Insights and Healing with Patrick Moore

Humans can have More Fun when they play Less Hard.. like Dogs Do
October 5, 2014, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


A few things I remember fondly from my year practicing with the Atlantis Over Fifty team:

A couple fellows who were clearly far better than me, approaching me as a defender, realized they could easily get past me using fancy footwork, but didn’t. I noticed this and said something after the game, hey thanks for going easy on me. They said they hadn’t, but I didn’t believe it. I appreciate that those fellows restrained themselves from embarrassing me. They wanted our interaction to be more equal and so they withheld their best moves.


A couple times it was my turn to show restraint: One fellow from Sweden (?) brought his daughter to play with us. She was about ten. Obviously when she was dribbling toward me, I could have easily stolen the ball from her, but I didn’t. I restrained myself and attempted to play at her level. Sometimes she beat me and sometimes she didn’t, depending on how well she handled that particular interaction. I noticed all the other guys were also able to restrain themselves to play at her level–not to let her have every interaction, but to play fairly given her capability:

DSC_1126 DSC_1138 DSC_1155 DSC_1157 DSC_1177 DSC_1181 This shows the home made goals–shoot between the two bags. Think she’ll score?


I believe we are all capable of playing fair. We have all played with children and know what it is like to play at their level. I believe we can match others where they are at, and play at their average, so that about half the time they would beat us and half the time they would not.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, in THE MORALS OF CHESS, that he often found himself more capable than his chess opponents, and then he would play down so that they could feel better about themselves. This benefitted both people as the relationship was improved. He felt this was a better outcome for himself than had he earned the spotlight by winning.

“Lastly, if the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the rules above mentioned, then moderate your desire of victory over your adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself. Snatch not eagerly at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his king in a perilous situation, etc. By this generous civility (so opposite to the unfairness above forbidden) you may, indeed, happen to lose the game to your opponent; but you will win what is better, his esteem, his respect, and his affection, together with the silent approbation and goodwill of impartial spectators.”

Benjamin Franklin

I believe competitive sports are not helping us to be better people. Yes, the exercise is good, but you don’t need to beat others to get good exercise. Yes, sports provide a sense of teamwork but you don’t need to beat others to feel this. Yes, it is fun to win, but there are things in life that are even better than winning.

If you live in Tucson and would be interested in getting together to play rotating, noncompetitive soccer in socks, please contact me!


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