Dealing with Failure

The following is a preview from the February Issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine. Are you getting the results you were hoping for with your training? Get the latest issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete today! Available in the App Store or Google Play!

By Dan Abrahams, a global sport psychologist helping people to high perform. Dan’s recently released "Soccer Tough 2: Advanced Psychology Techniques for Footballers" introduces soccer players to more cutting edge tools and techniques to help them develop the game of their dreams.

Every soccer player fails at some point. Failure is inevitable. And when I use the word failure I can be talking about the most basic mistake during a competitive game, I can relate it to a lost game or a poor training session, or I can be referring to being dropped, substituted to or failing to make the match day squad.

Failure is an inevitable part of the game and a distinguishing feature of those who progress in soccer (or at least find out just how good they can be) is that they are fantastic at dealing with failure.

The brain loves to bookmark failure. Why? Because it’s leaving a permanent reminder to not do whatever you did again. It’s saying “don’t give the ball away again” or “Don’t miss a great chance like that again”. It does this because it knows the pain you feel when something bad happens on the pitch. Essentially the brain is very good at book marking failure. It sends out a current of negative emotion to accompany any thoughts of failure and thus etches it on your brain and nervous system – sometimes for a lifetime.

Interestingly, what research has shown is that we tend to misjudge the impact a negative event has on us. Specifically, we tend to overestimate the negative impact of a ‘bad’ event. So if a soccer player performs badly she’ll tend to put a whole pile of emotional resources into the manner in which she performed. “I was so bad, I don’t think I’ll ever play well again.” She’ll blow a setback up in her mind and use it as a clue for future performance.

Get the rest of this article and more in the February issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete which includes top training tips to becoming an elite athlete from:

  • Yael Averbuch, Midfielder for F.C. Kansas City and U.S. Women’s National Team
  • John De Witt, Head Sports Performance Coach, Houston Dynamo Academy & Houston Dash
  • Become Elite
  • Ritchie Semple, Director of Football for LGC Events
  • Cruz Coaching
  • Coaches Training Room
  • 1 v 1 Soccer
  • And More....

Available in the App Store or Google Play!


Dan Abrahams

Dan Abrahams is a global sport psychologist who works alongside some of the leading players, teams, coaches and organisations in the world. He is known for his passion and ability to de-mystify sport psychology, as well as his talent for creating easy to understand and simple to use techniques and performance philosophies. A former professional golfer and PGA golf coach Dan has a First Class Honours degree in psychology and Masters degree in sport psychology. Academically he is visiting lecturer at several universities and he holds registration with the HCPC (meaning he is legally safe to practice as a psychologist). Dan works in all sport but specialises in football/soccer and golf. He is Lead Psychologist for England Golf and he works with players from leading amateur through to Tour players. In football/soccer psychology he is regarded as a leader in the field. He has some of the leading turnaround case studies in Premier League history and he has written two international bestselling books. One of these books, Soccer Tough, has been heralded one of the most important books in football. He currently works with players, teams and organisations across 'Planet Football.' Dan also works in the Corporate Sector delivering his sport psychology techniques and philosophies to individuals and groups.