I’VE just watched a team of awesome, elite athletes be awarded with silver medals on a global stage, before an audience of mIllions.

While I was filled with pride for our women – the ‘special team’ who’d taken us to the pinnacle of football glory for the first time since 1966 – my wife, her face streaked with tears, was sinking lower by the second.

Football has been my wife’s passion since being a small girl, and the beautiful game is seamlessly bound together with all kinds of childhood memories, hopes and dreams.

For so many of us, football is far more than a game – it’s life, love, everything. It carries with it so much unexpressed emotion, insecurities, stories about belief, hope, ability and loss.

And so, while Mary Earps collected her Golden Glove, people across social media were talking about how gutted they felt, complaining about the gameplay, picking apart ‘mistakes’ and bemoaning yet another England defeat.

Even the pundits were immediately pulling Sarina Wiegman’s decisions to pieces, and wondering how on earth Lucy Bronze had managed to make such a ‘mistake’ in the middle of the field.

I’m sure there were plenty of people slamming their pint glasses down on bars and proclaiming they knew it wasn’t our day the second that ball hit the crossbar.

People, this is not the way to support our national team.

It is not our job to feel gutted.

It is not in our remit to start picking away at professional athletes from our armchairs.

It is not a positive move to start asking what went wrong, instead of celebrating all that went right.

“Thousands of miles away from home, literally on the other side of the world, what our players need to feel from us is support.”

Thousands of miles away from home, literally on the other side of the world, what our players need to feel from us is support.

The women actually on the field, and those supporting them from the benches, ARE allowed to feel gutted. At least for a little while.

Sarina and her team ARE allowed to examine the game under a microscope, to learn, adapt and grow from it, because THEY are in the thick of it and THEY know far more than we do.

Here’s Where We Need To Change…

Have you ever been in a situation – perhaps in an office or working environment, or even at a family event – when that one person walks in with a cloud over their head and somehow infects everyone else?

You don’t even need to look at them to sense the storm moving through the air, do you?

One Negative Nelly can fundamentally impact an entire room.

Park your finely conditioned drama addiction for a moment and consider this…

“If we’ve experienced the weight of someone else’s ill tidings on a small scale, what’s the impact of a national wave of disappointment on our team?”

If we’ve experienced the weight of someone else’s ill tidings on a small scale, what’s the impact of a national wave of disappointment on our team?

Energy carries impact. The collective weight of our grief and criticism, in that moment, is going to hit.

Not only that, but the words spewed through social channels, and our media outlets, in the days to come, will also create a drain.

Let’s Talk Brain Stuff

Let’s park the ‘woo’ and talk about brain stuff for a moment…

The next time we reach the finals of the Women’s World Cup, do you want us to be walking out there full of confidence and knowing we can win?


Do you want us to be shuffling through that tunnel, remembering the great ‘loss’ from 2023, fearing we can’t do it, facing that game in the same way our fellas face penalties?

In neuro terms, that’s called an anchor.

We want our team to be anchored towards major football tournaments positively in future, not wired towards a feeling that we’re less than, or worried about letting our supporters down.

Our job, rather than bemoaning how gutted we feel, is to flip our negatives and send a wave of support – an energetic beacon of pride, support and gratitude for a team who beat the odds and took us all the way to the finals.

Our remit is not to pick away at their strategies and game play, but to celebrate all they did brilliantly.

And yes, I know football has a language all its own, but can we PLEASE start using more positive language to encourage our players?

“So much of the commentary is unwittingly weighted towards blame…”

So much of the commentary is unwittingly weighted towards blame…

No, she didn’t ‘give away’ the ball; it was skilfully taken by another player.

No, she didn’t ’make a mistake’ or ‘lose’ the ball in midfield; she was surrounded by several opposing players and did a brilliant job of taking it down the pitch before being crowded out.

Not only does this kind of language automatically apply negativity to our own team members, but it demotes the skill displayed by the other team.

Tears Before Bedtime?

My wife and I were talking about all of this after the match.

