Intramural Sports: Pleasure vs. Perfection

This time I am writing something different, and I am not sitting in the library while I write this. After swim season ended, I tried to continue swimming but my schedule got in the way. That leaves me only with basketball to talk about. The swim team formed an intramural basketball team–possibly the only team in the game who doesn't practice on a regular basis and has no strategy at all. So sure, we’ve been getting Ls and not Ws–and trashed too. Naturally, most of us, having acknowledged that fact, play for kicks and take the game less seriously than other teams. Perks of that? We end up having more fun than other teams.

I was talking to this one guy about intramural games and he made a great point that I couldn't agree more with. He said something along the lines of “We are here to play basketball but also to have fun. This is not a battle–we aren’t going to war. We are here to enjoy ourselves and relax a bit.” Honestly man… Some teams walk in with such seriousness. Let me say this: I respect them a lot for their dedication to the game, but a smile would be nice too? I suppose what I am implicitly suggesting is the difference between training and just playing. I was on the JV basketball team at my high school sophomore year. Prior to that, I had always thought playing basketball was fun. During middle school, I used to play after school for two hours before I went to swim practices. Loved the sport, enjoyed the games. I guess that was the reason behind joining the team in high school. But let me tell you: playing on a team is a lot more different from playing pickup ball than you think. I always thought the only difference would be running plays and doing suicides sets occasionally. 

If wrong was scaled from 1-10, I was probably at 20. Training itself is a totally different vibe. You don't get the thrill and the fun of beating your friends and acquaintances, and as much as you try to avoid it, you are consistently competing with your teammates to get a chance to play in an actual game. I am not saying that that is a bad thing–quite frankly, it pushes you to become better. But it is very different from just playing pickup basketball. 

This applies to most other sports too. It's almost always fun to compete or simply mess around with your friends. Training is a different story. Then again, I am not saying that training is bad. Training is good for all sorts of reasons. Training develops your competitiveness, teamwork, and a lot of other beneficial traits. It is just that training on a team and playing pickup ball are different from each other. Yeah, I suppose that’s what I've been trying to say. 

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