Burnout: The dreaded risk of quitting pool due to overwhelming pressure and exhaustion of living the tough and stressful life of a pool player.
I’ve been playing lots of pool for more than twenty years and it has been my life for the past six years. Michael Reddick’s topic of “Recharging” is vital to my lifestyle so that I don’t get burned out.
Once upon a time, I read a book that was named or had the message “Work to live, not live to work.” The message was that once you quit working, you should have plenty of interests and hobbies to keep you busy. I guess there are people out there who don’t know what to do with their time once they retire. Pool is my job, but I cultivate plenty of other areas so that I don’t feel useless or lost while not playing pool. These pursuits also relax or excite me, thus recharging me for pool.
My recharging methods vary with situation and season. Summer, large tournament on the road, or the regular grind of being in my home town busy with lessons, leagues, and local tournaments.
Summer: During the summertime, I try to do some DIY projects around my house. This summer I repaired a segment of ruptured underground sprinkler tube amongst other maintenance chores. I hauled away a couple of truckloads of tree and bush clippings with the help of a pool teammate. This summer I spent some time visiting my family too. My folks are in Arizona during the winter, so I spent some time with them in Minnesota.
I still teach pool lessons through the summer, albeit a much lighter schedule. It’s still enough to keep me in pretty good stroke, but not at top gear.
This past summer it kind of backfired. I admit I was not at all prepared for the summertime Seminole event in Canton, OH. Jesse Engel and I drove out to Fiddlestix in one day and my performance was rusty and frustrating. Usually in the fall, I’ve got a couple of weeks of leagues and serious practice under my belt before the first important tournament. Now that I think about it, my trip to Ohio was doomed to fail. I accept and learned from my mistake. The story still has a happy ending — the Monday spent riding roller coasters at Cedar Point on the way home was the most exciting day of my summer.
Big Tournament on the Road: One of the great things about traveling for tournaments is the opportunity and freedom to explore the area and do some site seeing. If possible, I try to arrive a day before a tournament to rest up. This is especially important if traveling takes more than half a day. Getting to the event with enough time to settle in, relax, and warm up on the equipment makes for a more enjoyable and usually more successful tournament outing. Think about it, if the whole ordeal of getting to and playing in a tournament is less hectic, it will certainly be less exhausting and easier to repeat in a week or in the next month. I also love staying behind an extra day or two. I enjoy watching (or preferably playing in) the finals and not having to frantically pack up and store baggage Sunday morning before matches begin. Even better, I’ve enjoyed some terrific tourism Monday or Tuesday after an event when the rest of the world is back to work.
Regular Grind in Minnesota: My routine when I’m around home is pretty pool heavy. Taking breaks, no matter how brief, help me keep my energy and interest level in pool high. I’ll watch a film, listen to music, read, or even overclock my pc as an enjoyable respite from the pool player lifestyle. It’s funny, but just last week I started playing again with an old favorite cue of mine and I watched a good portion of snooker’s UK Championship. Both of these things strangely tweaked my interest in pool and recharged my spirit and enthusiasm. I guess sometimes a little hair of the dog is the best cure for burnout!
Miscellaneous items that I am sure to have around to recharge my energy:
Crossword puzzles. A stack of them in my special clipboard.
Cooler and healthy snacks…vital for R&R in the hotel room or on the road.
Pillow—Must for good night’s sleep whether I’m home or away.
Listening to music. FLAC format please on my quality headphones.
A book or an audio book if driving.
Click this Host Link to read Michael’s into to this month’s Pool Synergy topic and to read other articles on the same topic: http://angleofreflection.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/poolsynergy-december-2011/