Graham Taylor: coping with criticism

Feeling undervalued and undermined as your team-mates have a pop at every turn? Graham Taylor explains how to regain your mental toughness

I get the hump every time someone has a go at me. Is there anything I can do to better cope with criticism?

Ryan Feenley, via e-mail

More after the break

Graham Taylor says:

“Here’s something I know a thing or two about. But with football, like anything in life, we have to accept that we’re not going to be perfect all the time. Sometimes when we get criticised we think all of it is wrong, but you’ve got to be strong enough and open enough to say to yourself ‘some of that might be right’. In the long-term that helps because somebody who will not accept any criticism at all sooner or later will struggle because football’s a team game and everyone has an opinion, whether it’s the manager, your team-mates or the fans.

"The other thing, of course, is to believe in yourself. Going right back to when I’d just became manager of Lincoln City in 1972, aged 24, we lost four and drew seven of our first 11 games. Not a single win in eleven games. ‘Taylor out, Taylor out’ was the chant from the Sincil Bank end. But I stuck to my beliefs in the main, but accepting that certain things might need to change.   Two years later we walked away with the fourth division championship with a record number of points.

"When it comes to football, especially football management, coping with criticism is part of the territory. Mainly because everyone out there think they can do your job! So one final piece of advice; if you can’t handle the criticism as a player, definitely don’t get into management. There’s no where to hide.”

Also see:
Defending corners: The essentials
How to defend when you’ve got the ball
Last 5 mins and you need a goal
How to defend when you’ve got the ball

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