Game Breaking Words…
Take a moment to flash back to watching
cartoons in pajamas. Do you remember “Good Conscience” and “Bad
Conscience”? Sure you do! Sitting on one shoulder whispering in the right
ear was an angel and on the other shoulder a little devil was whispering
misleading words of mischief. Consider the words Can't, If, Try, But,
Maybe, Never, and Won't as Seven Game Breakers coming from
our little devil. I hear these pesky little words all the time, and in
this economic environment, I hear them with greater frequency at the
tables more than ever. Take a moment to think about what kind of energy
these words bring to your game and how they determine your success.
Now, I'll be the first one to admit that
at times I am just as guilty as the next player for including these
sabotaging words in my playing vocabulary. I know that voicing these
words will not achieve favorable results for me at the craps table. As
winning players we have to always be mindful of what we casually voice
to ourselves or to other players because it will definitely influence
the course of our gaming performance.
I feel that it is always beneficial to
teach my students how important it is to remember that words and the
energy behind words can be very powerful in the course of their game.
What we say determines our actions. Whether our words are perceived to
be positive or negative, they definitely play a part in fueling our
The words we use consistently in the
game and to a greater extent, in our lives, definitely shape
our experiences. This fact alone should prompt us to become more aware
of what we say and eliminate the sabotage from this group of game
breakers from our vocabulary to achieve a win. In other words, we cannot
afford the luxury of a negative word.
I know when a player uses the word "can't"
with frequency he or she has blocked their performance. This particular
word is so crippling, leaving the gaming potential dormant. Whatever
dreams and desires a player has for his or her session, they will be
kept locked or buried within. With frequent use of this word, all the
player is left with is a blank slate. Completely eliminate the use of
this word and he or she will see a positive change in their game.
Confidence and intentions are big words
and are qualities essential to our performance at the tables. "If"
is such a small word that breaks down these essential qualities. The
word brings doubt and uncertainty. I do not believe there is any one
player out there that will argue with me that, when it comes to winning
at craps, confidence and intention are two qualities essential to our
The word "try" is a big
pet peeve with me. You know, either we do something or we don't. It is
as simple as that. No judgment. When a player tells me he will try,
rarely will he achieve what he attempted. I stress again, that whenever
the player states "I'll try", rarely, if ever, is anything likely to be
achieved. All you have to do is replace "I'll try" with "I will." Or, to
quote the wise Yoda, the fictional character from the Star Wars
Universe: "Do or do not...there is not try.”
"Ya, but..." It was the wise Mr. Michael
Vernon, The Professor, who taught me long ago that using the word "but"
would only negate what I wished to achieve. In relation to the game,
when we use this word conjunctively, we are basically diminishing our
potential. I've repeatedly heard this statement in my workshops, “I
want to be good at shooting craps, but it will take a lot of hard work."
In essence you are telling your mind to not focus on your desire to
become a good shooter; you are telling your mind to focus on the hard
work you will need to perform. That's a chore. Replace "but" with "and"
to get to where you wish to go. Does this make any sense?
"Maybe" is a confidence breaker. "Maybe I should stop playing at this cold
table..." The energy of doubt, indecision and uncertainty over what to
do surrounds this word. It just does not exude positivity and stuns us.
Perhaps, in place of this word we could rephrase and state: "I will stop
playing at this cold table." And, you will save lots of chips too.
When players use a word like "never"
it feels so absolute. True, in life, there are some absolutes. Yet, in
the game, using this word suggests to me that I am interacting with
a closed minded player. Seriously, your effort to evolve to greater
heights is hindered. It would be far better to use a term that keeps the
door to the winning opportunities open.
A close relative to "never" is the word
"won't". When a player conveys to me that something "won't work"
I get the feeling of unwillingness that can be quite harmful to
expanding their game. This is sad, in my view, the use of this word,
also suggests a narrow mind, which also hinders the efforts to continue
to develop winning ways.
Let me close by stating that I can add
more words to these “Seven Game Breakers”… words like, "should, maybe
and someday." My point is that when you have the desire to be a winning
player, it is so important to notice how many times you say or hear
these words at the tables and be aware of the extent how they can
influence your game. In my mind, the energy of the words represents the
difference between winning and losing. It is your responsibility to be
mindful of them… "when," not, if," winning is what you desire.
Quite a few years ago I wrote a short
article for my corner of the Dicecoach.com website. It was titled:
Minding Your Language. You can find it here:
Back then, I probably used a few of the words that are the subject of
this piece or, "maybe" not. Get the point?