Originally Posted by Sakkijarvi
Everyone is wired differently IMO, some are passive types, then there are highly competitive people. Some folks bring therapy dogs to hospitals for a living, some guys are into cage fighting as a profession.
I hate losing, period. And the fact that there are 'hungry children in Bangladesh' doesn't change that, tennis is compartmentalized ... when I am playing tennis. The hatred of losing drives me when I am playing one of the D1 juniors I know, and wakes me up when I am letting match slip away to a lower ranked pusher.
A lot of coaching experience here, so I am well acquainted with the nice big fake smile and handshake at the end and shutting down the intensity once you see your team has lost a game. Different in personal tennis since the clock never runs out.
Anyway, losing means breaking it down for next time. Losing brings focus and passion. You are who you are, if you accept losing, 'don't care' good for you. I don't think it makes you somehow better than someone that is intensely competitive ... although I have noticed these laid back types sometimes think their approach is somehow superior...
You hit the nail on the head with your "tennis is compartmentalized" comment... losing sucks and should be fuel for improvement etc, and ok to have passion about it... but when people let it cross over into other aspects of their life (e.g. are irritable with their family because they lost a tennis match earlier in the day), then I think that's taking it too seriously. Like you say, you have to be able to compartmentalize.