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Minor League Syndrome

After almost two months of inactivity, I finally mustered enough effort to finish my third blog entry.

Its amusing how some people with exceptional talents or at least skill sets that exceed the expectations of the norms are predisposed to feel inadequate, especially during at times where those talents are crucial for success. After watching the film Pool hall junkies starring Mars Callahan as the prodigiously gifted but notorious pool hustler Johnny Doyle, I began empathizing with the main character, reminiscing about the times of doubt in my past where I choked and failed to deliver what was expected of me. I realized that people who think highly of themselves in terms of their capabilities are more prone to choking whenever they are faced with apprehensions that tests their skill under immense pressure than of those people who think ordinarily of themselves since failure would only give them a realization of the difficulty of the task at hand and a learning experience, as opposed to a person who thinks highly of his skills and can execute the task but was unable to do so because of the pressure associated with the expectation of people, particularly of those who they revere.

The film begins as the young Johnny playing a friendly match of pool with a local hustler named Rex as they chat about the old days where hustlers rule the land or in this case the pool halls, and the pros were nowhere to be found. Johnny expressed his aspirations of becoming a professional someday, and more than that he just wanted to be the best. Fate, however, had different plans for the gifted youngster since his backer/mentor/father figure Joe would not allow Johnny to leave his sights to become a pro because he fears that he would astray from him the moment he sits on the lap of luxury that professional pool can bring. Being a selfish person that Joe is, he entraps Johnny within his clasp and indoctrinated unto him a mentality of inferiority despite his obvious talent. Fifteen years have passed, and Johnny now all grown up, is the most renowned hustler in Southern California. Assimilating Joe's principles of street smart and guile, he was controlled under a string where the potential to make money by insidiously trapping less skilled players to play against him was the priority and not the maximization of his true abilities. After discovering the truth about how Joe secretly concealed tournament invitation letters for a chance to become a pro, Johnny becomes infuriated and he deliberately dogged a shot in order to lose the game, while Joe as his backer, suffers the consequences of a beat down because of his inability to pay for the bet. This was Johnny's revenge, and a chance to start a new life away from pool since he felt it did not do him any good. After only a few weeks, Johnny was missing the game, he immediately accepts a friendly game as he quits his job at the construction site. He discovers that he loves pool so much and that he can never escape it. But it doesn't end yet as Joe returns to exact his revenge at Johnny by getting his brother imprisoned after losing to his new protege who is very skilled. In the final part of the film, an all-out battle of nine-ball pool ensues between Johnny and Joe's protege and the stake is at its highest. Johnny knows that this is the most important game of his life not only because of the money involved enough to bail his brother out of prison but because for the first time in his life, his real ability will be tested.

As future HR professionals, it is inevitable that we feel inadequate when faced by situations where there is a lot on the line and we either make or break it. What we have to learn from this and what is most important is to always keep ourselves, regroup our composure because the moment we lose ourselves is also the moment we lose everything. We must treat our failures as stepping stones for success because it is an opportunity to grow wiser and careful of future undertakings.


  1. Blogger Marc Alvin Tan | March 30, 2010 at 11:38 AM |  

    You never cease to amaze me on how you come up with such articulate posts. good job