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View Full Version : Do You Love Winning or Hate Losing?


JRstriker12
11-18-2009, 09:45 AM
Was reading this on Tennis.com ( http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2009/11/tk-5.html ):

For you risk a lot more when you hitch your wagon to the idea of winning instead of the fear of losing, in roughly the same way that it's a lot easier to avoid doing bad than it is to actively do good.

The desire to win is driven by hope and optimism; the hatred of losing draws to a greater degree on fear, a constant looking over your shoulder. The guy who hates losing stands in danger of becoming a hoarder, a miser. The guy who loves winning stands a chance to become rich and make others wonder how come he's so "lucky."

It got me thinking. When you go out to play - do you do so in the optimistic hope that you will win or the fear that you might lose? Don't get me wrong - hating lose is a GREAT motivator - I think some of the best really hate to lose - Jordan - the article references Sampras and Tiger.

I guess I know I'm going to lose sometime - I probably win about 50% - so I'd prefer to play because I love to win rather than hating to lose. Hating to lose could put you in a funk with one single match.

Cindysphinx
11-18-2009, 09:59 AM
Neither.

I hate playing badly and I love playing well. The final score has nothing to do with it.

I played a mixed match recently. My partner and I stank it up in the first set and went down in flames, 0-6. In the second set, we both played great and won 6-4. In the 10-point tiebreak, the opposing guy was serving to me on match point, and I had been getting aced all night. He double-faulted. We took the next two points and the match.

I was on cloud 9 about how I played in that second set. And if that guy had gotten the ball into play and won the match, that wouldn't take away anything from how proud of my play I was.

Ripper014
11-18-2009, 10:04 AM
When playing casual tennis... it doesn't matter... when I was playing tournaments... I hated losing. Winning was forgotten quickly... losing stayed with me a long time... unless I was beaten by a better player. I guess it is a good thing I only play for fun now.

jrod
11-18-2009, 10:09 AM
Interesting, but the fact of the matter is everyone will have to endure both outcomes. So while you might prefer one over the other, both outcomes are positive for the player who knows how to deal with each.

I personally like to win, but believe losing represents a greater opportunity to learn. With this approach, it's sort of a win-win deal for me, so inevitably I'm ok with either outcome.

LuckyR
11-18-2009, 10:18 AM
For what it is worth, extremely competitive (and successful) players, like Conners, were motivated by a dislike of losing. Many who follow this area closely feel it is a better motivator than the love of winning.

Loco4Tennis
11-18-2009, 10:27 AM
Neither.

I hate playing badly and I love playing well. The final score has nothing to do with it.

...............

i like this answer also, im out there to play the best tennis i can, scoring is part of the game, and winning is always nice, but loosing does not bother me too much, infact i learn from my defeats more,,, ive learned a lot :-)
i have played with people who only want to win all the time,
the worst kind of people to play with or against,
when they are winning they are happy and everything is great, but, when they loose or are losing they become something else,
they not only make the enviorment bad for themselves but ruin the mood for others arround as well

Loco4Tennis
11-18-2009, 10:29 AM
Interesting, but the fact of the matter is everyone will have to endure both outcomes. So while you might prefer one over the other, both outcomes are positive for the player who knows how to deal with each.

I personally like to win, but believe losing represents a greater opportunity to learn. With this approach, it's sort of a win-win deal for me, so inevitably I'm ok with either outcome.

good answer here as well, i feel the same way

JRstriker12
11-18-2009, 11:05 AM
For what it is worth, extremely competitive (and successful) players, like Conners, were motivated by a dislike of losing. Many who follow this area closely feel it is a better motivator than the love of winning.

As I said - some of the best competitors ever were probably more movitated by hating to lose than by their love of winning. We all know that often fear and hate are often stronger motivators than their opposites.


-----------------


I know we all play on a rec level and most of us learn to live with either winning or losing because we enjoy playing the game more than anything.