As well as being an award-winning business and personal empowerment coach, I spent a decade or so learning about ancient mindset and energy tools from shamans and medicine people.

(Again, just park your ‘woo’ judgement for a moment and listen – I promise, there were no mushrooms or magic vibes involved, just really power-full tools to help us turn our lives around).

One of THE most power-full sets of teachings revolved around self-responsibility and being able to own, and learn from, everything that unfolds in our lives.

“We all have the ability to respond appropriately to any given situation – response-ability.”

We all have the ability to respond appropriately to any given situation – response-ability.

The old people knew this, adopted this mindset as a matter of course, and learned to get to know themselves inside and out.

They mastered the art of controlling our thoughts, rather than allowing our thoughts to control us.

They believed in carrying the attitude of the Hungry Learner – being ready and able to learn and grow from every situation.

What’s more, they learned to recognise the high-impact, low vibrational energy of drama, and to recognise the danger of stepping into the seductive secondary gain of negative states.

They knew about the balance of energies – how to spot when we’re sitting in too much fire, earth, air or water energy, along with the forces they bring, as well as how to recognise the shadow and allied elements of each one.

For example, the allied forces of fire include passion, drive and determination, with the shadow side including anger, jealousy and frustration.

Water brings us flow, purity, the ability to recognise and work with emotions, but can also take us into victim states, and that place where our dis-comfort becomes our comfort zone.

If we learn to recognise when we are out of balance, and learn how to come back into balance quickly, how to harness the allied forces of the energies on tap to us 24/7, we can very quickly get ourselves into a more positive state.

And when we learn about the negative impact of drama addiction, about how sitting in a place of dis-ease might be serving us, and then actively choose to step up and out of that energy, we can create a much more harmonious state.

(NB: Sarina and co, if any of you are reading this, I would LOVE to come and teach some of these techniques to the team. I’m absolutely convinced some of these tools would help with everything from pre-match nerves to attitudes during, and after, the game).

When my wife asked how I’d respond if we had a nine year old girl in tears because our national team hadn’t won, my response went something like this:

“I’d ask her what our team needed to feel from us all in this moment, and how she might be able to move into that place of support, love and gratitude, and to actively send some of that good stuff their way.

“And then, when we’d talked for a while and moved out of sadness and into support, I’d pick up the football, go have a kick about with her and ask which of us was going to be Mary Earps.”

That conversation turned into a really good discussion around the collective energy we send out to our teams – as fans, supporters, pundits, journalists and casual commentators.

It sparked some deep realisations about the state of not so much the game, but our attitudes towards it, and how we might work on our own mindsets to support those actually on the pitch.

What If?

What if we ALL adopted that attitude?

What if, instead of allowing our Lionesses to feel a collective wave of national sadness, we sent a huge tsunami of support and celebration?

What if, instead of teaching our kids to tap into the drama energy around football, we encouraged them to really know themselves, to understand when their energy, mood and mindset might be out of centre, and give them the tools to pull it back?

What if we collectively sent our Lionesses all the encouragement, let them know how proud we are and helped create a really positive anchored state around their next major tournament?

What if we employed similar techniques with the men’s team as well?

What if we stopped reinforcing failure in our reaction to every major tournament and taught ourselves how to lift them up – not to the unsustainable height of gods, where they have nowhere to fall but down from that ivory tower, but to a place of strength, belief and possibility.

Silver Medals

Let’s just go back to today’s medal ceremony for a moment…

If this had been the Olympics, we’d all be celebrating our haul of shiny, silver medals.

Why can’t we do that with the World Cup?

I think we can.

I think it’s time.

And if we really want to support our teams in future, to create really positive anchors and help them to future victories, we need to learn how WE can change our own attitudes as armchair enthusiasts.

Stop using negative commentary.

Stop pulling every move to pieces if you’re not one of the inner circle employed to do just that.

And, for the sake of all future trophies we might like our teams to lift, let’s stop breeding so much negative drama when we need to be sending positive encouragement and support.

Until next time,