Football: Everton – Beyond Blame

It’s nearly two months since Everton’s stormy derby match with Liverpool. A game which ended in controversy with Everton being denied a last-minute penalty by referee Mark Clattenburg. A decision which led to harsh, direct comments from David Moyes about Mr. Clattenburg’s performance.

Since then Everton have looked almost unbeatable. Through to the semi-final of the Carling Cup; progressing nicely in the UEFA Cup; unbeaten in the League. Interestingly David Moyes puts the turnaround down to events on Derby Day. He recognised that a successful team takes matters into their own hands. They cannot lay the blame of failure at the door of the referee.

So many managers and by default, the players, find an outlet for their frustrations in the referees performance. As if, somehow, a wrong decision has cost them the game. Yes there are instances when referees make big mistakes. But a good team will know that success is totally in their own hands.

Blame prevents you looking inwards at the truth of your teams performance. It gets you off the hook. As if, somehow, everything is OK. When a team takes responsibility for their own outcomes, then they remove a weakness from their mentality. The weakness of an escape clause. Blame dilutes the power base of a team. It prevents you from turning weaknesses into strengths.

When the team takes responsibility for their own outcomes, then each team member becomes responsible for those outcomes There is no hiding place behind the man in black and his assistants. Thus a team of self-leaders develops.

A team of self-leaders quickly becomes a team of winners. And a team of winners usually have no need to blame referees. They are too busy getting on with the job of winning.

Posted in Football Psychology, Sports Psychology Blog.