The Need for Addiction
Feeding my addiction has made me the successful pool player I am. The unceasing desire to achieve perfection leaves me with a never-satisfied-attitude that pushes me closer to my impossible goal.
Throughout all sports certain athletes are known for having “heart.” One such athlete, Lance Armstrong, is known for winning the Tour de France seven consecutive times as a cancer survivor. Instead of giving up when diagnosed with testicular cancer, he fought it head on, beat it, and eventually became one of the most dominant athletes of our time. Another athlete known to have “heart” is Brett Favre, a multi record-holding NFL quarterback. A day after his father died, Favre remained the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback and played one of his most impressive games while leading his team to victory. In doing so, he moved into second place in NFL history for career touchdown passes and kept his record alive for the most consecutive starts for an NFL quarterback.
Not all athletes suffer from tragic events during their careers, and among those that do not, there are some that strive for perfection when others would be content. For example, the 1972 Miami Dolphins is the only NFL team to go undefeated through the regular season, postseason, and Super Bowl. When faced with the decision to rest starters, after securing home-field-advantage throughout the playoffs, or play them in hope of finishing the season undefeated, many teams have attempted to make history. These teams risk injuries because they yearn for a perfect season of perfect games filled with perfect plays.
I have never suffered from a tragic event in my life, but I still have an addiction to reaching my full potential on the pool table. Most people view high finishes such as second or third as a success, but I still remember mistakes that cost me a title. A missed seven ball and a scratch on an eight ball cost me the 2005 Virginia State 9 Ball title. In the finals of the 2007 Junior National 9 Ball Championships I missed a nine ball and gave my opponent the confidence to cruise to victory. These haunting memories remind me of what could have been, but I use them to improve my game.
I also remember when I played poorly in tournaments I won. Thinking back on them, I tend to remember more mistakes than good shots. I remember them so I can fix them, perfect them.
Because of my addiction I want to be perfect. To win without any doubt that I deserved it. To win despite any obstacles or distractions that may be in my way. To win as the favorite or the underdog. If I do lose, to not make excuses. Instead, to view the loss as my own fault.