Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Netherlands Adventure is on Deck

I'm the one in the picture, I am crazy...

I made the decision a few days ago to book a trip to The Netherlands.  I will be going there to work with Johan Ruysink, the official head coach of the country.  I met him while I was in Shenyang, China for the World Championships.

I have always admired, what has appeared to me, the European commitment to training and athleticism. My only gauge of this is through the European players that I've met: Physically fit, disciplined, and most importantly taking themselves and the sport seriously. Not coincidentally, their countries take them seriously, too, often paying for them to attend tournaments around the world.

For a long time I've been curious to take a closer look at what players are really doing over there: How do they train? How do they view the sport and their contribution to it? What do they think the future holds for pool?  Mosconi cuppage aside, there is no question that a generation of proper training and attitude has given the European players a great advantage over the rest of us stateside. 

When I found myself on an airport shuttle with Johan, I saw an opportunity (ie. a captive audience) to do a little investigating.  After hearing him talk about a philosophy of training already proven with a cache of champions, I decided to go experience it for myself.  Ten hours a day for five days is what I'm set to do next week.

So, why am I crazy?

I am going to be paying for this experience out of my own pocket, with some help from some gracious supporters, but mostly on my own.  I'm not sure I know anyone else who decides to do stuff like this, that's why I have to figure that I'm the crazy one.

I take myself and this sport seriously, even as WPBA events have dwindled and the BCA has withdrawn support for players to travel to world ranking events.  I would like to set an example for other American players to take themselves seriously and maybe the rest of the country will catch on.

I am still seeking contributions to help fund my insane campaign of seriousness.  In a few weeks I will be pimping a $60 contributor gift package including a sexy pic, a ten dollar PoolDawg gift certificate and a DVD lesson given by me. It isn't ready, yet, but anyone who donates $50 or more now will receive the package.  Call it a pre-sale.

You can contribute by clicking the "donate" button under the Holland thermometer, please make sure to include your mailing address and any special message you like on the picture.

Help me start dragging our comatose sport towards the light...

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