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My teammate (20f) is super competitive with me (19f) to the point where it makes everyone around us uncomfortable. What do I do?


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I’m (19f) a college athlete on a team where our times matter a lot (like swimming or cross country), and our coach posts everyone’s times on a google sheet for everyone to see. 

Last spring semester, pre-pandemic, my teammmate (20f) and I had pretty similar times, and I was faster than her at the beginning. She would make a point to check just my times and no one else’s, with a bunch of comments about how I was “so much faster than her.” When we were planning a timed test, she wrote down that her only goal was to beat me. 

As the semester progressed, she got faster than me, but then we were sent home due to COVID. Both of us were remote in the fall semester, and now we’re both back at school. During this time, she got considerably faster than me, so I assumed the whole competition would end. I was wrong. 

She is still making comments about how she had to “chase me down during that last race” and has told other teammates that she HAS to beat me. 

This whole time, I don’t think I’ve done anything to provoke her. I’m a semi-quiet person, and just do my own thing and focus on beating my own times; I don’t really think about other people. I didn’t let her comments bother me last year but the fact that it’s still going on when she’s faster than me is really irritating me. 

So I guess my question is what do I do in this situation?

TL;DR - my teammate is hyper-focusing on my times even though she’s faster than me and it’s really starting to annoy me, any advice?

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Who's the coach of the team? At your age people are mindlessly insensitive or simply being egged on or formed by those who are coaching or guiding them. I doubt she has anything against you personally. The next time she brings up one of your times, make it a point to join in the conversation. Ask her again what her time was? It was such and such? You can mention, tongue in cheek, that she can do better than that. The only person she's competing with is herself but she brings you into it because she's lonely. 

Don't buy into all of it. Joke around with her and tell her she's not trying hard enough if she's comparing herself to you. Both of you could end up being good friends. See how she reacts. 

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3 hours ago, alexandrite13 said:

This whole time, I don’t think I’ve done anything to provoke her. I’m a semi-quiet person, and just do my own thing and focus on beating my own times

You keep doing this... Keep your focus on yourself.  In the end, you are correct, pay the attention on your own success.  Because, in the end, you two will be heading in different ways.. so, none of this will ever matter. :)

Her reaction is a whatever.. that's on her.

 

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4 hours ago, alexandrite13 said:

TL;DR - my teammate is hyper-focusing on my times even though she’s faster than me and it’s really starting to annoy me, any advice?

Under the circumstances, what she's doing is a pretty natural approach to improving her own performance. She focused on your performance as an achievable goal and attained it. Now, she's continuing to track it as a measure of her progress. 

If you were just walking down the street, minding your own business, and she started harassing you about your speed, it would be a different matter. But you are participating in a competitive sport, and you are supposed to compete. 

If you don't want to compete anymore, you can always run or swim on your own.

Edited by Jibralta
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If she's not saying this stuff directly to you, then address whoever the pot-stirrers are who are informing you of her comments and ask them not to tell you this stuff anymore.

The comments don't sound malicious or hateful, and I'd be proud of giving someone the inspiration to meet their personal best. From there, I'd just focus on my own performance and leave everyone else in charge of conducting themselves as they see fit.

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Ever heard the saying that you are only as good as your competition?

This is what it looks like in practice. She was inspired by your results but you are also competitors, so she worked hard to become better and succeeded and she still sees you as that drive and inspiration and someone who could beat her which drives her to train more.

So what do you do about that? Train more. Also smile and nod when she says these things and train harder...and beat her again.

If I got a dollar for every time someone came up to me and said "My goal is to beat you."....... I smile, nod, and sincerely wish them well with that. Silently I think to myself "like heck you will" and train harder to put more distance between myself and those biting at my heels. They push me to train harder, to be better. Nothing wrong with that and how competitive sports work.

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