Playing for fun vs Playing to win

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comp_sci_kid's picture

When do you draw a line? It really irritates me that whenever i play a sport (whether it is basketball, volleyball or whatever) in a recreational settings, people who suck always think we should be playing for fun and not to win.

WTF?

sublimity's picture

If smashing the ball in their faces and winning is “fun” for you, there is obviously no line.

Tell them that they are indeed being competitive, just that they are competing to have the most fun or to be the most noncompetitive. Do not be fooled.

mar350's picture

since when is playing to lose fun?

ohai's picture

Winning is part of the fun, but even if you lose, isn’t it better if it’s still a positive experience?

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

thommo77's picture

show me a person who likes to lose, and I will show you a LOSER

ohai's picture

No, I mean the losing itself is not fun, but the fun of playing should offset the un-fun of losing, resulting in net positive experience.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

higgmond's picture

There is nothing fun about losing.

My job is to reconcile cognitive dissonance.

higgmond's picture

ohai Wrote:
——————————————————-
> No, I mean the losing itself is not fun, but the
> fun of playing should offset the un-fun of losing,
> resulting in net positive experience.

Maybe it “should”, but it doesn’t.

My job is to reconcile cognitive dissonance.

bchad's picture

It’s not playing if it isn’t fun. So just make sure if you’re going to send someone to the hospital that they know it isn’t for fun.

And make sure you play little kids. It’s easier to win that way, so you drive your stats up for when you’re talking to other people.

In real life, you want a “play game” to be challenging enough that you aren’t bored by playing, but also engaging enough that there actually is some uncertainty in the outcome of who is going to win.

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

Black Swan's picture

mar350 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> since when is playing to lose fun?

I get what CSK is saying, for instance, when we play open hockey sessions, we don’t keep score. It’s more backyardish. I think it’s just generally acceptable to play more competitively the better you are. It’s directly correlated to your skill level. While it’s annoying when those two factors get misaligned, the best you can do is just find guys who are at the level you want to be playing at and happy there. Then you tend to get a pretty homeogeneous balance.

redacted

comp_sci_kid's picture

ohai Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Winning is part of the fun, but even if you lose,
> isn’t it better if it’s still a positive
> experience?

What is a ‘positive experience’.

Also, what satisfaction do you get from playing if are constantly losing/looking terrible/can’t even make basic plays?

Black Swan's picture

Joy of the game man, depends on the company. If you’re out with a bunch of tool bags then sure, if you’re not playing well enough to let yourself feel superior to someone else you’re out of luck since the company sucks too. But if you really enjoy the sport and are playing with people who’re all friends, it can be a blast. When I started whitewater kayaking, I blew chunks, but still enjoyed the days out on the river and hanging with the water people. I’ll never be a competitive runner, but again, I still enjoy the experience and hanging out with the fast guys before the races and for the first 30 seconds after the start. Rock climbing, same general thing. It’s definitely possible to just have a lot of fun challenging yourself without having to benchmark it. I mean, what I love most about ice hockey is just the feeling of moving smoothly at high speed and the feeling of the cold air as I swoop in on a puck. Simple as that.

redacted

brain_wash_your_face's picture

Here is the phenomenon I think you are describing, specifically to competitive contests (not snowboarding, rec running, rec biking, etc.):

4 Possible Combinations:

1) You suck and try hard. You are able to fail without being embarrassed or beaten down because you are going to try again until get better.

2) You are good and try hard. It is fun to be invested in the game because you usually win.

3) You suck and don’t try. This is usually because failing is tough for some people to accept so if they remove their investment in the game as a serious competitor they do not have to face failure. They can say they weren’t really trying.

4) You are good and don’t try. Maybe you don’t want to embarrass the other person, or maybe you used to suck and still think you suck so you don’t want to try (stuck in bucket 3, above).

It was me.  I acted alone.  It was meticulously planned.  I let the dogs out.

mar350's picture

it really depends what you’re doing, but i think the basic guage should be level of effort. when i play sports with friends its really not fun if they’re terrible and don’t try.

the most fun you can have is if you can find someone, or a group, at the same skill level so you’re constantly pushing and pulling each other in a competitive game.

the best example i can think of is a simple game of h-o-r-s-e. you don’t have to be an nba calliber player to come up with creative shots. you just have to put the effort into making the game fun.

murders&executions's picture

comp_sci_kid Wrote:
——————————————————-
>people who suck always
> think we should be playing for fun and not to
> win.
>
> WTF?

I hate the people that suck who are playing hard. They’re fat, foul on every trip down the court, double dribble every time they touch the ball and try to go for rebounds like they are the combination or Rodman and Barkley while throwing elbows.

Listen, we all want to win but if you don’t know how to play, dial it back a little until you figure it out.

comp_sci_kid's picture

Black Swan Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Joy of the game man, depends on the company. If
> you’re out with a bunch of tool bags then sure, if
> you’re not playing well enough to let yourself
> feel superior to someone else you’re out of luck
> since the company sucks too. But if you really
> enjoy the sport and are playing with people who’re
> all friends, it can be a blast. When I started
> whitewater kayaking, I blew chunks, but still
> enjoyed the days out on the river and hanging with
> the water people. I’ll never be a competitive
> runner, but again, I still enjoy the experience
> and hanging out with the fast guys before the
> races and for the first 30 seconds after the
> start. Rock climbing, same general thing. It’s
> definitely possible to just have a lot of fun
> challenging yourself without having to benchmark
> it. I mean, what I love most about ice hockey is
> just the feeling of moving smoothly at high speed
> and the feeling of the cold air as I swoop in on a
> puck. Simple as that.

Black Swan, i get what you are saying but here is a problem.

You are not talking about team sports. I am. Especially about Volleyball.

