I was talking with my friend Dan, and in between him hassling me into moving up to play in the open division disc golfing he was telling me about his approach to the game. He is just going out and putting in on himself to go out and try to beat the course, and that got me thinking about why I’m playing, what I’m there to attempt. I’ve had similar conversations with other people about their perspective on climbing and on disc golf. Some people are in it for time with friends, some are chasing ratings and grades, others are out for the competitions. So with all of these conversations its really got me thinking about what motivates me to be out there.
There are a lot of people who are strongly extrinsically motivated in their play. There are a lot of people who are trying to get their PDGA rating higher or climb the next higher grade, and at times I have been one of those people. I personally have found this mindset can leave you frustrated and limiting. You put a lot of pressure on yourself to perform at a very specific level, and while pushing your self is good, when you have an objective goal that you can see how you missed and can be a little bit demoralizing. When you see how far you need to go it can be a disheartening, and can rob some of the joy of your time out with friends because you’re so focused on your performance.
Chasing ratings and climbing grades has limited my ability to perform to my potential, and that is why I like Dan’s perspective about trying to beat the course. It is a good place to start to look for my personal motivations. For him its not about other people, it is about an interaction between him and the environment around him. Going out trying to perform to the best of his ability. The area I start to break off in my view is I’m not sure you can actually beat the course.
Its a common saying in climbing that the rock always wins. You never really beat the mountain, it’s still standing, its more the mountain has allowed you to get up it. Climbing routes and disc golf courses give you the opportunity to test your skills. At then end of the day the rock and course are inviting you to come test your self and to play within what they give you. I have started to bring this perspective and approach into both my climbing and disc golf lately.
If you take the mind set of you are playing with the course or the rock, it makes it much less of an adversarial relationship. Too me this perspective has taken a lot of pressure off me trying to beat something but more see the fun in the sport and adapt to openings. It also changes your mind to look for what openings the course is giving, not what obstacles its putting in the way, much as in climbing you focus on what holds you are given not the areas there are not holds.
So for me personally the perspective of you get to play with what the course or rock gives you, helps to make it more fun, and also helps to focus on positives and has helped me perform a lot better in recent months.
let me know some of your outlooks and perspectives on the sports.