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Handling Rejection

With trials come success and failure. One of the hardest parts in the job for us is when we have to tell a player that he has not made it to the team. It is tough for us and we can imagine how hard it can be for the player as well. However, a player must learn how to cope with failure or rejection.

Football is a game that will bring moments of joy, triumph as well as dejection and failure. You cannot always win, so a good player must also learn how to handle the pressures of the game. If rejection or failure is handled in a positive manner, it can be turned into a strength. The smart thing to do, if you want to be in professional football, is learn how to get back up again when life knocks you down. One needs to be willing to learn and improve all the time.

Many times when you sit and try to give the players an honest feedback based on your experience, some will just try to argue their case. Feedback should not be taken personally or as a judgment against you, it is given for guidance.

The worst thing players do is go on the defensive. Instead of listening carefully and absorbing it, the young players try to argue their case and fight back with the coaches, which will not lead to anything. But, I assume it is a natural reaction when you are 18 or 19. This is why it is all the more important to learn how to handle criticism constructively, because you are growing and learning. This is the time when you need direction more than ever to reshape your future.

My advice to the young athletes is to take feedback constructively. It is not meant to bring you down. Try to analyze it in a positive frame of mind, take responsibility and be honest to yourself. Very often players think too highly of themselves and think they are better than they actually are. You may be a good player, but to be a professional one you need to be exceptional, not just average or good. Sometimes nothing is in your hands, there are just better players on the pitch.

No one wants to be rejected or fail, but if you do, remember how you handle it will be the game changer. Move on and focus on the future. Be open-minded to feedback, take the weaknesses as a challenge and let your game do the talking.

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