Foxtrot Oscar: When ‘Competitive’ becomes ‘Aggressive’

It’s confession time, chums. I played Touch Rugby with K-Ferg last night and did two things of note, neither of which involved scoring or assisting a try:

  1. Gave myself a touch of groin strain. Yum.
  2. Colossally overreacted to a man obstructing me by literally screaming “F**********CK YOOOOOOOOOU” in his face. Many eyebrows were raised.

I recently wrote a post (10 problems sporty girls will understand) where I stated that it annoys me when people, guys in particular, accuse me of being aggressive, when in fact I am just very competitive. My outburst last night however goes to prove that I can, on occasion, be quite aggressive, albeit contained to the sports pitch. But what I’m wondering is… why? Why does a competitive streak overflow from time-to-time and manifest itself as out-and-out aggression?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s okay. Frankly, I’m mortified. I’m horrified that I could behave in such a way. The words bellowed forth from my face before I’d even thought about it. That is no way to behave on the pitch.

I am a firm believer in sportsmanship. One should refer to the ref as sir (or, indeed ma’am) and ALWAYS play to their whistle. One should ALWAYS shake hands with the opposition at the end of a game. And one should ALWAYS admit when they are in the wrong. So, swearing on the pitch is something that doesn’t sit easily with me, especially in professional sportsmen and women, and yet I do it. All the time. I eff and blind (but NEVER at the ref), mostly out of frustration, but also in elation! It’s like a switch is flipped, and a red mist descends. What the hell is wrong with me? What is it about playing competitive sport that bring this out in me?

Massively illegal hand-off...

Massively illegal hand-off…

Admittedly, I have a natural propensity towards heightened emotion (ask any of my friends, I’m a fairly highly strung individual) – I can be blunt, headstrong and argumentative, but I’m not a naturally angry person. I’m upbeat and happy the vast majority of the time, and if I’m not laughing there is probably something very wrong. Which leads me to believe that I must store up my anxieties, frustrations and rage to release in moments of catharsis i.e. on the sports field or, occasionally, after one too many beers.

It’s well known that exercise has great stress-busting qualities and I certainly feel revitalised and endorphin fuelled after a solid workout, but there must be a more appropriate way of channelling this competitive energy than swearing my head off on the pitch! I mean, I am bound to be sent off for it eventually and, knowing my team, I would never be allowed to live that down. So, what to do? Does anyone else find themselves in this particular predicament? How do you find the balance?

Maybe I should take up boxing…?

3 thoughts on “Foxtrot Oscar: When ‘Competitive’ becomes ‘Aggressive’

  1. Oh, I so sympathise, I do a version of this.

    As much as I believe in respecting the ref and playing to the whistle, I get red mist angry when a wrong call is made, when something feels unfair. Cannot shake it off. I’ll mutter under my breath and be pissed off about it for the rest of the game. I’ll honour the call but I’ll look so bratty doing it. Ugh. Not a fan of this side of my competitive nature.

    Let me know if you find a cure!


  2. Pingback: 2015 – a wrap up | These Girls Do

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