Defeat leads to experiencing intense unpleasant emotions such as anger (why we did we lose? Could we have tried harder?), depression (we needed to win, we are nothing!), self-blame (we didn’t do enough). These are normal responses to a defeat however intense, and always unpleasant.
We should not try to squash these emotional reactions as we respond to England’s defeat against Croatia last night – they are reactions and serve to tell us that the goal we were trying to achieve was important. It’s better to listen to them, wallow in them a while, and then let them pass.
We can help let them pass by:
a) Setting a new goal – having something to look forwards to is a great mood enhancer ..
b) Tell yourself you tried your hardest and you were not there yet, but with practice and learning from the experience, you will improve. Defeat is a learning point.
c) Change your environment or situation… going on holiday is what the players will be doing post the game – many reasons, the goal will be to enjoy time with family, the environment will be pleasant and sunny, the people around them will have a goal to enjoy themselves (remember they have been with people focused on winning a World Cup and that shared pressure adds).