Thursday, 15 March 2007

Psychology of the pre-match banter

It has been interesting to hear the talk coming from the different camps this week.

Ireland talking about how easy it will be to beat Italy is a mistake. It will only give the Italians passion on the day.

Wales similarly talk about showing the English, how good they are and that they are confident of victory.

England talks about how hard the game will be and expect the Welsh to fight them every step of the way.

This is all about controlling expectations. The Irish players now have it in their heads that they will walk over Italy. The Italians will be out to make a point they previously didn't need to make, it will give fuel to their game in front of their home crowd.

English players have prepared them selves mentally for a hard game against the Welsh with the coaches talking about this being the most difficult test of the 6 nations. Where as the Welsh have it in their heads that they will win through pure passion to avoid the white wash.

If you are prepared mentally to met your opponents believing you will win easily and find when you met them they are not so easily beaten, it is hard to shift your mental view of the situation and therefor your expectations.

If however, you are prepared for a long hard fight you will never be disappointed.

In the first world war the German troops where told that the "Tommy" was a buffoon and a flop they would easily overcome. The British troops where told the Germans were barbaric "Hun" and expected to met a monster in the battle fields. When they met the British troops were enraged with anger prepared to fight for their lives against the barbaric "Hun" and the Germans expect to met a buffoon. So what do you think happen when they first met???? The German discovered the truth about their opponents and felt cheated and lied to by their leaders and suffered from bad morale. The British troops were mentally prepared for their opponents and fought them tooth and nail with their expectations met.

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