Try a Few Reps of Composure

For all you futbol fans, or perhaps those that love the USA, let’s talk about composure. I’m talking about the kind of composure that players keep when faced with adversity. Athletes that lose their pantalones when the calls don’t go their way, and the ones who don’t waiver at all. When team USA found themselves in a lose and leave situation after the wrong call heard round the world, they had two paths to take – get angry or get focused. Kudos Coach Bob Bradley for keeping a cool head and telling the players to move on. Ultimately, the team’s determinations to play harder resulted in a W and advancement to the next round. Whereas, team France, ah sac le bleu. They lost their berets after their coach tossed a player from the tournament. Staging a walk-off during a scheduled team practice in protest. The result, France lost. They’ve always been good at resisting.

Most athletes will say that frustration can lead to mental anguish during a competition. It’s how strong someone is at times in the mind that matters more. When you have a raging attitude as a teen, you’re a “hot shot.” Later in life they’ll call you an “asshole.”

Galarraga gracefully hands over the game card.

In life there are the Johnny Macs, notorious at shouting, and the Galarragas – the Detroit pitcher showed not one sign of anger after losing his perfect game in the 9th with two outs to a call where even the Ump admitted fault.

It’s in these tests of character when one has to reach inside for something more than physical strength, that true champions triumph.

When calls aren’t going your way or when your workout or training goes kaput, breathe. Proper athletes are going to go through more than time trials. Learn to control your emotion and harness your vulnerability. If you have a bad day on the bike, instead of hurling that light hunk of junk, walk it off and get back on the saddle.

This coming from a person that loses their crap sometimes for no good reason. Traffic and a copier paper jam can turn me into the Hulk. Typically in sports I can put mind over matter. Maybe I need some composure in my day to day, ha.

Are you the calm and collected type or do you dwell on bad juju? And be honest, I promise I don’t judge!

67 responses to “Try a Few Reps of Composure

  1. What a great post! I am a very stoic person and so usually I keep everything in if I am upset. Now if I am excited then everyone knows it!! But I am not a fan of athletes making scenes. I think they need to realize that they are role models for a lot of young people AND this is a job! They get paid to do it. If they worked a corporate deak job and something didn’t go their way would they curse out their manager? i think not.

  2. Good post! When running I frequently get angry, it is usually during the final miles of a long run when I will hip check every person I run past. I loose my composure easily when I am tired, hungry and hurting.

  3. The US team showed great composure in their win yesterday! It was one of the greatest games I have ever seen. With about three minutes left they could have easily allowed the anger to set in with a loss looming, but they played on and fought hard. I was not so much impressed with the win, but rather, the determination and calm they showed throughout. Even if they had lost I would have been proud of them…but…they didn’t! GO USA!!!!

  4. Very well said! I think that even when you do your best to keep your composure there will always come a time when the right circumstances come together and you’ll snap. It’s inevitable. But even after that you still need to choose whether to let those things keep affecting you or to resteel yourself and keep going. Sometimes the moment after you lose your composure is just as important as all the times you were successful in keeping it.

    • That’s a terrific mantra. You see it a lot in young tennis players. Nobody would believe, but Fed use to be a real hot-head. His coach nipped that in the bud and now look at him:)

  5. Great article. I try to be cool and composed when adversity stikes but it can be very difficult at times. I tell myself to do the best that I can do and compete with myself and not be concerned with what others do.

  6. I definitely wear my heart on my sleeve, but when it comes to sports, I don’t get too heated. I get more worked up over life things, but for me, sports are recreational and meant for a good time. The boyfriend, brothers, and dad….another story! Sports can become a life/death situation for them!

  7. Galarraga is THE MAN all the way…best show of class out of D-town in a long time.

    Me…bad juju all around. I get pissed when I can’t get the straw into a juice box, and then want to pull an AK-47 on the designers of the container.

    Great post!

  8. First France, now Italy. This World Cup comes as one heck of a ride! Now I’m wondering if we’ll see Portugal and Brazil on the other side!

    Coming to the point, what you picked up is very relevant (though the tantrums give the viewers something to gape at – example the tiff in today’s Italy-Slovakia match after Italy’s first goal). Better sportsmanship is better appreciated.

    Again, great post!

  9. Great post. Especally about the World Cup because I’ve seen a lot of lost composure in those games and in regular Futbol club games.

    Personally I’m a very calm person. If I get angry I usually keep it sealed away until I calm back down. If it’s really bad and I keep thinking about it I usually give myself a time out and take a nap which really helps( Now I understand why they did that in preschool). But if there’s someone who is too nosy and keeps pushing me to tell them what happened when it’s none of there concern… that’s when I blow up.

  10. “When you have a raging attitude as a teen, you’re a ‘hot shot.’ Later in life they’ll call you an ‘asshole.'”

    Well said. Great article.

  11. I’m with you here, I think many coaches fail to teach their players about good composure and sportsmanship. It’s more than just being fit physically. Sports can be very mental games.

    As a soccer player myself one thing I can’t stand about the game is the over exaggeration of a “foul.” When I played, unless I was serious hurt, you wouldn’t see me laying on the ground for more than half a second. In 3 years of varsity soccer I can only remember staying on the ground twice and neither time was even a foul. Once was a cramped calf and the other time was 50/50 ball I half assed and ended up hyper-extending my ankle. Ended up being out for 5 games. Sucked!

