Pretty much hit the nail on the head for me. Everyone has their individual goals and definitions of "better" in any hobby (hell, this was the moral of Pokemon X/Y, where 4 kids all had different visions of what they wanted to do), and being the biggest streamer, best designer, an avid collector, etc. are all noble and respected paths.
I chose the path (at least to start) of being an encyclopedia of pinball rules because when I love something I kind of over-study it. Once the skills started to catch up, I decided I wouldn't rest until I reached the upper heights of competitive play. I know that somewhere inside i have the ability to make it, but it's going to take working on the finer points until the wheels come off.
On this path I know exactly what I'm capable of. I know I can nuke games, but to make that last rung I need to find the consistency in those scores. At some tournaments, knowing the "capability" vs "reality" gap gets frustrating if I'm going into the tournament to prove that I can reach that level. Sometimes this is muttering "stupid moves get stupid scores" when I had a good-ish game because I know that wouldn't stand in Pinburgh A Finals. Other times it's frustrated shouting and doing my best imitation of Jesus Quintana when Iron Man bricks a perfect ramp shot due to a mushroomed magnet and leads a good shot into an unsaveable drain. I can't prove anything to myself if I don't get to play!
Exactly. I swear and get frustrated one minute and I'll be back to normal the next. Just have to get the willies out so it doesn't impact my next ball or make me be a miserable grump!
Sorry for the wall of text, but that G$ statement hit close to home from a competitor close by and I thought I might as well give the viewpoint of someone who gets frustrated sometimes and may be a Stone-lite with regards to the self-talking aspect. Do with that as you will.
At Pinvasion this was the most elegant solution I've seen. Each bank is in a green masking tape box, and all the chairs are on the border of the box opposite the pins. A few dollars now will save you for the player hassle later!