Will Strikers have Meltdowns at the Upcoming Euro’s or Copa America like Jordan Spieth's at the Masters?

The following excerpt come from the May 2016 issue of Amplified Soccer Training Magazine. This issue features ideas on the future of soccer coaching, periodization, speed development, psychology, soccer drills and more training resources to take your game to the next level.

Content contributions come from some of the top professional training, nutrition, mental game and fitness leaders in the industry. Get it now.


By John DeBenedictis, author of The Last 9 Seconds: The Secret to Scoring Goals- A Psychological Perspective

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Jordan Spieth’s collapse at this year’s Masters has been rated by some reporters as one of the worst collapses in golf history. But collapses in sport are not uncommon. They do occur and will continue to occur. For every loser, there is a winner and fans love to see come from behind victories. You may even say that this phenomenon helps create the big salaries that we see in sports. Sport fans are constantly looking for the unexpected and it’s probably one reason that sport draws big numbers in TV ratings and at live events.

This summer, at both the Euro 2016 and Copa America competitions, the usual favourites and home sides will be under extreme pressure to win. But the onus sometimes comes down to the strikers who have to put the ball in the net. Their successes or failures will probably decide who wins and who loses. A missed opportunity might cause elimination from the competition and a coach being fired. Who will miss that glorious opportunity to carry their team to the next round? Will Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Rooney, Neymar, and fellow strikers leave the competition as hero’s or goats? It’s so unfair to put all the pressure on them isn’t it? But that’s what we all do. The fans and the media like to focus on them. It’s like they are on their own holding all the cards. They’ll get the glory if they score or be scorned if they do not.

We have seen strikers score in their league but completely fail at international events. Others rise to the top in international competitions. The moment when an athlete makes a mistake can be their most important moment when trying to avoid a total meltdown. Although the game is a team sport, it’s specific individuals that can start a downward trend or inspire a comeback and avoid a meltdown. A goal at the right time can change a game.

But for the athlete that is having a meltdown, we have to look at what causes this collapse. Quite often it’s a mental thing. For some reason, they cannot stop a downward trend. How can they play great one minute and then totally lose it for the rest of a game? From my book, The Last 9 Seconds, I spend some time helping coaches work with their athletes to stop this meltdown by providing some simple psychological ideas.  

Get the rest of this article which includes an excerpt from John's book and much more in the May 2016 issue of Amplified Soccer Training Magazine. Click here for the full table of contents.

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John DeBenedictis

John DeBenedictis has been coaching for over 35 years and has coached at many levels. Most of his coaching has been at the youth level from the youngest of children right up to U21 league select teams playing in international competitions. He has been published in the NSCAA’s Soccer Journal. He ran his own soccer camps with Tony Waiters, former English International goalkeeper and Canadian National Team coach. He played goalkeeper for York University helping them win the National Title in 1977 and he also played in the National Soccer League (a professional league based in southern Ontario, Upper New York State, Quebec, and Michigan), with Toronto Ukrania. He also runs his Secrets to Goal Scoring course as part of his Golden Goal Scoring Academy.DeBenedictis has been a guest speaker on his topic at various National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) coaching conferences. He spoke in Charlotte, N.C., in Baltimore, and most recently at the Jan 2013 Convention in Indianapolis to a standing-room only crowd. DeBenedictis has an Honors Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physical and Health Education as well as earning an advanced certificate of coaching from York University. He also holds a senior coaching license. As part of his research into goal scoring for his course and this book, he interviewed and studied the careers of some of the world’s best goal scorers.