snarky’s latest post posed the question: why chicks can’t hang with dudes when it comes to pool. i believe the reason is this: perceived lower levels of expectations.
picture this scenario. the lovely ga young kim is playing (insert female pro of your choice) on tv. score is 1-1. gy steps to an open table: no clusters, no balls hanging by the tip of the side pocket, the entire rack nicely spread out. gy makes the one; the audience applauds. she makes the two; more applauses from the audience. the handclaps continue for each ball gy makes. when gy finally makes the nine ball, thunderous applauses erupt from the spectators. wash, rinse, and repeat.
now picture the same scenario, only with efren/busti/earl/mika/ortmann (take your pick) running the rack. barely any applause is heard after the run. in fact, the only time you’d hear any applause is when efren/busti/etc. does something spectacularly extraordinary.
plainly put, the perceived expectations for men pros are simply higher than those of women pros. even if the actual expectations are the same for both men & women pros, the endless puffing up and aggrandizing of the women’s game have, in my opinion, lowered the perceived expectations of what women pros should be able to do. if you watch only the wpba tv matches, the impression you’d get is that it is a big deal for a woman pro to run a rack. if you watch the men pros on tv (or accu-stats matches), running a rack is expected. (in fact, you’d look like a jacka~* if you, the male pro, don’t run that open rack.) now, the reality may be completely different, but let’s say a young female fan is watching the wpba on espn. the incessant clapping and all the talks about how women are playing great will likely cause our young fan to think, “so this is what a good female pro looks like.”
honestly, do you really think that running a rack of 9-ball will do anything to stem the tide against an efren assault? or busti? or mika? or high-offense players like hatch?
years ago i watched morro paez practice solo at hard times; this was back in the days of his prime. from 15 feet away, i watched as morro broke and ran 5-6 racks of 9-ball every inning. i watched as morro got f~*ing pissed when he didn’t break and run at least 5 racks for each inning he shot. i watched as he repeatedly ran 5’s and 6’s for two hours, the length of his practice session. morro wasn’t going for a high-run of 5-6 racks; he was going for an average of 5-6 racks per inning, and did. and back then morro wasn’t even one of the top 10 pros!!
so please, wpba, stop the incessant f~*ing handclapping. when you celebrate each shot as the most important shot in the world, you’re going to mess with some heads. (can you imagine people doing this in a women’s professional tennis match??!!) you truly want to complete on equal footing with men? no problem. adopt the same perceived expectations as the men pros, and i’d be surprised if great female players don’t suddenly sprout up like wild weeds. raise the bar. for each time you get to the table, go for running the set out. do everything you can to minimize distraction. don’t want people looking at your various fleshy bits? cover up. sore legs after an hour, or poor balance? ditch those super high heels. there’s a reason why jasmin ouschan and kelly fisher dress the way they do; they’re there to play. they understand the physical and psychological aspects of pool, and that by exposing yourselves you’ll unconsciously worry enough to cause missed shots.
there’s a reason why jasmin ouschan is one of the most feared player on wpba. you can see murder in her eyes for each shot she shoots. she expects to run out, and does, over and over. so expect more of your game, if you’re not doing it already.
btw, this works for guys too.