Now that my leagues are all over for the summer, it’s time to figure out what the future holds. There’s no question that I’m keeping the C&C league. It’s the most productive, and the league wherein I have the most confidence, even if I do get bumped up to an A player, it’ll just mean that I have to really focus on the matches if I wanna stay in the top 3.
As far as APA leagues; this is where it gets tricky. I don’t have a team after the summer session. I basically took someone else’s spot who wanted the summer off, so this was just a fill-in position. I knew that going in, so there aren’t any hard feelings are anything. The question though, is what do I do now? It’s impossible for me to stay on the team I’m confortable with now. I’ve met some other teams and they all seem like nice players. The real problem is my skill level numbers. Currently, I’m a 5 in 8-ball (which is because I make dumb mistakes late in the rack and hand the match to my opponent) but I’m a 7 in 9-ball (spent some time as an 8, but just couldn’t hold it). And It’s hard to field a 7 if you have any other decent shooters on the team. Now, there’s one little silver lining to all of this; whereever I go, I’ll be bringing a 2 along with me. She’s new to the league, and is only just learning the game, but loves to play. She’s made some friends at the bar and I expect it’ll be good for her to get some competition and sooner or later she’ll start making balls with some kind of regularity; if she can ever get comfortable with her stance that is. So… Here we have a 7 and a 2; the perfect offset pair addition to a team. Playing a 2 with a 7 in the same round makes it possible for the other 4’s, 5’s and 6’s to play (potentially). I expect it’ll be an easy sell as a package; but the next question is where to sell the package? What team do I approach? I’m rather picky about who I play with; but really, I guess it doesn’t matter. By nature of the APA its impossible to stack a team, so the other good players I’d like to play with just aren’t an option. There’s always an option of starting my own team; but at *best* I’d only have 3 players (including myself) and I’d need at least 2 more just to field a full round. Any of my other pool playing friends would have too high of a skill level to join me; and the only other person I’d think would be a great medium SL isn’t 21 yet. So… I might talk to my current captain and see if she has any ideas.
Then there’s the Master’s division. I struggled something fierce in this league and I wanted to quit a few times, but I just couldn’t let the equipment beat me… I’m too damn stubborn for that easy out. As frustrating as it is, and will continue to be I’m sure, I want to keep that league. I can’t say I forged any solid friendships this session with the Master’s team; mostly because I ran out of there after my embarassing losses just about every time. However, I do know of two people who would like to play in the division and the three of us could make a team; needing only a 4th for an alternate I’m guessing. Which it’s possible that one of the current team members would be willing to stay on – assuming of course that the team as it is now will dissolve. If it stays together, then I don’t have any decisions to make; I just stay there and keep my head in the game this session.
I’m feeling a new energy drive to get back to my game. Playing 3 nights a week seemed like I wouldn’t want to practice, but if anything, playing that often has shown me that I need to practice more than I did before. I need to get back to my routine, and I need to live up to my own expectations of my level of play. Lately, I’ve come to the point where there isn’t a shot on the table I don’t feel like I can make at least 80% of the time, so my pure shotmaking ability has plenty of fuel; but my confidence in choosing the best position has been shaken pretty firmly. I don’t feel like I know where the CB is going, without question. On shots where the OB is on the rail and I need to come straight across the table or just a single diamond up, opposed to 2 or 3 diamonds up – for example – I don’t feel like I can accurately and predictably control the exact path. I don’t feel like I’m hitting the CB *exactly* where I think I am; which causes issues obviously. And lastly, I don’t feel like I can bank a ball to save my life. Every bank I shoot is about 3 to 6 inches short – reliably. I’m hoping that means it’s a simple adjustment I just need to work out. Time will tell. I have a month to be the player I want to be, and a month to become the major threat the other people in the APA league thought I was going to be.
I won’t lie … I grin at the thought of people being afraid to play me. Similarly, I’m sure there are players that look forward to it – and I smile at that as well.