Fear of Failure

March 26, 2024

I think it's important to start with the fact that I don't like calling this blog fear of failure as I genuinely don't see it as that, but unfortunately the children do.

Over the last week I have been asking our futsal kids if they are scared to get on the ball in and around their goals in fear that they may lose the ball and lose a goal. A large percentage have been honest enough to say yes and I suspect there's a lot more who didn't want to admit it.

The question was followed up by why are you scared and they all said they were worried about being shouted at by their coaches or parents. So this is where the fear comes in.

I've tried to explain to the kids that if nobody looks for the ball, then what is going to happen? You will 100% lose possession and goals. If you get on the ball, you might lose the ball and you might still lose a goal but you will learn from it. Your chances of success are improved massively.

I think it's vital for children to understand that it's OK to make mistakes. If the best players in the world are making them week in week out then it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that inexperienced kids are going to make so many more.

At Futsal Escocia, we want to create an environment where players are brave and want to get on the ball. We want to elimate the fear. We want them to learn from repetition and from their own mistakes. This is a one of the main reasons we are doing more 2v2 and 3v3's, there is nowhere to hide and repetition builds confidence and success.

Now here's the difficult part... I know a lot of our futsal players are comfortable playing out from defence and under pressure. They show it in a futsal environment but if I go and watch them play football it's like they are different players with the ball being hoofed up the park. They are told to by their coaches.

Unfortunately, we cannot control the uncontrollable, but we can provide advice and guidance to coaches and parents. We can also coach the players we have, as best as we can.

Coaches, please think about this. Is your objective as a coach to develop better players, or is it to win games of football?

I believe you can do both if you have a long term plan.

To play at the top level of modern day football and futsal, you need to be able to be comfortable on the ball and you need to be able to outplay. Why coach anything different?