top of page

How to Mentally Bounce Back From A Setback

A setback might be the very thing that makes you push on and fight all the harder to become a better version of yourself

Recovering from disappointment and responding to setbacks is an important life lesson learned from playing sports. Setbacks can come in different forms. It can be injuries, losing games, making mistakes, etc.

The most dreaded setback is not making/being cut from a team. Not making a team can cause a range of emotions or feelings to flow. These feelings can be anger, regret, disappointment, or shame.

There are only so many spots available in all levels of football/soccer. In travel teams, there's maybe a maximum of up to 17 or so players. For high school tryouts a hundred people can try out, but only 20 people will make the team.

As young soccer players keep going up levels to college and professional soccer fewer and fewer people actually are able to make those teams. So, this feeling is something that is more or less likely to happen to all young soccer players at some point in their careers.

It happened to me multiple times as a young athlete. I tried out for a few higher-level travels soccer teams when I was younger and unfortunately, I didn't make it. It's an embarrassing feeling, and it's hard to deal with especially at a young age.

You'll have the coaches tell you what you need to work on, and the comment there will be to come back better next year. However, nobody really talks about the mental side and what actually needs to happen for the improvement to really happen.

Feel It

First things first, those feelings of disappointment and failure are natural things. It would be foolish for me to say, to try not to feel those but it is natural for human beings. These feelings are all a part of the process.

The important part is to not overreact. It’s important to first remember in a situation like this to keep it in perspective. It's only one team, one season. One tryout won't define any soccer player.

It isn’t personal so try not to take it this way because you will often lose sight of the learning experience you can get from rejection.

Feedback and Advice

Sharing feelings on the matter with parents or another trusted person who can give advice is an important step. The instinct may be to isolate yourself out of embarrassment, but getting a different perspective on the situation can help deal with it with a lot more clarity.

This is where parents have to be observant and honest with their children. For example, let's say your child didn't make a team, but you notice that they don't put the effort in to improve.

Saying "You'll do better next year" is an inaccurate statement, because next year there will be the same competition and some of those kids will actually spend the year trying to improve.

In times like this, it is so crucial, to be honest with your children. If you notice they can do more then push them to do more. Once they receive honest feedback it is up to them to make the decision for themselves as young soccer players.

The Decision

With everything in perspective the decision is a simple one, there are two paths. Quit or allow this moment to increase mental strength?

Sports provide a perfect environment to learn the lessons of resilience and rebounding from disappointment. There are many opportunities for experiencing failure and learning how to use these failures as lessons. These will be lessons that are sure to be useful throughout life.

Quitting, should not be an option because quitting once sets a precedent, and once it's done it can happen easier and easier every time challenges arise.

With all that being said, nowadays there are so many resources to improve. The most effective long-term use is getting a private trainer. Shoutout to Coach Parsa! 1-on-1 sessions are the most effective and efficient way to improve.

Work harder, work smarter, and come back even better.

At the very least, the experience from being cut can help mentally prepare for the next time out. Having a chip on your shoulder can be a very motivating and valuable thing, so use it to go out and prove people wrong.


How We Can Help: At FuturElitez Soccer, we emphasize a lot on our player's mindset and attitude towards not only football/soccer but life. Not only do we emphasize this with our players, but we put out information for everyone to see such as our blogs, instagram and tiktok. With our podcasts on youtube and our blogs, we try to put out a message to help everyone live their life to the fullest! If you enjoyed this read, it would mean so much to us if you could share this with a friend/family member! Thank you in advance for always reading our blogs on a weekly basis.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page