Yesterday’s game marked the low point of my time in Helsinki so far. Obviously the loss by 5 points is hard to take, but what leaves the bitter taste is the knowledge that you have not brought your best to the game and you have paid the price for it. I’m not going to talk about the team’s performance as a whole as other people are better placed to talk about that than I am. Instead I’ll talk from a purely personal point of view on how the game went. Please take into account that this is my own, subjective point of view and is not to be taken as anything other than that.
I think complacency was the key. Before yesterday I had never approached a sporting event feeling that there was no question of victory. I had such confidence that we were a truly better team that the thought of losing had never crossed my mind. For some people this is normal. They play with such a belief in their own ability that they do not even consider any outcome other than victory. I am one of the others. Those who play with that small niggling fear that at any moment you could mess up and the game is over. This reaches beyond football and into every part of my life from work and University, to something as simple as picking up my guitar and singing in front of people. I don’t want to fail. This is not a weakness. In fact I consider it a strength. It is just the way that I approach challenges and I think I always have done.
Yesterday the fear was not there. I had such belief that we were better than the opponents that I became complacent in my approach and could not have given my best account of myself. I made some bad decisions and had momentary lapses in concentration. Physically, we should have won the game yesterday. Mentally we were poor and that is how we lost the game.
So we all make mistakes. The good thing is that we learn from them and it makes it easier to avoid repeating them. This week will be a hard week in practice, but the main thing is ensuring that I am in the right mentality come kick off on Sunday. We get another shot at the Roosters in August and I hope that the approach will be better. For now, its back to preparing for football games as I always have done.