But at some level every one of us either steps on the court with the hope that things will work out and that if we lose, it's just part of the ride OR we step on the court with the attitude that the worse possible outcome would be to lose and disliking that idea more than anything.

To tell the truth, I don't like to lose, but I'm not SCARED of losing. I've gotten my behind handed to me many a time by better players and I've lost with a smile on my face because the match was a fun experience that pushed me further than most matches.

I think most Rec players would say they love to win, bacuse it's that one victory that's so sweet - such as Cindy's example.

I think most really competitve players really hate to lose more than anything else.

fe6250
11-18-2009, 11:24 AM
Interesting thread! Is it possible to love winning AND to hate losing? I think so. I think the thing that influences a lot of people in tennis is do they PLAY to win or do they PLAY not to lose?

I'm with Cindy and others that I'm much more concerned with how I play than the final outcome, but I notice that in tight matches and in some playing styles that there are players that play on either side of that coin. As I get better, I try to play to win vs. playing not to lose UNLESS I see that a person is capable of beating themselves!

JRstriker12
11-18-2009, 11:26 AM
Interesting thread! Is it possible to love winning AND to hate losing? I think so. I think the thing that influences a lot of people in tennis is do they PLAY to win or do they PLAY not to lose?

I'm with Cindy and others that I'm much more concerned with how I play than the final outcome, but I notice that in tight matches and in some playing styles that there are players that play on either side of that coin. As I get better, I try to play to win vs. playing not to lose UNLESS I see that a person is capable of beating themselves!

Very true. I guess I'm asking which one motivates you more. Like I said, I don't like losing, but I'm not scared to lose.

zapvor
11-18-2009, 11:31 AM
As long as i win against JRS i am happy :P

Xisbum
11-18-2009, 11:35 AM
I hate playing poorly, win or lose. I love playing well, win or lose, if the other person is also playing well.

To me, each individual point is a competition - can I hit one more ball back than the other person? So even in an overall defeat, there are many small victories.

Since we're being brutally honest here, I also love the look of respect I get from other players when I do something they don't think I can or should be able to do. Maybe us short, fat Rodneys are always looking for a little respect. ;-)

TheMagicianOfPrecision
11-18-2009, 11:47 AM
I cant feel happy if i lose no matter how good i play, on the other hand i very rarely lose when i play good :twisted:

JRstriker12
11-18-2009, 11:54 AM
As long as i win against JRS i am happy :P

LOL!

I hate playing poorly, win or lose. I love playing well, win or lose, if the other person is also playing well.

To me, each individual point is a competition - can I hit one more ball back than the other person? So even in an overall defeat, there are many small victories.

Since we're being brutally honest here, I also love the look of respect I get from other players when I do something they don't think I can or should be able to do. Maybe us short, fat Rodneys are always looking for a little respect. ;-)

:) (10 char)

Dgpsx7
11-18-2009, 11:54 AM
I love winning. I don't have a big problem with losing and sometimes losses are good. I had a couple bad losses during the summer to the same person and it made me turn my game around. Now my game has changed I am much more skilled than before.

Cindysphinx
11-18-2009, 12:02 PM
Since we're being brutally honest here,

Yes, let's! :)

I also love the look of respect I get from other players when I do something they don't think I can or should be able to do. Maybe us short, fat Rodneys are always looking for a little respect. ;-)

Yeah, this is really important. As you get older, less is expected of you. So if you can do something on the court that the other player(s) aren't expecting, you do get that little nod of respect.

For my gender/age, those things are getting to drop shots, running down lobs, and putting away an overhead. I feel really good when I do those things well. I would imagine that a guy or younger person might not feel the same way because doing those things is expected.