  12. I used to play soccer and could definitely “lose my cool” too easily on occasion! With running, I do get frustrated with “bad” runs – but am also very aware that these happen, and it makes the GOOD ones that much better! I’m definitely much calmer about things the more that I train – just taking it in stride. 🙂

  13. I had to giggle at your bike comment. One afternoon I was driving in to work and saw a teenager trying to stand on the seat of his bike going down a hill in the on-coming lane. Of course, this caught my eye. He wiped out unhurt, jumped up and immediately picked the bike up over his head and tossed it over the bridge and into the adjacent river. Talk about biting off your nose to spite your face. 🙂

  14. in my years of coaching high school soccer in the states and college in china, i have received my fair share of warnings and cards — and have been kicked out of one match. but i’m not a hothead by any means.

    rather i’m intentional in showing anger and disagreement. it’s often strategically correct to show displeasure and dissent. if a referee is overlooking something in particular, calling his attention to it an a loud way will often “convince” him to watch it a little more closely. the problem is this only works with the conscientious and intelligent referees, who are able to understand and admit to themselves that they’ve been missing the calls. there are others who will hold your disagreement against you. so there are games i hold my tongue, and others in which i don’t.

    anyway, disputing a referee’s call during play is often the correct thing to do. it’s not always a loss of composure.

    • Well put reply! There is a point where you have to release you’ve either made your point or the maybe the referee is just too stubborn to hear you out, but eventually you got to move on and focus back on the game and forget the bouched call.

  15. i am fairly calm and collected though i may get home and “stew” over a glass of wine….karma is a bitch!

  16. One thing that makes me lose my marbles is traffic. It is the only thing that really straight up destroys my attitude for hours on end afterwards.

    Boo traffic!

  17. Well written post- very witty- made me laugh. I am waiting for the germany-england game on sunday- talk about hot heads- let’s see if Rooney can keep himself “focused” and not lose his rag on the field… (as I am assuming Germany will be a tough game…)

  18. I can understand the frustration levels of Americans specifically since faster, stronger, quicker, better is the iconic way to be in sports.

    What this shows is that having the mental toughness is equally as important in many cases and can transform obstacles into opportunities to show resilience. Love this post!!

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  20. “Walk it off and get back on the saddle.”

    What a great line and a great piece of advice for all of us. I’m forever amazed at how stressed out people get; in traffic, at work, even watching sports on TV. My dad can’t even make it to the end of the day without cursing about the price of gas or fuming when he runs out of his favorite juice.

    Geezus, I’m shocked to be saying this, but people really need to take their cues from the footballers there and calm down.


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  22. This is a fantastic post and I completely agree.

    Well done team USA on getting through to the next round.

    The Australians lost composure themselves during and immediately after their first match, never to recover. I posted some thoughts about controlling the controllables, learning from your mistakes and thinking like a victor not a victim here:

    Good luck in the next round.

  23. I’m the calm, cool, collected type. Except when it comes to soccer. I was way more belligerent than Bob Bradley. He gave a very diplomatic interview immediately after the Slovenia game. I have to say I was impressed.

  24. Best quote ever:

    “When you have a raging attitude as a teen, you’re a “hot shot.” Later in life they’ll call you an “asshole.””

    True that.

  25. LFTR – Great Post, and I touch upon the same themes ( especially Donovan’s interview with Jeremy Schapf after the game ) in my latest post here…

    Sport in its truest sense is a reflection of the culture at large. This US team has shown the world the best of what our proud country has to offer.

    • For some reason I hadn’t my links posted the other day, now I do, figured it out. It’s sunday evening, and th US is out, soundly beaten… As is Mexico and poor England. What a travesty. Still, this has been a great world cup – looking forward to a spectacular finish!

  26. im not as calm back then. when things didn’t go my way, i would literally freak out. but yeah, after that you have to accept how it turned out and be humble. great post btw! =)

  27. great post!!! i play soccer a lot, and there are times when the other teams tries to annoy you.back in my school days, i so cudn’t help not bring up a fight. i wudn’t really give a damn if im the tiniest guy in the gang tho, i wud jst straight go for his face. lol, but with time u change! well, i learned the trick of smiling it off. and i have found this annoys them even more! lol, time for some payback!

  28. Losing a with grace is a skill that every needs to be taught at some point in their lives. Even worse is when the loss is unnjust – but learning to roll with the punches is one of the best things that’s happened to me.

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  30. articles are quite interesting to read, who would have thought such an article is worthy to be a reference to all the people, give more benefits to others to share information with us to achieve common progress.
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  31. The football frenzy has officially entered it’s crucial stage. Fan’s all over the world are eagerly waiting on the outcomes and results of their favorite sport.

  32. You’ve got to admit… there is a lot of pressure here. In some of these nations, this sport is bigger than religion, politics, education, etc. It is as popular in any country as baseball, basketball, American football and hockey combined in the US.

  33. This is a great post!! I think you worded it perfectly — and it’s sage advice. (Although it does surprise me how many hot-headed, nasty athletes make it pretty far). I’m definitely not a person with an awful temper. Especially when it comes to frustration from sports…unfortunately my instinct is to immediately start crying, which doesn’t make me look so tough in races or during games.

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