Some people, for one reason or another, always want to intrude upon your playing pleasure by offering up little helpful reminders. Some players seem to have a “Mom” complex and love to assume that role – even at the pool table. A number of these are:
- “Don’t forget to chalk for every shot.”
- “Stay down on the shot.”
- “Always follow through.”
The first few times you hear these reminders about good playing and shooting habits won’t be too bothersome. But after the first five or six times you are interrupted in your playing rhythm, you start getting irritated. The fifteenth time can generate much more internal anger than the fifth time.
True, some players do this, not with the intent to piss you off, but out of the kindness of their heart. In their mind, they are the Good Samaritan, stumbling upon a poor unfortunate (you) who desperately needs guidance on playing and shooting fundamentals.
They consider themselves helpful and kindly guides (and, aren’t you lucky they are there to provide help & assistance). In reality, they are naggers, plain and simple.
In the interests of good sportsmanship, you don’t want to fulfill your first impulse to reach out with your stick and poke him – hard!. You may even have to resist your “reduced, controlled-violence” reaction to hold his shirt lapels firmly in your grip.
The passive response would be to simply accept the recommendations as just another of the many elements of the playing environment. It could be easily ignored, like juke box music, or an argument about who is buying the next round.
If you like a more active approach, apply some moderate sarcasm, something like, “Thank you. Without your help I couldn’t tie my shoes.” A couple of these should indicate that you are not receptive to any kind of suggestions about your game.
If these don’t work – you can then advance your reactions to the more physical activities.
Remember, though, this shark by your opponent is intended to reduce or eliminate your abilities to focus and concentrate on shooting and winning the game. Letting your emotions simmer is letting him succeed – and helping him make you more easier to beat.