Sunday, December 5, 2010

Playing Not to Lose

Ever watch a football team go into the prevent defense with 2 minutes left in the game clinging to a narrow lead--and lose?

All the time, right?

That is why it was so satisfying when the Ravens ran out the clock on Sunday and did not provide the Buccaneers the opportunity to test their offense against the Raven's prevent defense.

But even more--I am beginning to realize that in these situations something occurs in the mind. The team or player goes form being offensive and looking to score to being defensive and trying not to lose.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am playing some of the worst racquetball of my life right now. To say that I am frustrated by my play and some of the dumb things I do over and over again would be an understatement.

Understanding that racquetball games are to 15 points (unless it is a tiebreaker which is only to 11), I am struggling to figure out why I can be down in a game one day 4-14 and comeback to win 15-14; while on another day I can be ahead 10-4 and lose 12-15.

I am doing something, changing something, thinking differently, and playing differently. I only wish I knew what it was.

I think though (especially after blowing a lead Thursday morning) it has to do with a subtle shift in focus from playing to win to playing not to lose. I go defensive and I become so focused on not blowing the lead that I forget to focus on winning the point. And, like the NFL teams I have watched so many times, I blow the lead and lose.

At least that what I think is happening.

I have to be careful not to handle everything in my life using the playing not to lose thought process--or things will get really bad.

But on the other hand--I play racquetball for fitness and fun--so is it really all that bad? The sane side of me says, no. The competitor in me says yes--it really sucks.

Hey--today is a new day and who knows what fun I'm going to have in life today.

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