We started the 1p match and I was perhaps a bit over-confident, knowing he doesn’t play, at all.  Had only played a few matches the week prior, but was interested in it.  I guess he did some homework because he was playing really – really well.  Almost never shooting at his hole, and always clearing out mine.  He got the first 2 games from me and was on the hill for the 3rd set.  I finally decided I had had enough of this crap, and even though he got the rolls the first 2 sets, I was going to close this out.  I played tough, tight, and pretty smart.  I was able to get it back to hill-hill when he conceded the set at 2am because he couldn’t stay any longer to play the final rack.  Sure, I’m happy to get one set’s worth of cash back, but I really wanted to finish it out.  The only good thing is that I know I can get another game with him.  I intend to do just that, in a month’s time.

Of course, this game, after last week’s ridiculous league performance, has done nothing for my confidence.  It has, however, solidified my drive to spend all of my pool room time doing meaningful things instead of jacking around with doubles one-pocket for fun and entertainment.  Tomorrow is league night, and so I will spend tonight on bar tables. I don’t even want to play anyone on them really, I just want to run drills. Speed drills, stroke drills, position drills, shot-making drills.  Get back to the way I used to practice, alone.  I gotta do something.  I’m regressing, no progressing and it’s driving me insane.