Tag Archives: pool

Recharge to Avoid Pool Burnout

Posted on 15. Dec, 2011 by .


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.

Blistered Fingers from Bass Guitar Lessons in the summer

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!

Mike Fieldhammer


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/

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Updates from the U.S. Open

Posted on 02. May, 2008 by .


I’m currently at the 2007 US Open 9 Ball Championships in Chesapeake, Virginia where the room is chilly but the pool is HOT!

Even though the tournament room is kept so cold you can almost see your breath, the weather outside has been in the gorgeous high 70s and the pool is smokin’!

It’s Day 5 at the event and the long hours have kept me from posting sooner.

I’ve been busy taking tons of photos for Inside Pool and helping out on the set of the Inside Pool Xtreme Press Box where they’re reporting live twice a day.

Here are some highlighted photos I’ve taken so far. The rest of my work can be found at the Inside Pool Magazine Photo Gallery.
My own results were not as thrilling as I’d hoped. I lost hill-hill to a very solid Canadian player, Tyler Edey (who still happens to be on the winner’s side). I played steady and neither one of us made very many mistakes. When it was 9-9 we each missed the 9-ball. He gave me a shot after the break on the 1 ball and I ran the rack. In the last game of the match, I failed to make a ball on the break and Tyler maneuvered through nicely for the win.

My second match was against Charlie Williams on the TV Table. I’ve never experienced that kind of heat or pressure before. Due to the actual heat from all the lights, the table played extremely tough. The pressure of being on center court made the pockets play even tighter.

Even though the match was earlier in the day and the stands were fairly empty, it was still just as pressure packed.

The most memorable out of that match came when Charlie played a safety on the 8 ball while down 9-8. I shot a jump bank with my full cue leaving me a tough back cut on the 9 ball in side, which I made to tie it up 9-9.

I felt I could’ve won that match had it not been my first time playing on the TV Table. A couple mental errors and a few tight strokes due to the pressure were all that stood between me and winning that match.

Not that I’m done with the competing part of the tournament my main focus has been on taking tons of photographs as well as filming some instructional segments with Samm. These finished products will include a series of several two to three minute instructional snippets called Xtreme Instruction and can be found on InsidePoolMag.com.

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