People that respect a competitor’s success have matured their ego. Their #1 competition in life is themselves. They don’t invest time in the social network of their sport and with blinders they search for that next level of achievement. The pressure of success lies on their own shoulders and they place little value in the power of the sports “gods,” handicapping and outside interference.
And when they see another succeed it’s proof that anyone could achieve this level should they choose to apply themselves appropriately. It’s inspiration they feel, not resentment. We are not equals. Some must work harder than others to succeed. Genetics, politics & social standards demand it. Some people do work harder than others. Some are better equipped. Some are more natural for the sport and some are just luckier. That’s not sports, that’s life. The grounded ego recognizes this & accepts it.
They don’t let short-comings in any aspect of life stop them from reaching their goal and they respect other players who do the same.
Then you have the Green Monster Hosts… And I speak from experience as a witness, victim & guilty party.
You’ve won a tournament? YAY! … but just beyond the roar of applause, said champion hears from the back row, “He got lucky!” “He didn’t deserve it!” “It’s not that big a tournament!” “Look who they played, Come on!” “Did you see the rolls she got?”
You got a new sponsor! … Woohoo! “Congratulations!” is the courteous response. But buried in the green just within earshot … “She only got it for her looks.” “Who the hell is he?” “X should have gotten that, not him?” “What the hell has he done to deserve that?”
I’m sure ALL sports have these nuances. And with pool players scraping the bottom of the barrel already for the little scraps the sport can offer, any success to be had often comes with a large side of haters. It’s just envy.
I have an enormous amount of respect for the majority of players on a new pool group on Facebook called “Pool Pups.” Started by rookie player Karen Tang less than a year ago, she decided to start a group to help the players pass along information they’ve learned in their pool careers.
What’s great about Karen and the group is the unassuming openness of what’s spoken and relayed. The group has all level of players and it seems no one is ashamed of winning, losing, success, failure & growth …. Overall, the bulk of the group encompasses R-E-S-P-E-C-T for pool and the players. They encourage putting yourself out there. It’s a breath of fresh air considering the contamination of other billiard forums I used to frequent.
Recently I was reminded of foes from my past that just always seem to rag on me, my game, in general all choices I make they have a negative opinion about and though we aren’t friends, they always have my life in their conversations. I spoke to a good friend about them and his advice was something like this:
“It’s jealousy, jealousy and self-loathing. If they talk about you a lot, you must be more interesting than the other people in their life. Compare your success to theirs, oh wait, they have none. That’s jealousy, not criticism. And to retaliate is exactly what they want. They need that spark of controversy because they have nothing else. Play along and you only satisfy them. Look at them, wouldn’t you say that’s beneath you?”
I then analyzed the people that typically talk bad about other players & I notice many of them have been playing pool forever & haven’t accomplished anything at all … & they just can’t stomach seeing someone else do what they have failed at!
They redirect this self-loathing on the people succeeding. So the next time you find yourself talking about how bad this person’s game is, why this guy didn’t deserve to win, how she hasn’t earned that sponsor or he didn’t win anything important, perhaps throw yourself in the wading pool of ridicule and see if you measure up to your superior proclamations.
Are you being constructive, or are you just pea-green with envy?
My goal going forward is to apply this myself for I am not guilt free of this crime.
My friend, Tony, Pool Pups and just getting older and wiser I suppose helped me see that someone only has power over you if you let them. It’s in my control. My choice.
In pool you’ll come across these antagonistic people more and more as success finds you. Haters are present in all competitive environments. They collect like a backed up sewer, blocked by their own failures looking to taint your success. The sooner you can unclog them from your life, the more clear your mind will be to succeed, the more you’ll enjoy it & the more they’ll hate you for it.