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.
- How did you get into boxing?
- Why is Roger Federer regarded as the all-time best tennis player?
- Que signifient les différents chiffres sur les disques de golf frisbee?
- What is more important for a strong kick (in kickboxing), to have flexible or muscular legs?
- How often do you notice that you are playing a sport/game to win/perform and not specifically for fun when the activity is originally only done for 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 !