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How to Make Comebacks Bigger than Setbacks

5 things we learned in The School of New Football's third masterclass

How to Make Comebacks Bigger than Setbacks 5 things we learned in The School of New Football's third masterclass

The third session of The School of New Football has also come to an end. In the new masterclass Filippo D'Asaro interviewed Sara Gama, Stefano Borghi and Cesare Milanti (Riserva di Lusso) who talked about their biggest setbacks but also the secrets to convert them into something extremely positive, giving a new definition of defeat.

Together with Nike we want to build a future for football where the game is a safe and judgement-free space. Football, like life, is full of obstacles. We want everyone to feel comfortable and confident about who they are when they are on the pitch. We talked about this and much more in the third session of TSONF and, for those who were unable to register and attend, here is a short recap of the answers from our guests.

A defeat that taught you and left you something more 

The first one that comes to mind is not a defeat per se but it's more metaphorical, it's not a game or anything like that. It's about the period when I was playing at Paris Saint Germain and I had big physical problems, I broke my Achilles tendon, I had a troubled path from the football point of view at that time. It was a defeat for me because it didn't allow me to express myself at my best. In the long run all this makes you doubt about your abilities, if you are still up to it or not, you lose some reference when you come back from a long injury you have to recover your fitness. From this moment, however, I have learned a lot, I continued to work day by day, I returned to Italy and then great things came, I achieved several goals. There is so much positive that each of us can learn from these things if we approach them in the right way. 
Sara Gama

How to turn a setback into a comeback

Often when you find yourself in difficult times it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The secret is definitely in deciding whether to sit on our hands or to do everything in our power to get up again. Even if I wasn't able to express myself to the best of my ability on the pitch, the secret lies in continuing to work. Then there are also little signs that come to help, a call to the national team, the achievement of a goal or perfect physical form. The point is that you have to keep working, always, it's a question of choices. You have to choose whether to give up in the face of difficulties or to fight with all your might. I think the idea of going forward and 'doing' is absolutely fundamental.
Sara Gama

Considering defeat as a physiological aspect of doing 

I think defeat is a victory that comes with time, that matures and that you can build up to. I change sport for a moment and think about what Michael Jordan said: "In my life I have missed more than nine thousand shots, I have lost almost three hundred games, twenty-six times my teammates entrusted me with the decisive shot and I missed it. I failed many times. And that's why in the end I won everything. In my opinion, this is as true in football as in basketball, but also in life. The best way to define a defeat for me is this: a victory that comes by building up over time.
Cesare Milanti

How to deal with error and how it can affect you

In 2019 against Australia I happened to make a mistake, it's an example I bring up often. I caused a penalty and we went down 1-0 and that's something that can affect you for the whole 90 minutes. You have to fight not to let yourself be overwhelmed by the thought of having made a mistake, thinking about that is like wasting mental energy. The thing you have to do is to carry on despite everything, it's clear that it's not easy, you need a certain awareness. This is what I try to do, of course, I made a very important mistake that could have definitely marked me, but if I look at the whole game I am happy for the way I played and I went on. It's not easy to know how to manage moments but it's always a choice what you do. Giving 100%, even if it may seem obvious, helps you to deal with anything at your best, even after a defeat.
Sara Gama

What the word defeat really means

I think there are extraordinary examples in football of how the result is absolutely a determining thing but not the thing that most of all leaves a memory and defines a team or a player. Over time we have seen great teams play sublime, unusual football that have never won. Defeat is part of life, those who do nothing lose and never win. Those who do can lose, but they can certainly also win. However, in general, I think there is still some way to go in defining defeat, which should be understood for what it is: a negative result. While I often hear everything labelled with the word 'failure', especially in ongoing seasons, I don't like to use this word.
Stefano Borghi