Enjoying losing???

I joined a conversation concerning the lack of interest in playing pickup games of darts. The conversation turned to why people do not work to improve their chances for winning and the question – “Why play at all.” My contribution is below.


“I’m looking at your unhappiness with people who don’t work at improving while sitting on a different perch.

I’ve gone through a long career in darts – from near obsession to present during which I’ve struggled with how to enjoy the game without winning at it. This has always been a contradiction to me – like how can you enjoy losing?? This, I think, comes close to your view of why do it at all?
Here’s my update: I quit playing altogether for the last four years because I kept getting my a– handed to me and couldn’t take it. Not playing with absolute confidence that I could beat anyone I came up against made engaging in competitions something I came to dread rather than look forward to doing.
Last night I played in league, back in my old stomping grounds, for the first time in ten years and I played as well as I thought I would – lousy – worse than lousy. But I discovered what I hadn’t really been able to understand all those years. I was enjoying the shared inability of all of us on the team. (I’m back to playing in a lower division). We tried but just don’t have it, and the good part is that since we know we don’t have the ability, it’s OK. We could enjoy the effort and complement each other on that rather than the accomplishment.
And, best of all, my team mates were enjoying my companionship rather than how well I can play the game. I’ve been so afraid of embarrassing myself, and worrying that people would think less of me because of my accomplishments and reputation that I’ve completely missed this part of participation.

I know the exhilaration of competing at the highest level and each person feeding off the excellent play of the other – fantastic stuff.

I’ve known all along about recreational players but never really related to that frame of mind.
Maybe my revelation is why so many people don’t have the fire in their belly to compete? Maybe I’ve been right all along about the 80% of people who do not compete at darts, but rather play at it? Maybe I didn’t have the correct understanding of their motive?

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