poolSynergy, volume diciassette

this is volume seventeen of poolSynergy.  welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.

the topic for volume XVII is “tournament preparation”.

for the main page of volume XVII, visit the link below.  it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.

main page for poolSynergy volume XVII

also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.


below is my post for this month.  enjoy.

this month, mr. eames wants us to talk a little about tournament preparation.  since the topic is straightforward and self-explanatory, i’ll get to it right away.

1. define your mission parameters ASAP 🙂
ten-hut!  a bit of military flavor here in honor of my fellow blogger dagz.  (hi dagz!  thanks for all you do for our country!!  :D)  what i mean here is that we should figure out what we want to do at the beginning.  am i going to the tournament at all?  am i there for the tournament or the action?  you can probably try to do both, but unless you have the stamina of an elephant plus a camel, it’s a good idea to pick just one.  this way you can give one task your complete focus and energy; the added bonus is that it’s easier to plan your activities around one goal instead of two.

2. plan your trip e~a~r~l~y (applicable only for long-distance travel)
if the tournament is within easy traveling distance, just make sure you get to the venue early so you can find parking space and have time to warm up.  i define easy traveling distance as a trip under 1.5 hours of traveling one way by any means of transportation.  (for players like omg who travel exclusively by planes, trains and buses, i’d imagine most of the tournaments require at least medium-level planning.)  if you’re going to a venue where you’ll need hotel rooms and plane tickets, set things up early so you won’t be begging for a seat at the last minute.  try to pack light so you can move your stuff easily; don’t take the house with you.  more on tip #2 in a minute.

3. do advanced scouting
assuming you’re flying to the venue to play, you’re probably looking at a tournament that’s a pretty big deal.  treat it accordingly.  find out the equipment they will be using if possible.  also, scout the area either through friends or via the internet; find restaurants and eateries that’s familiar to your palate.  things go much smoother when you don’t have to scramble to find food you can stomach at 12 in the morning.  note the nearby markets and drug stores in case you need to pick up medicines or essentials.  for those that have a smart phone, this is the time you put that little sucker to work when you hit the ground.  if you bring your laptop, google free wi-fi spots near the tourney beforehand so you can take advantage of hi-speed intarnet.  going overseas?  (holy crap, you must be a pro!  :P)  hope you have friends there that can guide you around; if not, try to get a few players to travel as a group, if you find that helpful.  get that currency issue squared away too, as well as jot down phone numbers for your credit cards and the American consulate (if there’s one) separate from your phone.  you may need it.  if passport theft is an issue, keep that baby guarded & don’t flash it around.  some cash kept separately may be helpful in case you need to replace any documents.

4. get plenty of rest throughout the tournament
no matter what your goals are, get plenty of rest throughout the tournament.  try to make the place you’re staying at as comfy as possible.  mr. fieldhammer mentioned somewhere that he would pack his pillow, which is an excellent idea.  get some practice between matches, but don’t overdo it.  don’t stay out late to drink or party; you’ll be dead tired the next day and it may cost you the tournament (or money, if you’re there for the action).  this is where advanced trip planning pays off here: if you’re the type that only sleeps well by yourself, advanced trip planning allows you to determine what kind of room to get if you’re booking a hotel room.  if you must share a room, try to make sure the person is someone you’ve roomed with before.  snorers or those with excessive flatulence are OUT.  sleep talkers can also mess up your would-have-been restful night.  you don’t want surprises at bedtime.  seriously.

5. eat lean to stay mean
for the duration of the tournament, stay away from fried or excessively fatty foods, at least before your matches.  sandwiches and salads are wonderful choices, as long as you don’t load up your sammie with gobs of mayonnaise, butter and sauces.  (i prefer oil and vinegar.)  soups are good too.  this is where advanced scouting of eateries will pay off.  if you don’t have any more matches for the day, you can eat a little heavy but don’t go crazy; that full rack of ribs with fries and two sides of sauces WILL kick your a~* the next day.  hey, you’re there to do your best, right?  eat accordingly.  oh, and be sure to grab a light breakfast so you’ll have energy later.  caffeine?  you’ll have to make a judgment call; people react very differently to caffeine.

6. stay loose
if you can, try to squeeze in some warm-up exercises like gentle stretching or a light run; if not, get some practice time before a match to warm up your muscles.  with warm up, your muscles won’t lock up as much.  and remember to breath.

7. focus on the task
concentrate on your matches.  if you start to panic, try to look only at the shot in front of you.  go back to your fundamentals in your mind and think of each step in your routine as an item on a checklist; focus on completing the entire checklist, then shoot the shot.  we all panic at one time or another; it’s only natural.  trust in your fundamentals, breath, and shoot; don’t worry about anything else.

that’s it folks.  everyone has his/her own version of tournament preparation, and it’s fine to develop a routine that’s all your own.  if you find something useful in my list, adopt it into your system.  check out the prep methods of all the other contributors this month and have fun!

this is not part of the topic, but i went to chipotle the other day and tried to get them to make a nachos for me.  they would not do it.  oh well; i thought that was a swell idea, but apparently the fine folks at chipotle didn’t share my view.  one of these days, maybe.  😛

6 comments on “poolSynergy, volume diciassette

  1. I only compete locally, so much of your piece was about things I haven’t had to think about. Yet. Great stuff to know for when I “graduate”.

  2. Solid advice. I hope to never have to play you in a tournament!

    Wait just a minute, how would I know? Maybe I’ve already played you and just don’t know it. I’m going to keep my ears open for an opponent who doesn’t speak in capital letters…

  3. Great advice. I always wondered why my George Forman training plan (cheeseburgers just prior to the match) wasn’t working. Now I know better. Also, I see that you are one of those guys who likes to go to fast food places and order things “off menu”. I bet you are a big fan of the In&Out Burger secret menu, huh? 😉

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