“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Pressure is an inseparable element of competitive sport. It is in the most important and decisive moments, when the stakes are highest, that it appears. Psychological pressure is an excessive stress that appears in situations of maximum perceived importance when the demand is high and the consequences are decisive. It is caused by two main aspects: social evaluation and the importance of the result. In the psi-sporting world, AKA: "Paralysis by Analysis".
Truthfully. Not many are able to perform well under pressure. But that again is what separates the Pro’s from the Amateurs. Feeling evaluated makes you more aware of what you are doing and try to control it so that it goes well. The consequence is a loss of fluidity in the automatisms. The automatisms and technical actions, which were performed intuitively and quickly, are now executed consciously, becoming slow and clumsy.
Para muestra, un botón.
Anyone watching the Guadalajara – Santos game last Sunday afternoon was witness to a plethora of misplaced passes, reckless gambits, and unforced errors. Conditions understandable coming from the youth plagued starting eleven from Torreon, less so from the experimented Red and White crew.
Three weeks were not enough for Vuce’s starting lineup to patch up the lines and attempt to finish the Guardianes 2021 with a strong push for a playoff berth.
But alas. It was not to be. Chivas came strong out of the gate with a Vega shot off the post, but were unable to string together a significant number of passes nor seemed to be able to break through Alamada’s double 4 defensive line. Guadalajara found itself on the offensive with push, but without direction. The Red and White’s had the Kings share of possession but were not able to generate any positive forward momentum. Santos pushed its lines forward and applied high press to the max, creating unforced errors which began to break up el Rebaño’s lines.
Santos’ goal came off an unforced error on Hiram Mier. Under pressure from Jesus Ocejo, the newly returned Mier, badly handled a soft pass from Molina, tripped over the ball, and went sprawling, paving the way for Ocejo’s go-ahead shot on a solitary Toño Rodriguez.
The silence which fell upon Akron was like lead.
The return to reactionary futbol.
Vuce started his rescue op soon after the beginning of the second half. Luckily for us, Jesus “El Canelo” Angulo, Vega, Macias, Antuna, and Cone started connecting and gave us twenty-minutes of sublime futbol. Twenty minutes which ended with Angulo’s left-footed bombshell which found a home in the upper right corner of the net. Nothing to do for Carlos Acevedo who by the skin of his teeth kept the Santos goal clean.
Chivas dominated for twenty minutes but in the end, once again, fell to its own demons.
Determination and guts were not enough to get an at-home W. Being honest, a one-goal draw is of little use to the Rebaño, hovering in fifteenth place with 13 points, still out of position for a playoff berth. The upcoming schedule bodes foully for the Red and White’s. It is unlikely that they will be able to easily pull back three points in the remaining league matches.
Still, “la esperanza muere al ultimo”.
Hopefully, those twenty minutes of magic will be repeated. We witnessed the other side of our Guadalajara, that of the Sleeping Giant. An imprisoned spirit. An Animi Captivus. Struggling to get out.