MANY teams have experienced playing down to the level of the opponent especially when their team is expected to win only to lose in the end.

This experience sometimes makes the entire team upset and lose morale.

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Predominantly, the coach or players themselves are blamed for unexpected upsets of losing to a less capable opponent.

The experience where a stronger team losses a game unexpectedly is because of the attitude towards the game and the team chemistry, which causes poor “jelling” of players and where game plans and team play simply do not materialize.

So, how can we avoid upsets and not play down to an opponent’s level?

In experiential learning, the problem why teams play to the level of their opponent is because of lack of motivation. Motivation, determines the individual perception of players towards the game which varies from “extroversion to being an introvert”, or an outward–directed perception of individual players and or a task oriented perception which requires sustained attention by the individual in the game.

These personal behavioral perceptions will help the team in games, however, these should be stimulated by high motivation so playing on the level of your opponent will become a positive and helpful force.

In most game upsets, overconfidence should be controlled. This attitude leads to a lackluster and a sloppy game plan. We need to prepare for every game or match like we would a championship game and never take winning for granted. 

How to do it? Get excited about playing against the opponent and have more motivation and never be over confident. Set a goal for every game and find a way to be pumped for a career scoring day.

Challenge yourself beyond winning the game. It is not also only considering one’s self but team chemistry for the team to work. Set team goals, the team players have to unite and be focused for better results.

To top it all, get focused on the game. It is the most important element whenever and whatever the game is. The coach must do a very good job in laying out the execution of game plans, determining what to focus on the game. It is then the job of the players to stick to the task-relevant cues which they are asked forth to do and accomplish.

So don’t let the level of your opponent change your motivation or preparation. Get excited, focus yourself to play your best. And challenge yourself to have a great game no matter who the opponent is!