Do You Overreact When Your Team Plays Well/Bad?

What a game!

Your team played great.  Everything is PERFECT!

Your team played poorly.  Everything SUCKS!

The thing to remember is your team most likely isn’t as good as you think they are when they play well and most likely they aren’t as bad as you think they are when they play poorly.

Coaches, players and fans tend to overreact in both directions which causes so many people to seem to be manic depressives when it comes to their teams.

A great example of this was this past season watching Manchester United.  There were a number of times, especially early in the season, when they looked truly dreadful. Listening to the announcers, this was by far the worst Manchester United team in a few decades.  The thing that was interesting is while this team (and the players) were being condemned to the relegation zone (at least by the people watching) they kept winning.  The sky was falling (if you listened to the announcers and “supporters”) but while they might not have been playing beautiful soccer, they were accomplishing their objective.  Then they started playing well and everything was great.  They won the league and made it to the finals of the Champions League.  All of a sudden, everything is perfect.  Then, in the finals against FC Barcelona, they were “terrible” again.  The thing to remember is even when they were winning ugly (or tying games) they were never as bad as people thought.  Then when they were playing well, they weren’t as good as some thought.

When your team is playing well, realize there are still many things they can do better.

When your team is playing poorly, realize there are still many things they are doing well.

A good friend of mine, who is one of the top coaches in his sport has told me that when his team wins, he is constantly looking for ways they can play better and it’s when they are winning and playing well that he finds most of his teaching opportunities.  When they lose, he spends more time looking for what they did well because he is more concerned with the psychological makeup of his team after losses than simply dealing with the technical and tactical aspects of his sport.  The lucky thing for him and his team is since they rarely lose he has a LOT of teaching opportunities.

Be careful of falling victim to the peaks and valleys and concentrate on staying on more of an even keel and you will provide a better service to your team.

Just something to think about.

Have a great day!


One Comment

  1. Jeremy says:

    I’d have to say this is an area that I’ve seen a lot of growth in personally. When I was growing up and playing all of my coaches were yellers. Always how big of a goof you were and how horrible your soccer was.

    Interestingly enough the thing that brought my attention to my problem of over-reacting was coaching women’s soccer. They wanted solutions to the mistakes I was pointing out, not just blow ups over errors. My demeanor as a coach has changed drastically.

    I’m like your friend, I tend to look for ways that we are breaking down or weaknesses that we are showing, even when we are playing well. I’ve learned to keep silent during games to my field players and tend to spend most of the game making notes and ideas of things I’m seeing. Then at halftime we try to calculate what needs to be said to our guys. We narrow it down to a few things we are doing well, and a couple of areas that we need to improve on or make note of in the second half to pull out the victory.

    I’ve also learned to let the players do a lot of the match analysis themselves and stay out of it (I coach college and U17 boys so my players are a little older and able to do this). But I want to hear what they saw in the games and see how they analyize the games. I think this is an important aspect that many coaches over look. Soccer is a sport where players need to learn to read the game themselves and make adjustments without the coach on the field.