What makes Volleyball so unique is that even 1 person on your team is terrible, your entire teams suffers enormously. In basketball you just don’t pass the ball to the sucker, but in volleyball it is very hard.

One bad person can ruin your entire game and experience.

comp_sci_kid's picture

murders&executions Wrote:
——————————————————-
> comp_sci_kid Wrote:
> ————————————————–
> —–
> >people who suck always
> > think we should be playing for fun and not to
> > win.
> >
> > WTF?
>
>
> I hate the people that suck who are playing hard.
> They’re fat, foul on every trip down the court,
> double dribble every time they touch the ball and
> try to go for rebounds like they are the
> combination or Rodman and Barkley while throwing
> elbows.
>
> Listen, we all want to win but if you don’t know
> how to play, dial it back a little until you
> figure it out.

Trying hard and playing hard are different things, but i concur, you have to understand when you suck and maybe you should just be a lone on the court and practice those lay-ups instead of ruining a good pick up game

Analyze_This's picture

Just be like Brett Favre. Play like a kid, have fun, and be a loser.

ohai's picture

Well obviously, I would not want to play basketball every day with Kobe Bryant and get destroyed. This would not be fun for me or for Kobe. However, if I were to play tennis regularly with my buddy who is a bit better than me and usually wins, that might still be fun. Like Black Swan says, the company is pretty important. Besides playing tennis, we are also hanging out and can talk about things like which of shefa or MiserableLawStdnt we would rather bang.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

Palantir's picture

I think you should play seriously, but not really be concerned about winning, I would rather play technically well and lose.

Not all men were meant to dance with dragons.

bchad's picture

As someone who was never really all that great at sports as a kid, I can speak for the fact that in team sports, you’re not always fully in control of your choice or the terms of participation. People cajole you into playing because they need a 9th or an 11th person, and you’re the only one around, or because “everyone needs to play” then they get upset when you’re not at their level of awesomeness and the other team exploits that. So I don’t get where people decide they should be all self-righteous about it.

Now, as an adult, I discovered that I am better than I was as a kid at many things. I’ll never be a pro athlete at anything, nor is that a major priority for me. I sucked at tennis because it turned out that I couldn’t see the ball, and once I got glasses, my game got better. I’m not a sprinter at all, but my endurance is now pretty good. But all those memories of being bad at sports still make atheltics, particularly team atheletics, something I instinctively resist. These days I exercise for physical and mental health reasons, but trying to crush the competition through physical prowess just isn’t my bag.

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

ohai's picture

bchadwick Wrote:
——————————————————-
>

My uncle, who is also not athletically gifted, was at one point training very seriously in curling. He figured that this was the only way that he could get into the Olympics or another international event. He didn’t make it to the Olympics, but I have to admit that that was a good concept. So maybe there is still hope for you, bchadwick, to stand among the likes of Kevin Martin and other people who are weirdly and inexplicably popular (in Canada).

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

bchad's picture

Ironically, I was pretty good at archery and riflery, which I don’t understand, because I still needed glasses, but maybe I was able to incorporate other information to compensate for eyesight (targets tended to be fixed, whereas a tennis ball was small and moving).

But I must admit, I always wondered why archery and riflery were considered sports, since I figured a sport must be something that involved physical pain and heavy breathing.

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

mar350's picture

i’m legally blind in one eye and was still played varsity baseball for all four years. they key is finding something you love as there are all different kinds of sports and games you can play and accel at. music is another thing.

if you have a crappy person on your team and the other team starts to pick on them its just bad manners. i’ve played on many co-ed teams and people who pick on bad players or girls are just sad. i don’t know how else to explain it.

thommo77's picture

bchadwick Wrote:
——————————————————-
I sucked at tennis because it
> turned out that I couldn’t see the ball, and once
> I got glasses, my game got better.

It definitely helps your tennis game if you can see the ball. lol.

I like individual sports and tennis in particular because I like the competitive side of one on one combat, me against you, no coaches, time outs, running out the clock etc. With tennis and most individual sports, there is no hiding out there. You either win or your lose.

brain_wash_your_face's picture

It’s particularly frustrating when somebody doesn’t really try in a BJJ tournament…they just tap out immediately.

It was me.  I acted alone.  It was meticulously planned.  I let the dogs out.

comp_sci_kid's picture

Palantir Wrote:
——————————————————-
> I think you should play seriously, but not really
> be concerned about winning, I would rather play
> technically well and lose.

Agree 100%, it also doesnt hurt to show the effort and desire to learn how to play technically correct

supersadface.migrated's picture

bchadwick Wrote:
——————————————————-
> In real life, you want a “play game” to be
> challenging enough that you aren’t bored by
> playing, but also engaging enough that there
> actually is some uncertainty in the outcome of who
> is going to win.

Agreed. In anything competitive that I do (and like I suspect a lot of us are, I’m pretty competitive), my absolute FAVORITE way for any competitive event to go is to win a hard fought session where:
-I win by a small amount
-My winning was in doubt, at least a few times
-My opponent played at the top of his game
-His playing so well forced me to play at the top of my game

If I can’t have this kind of competitive experience, a close second choice would be losing the event, but where it was close enough and hard fought enough that points 3 and 4 from above still applied. If your opponent played very well (and you played at the top of your game) and you lost, what can you do about it? Keep relations amicable and learn from them. A sports partner who plays well - but slightly better than you - is a valuable thing to have, in my opinion.

DarienHacker's picture

For God’s sake stay alive gents. Your loved ones depend on your getting home after the game. Winning isn’t everything. No matter how good you get, you’ll never beat Chuck Norris.

murders&executions's picture

While I don’t mind playing with someone who sucks, I can’t stand playing golf with people who are slow or who are there to just drink.

purealpha's picture

What is gained from winning?

What is lost from losing?

Nothing

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