Can a high defeat teach something?

14 July 2022
2 min reading time

“I don’t believe that a player who loses 0:22 feels like coming to the next training session, knowing that the exact same thing awaits him next week,” – said Slawomir Ficek, trainer of the senior juniors of GTS Pruszcz Gdanski. Can regular losing have its positives?.

Quite a few people reading this post have certainly played soccer in the past, but something must have happened (unfortunately) along the way that we didn’t become world-class soccer players. I myself remember that we lost our first league match 0:32, and I happened to have the “honor” of standing between the posts. Once, second, third such defeat can happen, but if our success was that we took a shot at the rival goal, then the pleasure of playing football was small.

I think that in the long run, that is, for example, the whole round, such meetings do not make sense, but in individual cases – yes. You also need to look a little wider, because there are various situations just like in our case, that younger boys played in the league, and theoretically here you could look for some excuse that this is a learning experience for them, only that… this learning is quite poor, if for 14 games in the round you run after the ball. One, second defeat does not have negative consequences, and one can even test oneself, however, in the long run I see more destructive than positive aspects,” says Jan Rygiel, trainer of AS Progres Krakow’s youngsters.

There are various reasons why certain teams do not do well in the competitions in which they participate. Recently, Pogoń Szczecin said goodbye to the U-15 Central Junior League, despite the fact that it has one of the best academies in the country, and all talented boys from the region go to them. “Portowcy” have bet on the younger generation, which failed in the physical league and in the spring will play at the provincial level, where… they may be the executioner.

As a coach of youth groups, I find that such defeats teach something, namely – humility. Such matches also show the boys how much more work they need to put into training, their development, to match the best teams in Wielkopolska. Last season we performed a class lower, where the boys won with practically everyone, their egos clearly soared, and the provincial league verified them a bit. I hope that this situation taught them a bit of humility, but if I had to choose, I don’t know a person who would prefer to lose, while I mentioned this aspect to show that defeats also teach something, although in general there are not too many of these positives,” replies Patryk Slomczynski, coach of Warta Srem’s senior tramp players.

It is worth mentioning at this point about girls’ soccer, where very often the disparity between teams is huge. The problem is that… there is no solution to this situation, because, for example, there is only one league for young girls in Mazovia, so girls from smaller towns who want to compete in league play have to face teams like MUKS Praga Warsaw or Ząbkovia Ząbki, with whom they stand no chance in direct competition.

I think this is a senseless form, although it’s hard to find a better solution in girls’ leagues, as there is only one league, quite unlike in boys’ soccer, where there are quite a few groups and teams can be matched to given groups by level, so that the results are not so high. I think that such matches do not have much training value, but in such matches you can also, for example, improve certain elements, where it’s not entirely about the result, while this does not work in the long run, because if you lose all the time after 0:10, it’s not edifying. I’m of the opinion that such matches don’t teach much, however, from my own experience I know that… we don’t have much other choice,” explains Mariola Rębowska, who leads the junior girls of UKS Olimp Loczki Wyszków.

We like to do things that give us pleasure, well, unless someone is a masochist, but we don’t assume such an option.

It’s hard for soccer to make us happy if we only lose and learn nothing.

After a while, a person comes to the conclusion that such a game is pointless and just… gives up.

Of course, the meetings in which you lose after 0:20 do not give, but here a lot of applause is due to the team, that it did not break up after, for example, two such defeats, but caught up the autumn round to the end and only now was disbanded. It all started with the organization of the team, this was the reason that they recorded such high defeats, because this was a team that did not train, did not meet with each other, the coach gathered them for an unknown purpose and that’s why it looked so poor. As for the very aspect of such results, it’s clear that it doesn’t make sense. I don’t believe that a player who loses 0:22 feels like coming to the next training session, knowing that in a week’s time exactly the same thing awaits him,” explains the situation of the second team of senior juniors of GTS Pruszcz Gdanski, the coach of the first junior team.

To sum up, coaches and trainers of teams that perform poorly, badly or disastrously believe that regular defeats are unlikely to have any training value. Does it work the same way in the other direction? We will address this question next week.


A team of sports enthusiasts, especially football. The texts are basically written by the whole team, sometimes also with the cooperation of external editors associated with the football community.