Knowing you are better than your competition gives you that extra bit of swagger when playing. It gives us a confidence boost that we need throughout the match. You want to get involved on every play and the doubt is completely gone. Everyone on the squad wants to score and do their job to the fullest. But, what happens when you know your opponent is better than you? Should all hope be lost?
We have all played matches where the other squad looks incredible in the warm up. Knocking passes with precision and hitting unstoppable shots. On top of that, we have most likely checked their past matches to see exactly who they are. 'Undefeated and they have only given up 2 goals in 10 matches.' It can be intimidating to look across the field and see this squad opposite of you. Instead, we must understand that this is our moment to truly compete against those who are at the top. We are failing ourselves and others if we start to check out mentally. It is the same if we go down a goal in the match. We must stay competitive and fight. Giving up should not be an option. We need to shine, even in the darkness.
Being an underdog is special. No one expects you to win, but having just a bit of hope is all that you need. It happens all the time at the professional level. Players line up against Mbappe and Haaland weekly knowing that it is going to be a tough match. Being present in the moment puts you on an even playing field regardless of who your opponent may be. Now fully commit and go for it. The belief needs to be there the same way that it is in matches that you know you are the better team in. You've worked hard physically. You are ready for these moments. It's now your time to shine
"It's always better to shock people and change people's expectations than to give them exactly what they think you can do"