Play to win or play for fun?

Recently I’ve had this talk with multiple people, from close friends to mere acquaintances, and the answers I received… well interestingly enough, they varied quite a lot, but that had more to do with the genders of the people I asked than their experiences, as they all came from Basketball teams.

It should be noted that the fragmentation of my answer in gender shows correlation, not causation. Be deeply aware that one does not imply the other.

The boys were unanimous, it seemed that to them you only play to win. If you care about what you do, winning is the best thing that could happen and only losers comfort themselves in “fun”, “fun” they use as a pathetic excuse to keep coming back laying whilst leaving behind them this horrendous stench rising from their trails of mediocrity.

The girls were also unanimous, it seemed that to them, fun was the winner. Fun is the reason you are interested in your sport, and develop a passion for it. Winning, to them, comes as a secondary goal, an incarnation of high spirits, teamwork and fun.

During these casual and individual interviews I conducted this divergence of opinion was absolutely staggering, and well backed on both sides. A pattern started to make itself increasingly evident :

On both sides, it was sportsmanship that mattered. More than playing for fun or playing to win, not betraying yourself lied at the heart of a this common suggestion.

Make up your mind on what you want to do if you want to break the dilemma :

Do you want to be competitive at what you do ? Then I reckon you shouldn’t hide your failures under the all too convenient cloak of wanting to have fun.

Do you want to have fun ? Then do so and develop yourself on a personal level, but don’t hinder the ones seeking victory at all cost : Either play by their rules if you play with them, or play with people who share your mindset.

My two cents, as a gamer and competitive coder, is that your craft is most fulfilling when you have made up your mind on whether you want to practice casually or competitively. Putting these situations in black and white / straightforward perspectives is effective and convenient. I personally find fun in victory (perhaps because it comes so scarcely he he)

Have a fantastic day !

God bless you!

I’ll share with you the feelings that your “Friendly Game” performance helps you with.

When you are at your best, you’re distributing the same emotions as a child in a sand box or a puppy ripping up a pillow. Do you want a couple more examples? Well, you can think of them so much better than I can because you know your mind a lot better.

To those things you find to be “FUN”, your mind components that control your body parts work a lot better when they are at rest…more relaxed…muscles stretched longer and less bunched up.

Winning is a completely different set of emotions and thought processes. This has to do with a mathematical comparison of the number/formidableness (is that a real word?) of participants performing the same action and how they stack up to your actions. What does this have to do with your love for the actions at hand…salivation for its own sake?

Play for FUN..say I ! And the WIN will follow in the wake of your effort when the FUN is your only motivation. Those who covet WINNING for its own sake, forget the reason why they find themselves on the field in the first place. And their expertise is misguided…and could be focussed on making TAMPONS, finding a meeting to be in so that they could give orders, or any other grouping of accolades that pad their ego.

If you play whatever your life passion, LOVE is the first priority. Winning derives from that. If you put WINNING in front of what you know and love, the committed competition will win…every time.

It’s always about having fun. Winning or losing comes at last. It’s more important to learn while you play, gather experience, appreciating your opponents,try to read what’s going in minds of other players. Improving yourself game by game.

Doing these things you’ll see that you are able to concentrate more in your game rather than winning or losing.

Performance anxiety. Welcome to the human race, but the more you do it the more familiar it grows and the more confident you become until that anxiety is nothing and your ticking over like a well oiled war machine being the one whose creating that anxiety for others.