“We tend to forget how good we are when we are not successful, and it’s important that we mind, until now, that we have done very well.” So say Arsene Wenger in the video, coming off the back of a thrashing from Liverpool. How can coach’s help a team bounce back from an emphatic defeat? Here’s my thoughts.
1. Emphasise what went well – this sounds incredibly obvious, yet in my experience at all levels, coaches tend towards communicating the failures, the weaknesses and the bad points. Try to rid yourself of the emotion of defeat and let your players know what they did well as a team and, if you can, as individuals.
2. Turn negatives into practical solutions – avoid dwelling on what your players did wrong. Tell them what they need to do better next time. Time and again in soccer I’ve stood by coaches who ranted and raved about the mistakes players have made, but without providing a contribution to what a solution looks like. If there was a positional mistake tell your players what positions you want them in and teach them how to get there. If sloppy passing was their error explain to them the value of focus and teach them how to improve their attention.
3. Get back to basics – If you have some clips available show your team footage of them playing at their very best. Reinforce in their minds what they do when they’re playing well. Ask them to re-create these plays on the training pitch. Video this session. Let them to watch the new footage to show that they ‘can’. Give them an injection of certainty – that is what you’re there for.
Clip taken from YouTube and can be found on the BBC website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26136125