TonLars
11-18-2009, 12:15 PM
Here is an excerpt from The Lure of the Big Game written by Vince Ng:

"In competition, there are always two forces at work in a player's mind: the hatred for losing and the love of winning. Although there is always a measure of each, consider a polarized scenario in which one player is driven completely by one and the other. Who do you think has the stronger motivation to win? Surprisngly to some, it is the player with the hatred for losing. He competes to avert the imminent detrimental effect on his well-being while the other player merely competes to gain an optional reward. In other words, if the player who hates to lose does not win, he is worse off than when he started; the other player simply lost the opportunity for the additional boon of winning.

Consider Michael Jordan. As one of the greatest competitors ever, Jordan used his hatred for losing as an indefatigable source of determination. From his experience of being cut from his HS basketball team, he vowed never to come up short again. It is no coincidence that the toughest competitors are often those who have been slighted at one point in their life and now refuse to let anyone get the better of them.

The dog most sought after by fighting breeders is the so-called "cold dog". When threatened and even attacked by another dog, the cold dog resists fighting and shows neither agression nor submission. In essence, it is unafraid and feels unthreatened by his opponent. This is known as Gameness. A deeply game dog is slow to fight, but once started, will never stop fighting until death. It has the desire to succeed and overcome despite any hardship or against any odds. Gameness is the will to win. In the pit, the game dog refrains from engaging until it is absolutely necessary. In humans, this is a largely invisble trait. Society and its many facades often hides true grit and courage behind the hype and image. While posers must rely on intimidation and other theatrics, the deeply game individual has the confidence that he is not afraid of laying it on the line. For him, tennis boils down to his worth. He vows never to let an opponent best him. He fully understands the implications of confrontation. He does not have an easy way out of the match and is thus a reluctant competitor. He fights out of a certain necessity, a necessity to win. It will end either in complete victory or complete defeat. After most wins, there is no jubilation, no celebration, only relief. He has fought to live another day.

A dog that always attempts to fight in any condition during the match is considered the most prized fighter. In tennis, there is no clock. You yourself determine your own fate. you must answer to each game and point every time and struggle it out with your opponent until the bitter end. There is no compromise, nothing is spared. If you cannot win, then you must accept loss."

jrod
11-18-2009, 12:19 PM
Here is an excerpt from The Lure of the Big Game written by Vince Ng:

"In competition, there are always two forces at work in a player's mind: the hatred for losing and the love of winning. Although there is always a measure of each, consider a polarized scenario in which one player is driven completely by one and the other. Who do you think has the stronger motivation to win? Surprisngly to some, it is the player with the hatred for losing. He competes to avert the imminent detrimental effect on his well-being while the other player merely competes to gain an optional reward. In other words, if the player who hates to lose does not win, he is worse off than when he started; the other player simply lost the opportunity for the additional boon of winning.

Consider Michael Jordan. As one of the greatest competitors ever, Jordan used his hatred for losing as an indefatigable source of determination. From his experience of being cut from his HS basketball team, he vowed never to come up short again. It is no coincidence that the toughest competitors are often those who have been slighted at one point in their life and now refuse to let anyone get the better of them.

The dog most sought after by fighting breeders is the so-called "cold dog". When threatened and even attacked by another dog, the cold dog resists fighting and shows neither agression nor submission. In essence, it is unafraid and feels unthreatened by his opponent. this is known as gameness. A deeply game dog is slow to fight, but once started, will never stop fighting until death. It has the desire to succeed and overcome despite any hardship or against any odds. Gameness is the will to win. In the pit, the game dog refrains from engaging until it is absolutely necessary. In humans, this is a largely invisble trait. Society and its many faces often hides true grit and courage behind the hype and image. While posers must rely on intimidation and other theatrics, the deeply game individual has the confidence that he is not afraid of laying it on the line. For him, tennis boils down to his worth. He vows never to let an opponent best him. He fully understands the implications of confrontation. He does not have an easy way out of the match and is thus a reluctant competitor. He fights out of a certain necessity, a necessity to win. It will end either in complete victory or complete defeat. After most wins, there is no jubilation, no celebration, only relief. He has fought to live another day.

