Football: Colin Calderwood – Dare To Lose To Win

Only one shot on goal. Disgruntled fans chanting for the managers head. Another bleak night for Nottingham Forest as they go down to a single goal defeat at The Keepmoat Stadium.

With automatic promotion out of the question, and even the play-offs by no means certain, it’s make or break time for Colin Calderwood. Following last season’s dramatic play-off choke to Yeovil Town, the Forest board showed loyalty and patience by giving Calderwood another season to deliver promotion. It would be hard to imagine them showing similar faith, if Forest fail this time around.

Which means the pressure is definitely on Colin Calderwood. So what can he do? With games running out, it may be difficult for a manager to change his mindset, but you suspect that something, somewhere, must change, if Forest are to be promoted.

Perhaps Colin Calderwood should adopt the philosophy of Dare To Lose To Win. Dare To Lose To Win, works as follows – Imagine that you have 100 units of possibility in any situation e.g. a team or individual. Now often, only 60% of that capability is utilised. Seen when a talented team constantly underperforms. Now the unused 40% out of the 100%, is lost to fear. 20% to Fear Of Failure. And the other 20% to Fear Of Success.

So to release an unused 20% of capability in a team, the first task is to address Fear Of Failure. This means acknowledging how fear of failure is impacting on performance. From examining why the team fear failure, to the way it is inhibiting confidence. This could be the managers/management teams fear of failure, as well as the players.

Then you have to implement The Dare To Lose To Win attitude. Which means not fearing failure. Remembering that winners hate to lose, but are not frightened of losing. The injection of the attitude of daring, gives you the confidence to stare down the beast of fear of failure. To trust your capability. But that attitude must come from the management team. They must give the team express permission to be bold. To be daring.

It doesn’t mean being reckless. It simply means liberating the talent which is already there. Giving players permission to express themselves. To play with a freedom. To be released from the shackles of excess caution and inhibition.

Time is running out for Colin Calderwood. With the pressure on, he may be tempted to become even more cautious. But that would be a mistake. It’s a time to be bold. It may go against his way and style, but it may be the liberation, both he and his players need. And are waiting for. There is at least 20% of capability in the Nottingham Forest team waiting to be liberated. If not now, then when?

Posted in Football Psychology, Sports Psychology Blog.