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sports psychology 101: playing to the level of your competition

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by thumpsky, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. thumpsky

    thumpsky Regular Member

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    I had a coach who used to say, "sometimes if you set the bar too low, you'll trip over it."

    That is to say, we need a certain amount of inspiration to become mentally and emotionally activated for the task at hand.

    Has anyone here been beaten by a way lesser opponent because you couldn't even force yourself to care?

    How about playing the best game of your life because the other side was way out of your league, but you still managed to hang on?

    I think this is the big life lesson from playing competitive sports.

    Discuss

    [video=youtube;4D-PYBQQSZk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D-PYBQQSZk[/video]
     
  2. thumpsky

    thumpsky Regular Member

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    Bumped for justice
     
  3. vixter

    vixter Regular Member

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    Justice shall be served.

    Many times I've lost to lesser opponents (I guess in these moments, they were not so "lesser" :eek: The reasons for me were usually not lack of motivation, but just playing really stupid or being totally drained of energy. I just don't know when to stop.

    And isn't that true, it's so much easier to play your best when you have no pressure or expectation. How do we do to feel free like that in every match?
     
  4. Line & Length

    Line & Length Regular Member

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    Personally, I feel that there is an optimum level of "pressure" (for want of a better word). Too high & you become stressed and consistency goes out the window. Too low and you start to mess about and let the score slip.

    Of the factors which affect "pressure", there are some which you can control (own expectation) and some which you can't (level of opposition). Tailoring your own expectation to the situation enables you to get the best out of yourself.

    When playing "lesser" opposition, I remind myself that:
    1. They may not be so "lesser" or may have a good day
    2. I still have to play better than them to expect to win
    3. It's an opportunity to win by a big margin
    4. I have so little time to play, I may as well do it properly when I get the opportunity
    5. If I don't warm up/prepare properly, I risk injury which could adversely affect more than just me (e.g. missing league play-off matches)
    That's usually enough to motivate sufficiently.
     
  5. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    ^ Eustress is the word you're looking for.
     
  6. gundamzaku

    gundamzaku Regular Member

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    tho i took some drowsy allergies meds which could have been the cause for my slower reaction, i did play a pair of less experienced players and just couldn't get myself to be motivated, probably because i'm drowsy. after we lost, the only thing i could say to my partner was "sorry", because i was the weakest link on the court that day
     

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