Brazil and the World Cup, a lesson in stress
One of the most talked about events of the year, the World Cup, has left a void in most of our lives. The Brazilian football team seemed to be more in focus than others, due to them being the host nation. But, also because of that infamous match against Germany.
Before their now notorious semi-final game, Brazilian players had been talking about working with sport psychologists around their confidence in dealing with their fans’ expectations. “If we are not at ease, things won’t happen the way we want them to,” Captain Thiago Silva said.
Star player, Neymar, said “It is not only us in football who are surrounded by emotion and need psychologists. I think it could do every person good, to make one more relaxed.”
But, was this the right approach for Brazil? Or should they have tried to use the inevitable pressure in a positive way? Rather than improving their ability to deal with stress, the Brazilian team tried to reduce the level of stress they would have to deal with.
Before the game, the Brazilian players looked overcome, as though they were unprepared to deal with the emotion and energy of the occasion.
Once things started to go wrong and they ended up behind Germany, they were at a loss about how to react, and things kept getting worse.
Acceptance is key
Maybe if they’d tried to accept the pressure of the situation and use it as an advantage, they could have performed more respectably. Instead, they tried to reject the pressure and relax themselves, in circumstances where this was clearly not going to be possible.
Learning to manage
While reducing the pressure of these situations is sometimes possible, on other occasions we just have to accept it and learn to manage stress.
No matter how stressful a situation we find ourselves in, at least we’re unlikely to find ourself losing 7-1 at football in front of 60,000 of your disappointed countrymen.