Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


How to deal with losing – it’s an attitude thing

Every team no matter how good they are will at some stage go through a series of games where they lose more than once and the coach has to deal with the outcome. In youth games losing often means losing big, by a large number of goals because it is hard hit back – three becomes four or five or six.

What happens then is that players go sick for the next game or email you to say they had forgotten but they were going on holiday that weekend, or they just don’t turn up.

A lot of coaches turn a blind eye to this sort of behaviour and let the team struggle on.

As a coach there is a lot you can do when your team is losing to boost morale and help the players through periods when they lose. It’s a question of attitude for you and your players.

When the team lose:

  • PRAISE individuals who have played well despite the team losing.
  • PRAISE particular occasions in games when a player has done something good.
  • PRAISE players who have tried to continue playing well despite being a lot of goals behind.
  • PRAISE the individuals who try and encourage the rest of the team to step up a gear even though they are losing.

The other thing to talk to your players about is that they have the ability to put everything right the next week. To think about how they played in this match and what they need to do to put it right in the next match.

Finally explain what went wrong in the game and how with hard work in training they can put it right.

Watch this coaching video of the Nike coaches talking about their players’ attitude when they lost their first game 8-1. Remember this is a sport where you can often learn more when you lose then when you win.

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