The football malady: stop having wrong expectations!

Contents1 So, what exactly causes stress?2 How is this relevant to leadership?3 Lesson Football is one of those sports that could cause heartaches. Stories

Football is one of those sports that could cause heartaches. Stories abound of people who become so hopeless to the extent of committing suicide following the loss of a football match by their team!

Though still controversial, studies conducted following the 1998 word cup indicated increased cardiovascular cases following a stressful match. A detailed article about this can be found here.

So, what exactly causes stress?

No one has ever been disappointed by the football results. It is the expectation that their team would win which causes the troubles. The difference between the expected results and the actual results is what causes all the problems we see in sports.

In the Rugby world cup, when Japan did the unexpected by beating Ireland, some fans could not believe it. Imagine if this match was the final, some fans of Ireland could have been hospitalized.

How is this relevant to leadership?

When you get a job and promise to deliver, you increase the expectations of your supervisors. They look at you as one of the top resourceful people. Everyone wants to be around people who can deliver over and above what they promise.

Imagine when you fail to do so. It causes an expectations gap. It is that gap that causes problems especially in case of communication break down.
If you want to succeed in your role, stop providing false promises which lead to high expectations of your skills.


The pain is always due to the high expectations not attained. It is never about the results.

If you start watching a game without expectations of winning, you will not feel any pain.
If you promise someone that you will cover their back, but do not, you abuse their trust. That is what causes the pain. Having created an expectation to deliver and you fail. We can all handle the results if we did not have any expectations.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2019. All rights reserved.

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