I’m not sure what’s going with me lately.  I feel like I’ve been improving, but every time I have to prove it, I fall short of the mark.  I’ve been trying to think about my game in a retrospective manner and comparing it to the recent.  After a match, specifically one I lose, I think “What happened to my game?” – then later in the night, or the next day, I try to analyse it objectively.  Right now, I’m in a bit of connundrum. I feel like my game has gotten better, but I’m losing more than I *think* I used to, and missing more shot than I *think* I used to.  I’m not exactly sure (I’m not keeping records anymore, which is part of the problem with analysis).  It dawned on me this morning that maybe I’m expecting to make more shots now, so when I miss, they stick out a lot more – whereas before I didn’t expect to make the same shots.  Maybe my game has improved, but it’s not where I *think* it is… maybe I’m expecting too much out of myself?

Last night I matched up a guy who’s about my speed, has been playing longer than me, and is in all honesty a ball or two better than me.  We played an all-around, 8-ball, 9-ball and 1P.  And again, I just couldn’t seem to get out when I should be.  I lost the 8-ball set 7-4.  I won the 9-ball set 7-4, but I lost the 1P 3-0 – and terribly.  Two games, I fought back from a 7-2 deficit to get it to 7-7 in ball-count, but I just couldn’t close it out.  Now, I know that it’s not all about the rolls, but I jarred so many balls I could open a store.  I also didn’t make him pay for his mistakes until it was too late.  The times he missed and left me a 2 or 3 ball opportunity, I blew it, either missing the first ball, or not getting shape.  I was quickly losing composure and even my “go wash my hands and breathe” trick didn’t help when the first time back at the table, I scratch.  Although we played even, every game I was essentially playing him 9-8 or 10-8 because of my fouls.  If not for those, I would’ve won 2 games and forced another. I know I didn’t play the 1P game I can play – but I also know that I didn’t have nearly the opportunity to play it.  The stack never sat right for me to find a dead one, or even to take a chance on a carom-bank.  He played an interesting style that I’m really not used to… in all likelyhood it’s the “proper” way, but I just never seemed to adequately adapt to it.  I will say, there was one point where we were jockying back and forth and I finally realized what he was doing and was able to negate his reply by changing his leave position.  That was a nice “ah-ha” for me, although I still couldn’t really advantage of it.  I just missed too many shots that should’ve been a hanger. 

The fact that we started the 1P about 4 hours after we began really isn’t an issue.  I had brought with me a few protein snack, like Shot Rokz (made by Cliff) and a Cliff Bar to help my energy up while not absorbing too much sugar.  I drank water and gatorade all night and I felt pretty good overall.  That’s definitely going to be my “long night” formula in the future.

I’d post a video or two but my phone went all sorts of crazy and recorded in chunks or just didn’t record at all.  The one match I would’ve liked to upload (the last half of the 9-ball set) it did record, but I can’t get it up to UStream for some other reasons, and Vimeo wont take and it’s too long for YouTube. *shrug*