Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Posting Excuses Before a Tourney

People think they are so clever.

Especially when we see posts BEFORE a tournament where players proclaim their ailments, problems, worries, or excuses before hand.  Before they even get to the event!  Before they even PACK for an event!

That's one thing I just do not do.  Sure, I can provide you a million excuses after I place or play badly, but I don't normally foreshadow my own worries and concerns for all to see.

When I read all those posts and proclamations, I just think to myself they are getting ready for failure.

But, if you think about it from a psychological view, in reality they are also preparing themselves and their friends for why they didn't do well.  That really puts LESS pressure on them, right?

"Well, I did real well at the last event, but since I explained on Facebook I'm not ready because I haven't been playing and my car broke down and my right pinky nail is broken, everyone will already understand when I don't do well this time."

Obviously,  I'm exaggerating,  but I've seen these posts by at least one player before every single tourney.

I asked a psychologist friend about this and this is what he said:

"There are several reasons for people to behave like this. 
  1. The most obvious one is that they are making excuses before hand for a poor performance. They are setting up a situation where playing poorly is excusable, and if they happen to perform well, they are pleasantly "surprised" 
  2. Depending on the person, it could also be a situation where they want people to feel sympathy or guilt. Possibly in order to gain some advantage psychologically when their opponent feels bad or they just want a pity party from everyone they compete against, where an opponent might make uncharacteristic errors as a result. 
  3. Or it could just be that some people simply like to draw attention to themselves and they achieve this through their "excuse" behavior. Always bringing attention to their "excuse" whether they perform poorly or well, despite their excuse."

Some of these reasons can seem harsh, but why DO people advertise ahead of time their excuse already?   Does it help them?  Hmm..... Maybe it does...

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