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Old 01-01-2020, 02:34 PM
Armus Patheticus Armus Patheticus is offline
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Default Mental Competition

In an earlier thread I tried to work out the value of recreational competition. I still find competitiveness meaningless and unfulfilling, but many of you believe it to be a harmless or important part of disc golf. If competition is a striving against other competitors, does "sportsmanship" allow the mental aspect of this contest to be involved?

Since I don't care if I win or lose, playing disc golf tournaments is a fine opportunity to observe people. The impact of intercontestant interaction is difficult to quickly observe and evaluate, thus difficult to exploit over the course of a few hours, but it's fascinating to try.

If competition is good, is it ok to extend it to mind games? If so, do you do so? How? With what results?
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:02 PM
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DinosaurThunder DinosaurThunder is offline
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I will preface - I don’t compete in PDGA sanctioned events or leagues.

I play 2-3 times a month in a league with 10 others. Everyone in the league drafts a course to play, sets the course rules, sets two CTP holes, chooses pars etc. Each person contributes a sum of money and this creates the CTP pool and ace pool. I have known half the group for 10 years and the other half half less than 2 years. **** talking is encouraged, we follow only a handful of PDGA rules seriously, etc.

My mind games are different depending on the competitors in my group. If it’s someone I have known for 10 years, I say cheeky things like “nice up shot” when they miss a close putt, when we walk up to lies I will point out the OB or what’s beyond the basket on purpose to mess with them and if I know I’m teeing first I like to ask “is it my tee?” a subtle jab. I do some jawing as we walk down the fairways if someone has an errant shot. I also have inside jokes with many of them from over the years and like to throw those in. I sound like an arsehole in this post, but they all do the same back to me. More often than not it tilts someone just slightly and even I get tilted at times if I’m having a rough round. But at the end of the day we can all laugh about it with a post round lunch/beer

For those I have known less than 2 years, I like to question their disc choices with a slight grin, constantly ask “what’s the distance on the hole?” “What’s the distance it plays like” “did you all notice the OB over there?”. Basically talk a lot and ask a lot of nonsensical questions to get in their head for slight tilts, especially on the CTP holes for cash. they all dish it back to me as well.

I don’t see any problems in playing mind games. Granted I’m not sure I would pull many of these antics in a formal tournament setting. When I did play sanctioned events. I found myself being the one tilted by the people in the intermediate division who took each round like the world championships with their non stop rule quoting, lining up shots for 45 seconds, And not really wanting to chat across two hour rounds - making for extremely boring afternoons. I wouldn’t call these intentional mind games by any means but they worked on me lol.

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Old 01-01-2020, 03:47 PM
mopar mopar is offline
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I find when I play with my friends for casual rounds (I am better than them, I have been playing for a lot longer) I dont focus as much as I could and dont play as well...which is fine.

As soon as we make a bet or put something on it, I focus and they cant beat me...like not even close.

But then I end getting up by a bunch and I revert back to not focusing again. Its not fun for anyone when I beat them by a lot.

But when we are screwing around and drinking one of them will beat me maybe half or a third of the time. I flub a few putts and one of them has a good round and they beat me. I'm good with it. It keeps them coming back.

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Old 01-01-2020, 04:47 PM
swhite swhite is offline
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I operate on the premise that competition is an absolutely necessary part of human culture. It is how we determine who is a competent plumber, or lawyer, or surgeon, or financial advisor. Or even the best of any of these if that is important to us.

And, I think it is right that we keep the concept of being competent in our activities, and always strive to be better.


In regards to mind games, I will accept for the sake of argument that such activities might sometimes be productive, for instance to lighten up the mood of a gathering.

My disc golf experiences, however, are similar to mopar's, in that the people I play disc golf with are generally not very accomplished players. It is actually kind of hard to find others who are as crazy about this activity as I am, and are persons with whom I would want to spend a couple of hours. So, I have learned that I should be able to win a round of disc golf with my friends most of the time. When playing with them, if my drive is the best of the group, I will accept the commendations that some might offer, because I do not believe in pretending that one's effort was not the best.
But, if we keep score, and I win by 10 strokes again, there will be no joy for me in pointing that out to them. And, if I were to decide to play mind games with any of them during play, ostensibly to adversely affect their performance, then that is not something that I will ever be be able to look proudly on.
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:22 PM
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tallpaul tallpaul is offline
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Theoretically, you're going to get two sets of results here; one from regular tourney players; and one from more recreational players.

I will predict that your results will be highly skewed towards non tourney players (as not many regular touring tourney players post on DGCR.)

Tourney players that might respond would be unlikely to provide true data, for a variety of reasons. (And, even amongst regular tourney players; you are really only after a small percentage whom would provide you with a quality answer.)

