Originally Posted by ProfessorMurder
Never met or even saw the person before. I was 22 he was probably a year or two older. He kept talking about how he 'he was the last guy cut from the college team'.
I really only go to shoot around and work on moves by myself, basically meditate/shut my brain off. I was the only person there and he started shooting on my hoop, then asked to play like 3 times. It put me in a weird spot.
I don't go hard because I don't see the point. I'm not making a career out of ball, I end up getting hurt often because of past knee/ankle injuries, there's no ref, who knows how the person will take losing, etc. I play just hard enough to look like I'm trying... Basically I just keep the score competitive.
Makes sense. It always seems to be the weird, give-too-much-information guys who tend to challenge strangers to games of one-on-one. I don't mean that sarcastically either. Through the years I've discovered there's honestly a lot more people out there like that.
Originally Posted by Pushxx
Since most players in pick-up are much worse, I also give half effort to avoid small injuries. If they are close to winning I turn it on and make it clear to them they have no chance when I do.
It's pretty easy to score at will if they don't know how to defend the dribble.
Fair enough. I suppose we all have our reasons. I personally try to go hard whenever possible and when I don't, my day of basketball often feels incomplete or like a failure. My thing has always been to go hard, even against people I was better than (unless they were playing at a 5th grade level) so I can still get something worthwhile out of it.
It also seems to step things up a notch across the board, making the other people who were only giving half effort actually go a bit harder. I've noticed effort is contagious. It's like how I used to slow down my fast break to allow non-effort-giving teammates to saunter up the floor back in high school. Then one day it dawned to me that I should be making them
keep up with me
. Not the other way around. That's kind of how it tends to work with effort.
I truly see where you're coming from though. It's just, I realized a long time ago that if I only played hard when I decided the competition was absolutely perfect, I'd have spent 95% of my post-organized league days playing at 50%, and that seemed like a lose-lose for everybody. Instead, I decided to almost always push myself so when I was the best player on the floor, people would be able to see why (and try harder and improve from playing against me) and then when I wasn't
the best player on the court, I'd still be conditioned and used to competing and pushing myself at a high level. My game is pretty habitual, for I have never really had the luxury of playing 50% when I wanted then adequately kicking it up to 100% when the time called. If I want to play well, I have to make a habit of playing hard.