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How do we deal with pressure in football?

How do we deal with pressure in football?

A study conducted in Spain analyzes how resilience affects players in stressful times, as well as suggesting ways around the problem. Learn the details and see how your cardio team can beat the bad phase

Igor Nishikori

4 hours ago

How do teams deal with pressure in soccer?

Photo: Corinthians Agency

Crisis, anger and fasting. At some point in life, every football fan has already associated these words with their favorite team. Currently, even the big clubs, such as Santos, Vasco and Corinthians, are experiencing a bad stage on the field and even with the dreaded specter of relegation. And it seems that the closer to the end of the tournament, the worse the team will perform.

To understand how pressure for results affects football clubs, prof Stady Posted in December 2022 Help shed light on the topic.

The joint research was conducted between the University of Extremadura (Spain) and the University of Bath (England) with 676 players between the ages of 15 and 42 (530 men and 146 women) from 64 semi-professional teams in Spain. The main idea was to analyze the data on how resilience can help teams overcome bad stages in tournaments.

To define team resilience, the study broke down the topic into four key concepts:

  • group structure (leading figures, communication between colleagues);
  • learning (knowledge gained after negative situations);
  • social capital (perceived emotional support among colleagues);
  • and collective effectiveness (trusting colleagues in times of adversity).
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First, they gave the athletes a questionnaire with the main question “Last month, when my team was under stress…” and 20 answer items, such as “The team was able to overcome problems by working together” or “The team could not handle the pressure in moments.” the mission “.

Thus, each item must have one of nine selected options, which range from “completely disagree” to “completely agree”.

What the study concluded

The conclusion was that the higher the team’s flexibility characteristics, the better the team and individual performance on the field. According to the authors of the research, the most likely hypothesis is that a group that manages to lean on each other at opposite moments allows players to act more confidently.

On the other hand, the teams most vulnerable to stress had their athletes perform worse both individually and collectively. However, in the same study, it was verified that these athletes do not consider themselves part of the causes of weakness, which exacerbates the crisis.

How to overcome the crisis in the field

In light of the findings, the authors of the study suggest some practices to overcome crises in the field. The first is to identify elements that may increase vulnerability to pressure within the team, such as communication difficulties between players and the formation of “pots” on the team.

Then, the coaching staff can develop methods to increase the team’s flexibility. The first is to create challenges for actors with positive and negative outcomes. Thus, the more accustomed they are to problem-solving, the more resilient the actors will be in the face of adversity.

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It is also important to create moments of group reflection, so that the athletes find ways to overcome the crisis.

Leicester’s influence in football

In this sense, a case that has become famous recently is that of Leicester City. In the 2015-2016 season, the English club went through a great stage, but conceded many goals. The then coach Claudio Ranieri proposed a challenge to the team: if they did not concede a goal in the next match, he would buy everyone pizza.

The result: the team did not concede a goal, achieved the agreement and only improved performance. At the end of that season, Leicester City were Premier League champions in one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history.

However, the authors point out that the study has some limitations. First of all, this has only been done with Spanish football clubs and it is necessary to take into account the cultural differences of each country.

Another problem is that the survey fails to depict a full season, as there are naturally differences in how stress affects athletes.

Therefore, the authors acknowledge that the study is only a basis for further research on this topic.