Have you ever noticed that there are players whose performance in practice is fantastic, but they are not contributors at the time of play? There are also players who do not seem motivated in training, but are extremely efficient during the game. Why is it?
I think it has to do with psychology. Some players are very comfortable with the training environment because they know the players around them. There is an element of safety and familiarity that is not present on game day. Some players also suffer from performance anxiety, so they think too much about the outcome and not enough about the task at hand.
It’s also common for players to have mental blocks, so they associate failure with certain scenarios. These players usually stress after a mistake and it takes a very long time for them to recover. Some never do and their performance deteriorates as the game progresses.
Then we have the player going through practice who is your best player on Saturday. It is also a psychological problem. This player loves a challenge and is up to the task on match day. He / she is confident and wants to prove to himself as well as to the opponents that they can play. This player is not motivated in training because he has a bad interpretation of his goal. For them, it’s just practice and they don’t see the need to do everything against their teammates.
There are pitfalls with both players. The player who works in training but cannot translate this into playing time must overcome his personal fears. It takes time and experience. Some coaches do not have the patience and these players are excluded. Especially at higher levels. I know you think how a player with this ability doesn’t translate it into the game? Well, here’s a possible reason. This player may have played for a coach when he was very young who highlighted the results … a howler. This coach probably took the players off every time they made a mistake and never offered a solution.
The gamer is really not better off in the long run because he is never in great shape. Training habits are starting to catch up with them as their talent alone will not take them to the next level. Training habits and discipline are the key to success, so unless that player enjoys intangibles, they will also be excluded.
How is this type of player created? Here is another possibility. He / she has always been physically gifted and the team relied on them a lot to be successful when they were younger. He / she never had to push themselves in training because they were way ahead of the others, so it was acceptable to the coach. This player played the whole game and was the center of the team. They handed him the ball anytime, regardless of the outcome.
Obviously, this player has gained enormous confidence, thanks to the treatment received by the technical staff. The sad thing is that when these players are part of a team where everyone is treated the same and is supposed to be working at all times, sometimes they fail. They now have to fulfill a clarified function in training (an environment they never took seriously) and the game no longer revolves around them.