The Case for Making (A Few) More Errors

This interview with Victor Niederhoffer is worth reading in its entirely, but this sample on the case for making more squash errors gives you a flavor:

I’m interested in something you said in one of your e-mails, that it was a mistake to play a flawless squash game.

As a squash player, I was gifted. I had all the right things going for me. I practiced. I was very good with the racket, and I had tremendous anticipation. But I tended to play an errorless game by hitting a slice on my backhand, which took a lot of power off the ball. That wasn’t a disaster, but it was definitely a weakness in my game. My opponents always used to say that on a good day they could beat me, because they could hit more spectacular shots than me. But they never did. I went for about 10 years without losing a game, except to [the great Pakistani squash player] Sharif Kahn. He made about six, seven errors a game—but he also made eight or nine winners. I would make about zero errors per game but only one or two winners. He had the edge on me about 10-4, and I regret that I was never willing to accept the risky shots and confrontations, never willing to play a more error-full game.

More here. And, relatedly, the entire “Wrong” blog is catnip for those of you, like me, with congenital disconfirmation bias.

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