Keep your cool

by Ivan Bobanovic | Last updated

Many instances in life really test our patience and our nerves.  Often when we’re in the midst of a battle – a soccer game – we get caught up in a war of words or a sequence of tackles that cause us to lose our heads.  Typically, this is where the situation gets the better of us and we do things we otherwise would never consider doing in a stable state of mind.

A very recent and vivid example is someone like Zinedine Zidane who head-butted an opposing player who got under his skin via a verbal battle.  Now whether you agree or disagree with Zidane’s reaction, the point is that Zidane lost his head.

The biggest problem with losing control of your emotions and actions is that there are often consequences that go far beyond hurting yourself…typically you also hurt your team.

In a recent soccer tournament I attended and watched with intricate detail, players were losing their cool more often than I could have imagined.  Not only would they commit a stupid foul or get a card for a verbal attack, but they would abandon the teams system and consume themselves with the personal battle they have with another player or the referee staff.  On 5 separate occasions, I witnessed a player get a red card because he was frustrated.  The end result?  The team was left with a man down and an uphill battle.

After every storm comes sunshine.  Similarly, after an explosion comes silence.  After players out-lash or explode as a result of frustration, a sense of calmness slowly follows.   After these players got red cards, they were on the sidelines apologizing to their team/coach and even crying in regret.

Do not allow yourself to succumb to the pressure of the situation.  You won’t only let yourself down, you’ll let your team down.  Don’t forget that you’re playing for a greater purpose…your team!

When trying to learn about ways to manage your emotions, the sport of tennis is the best example to study.  Ttennis is a mental battle like no other sport on earth.  It’s one long battle where you continually try to stay motivated and positive.  In this article regarding controlling your anger in tennis, sports psychologist Gloria Budd suggests you remove yourself from a situation in which you’re overcome by anger…literally remove yourself!  Pretend you’re on a building looking down at the event.  How would you perceive the situation from there?

 

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