superhuman focus

yesterday i posted a video of efren, which i called the most amazing video of efren, in my opinion.  i asked you, dear readers, to figure out why i thought that way.  i got two excellent guesses; one had to do with efren’s generosity, and the other had to do with how efren managed the entire game.  both guesses nailed certain aspects of the video, but they weren’t the reasons why i thought the video was amazing.  efren is sort of known for being a pretty generous guy, so allowing a kid to play a challenge match with him would not be too extraordinary.  as far as game management, efren is known to not leave you good shots, and there are plenty of other videos that showcase this unique talent of efren’s.  so that’s a terrific ability, but not extraordinary judging by efren’s standards.

the only thing i thought after watching the video, was how efren was able to run out (including that 9-ball bank shot) with the crowd screaming and hollering literally a foot away from him.  i dare say that a lot of pros will have trouble running out under that type of condition.

more than the kicking, the creative positioning, the imaginative combos and billiards, the one thing i want to learn most from the filipino pros is the ability to concentrate under chaotic conditions.

case in point.  some years ago i witnessed warren kiamco playing one pocket against someone for unknown amounts of cash.  the match took place at hard times bellflower.  if you’re not familiar with the layout, the room is divided into two sides: the tournament side with super-tight pockets and simonis cloth, and the regular side where the weekend warriors and kids play.  the regular side, which i jokingly refer to as the “general population side”, is much noisier than the tournament side, since the players are typically not familiar with common pool etiquette.  they tend to scream and holler, they don’t wait for their turns, they hover around the table, you name it.  that day, kiamco played on the regular side because all the tournament tables were taken.  i kid you not, kiamco didn’t even bat an eye with all the commotion going on around him.  he just shot and shot and shot, and didn’t miss.  man was playing one pocket like it was a nine-ball rack.  all the distraction, all the movement, he was not fazed one bit.  his opponent, of course, became predictably upset, and was greatly bothered by all the noises from the casual players.  the difference was drastic.

of course, a tiny drawback of such tremendous concentration may be that you can become so used to noises and commotions that you start craving for it.  roberto “superman” gomez seemed to be such a shooter.  he absolutely feeds off of crowd reactions, so much so he tries to elicit them on his own.  since he’s very friendly and good-natured, he gets away with interacting with the crowd.  below is a video i took back in 2009 at the pacmania tournament.  (and finally, there is now videographic proof that i’m 10 times lazier than omg.  it took me almost a year to post this sucker.  muahahahahaha.  i can spot omg the five at laziness.)

i recommend you watch this full screen so you can see the shots better.  i apologize for the crappy video; i couldn’t get close enough to take a decent vid and i completely bombed at the composition.  i suck.  anyway, watch how superman reacted to the crowd and the noise.

you realize this entire exercise is so i can have an excuse to post this video, right?  anyway, enjoy.  and if you know how the filipino pros can concentrate so well, be sure to share the secret.  😀

while we’re at it, here are some cyanide and happiness vids.  the language is very foul, so don’t play them at work.  or at least turn the volume down.  don’t let the boss catch you goofing off!!  😛

[oct 12 2010, 2256 hrs] i rushed this post and totally forgot to include this pic.  i had a craving for in-n-out so i got some the other day.  i’ve known about the secret menu for some time now, but i didn’t know cheese fries was part of that menu.  how could i resist?
behold, the mighty cheese fries.  honestly though, it looked much better than it tasted.  i think that after the fries were cooked, they put a slice of cheese on top of the fries to let the residual heat melt the cheese.  the cheese wasn’t completed melted, and five minutes into your meal the cheese would harden as the fries cooled.  i thought it’d taste amazing if they had put cheez whiz on top, but that’s just me.  you couldn’t fault the ingredients or the approach though.  i mean, they cooked fresh batches of fries from freshly sliced potatoes, and then put a whole fresh slice of cheese on top.  i might dislike the taste, but i couldn’t say they skimped on the goodies.

anyway, i tried it, it wasn’t bad, but i thought it could be better only because i like completely melted cheese sauce (like the cheez whiz) on top of my fries.  think i’ll stick to the neapolitan milkshakes.  😀

for more amazing fries goodness, socal locals MUST go to the hat & try their fries with brown gravy.  most people rave about their chili cheese fries, but their fries with gravy is so f~*ing good i’d order that before i even touch the cc fries.  trust me on this one.

9 comments on “superhuman focus

  1. Ha! Yes, very good point… I guess I just looked past it and took it for granted because that is a fairly typical scene in a Philipino bar (I’ve been to a few… and watching that video actually brought back memories and had me wondering if I had ever been to THAT bar). That probably gives some insight to your underlying “how do they do it” question… they grew up with it, are used to it, and just blank it out. I think ‘craving it’ is an ego-related thing that probably sits in a slightly different category than simply being able to block out noise and distractions. The two can be related, of course, but I don’t think they automatically are.

    • That probably gives some insight to your underlying “how do they do it” question… they grew up with it, are used to it, and just blank it out.

      *gasp* gary . . . are u saying . . . *gulp* that there’s no help for the rest of us??!!

      *passes out*

    • LOL Michael – I was actually thinking the same thing as I typed my comment! I’m not sure…? IMO, there’s a difference between continuous, expected mayhem and a well-timed single unexpected event. I think the former is a bit easier to tune out.

      I played a lot of sports in high school, and recall being able to completely tune out the crowd. I was the punter in football for a couple of years and remember my dad being amazed at my ability to tune out the defenders rushing in to block the kick. They never phased me and frankly, I never really saw them… all I saw was the football until it was away.

      The flash was expected, bad timing, bad direction (very edge of my peripheral vision)… perfect storm. 😦

    • shoot, i think you can fart right in efren’s face as he’s shooting & he will still make the 9. of course, his friends and fans will probably kick your a~* after the shot, but that’s another story. 😛

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