A dog that always attempts to fight in any condition during the match is considered the most prized fighter. In tennis, there is no clock. You yourself determine your own fate. you must answer to each game and point every time and struggle it out with your opponent until the bitter end. There is no compromise, nothing is spared. If you cannot win, then you must accept loss."


Not surprising...evolution-based genetics dictating things. Key here is "survival".

TonLars
11-18-2009, 12:22 PM
Not surprising...evolution-based genetics dictating things. Key here is "survival".

Yes indeed, youre exactly right. And at the same time, evolution has edged out this quality for the most part through quick aggression and submission

Mick
11-18-2009, 12:24 PM
guys,
it's better to have played and lost than never to have played at all :)

losing is not important to me, i am not a pro. playing at my best level is more important to me.

OrangePower
11-18-2009, 12:43 PM
I like winning. I hate losing. I'm certainly not afraid of losing.

Definitely hate of losing is a bigger motivation for me than like of winning.

I tend to play my best when I'm losing, even if I'm playing a better player and don't have a very realistic chance of winning. Even in that case I'm very motivated to keep the margin of defeat as small as possible.

On the other hand, when I'm winning, I tend to play only well enough as I need to in order to win. Meaning I don't feel motivated enough to play my best in order to increase my margin of victory.

Also, I'm more motivated after a loss than I am after a win. After a loss, I'm generally ****ed off, and determined to learn from the experience so that I can do better next time. Whereas after a win, I rarely look back and try to analyze why I won (even though that would be a good thing to do).

fe6250
11-18-2009, 01:57 PM
I always say, any day I can play tennis is a good day.

Well said! I have an injury that is keeping me from playing at the moment and I'm out for a couple more weeks - so any tennis is good tennis right now!

Mick
11-18-2009, 02:17 PM
Anybody who thinks they're gonna win every tennis match is delusional.

well, some of the guys i know would make sure that they would win by only playing against players who they can beat.

at first, i thought there was only one guy like that but later on i found out there were many more players like that.

i can beat most of the players i know but my doubles partner cannot, so we are very popular with these guys. in the matches they would hit all the balls they can to her.

when she's not there and i get a better doubles partner, they say flat out that they don't want to play :shock:

ttbrowne
11-18-2009, 02:18 PM
This thread relates to a comment about Fed and how he looks at playing. Evidently he's on the "loves to win" side. But he is one of a kind and can handle all that it brings with it.
Me? I just love to play well. I used to hate to lose but I'm over that now.

goran_ace
11-18-2009, 02:46 PM
I absolutely hate losing. Anytime I step on the court I expect to win.

LuckyR
11-18-2009, 05:09 PM
Here is an excerpt from The Lure of the Big Game written by Vince Ng:

"In competition, there are always two forces at work in a player's mind: the hatred for losing and the love of winning. Although there is always a measure of each, consider a polarized scenario in which one player is driven completely by one and the other. Who do you think has the stronger motivation to win? Surprisngly to some, it is the player with the hatred for losing. He competes to avert the imminent detrimental effect on his well-being while the other player merely competes to gain an optional reward. In other words, if the player who hates to lose does not win, he is worse off than when he started; the other player simply lost the opportunity for the additional boon of winning.

Consider Michael Jordan. As one of the greatest competitors ever, Jordan used his hatred for losing as an indefatigable source of determination. From his experience of being cut from his HS basketball team, he vowed never to come up short again. It is no coincidence that the toughest competitors are often those who have been slighted at one point in their life and now refuse to let anyone get the better of them.

