: Liz Ford
Roll Model – The Benefits of Having a Pool Guru
While learning to play pool you can chart a smoother course if you have a trusty navigator by your side. Finding a pool guru, or mentor, to guide your progress in the game can take a lot of stress off you if you're constantly wondering what to do to get better. More than telling you which shot to take, a guru can help you visualize the bigger picture, based on experience, and keep you on the track to enjoyment and success.
Here are five reasons to develop a relationship with a seasoned veteran:
1. To learn from their experience.
Experience, both good and bad, equals growth. No one can save you from the pitfalls of trial and error, but a guru can help make sure your energies stay pointed in productive directions. You'll always have minor (and major) ups and downs in your game – a mentor will keep you focused and remind you that the journey is much longer than your current slump.
2. To shows you what success looks like.
Find someone with a similar temperament to yours and follow their path. They may or may not have achieved stardom themselves, but they've likely toiled in the same ways you have and are still around the game because they've found a way to make it rewarding. For the best results, pick someone who you admire for reasons other than just good shooting - maybe because they have the mind of an eternal student or a consistently positive attitude under all circumstances.
3. To give you a support network.
Most people who are driven to get better have an emotional investment in what they're doing. This can make you passionate but can also cause you heartache. Your guru has most certainly been through rough patches so that they can commiserate briefly before guiding you on the path to recovery. It's important that they also be able to call you on your B.S. Yes-men and toadies who give your ego a constant stroke can be detrimental to you. Choose someone with enough backbone to call you out if you get uppity, your head swells too big after a win or you otherwise act like a brat.
4. To earn their respect by working hard, not by playing well.
Almost all success comes from hard work, not talent, and there really are no shortcuts. Someone who has been around the game for a long time is very aware of how many dues you have to pay in order to advance. Old-timers are able to spot future good players based on their determination and willingness to put in the hours that others aren't, not because of fancy bank shots. Just as not everyone is cut out to be a mentor, not everyone is cut out to be a mentee either – if you aren't ready to work hard and listen, then you aren't ready for a guru.
5. It's rewarding for them, too.
There are few pots of gold at the end of the pool rainbow. One of the greatest rewards is to share the game and the journey with someone who kind of reminds you of yourself when you began. Knowledge and experience are hard won and there's a natural desire to pass wisdom on to the next generation. Who knows? One day you might continue the tradition!