When it comes to my personal reputation amongst a group of people a specific situation always comes to my mind. I was the captain of my high school's water polo team my junior and senior year and developed quite the reputation amongst the opposing coaches and eventually the referees. Many people do not know to much about water polo but it is surprisingly an extremely physical game and a lot of things can happen underwater out of the view of referees and coaches and spectators. I played football , swam, and played water polo my freshman through senior year of high school so I was pretty active. Because of football we lifted weights almost every day, so that gave me a huge strength advantage over those who never really lifted just swam and played water polo. Over the first three and a half years I played being aggressive and overpowering people lead to me being very successful and to our team being consistently ranked in the top 15 in the state.
However, this reputation of being an aggressive , sometimes "nasty", player actually really hurt me the end of our season. There were only so many water polo refs and between that and playing against the same teams every year, they began to catch on and watch me close and closer resulting in many more fouls against me. Once they were aware of the way I played, and the way the guys on my team around me tried to play in a similar style, it really ended up hurting us as a team. I would constantly get more and more fouls called against me which would have never been called in the past, and even plays that were 50-50 I would no longer get the benefit of doubt and would be whistled.
My senior year we ended up making the state semi-finals but because of all the scrutiny on myself and they way our team played, I became out of rhythm and couldn't perform nearly to the level that i was in the past. The things I would do were not meant to injure people or to blatantly cheat but rather just try and overpower and hold back players slightly more than the rules called for, but that is very much a part of the game itself. But once i was no longer able to do that it really took a toll and threw me off completely. The last couple of games of the season, after talking with the coaches, I decided to give up on my physicality and "cashed in" you could say, and became more of an outside shooter instead of an inside presence. This did help immensely through out the state tournament because teams we played against were not expecting this at all. But in doing this I was nowhere near as effective as i had been the first three and a half years and I still wonder if I hadn't have pushed the limits so much, we could have won state that year without all those extra eyes on me an my teammates.