Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Me, Competitive?

I played in a scotch doubles tournament last Saturday with my boyfriend.

We ended up winning the tournament.  We either dominated our matches, or it was too close, lol.  Not many inbetweens.

After our first match, the female player of the team came up to me and said it was difficult to play against me.

"Really, why?" I asked.

I *thought* she was going to say it was because we were good friends, instead she said, "Because we are both competitive.  You want to win as bad as I do.  And, so it's tough to be friendly during the match."

I laughed in embarrassment and shared, "I don't think I'm very competitive.  I mean, I don't have a killer instinct at all, for example."

I realize her point was it was tough for her to be competitive, while also being friendly (because we are friends).

I have written before about how certain people are extremely competitive.  Some even say, "we are friends off the table, not on," like my friend Lisa Marr for example.  But for me, it's tough to separate the two.

Further, while I struggled with the killer instinct in the past, I'm the type of person that has to be reminded of it, if that makes sense.  Like from Brad Gilbert's book who kinda teaches you to want to pummel your opponents.

I'll be brutally honest:   Because the killer instinct is not intuitive for me, I have to remind myself about it.  As silly as it seems. And I usually forget to remind myself, lol.

But the exchange with my friend really got me thinking about the word "competitive" in her sentence.

I don't consider myself competitive.

Why is that?

Do I want to win?

Of course!

But I don't have that killer instinct (all the time) and I just don't see myself as a competitive person.

A strong competitor, yes, but not very competitive.

Does this makes sense?

I mean, I COMPETE and I compete with all my might and I try to win, but I mostly just try to play my best under the circumstances that I can with my knowledge of the game/shots. 

I don't really see myself as a person who wants to win badly; yet obviously I do try to win.

Even the definition:
Competitive: "having the strong desire to compete or to succeed."
And when I look up the synonyms of Competitive, the words seem kinda negative to me:  aggressive, rival, cutthroat, viscous, unfriendly, hostile.  I DO like the "ambitious" and "aspiring" synonyms better, lol.

Even if I pick apart Competitive:
COMPETE definition: to strive to outdo another for acknowledgment, a prize, supremacy, profit.
Sheesh, no wonder I don't have the killer instinct!  No wonder the peeps like Lisa Marr and Jennifer Kraber and Kim Pierce have that presence during matches - THEY emulate competitiveness.  Thinking about it, I'm just a standbyer in my own game, lol.

No, I know I'm not, but I definitely don't feel like I'm very competitive. I am so docile, I can't even imagine myself that way.

Maybe that's why it's tough for me to consistently have the killer instinct inside me?  Hmmm....

Don't get me wrong, I still want to win and I still give it my all!

I do get upset if I lose a close match or if I don't play my best, or miss out on tournament titles I crave, and so I do CARE about playing pool and competing.  I mean, pool is the air I breathe.  

I know it just seems like I'm picking on the word.  When in reality, I do like competition and enjoy competing, just don't see myself as "competitive."

I know, tomato / tomahto  :)

However, look at that sentence I just wrote.   "When in reality, I do like competition and enjoy competing, just don't see myself as competitive. "

Should I use words like "like" and "enjoy" in the same sentence as competitiveness?  Shouldn't I be more aggressive or something?  Like, I want to torture my opponent or I want to beat everyone in my way" ??

Nope, not me.

I'll be the type of competitor who loves the game of pool and wants to win.  Brad Gilbert would be so disappointed in me, lol.  It's okay, writing this blog has been a very sweet reminder for me!

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