Are you a fighter or a competitor?
A fighter is someone who hates to lose and will shout, scream and go nuts in many ways if he or she is losing. This person is out of control and as a result makes a constant stream of ‘bad’ decisions, both tactically and shot selection wise.
Good competitors are not overly-affected by the imminent prospect of winning or losing and remain in the ‘battle’. They are aware of the score and what is happening in the match and they are planning and scheming to find a way to succeed.
Certainly, fighters are highly motivated to succeed, but they are unable to see a clear path forward and that hinders their ability to succeed, although sometimes, they may be able to pull through on sheer grit.
Good competitors are always focused on competing and problem solving, while fighters are more focused on themselves and often whining and complaining about how poorly they are playing.
Fighters are often looking for a reason for why they are losing. They will constantly make excuses and will very rarely take responsibility, beyond saying ‘I played terribly’, which is more of an escape than taking responsibility.
Good competitors are generally more comfortable with themselves and that allows them to compete until the match is over, while fighters are insecure and looking for a way out.
My understanding is that you do not choose to be a competitor or a fighter. Your actions and behaviour reflect who you are.
If any change is to happen, we must first be able to clearly see the games mind plays to protect ego. We need to clearly feel what is happening to us as we play.
There is a chance of change only if we bring more awareness to our experience as we compete and then have the ability to be brutally honest to ourselves about that experience, without judgment.
It may not be easy to admit that we are constantly making excuses for losses or poor play, but to go deeper and see the role that these excuses are playing could help.
It may not be easy to feel the pain of anger, frustration, nervousness and all the other symptoms that fear reflects, but to recognize them and see what these emotions are doing for us can be helpful.
The journey of self-discovery is an arduous one, but can be truly ‘enlightening’ for those who embark upon it!
Explore, experiment and enjoy!