April TCOM – Jack Elkins!

Introducing our April Team Captain of the Month, Jack Elkins! Jack is Team Captain for team Sticks and Stones (8 & 10-Ball) and plays for San Antonio UPA managed by UPA League Operator, Arthur Sexton.

Jack’s Player Dashboard Stats:
8-Ball OS: 3
10-Ball OS: 4
8-Ball Team Ranking: 123
US Rank: 8-Ball – 742; 10-Ball – 95
Member since: 1/12/2016

How did you get started with pool and leagues in general?

I’ve been playing my whole life, my family has always had a pool table and then when I was in the military there was always a place to play on base. I got introduced to playing competitively back in 2014 and it was actually Art Sexton (current League Operator) who convinced me to join up on another league before he started UPA. I fell in love with the game and have been playing ever since.

How did you get started with the UPA?

When Art announced he was going to start up a UPA league, I knew I was going to captain a team for him. Art is a great guy with a lot of passion for the sport and absolutely loves the game. He loves sharing his knowledge and is absolutely present and that was something that bothered me about the other league I played on, I never saw the LO one time throughout the years I played in that league.

What is your favorite part about playing in a UPA league?

I like how structured it is and that I get a chance to play better players, still have a good shot to win or at least steal some points and/or learn something new. I feel like the UPA is the best parts of other leagues, eliminating the sandbagging and offering fair handicapped play. Our league is really fun and although everyone wants to win, it’s really just about being able to get out and have a good time.

What do you like most about being a Team Captain?

I enjoy leading (not necessarily control). We have our core group of guys and have been shooting together for a while now, however I do like getting other people involved and showing them what UPA is all about.

What qualities do you think make for a good Team Captain?

Understanding different player needs all while growing, learning and getting better. A TC should be a good people person and ensure everyone is having fun. You have to be honest and not be afraid to sit someone out if they need to be sat.

What are some challenges you’ve faced being a Team Captain?

Keeping core players in the summer can be difficult as a lot of kid and family activities keep players busy and not able to play as much. I also travel with my job and can be out weeks at a time, so it can be hard to balance at times.

What advice do you have for future UPA Team Captains?

Being a Team Captain isn’t a lot of work, just a little extra effort. Don’t be afraid to spend extra time with players and make sure you’re there every week, whether you’re playing or not. It sets the example for the other players on your team.

How do you use the PD to help your game or your players improve?

I pay attention to my own dashboard and was actually just looking at it wondering why I’m not using all this wonderful information to help my players! I also just noticed the new Speedometer, that’s really cool.

Describe your playing style in one word:

Erratic. I’m on the cusp of mastering a couple of things and then I make mistakes on simple stuff like staying down. I enjoy playing but haven’t committed to practice.

How has playing in a UPA league evolved your game?

Playing with better players has made me look more than just 1 to 2 shots ahead. Now, I’m always looking to run out and I like that I’m able to see the run. It’s also fun to watch and learn from the better players and see how their thought process works.

What do you feel is your greatest pool playing accomplishment so far?

The other night I was able to make an amazing 10-Ball shot for the match win with the help of our team go to guy, Mike Risinger. I had to kick to the far rail back into my object ball to pocket the 10-Ball. Mike told me if I hit the shot exactly as he told me to, that I would make it and I did! I also finally made my first 10-ball on the break, however my opponent turned around and did the same on the next game.

We look forward to meeting both Jack’s 8 and 10-Ball teams in Vegas to compete for both prize funds. Thank you Jack for your time and best of luck to you guys as you prepare for some fun competition at Nationals!