There are times–rare as it may seem–when a fellow player on the court will take a moment to tell you what, in their opinion, you might have done better with the previous play/error. It is during these times (again, rare as it may seem), you might have the immediate desire to give that person a wedgie and then push them into a puddle.
This is almost a ritual in bike polo, I’d say.
The thing about that impulse–that you-are-no-better-than-me-shut-up-already feeling, is that nine times out of ten it’s unwarranted. But only 9 times, so don’t completely lose that fighting spirit.
When it comes down to it, I think the frustration folks feel when getting a tip or suggestion from a fellow player may stem from a few frames of mind, including:
- This person always tells me what to do
- This person isn’t a better player than me
- I already know what I did wrong
- I’m grumpy
- I don’t want other people to know I messed up
All of these are very much so ego-driven. Much like a Zen master, you must release your ego in order to actually grow a bit in this area of the game–you need to re-frame your brain space in order to accept that you aren’t the center of the universe and you don’t need to take suggestions like laws.
I’ll give an example:
Kyle, for better or worse, gives a lot of suggestions on the court. By suggestions, I mean he yells stuff like “you GOTTA stay BACK!” or “You NEED to look for those passes, bud!”
And sometimes this rubs me the wrong way–I think it’s the way he phrases it (he seems angry). But after a period of years I’ve come to realize that Kyle really is just trying to help me out, even if his delivery isn’t the best mode for my sensitive nature. Now he’ll instruct me and I either listen and agree or I say “yes sir,” which means I heard what he said but I’m ignoring it because I’m I’M NOT JUST A PIECE OF A CHESS BOARD TO MOVE AROUND okay, maybe a bit.
Anyway, what I’ve learned is to take the advice when it’s beneficial, ignore the nagging feeling of being “put in place”, and likewise ignore advice when it’s given maliciously or for any purpose other than making me a stronger player. Try that out, if you can.