Picking yourself up

"I’m not proud of admitting this, but even though I’m a confident player, I feel a bit intimidated if I get clattered early on. Do I just need to man up?"
Rob Tadman, via email

Don Goodman says:

“It’s down to the mindset you have. If you’re the kind of person that’s going to get whacked early and go into your shell, you’re never really going to enjoy your football because opponents are going to know that’s the kind of person you are. Therefore, they are going to clatter you, knowing that might be it.

“It used to happen an awful lot more in professional football way back in the early days; it doesn’t happen so much now because of the rule changes, but it happens at grass roots level.

“The best way you can react to being clattered is make sure that the central defender knows – can visibly see – that you are not intimidated by him. So get up, dust yourself down and if you can afford yourself one, smile. Never stay down, and never roll around on the floor if you can help it.

“It’s a throwback to the early days: they want to see that they’ve hurt you, so don’t you show them. Then when you’ve just stuck one in the net and your team is winning one-nil, you might want to shoot him another nice smile.”

For more football tips see:
Feed off crowd abuse
Cool down your team-mates
Keep a cool head
Dealing with the red mist
How to deal with a mouthy player
How to deal with a wind-up merchant
Mikel Arteta: Handling a hatchet man

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