Bent But Not Broken
Writing my last blog left me with my arm in a sling from patting myself on the back. I noted the progress I had made and was thoroughly pleased with myself. My confidence level was high. While it’s true that I have improved, my gameplay lately has made it brutally clear that I still have quite a way to go.
Even seasoned, experienced handicappers have “off” times, but that’s been small comfort to me while I’ve been nursing a bruised and battered ego, and the self-doubt that comes with it. So what’s been wrong? Sheer bad luck? I wish I could say that was so. The onset of the holiday season? Maybe a little. It’s a busy time of year for everyone.
No, the blunt truth is I’ve been guilty of “distracta-capping”, a term used by TTE’s Anthony Trezza to describe the condition when your mind is not properly focused. I have nothing and no one to blame but myself. I knew I was improving and got cocky.
I was aware that I was getting a better idea of how my opponents play, so common sense would have been to ask “Ok, how to I use this knowledge to my advantage?” Did I ask? Nope.
I know that my inconsistency is a weakness. Did I ask for help improving my consistency? Again, nope. And the result was a severe thrashing in my tournament play.
I have a mental image of my TTE instructors rolling their eyes and groaning in irritation. They have every right.
For several days I didn’t handicap at all. What I DID do was duck out of sight, embarrassed to face them with how poorly I’d played.
But while I was busy hiding out and feeling defeated, I remembered with some fresh enthusiasm that my teachers couldn’t help me if I don’t tell them I need help. They can’t help if I don’t tell them my areas of concern. I lost sight of the fact that, at some point, they’ve all been where I am now and have no doubt felt the same way at times.
So, here I am again, bruised but ready to keep going. I’ve played lightly this week, but I’ve studied TTE Picks harder, along with TimeformUS, and have played well enough to win free entry into a $600 tournament.
What I’ve learned this time around has less to do with handicapping and more to do with myself. A certain amount of pride kept me from asking for the help I needed. It’s difficult sometimes to admit ignorance to people you admire and respect. I lost sight of the fact that they offered their willing assistance to help me toward my goal.
That being said, my pride goes in my back pocket where it belongs. Gently of course, because I AM still a bit bruised.
Until next time!