We were walking up the 18th fairway and my doubles partner was pissed. For me, playing in the Saturday morning league was an attempt to get out and play some disc golf with other people instead of my normal early morning solitary rounds. For him, it was a way to earn beer money for the weekend. In fact, he had planned his whole Saturday around starting it off with winning that beer money.
As he was griping and complaining, I asked him what he was so upset about.
“There’s no way 10 down will cash.”
I was confused. 10 down on this course was a fantastic score. We had played really, really well. I didn’t get why he was angry. I told him I thought we had a chance. His reply…
“Last week Al and Brian won with a 12. There’s no way we win anything today.”
“So did you expect us to shoot a 13 down today?”
“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.”
“That would have been cool, but I think 10 is solid.”
I was happy either way. I had putted well. We didn’t go OB once. We had fun. My weekend was off to a great start.
So how is it that 2 people who just played the exact same round had two extremely different moods on the way up the 18th fairway?
He had set his too high. I didn’t have any, other than I was going to have fun.
When you expect too much, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s great to have goals. You should always give yourself something to shoot for. But goals are not expectations. They are two very different things.
It’s great to shoot for a 13 down. That’s an awesome goal. It’s even realistic if everything goes perfectly. It’s just not a great expectation. It’s almost sure to end in disappointment.
We ended up tying for first that day. He got his beer money and was happy. But only after putting himself through an unnecessary roller coaster of unpleasant emotions. For me the money was just the frosting on the cake of an already awesome morning.
What are your disc golf expectations? Are they realistic? Would they better serve you as goals instead? Does your level of expectation about your game make it impossible for you to have a good time on the course? Let us know in the comments!
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