The dog most sought after by fighting breeders is the so-called "cold dog". When threatened and even attacked by another dog, the cold dog resists fighting and shows neither agression nor submission. In essence, it is unafraid and feels unthreatened by his opponent. This is known as Gameness. A deeply game dog is slow to fight, but once started, will never stop fighting until death. It has the desire to succeed and overcome despite any hardship or against any odds. Gameness is the will to win. In the pit, the game dog refrains from engaging until it is absolutely necessary. In humans, this is a largely invisble trait. Society and its many facades often hides true grit and courage behind the hype and image. While posers must rely on intimidation and other theatrics, the deeply game individual has the confidence that he is not afraid of laying it on the line. For him, tennis boils down to his worth. He vows never to let an opponent best him. He fully understands the implications of confrontation. He does not have an easy way out of the match and is thus a reluctant competitor. He fights out of a certain necessity, a necessity to win. It will end either in complete victory or complete defeat. After most wins, there is no jubilation, no celebration, only relief. He has fought to live another day.

A dog that always attempts to fight in any condition during the match is considered the most prized fighter. In tennis, there is no clock. You yourself determine your own fate. you must answer to each game and point every time and struggle it out with your opponent until the bitter end. There is no compromise, nothing is spared. If you cannot win, then you must accept loss."


Vince's intro to this chapter is the most accurate description of why I play tennis.

snoopy
11-18-2009, 05:58 PM
I find hate a greater motivator than the aspiration to be the best I can be.

retlod
11-18-2009, 06:51 PM
I don't like losing, but I don't mind being beaten.

Ken Honecker
11-19-2009, 01:18 AM
I fall into the camp with Cindy and others who don't mind losing but want to have played a good game. I do hate to beat myself and it might bother me for a few minutes if I double faulted my way out of a match point but really I have a cornerbacks mentality where I don't think I'm going to be beat no matter how much better the other player is. I am enough of a realist to know that anyone playing any kind of rec sport isn't very good, particulary in the lower levels, so why should they be bothered when they encounter someone better.

Barry767
11-19-2009, 04:40 AM
I am with the majority, I want to win, I hate to loose, but I don't mine loosing to a better player as long as I play to my ability.

What I hate is loosing to a lesser of a player because of my poor play. Or at least I think he is a lesser player!!!

TheMagicianOfPrecision
11-19-2009, 04:51 AM
I have 2 guys that i practice with on a regular basis, the one cheats like crazy and the other one is always late, sometimes im in such bad mood before we even start to practice that i can feel that today will be terrible...thats not a nice feeling.

JRstriker12
11-19-2009, 06:30 AM
This is what I'm talking about - a quote from Vince:

In competition, there are always two forces at work in a player's mind: the hatred for losing and the love of winning. Although there is always a measure of each, consider a polarized scenario in which one player is driven completely by one and the other. Who do you think has the stronger motivation to win? Surprisngly to some, it is the player with the hatred for losing. He competes to avert the imminent detrimental effect on his well-being while the other player merely competes to gain an optional reward.

People are coming all wishy-washy like, I don't care if I lose or win, I just want to play well. That's all good, but in the end, people compete to win or to "not lose" at the very basic level.

So if you are of the mind of, I don't mind if I lose, I just want to play well, then you are probably in the "love to win" camp - winning is just an optional reward.

"Loving to win" is totally different than focusing on winning during the match, or "expecting to win everytime you play."

Loving to win is saying that you are willing to endure a loss, the bumps and the bruises, to have a chance at winning - and that you love of getting a chance to win is greater than fear of losing.

On the opposite end, a person who fears losing, losing is almost like a personal assult, a devaluation of thier self worth that they cannot tolerate.

tfm1973
11-19-2009, 07:14 AM
cindy / xisbum / and any others who only care about playing well --

no criticism but in my opinion you are not by definition competing. competition means somebody wins and somebody loses. and competition implies that both parties want and desire to win.

if your motivation is merely to play as well as you as an individual can -- then the winning or losing is incidental. it's possible that you care a little bit about winning, but it's not even close to being your #1 motivation. it's more likely a case of, "felt like i played really great tonight. kinda cool that i won too."

i think i'm a very competitive person. when i was younger i think i used to play to win. and i was motivated by a fear of losing. it's interesting that when you are afraid of losing, wins are not nearly as enjoyable. you find a weakness and you exploit it. lather rinse repeat.

i think at some point i must've stopped (at least in tennis) being so competitive. i became like cindy and xisbum and care more about just playing well with only a medium level of wanting to win. its definitely more enjoyable this way.

my 2 cents.

split-step
11-19-2009, 07:39 AM
I'm strongly in the 'I hate losing' camp, in life in general but it extends to tennis.

