Rebuilding a player after a setback

Children and young players are some of the most resilient people around, and most of them deal with setbacks fairly well. However, for some especially the mid-teens, these setbacks can really impact them, not just within their football but also their own individual life.

The Scenario

We get lots of enquires for our training, some from parents who just want their son/daughter to be confident, others who are looking to push their child onto higher things and others who just enjoy coming to us.

However in recent weeks a reoccurring theme in our enquiries is that players in their mid-teens are suffering knock backs. As a result there football is becoming affected, resulting in a decrease in their on the field skills. Throughout this blog, we will explain some of the ways we would use to get a player back to flourishing after something like this. 

Focus on Positives not Negatives

1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 2 = 4, 3 + 3 = 6, 4 + 4 = 9, 5 + 5 = 10, 6 + 6 =12. When reading this, what did you automatically pick up? Did you focus on the one which I got wrong or on the five which I got right? 

The idea for this, is people are quick to spot the negatives and where we can do better, but rarely focus on the positives and all the things we have done right.

Now where does this relate to the idea of knock backs? Well, if people get rejected then normally they would guess they have done something wrong, or not done it correctly so they start to focus on all the possible “negatives” which causes a decrease in confidence, motivation and determination to succeed. 

However in that same period, they would have done lots of things right which don’t necessarily get noticed. Therefore the first thing we would do when getting a player in this situation, is help them to recognise all the good they do and how well they can do certain things.  

Focus on ‘your’ good

Whilst listening to a podcast we heard a very good piece of advice which relates to this situation. Jimmy Carr stated “understand what you are good at, and go all in on this.” 

For a player who has been rejected, they may have been trying to do everything well rather than just working on the bits they are best at. Being a realist, no player is going to be the best at everything, but you may be the best dribbler, the best goal-scorer, the best-passer.

Our advice after receiving a knock back, is work out what you are good at and understand your best capabilities. Then follow and work on this with a relentless passion, until you find someone who wants what you are good at. For example, a team may already have a great goal-scorer but there are other teams who don’t, therefore go and find these opportunities where you will be able to thrive.


After a setback, take a period of time to reflect on the whole situation, and really think about it. Ask yourself questions such as:

– What was my reason for being there, can I do achieve this elsewhere?

– Did I enjoy it there?

– What needed to be done to be successful?

– How can I ensure success next time?

Once we have got our player reflecting on this period, then we will get them to develop a plan, with clear goals of exactly where they would like to go. This helps them to regain their focus and determination, in order to regain after this setback.

Video Game Mindset

Another concept we learnt about recently, in which we think is excellent for dealing in this situation. This is the idea, that when you play a video game and it doesn’t go your way, you can just click the restart button and go again. We can use this in this situation, because getting the rejection is not going to be the end of you. Therefore the idea is you just “restart your game,” whether this be looking for a new opportunity or just continue trying until you get the result you desire. 

If you can begin to adopt this mindset then it will become a powerful thing for you. This is because who will go into things less worried about the risk associated with it, as you know you can always go again. By doing this, you are more likely to be bringing the best of you rather than letting emotions get in the way of achieving the goal you aim for. 

How our training can help?

We like to think of ourselves as more than a football training provider, more a company who helps to build people. In our training, we will get the player straight back on the ball, and get to work on emphasising the basics and building up their own individual confidence on the pitch. 

Following this, we will help to recognise the players strengths and their weaknesses, before then identifying where we think would be best to target in order for the player to achieve their desired goals. Then we will design, on the field drills for the pursuit of this, all delivered in an environment which is set up for success, whilst having enjoyment at the forefront of it all.

If you or child is in a similar situation, hit that train with us button and let us help to re-build after a setback. 

Want to Join The Squad?

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