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Bad Dress Rehearsal, Great Show

There’s an old theatrical superstition that says if you have a bad dress rehearsal you will have a great show. Well, I certainly hope the same applies in laser tag. Even though the next “show” is still a couple of weeks away, I went in treating last night as my “rehearsal” time to practice the relevant game formats and get my game polished up. I figured it’s an asset to be able to get in some practice in my home arena before I travel to compete out of state again and it would probably give me a good confidence boost to have a night just to do well at home in Syracuse first. Well…let’s just say that did NOT happen last night! XD

At the beginning of the night I made a request to play a few specific special format games including Shadows, Dead Aim and Highlander. All these games went ok, but just not good enough for me. I have high expectations for myself and need to remember that I’m not here to prove anything to anyone else. And yet I feel like I need a do-over (I suppose that’s what next week will be) because my ego got hammered all night long. The group I played with was decent and certainly made me work harder than I expected. And when that proved to not be enough (in these public games no less!) it really made me take a step back. I’m not satisfied with my own performance from last night because I didn’t meet my own expectations and I guess that just means I need another “rehearsal” to get myself back on track. However, if I’m going to have an off night it’s way better that it happen here and now when it doesn’t matter rather than later on when it counts.

It may not have helped that I got a huge build up at the beginning of the night with an introduction as a “tournament player” that always turns me into more of a “trophy target”. Personally I prefer to be underestimated at the start and over-deliver by the end. But I’m not complaining and it clearly did set the bar higher. I suppose the night both did and un-did exactly what I needed it to. It did give me a decent go around with the formats I wanted to work on. And it un-did any premature sense of “I got this” that might have been floating around in my head just because I happened to win the last time I played this event that I’m prepping for. After a game of…what was it, Royal Rumble?...when I got eliminated earlier than anticipated Tom asked me what happened with a bit of disbelief and all I could say was that this was just not my night and on some nights getting your ego beaten down is a good thing as it keeps you from becoming (fill in the blank) too full of yourself. So a little bit of humble pie can be beneficial too. I know my place in the LF spectrum and I think what I gained from last night is a reminder that even though I’m choosing to be in different kinds of competition than some others from this site, when it’s “show time” I need to be ready to play as hard as I can and not take anything for granted. So I will consider last night a beneficial practice, albeit a REALLY bad dress rehearsal and take only the positive from it to put into making a great show. :)

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