It makes me very competitive in my field and consistently pushes to always look over my shoulder and keep improving.

It applies to my tennis as well. I can't tell you how many times, this attitude has helped me break opponents when they are serving for a set or match.

My extreme dislike for losing means that when I lose a match, I analyse the heck out of the match for the reasons I lost and work on them extensively so a similar loss doesn't happen again.

Xisbum
11-19-2009, 08:13 AM
cindy / xisbum / and any others who only care about playing well --

no criticism but in my opinion you are not by definition competing. competition means somebody wins and somebody loses. and competition implies that both parties want and desire to win.

if your motivation is merely to play as well as you as an individual can -- then the winning or losing is incidental. it's possible that you care a little bit about winning, but it's not even close to being your #1 motivation. it's more likely a case of, "felt like i played really great tonight. kinda cool that i won too."

i think i'm a very competitive person. when i was younger i think i used to play to win. and i was motivated by a fear of losing. it's interesting that when you are afraid of losing, wins are not nearly as enjoyable. you find a weakness and you exploit it. lather rinse repeat.

i think at some point i must've stopped (at least in tennis) being so competitive. i became like cindy and xisbum and care more about just playing well with only a medium level of wanting to win. its definitely more enjoyable this way.

my 2 cents.

Dude, I love you like a brother, but...

http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_stupid/Slow_Motion_Razzberry_/#149463

:lol:

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-19-2009, 08:19 AM
I try as best as I can and if I get beat I say too good. Even if I have just played like utter schit. Its just not worth getting upset over. I have been there and done that.

35ft6
11-20-2009, 11:41 AM
These days, I hate competing period. When I'm just hitting, it's pure joy. When I start keeping score, I'm reminded of how sloppy my tennis has become.

Xisbum
11-20-2009, 05:20 PM
These days, I hate competing period. When I'm just hitting, it's pure joy. When I start keeping score, I'm reminded of how sloppy my tennis has become.

Amen, brother, amen. But despite TFM's Freudian analysis, I do like to compete when it's time to compete. Just not quite as good at it as I was when I wore a younger man's clothes. (Sorry, Billy) :)

J011yroger
11-20-2009, 09:19 PM
Funny topic, and I have a strangely related thing that bothered me a bit several weeks ago.

For those who don't know, I am an absolutely huge Yankee fan.

After they won the world series, I kind of shrugged, flipped off the TV, and went to bed.

The next day at work, I was thinking, "Why bother even watching or being a fan, I am better off not caring, since I get so upset, and it absolutely kills me when they lose, but I am completely neutral when they win."

Immediately I paralleled this to tennis. If the only possible emotion change is being upset at a loss, or being the same after a win, and you can't win all the time, then you are constantly going to be in an emotional deficit.

So why play? Do you just love competing, and so while you are playing you are happy?

Interested to hear especially Tony's response to this since I know that losses stay with him for a long time, do you get a corresponding amount of happiness or satisfaction from winning?

Basically, what is it that makes it worth playing?

J

Ken Honecker
11-21-2009, 02:20 AM
Setting aside all the stuff like excercise, playing with your friends, and the oohs and ahhs from the covey of girls admiring my elegance for me it is the simple act of hitting the ball and hopefully having it do what I want. That's old Ken, young Ken savored pummeling strangers into submission.

SuperLotto
11-21-2009, 04:59 AM
It depends on the person. I used to be the type that hated to lose and for me it was a very negative way go on the court. If I get out there w/a positive attitude and pumped because I love to win, I am much more energetic.