Here is a post that in one succinct response; that provides all the information you really need: (I'll leave out the poster's name)

Quote:
I've noticed that I only foot fault when I'm in the lead by a small margin, or I am in second place and threatening to overtake first coming down the last couple of holes.

At least, that's the only time it's ever called on me. Weird, huh?
end thread...
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:22 PM
Armus Patheticus Armus Patheticus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swhite View Post
I operate on the premise that competition is an absolutely necessary part of human culture. It is how we determine who is a competent plumber, or lawyer, or surgeon, or financial advisor. Or even the best of any of these if that is important to us.

And, I think it is right that we keep the concept of being competent in our activities, and always strive to be better.


In regards to mind games, I will accept for the sake of argument that such activities might sometimes be productive, for instance to lighten up the mood of a gathering.

My disc golf experiences, however, are similar to mopar's, in that the people I play disc golf with are generally not very accomplished players. It is actually kind of hard to find others who are as crazy about this activity as I am, and are persons with whom I would want to spend a couple of hours. So, I have learned that I should be able to win a round of disc golf with my friends most of the time. When playing with them, if my drive is the best of the group, I will accept the commendations that some might offer, because I do not believe in pretending that one's effort was not the best.
But, if we keep score, and I win by 10 strokes again, there will be no joy for me in pointing that out to them. And, if I were to decide to play mind games with any of them during play, ostensibly to adversely affect their performance, then that is not something that I will ever be be able to look proudly on.
Having never employed a plumber or lawyer or surgeon or financial advisor, I have been unaware of winning as an indication of their competence. My instinct is that there is something very illogical in this means of qualification. It is no secret, for example, that inept but highly competitive people are often "successful". On the other hand, I am a competent plumber, builder, gardner, baker, and more, despite my complete lack of competition in these fields. My competence is revealed in the quality of my work, not in comparison to anyone else's, but in its utility over time, and in the pleasure it brings me and those I work with and for. As for being the best, that may be a question left to competition to answer. Happily, that answer is both impossible and inconsequential, leaving competition to toil pointlessly.

As for your disc golf experiences, I would not expect you to be proud of manipulating a few more strokes of advantage over friends you already dominate. You aren't in a competitive setting. If though we accept competition as the setting for a particular activity, isn't it bland to leave out the most mysterious and challenging aspects of human interaction?

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Old 01-01-2020, 05:36 PM
Armus Patheticus Armus Patheticus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallpaul View Post
Theoretically, you're going to get two sets of results here; one from regular tourney players; and one from more recreational players.

I will predict that your results will be highly skewed towards non tourney players (as not many regular touring tourney players post on DGCR.)

Tourney players that might respond would be unlikely to provide true data, for a variety of reasons. (And, even amongst regular tourney players; you are really only after a small percentage whom would provide you with a quality answer.)

Here is a post that in one succinct response; that provides all the information you really need: (I'll leave out the poster's name)



end thread...
While I read Nova's post with some interest, it doesn't do much to answer my questions. Perhaps it reveals that some players are willing to resort to mind games in desperate situations, which in this example could reveal a lack of character in two ways: 1. That they view following certain rules merely as a way to play mind games and 2. That they have a lazy approach to competition that allows this situational double-standard.

I'm most interested to know if and how anyone unabashedly and conscientiously includes a mental battle into their disc golf competition. This need not be a dirty thing.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:04 PM
DiscFifty DiscFifty is offline
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I find the mental aspect of disc golf among tournament play mainly becomes a factor on the final 9 holes or less, especially if 2 or more players are tied for money winning positions. Do you try to intimidate by going for a birdie, do you play it safe and go for the par, allowing the other player(s) to go for it, make mistakes, etc. Some of the most interesting golf I've observed is how the pros play when they're leading, or 1-2 strokes behind, again.. mainly in the final 9 holes.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:46 PM
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hiflyer hiflyer is offline
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DAMMIT!!!!! I was hoping the new year would have weeded out all the pathetic piles around here. But apparently there is still one Pathetic Arm of waste still lurking around
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:36 PM
Moose33 Moose33 is offline
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If I’m playing in a legit tournament with competitors who are acting professionally(or at least mostly appropriately) I am fairly quiet and don’t chirp or even speak in more than polite pleasantries withy opponents. We are at least in anything but the final round playing against the course more so than each other.

If someone on the other hand is incredibly obnoxious, ripping other players or engaging in inappropriate behavior, I sometimes become snarky and will game pretty hard. Deride their disc selection, go on about the conditions even if they are fine. And if they are very bad I might actually start calling foot faults. I’ve only done that once, guy had done it five times and the whole card was ready to kill him.
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