Have you heard of players who are on the field but at the same time, not on the field? Yes, it happens! Some players are on the field but their impact is not felt. Sometimes the cause of this is the “I don’t want to be the one to spoil the game” syndrome.
If you have been following Nigerian football especially the national team for a while you will notice there were players with this syndrome in the Super Eagles back in the days and for the importance of this post we will not want to mention the names of anyone in particular but we had a couple of them then.
Super Eagles of Nigeria at 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia
This syndrome is common among young players that lack self-belief and confidence on the ball. The fear of losing ball possession, giving inaccurate passes, not playing in position, etc has caused many young players to become inactive on the field of play and sometimes, not getting to play at all.
In most cases, as soon as they receive the ball, they feel pressured and tend to quickly lay off the pass to a teammate so they do not make mistakes with the ball. Once they can successfully get the pass laid off to their teammate, there is some form of relief in the mind of the player saying, “At least, I didn’t spoil the game”.
Sijuade Thompson, one of the best graduate from MFA
Every player, no matter how talented and skillful, must learn to stay confident and composed on the field of play if he wants to make it to the top of the game. Building confidence on the ball is not a day’s journey. It is an aspect of development every player must practice every time they get on the field and to achieve this, it takes practice and personal effort to always be the best.
To get your ball confidence, you must be able to identify why you feel pressured, be able to address the weakness, develop a pre-match self/motivational speech, develop your mind to focus on the game while playing and avoid negative thoughts from crossing your mind, constantly train hard to do better than your previous game.
Some former players of the academy praying after a workout session
Although it is not as easy as it sounds, it is achievable. You must be conscious enough to stay active on the field especially when in possession of the ball. Work hard, train hard, and strive to stay confident on the ball.
If you are looking for more information and knowledge on how to stay on top of your game and what you need to do to achieve your ultimate dream of becoming a professional player, you should get a copy of Bayonle Arashi’s Road Map to a Successful Football Career available at Epok Bookstore in Nigeria. You can order your copy of the book via this link: https://bit.ly/2Z5w6A6
Written by Oseremen Omoifoh, follow him on Twitter @gemen_ose