: Liz Ford
How to be the Funnest Pool Team, Ever!
I'm lucky enough to be the captain of three weekly APA Pool League teams. It's no secret that it takes a lot of work to create a successful team. Where that “work” is directed and what constitutes “success” might be a little different than you think, though. There's the effort required to print scoresheets, make sure that enough people show up, collect dues and stay at the match from beginning to end, but these are just administrative details. The real work lies in creating an atmosphere of enjoyment and fun for players on both teams. Success is defined as a team that's excited to be there every week and has opponents who look forward to the match.
Most people believe that winning comes first as prerequisite to enjoyment, when in reality teams that have the most fun usually enjoy the most success over the long haul. My belief is that you should be over-the-top ridiculous in pursuit of the real trophy: being named Funnest Team, Ever!
Five silly strategies for pumping up the F-factor:
Whether they're used as pre-match bonding, during-match energizing or post-match “punishment”, team push-ups have a way of cracking people up. You'll definitely be drawing attention to yourselves as a team. In the beginning everyone will look at you like you're wearing a poodle on your head, but after a few rounds the looks will be of envy because people always want to be part of the “fun team.”
2. Excessive high-fiving
When done right, your hand should hurt at the end of the evening. High-fiving for a game win is amateurish, to get to the pro level you need to high-five for your team's misadventures as well. Including but not limited to: spectacular scratches, miscues that jump the cue-ball off the table and shut-outs. It's funny how a little action and a lack of dignity can create a winning spark. Group hugs also work.
I can't emphasize enough how coming up with a great team name, funny team shirts and nicknames for everyone can add to the whimsy of the evening. The more ridiculous, the better. Instead of hearing your name and quaking in their booths, your opponents should hear you name and pee their pants.
4. Cheer for everybody
The only way to get away with cheering loudly and obnoxiously for your own team during league night is to cheer just as enthusiastically for the opponents as well. Sometimes, things get as serious and as quiet as a library - don't be afraid to get everyone loosened up with some hooting and hollering. The night will be a lot more fun.
I'm not advocating excessive drinking here and this is meant to be a last line of defense against a ho-hum evening. A round of shots, for both teams, can create a party atmosphere – um, duh. You will have reached team fun nirvana if everyone on both teams follows their shot with ten push-ups, lots of high-fiving and a group yodel!