Player Reflection Tool

Commitment and effort


Complete the form

First, complete the 55 questions below as accurately as you can

Choose a topic area

View your results and choose an area to study

Identify two aims

Use video tasks to identify two specific things to work on

Practice to improve

Let your coach know what you are working on

This webpage has been especially designed to help you improve your commitment and effort in football games. There are exercises to complete, and tips and advice also. You could use some of the advice to help you improve your effort in other areas of your life also - such as other sports or at school. Your mission is to complete all the homework tasks below and identify two key specific things that you want to work on and try to improve in your practice sessions, team training or on your own.

First, let's look at what we mean by commitment. Here is a description of someone who shows high levels of commitment:

  • Consistently gives high levels of effort
  • Feels sense of achievement at having completed task or learnt new skills
  • Believes that hard-work leads to improvement
  • Takes on difficult challenges
  • Is not afraid of making mistakes

Effort usually refers to the physical or mental sacrifices a player makes, perhaps within a game or practice.

Motivation is the driving force behind effort and commitment. A highly-motivated person is someone who sees purpose and value in their efforts. They are more likely to have high levels of commitment.


In order to make an effort to do something, we need a purpose. Watch the video, and answer the question below.

  • Why do you play football? What do you love about football?

Think about what football means to you. Try to identify the key reasons why you play.

Are there some football games, situations or sessions where you are more motivated than others? If so, describe why this is.

What is Success?

John Wooden was a very successful American basketball coach. Some say he was the greatest ever sports coach. Here is his definition of success:

Success is the peace of mind that results from knowing you did your best

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

Some people judge success on winning, but Wooden thinks it's better to judge your success on whether you did your best. Doing your best is within your control, but winning is not. Sometimes you may play against a team who are simply better than you, and you may not be able to win. In this case, it is easy to lose motivation. But if you view success as Wooden does, then you will keep making an effort to do your best, regardless of the scoreline.

Tips from John Wooden:

  • Don't ever try to be better than someone else. Instead aim to be the best you can be.
  • Be concerned only with things you have control over. Don't worry about things you cannot control (like the other team, the scoreline, winning and losing)


Choose one of the following tasks to complete:

2A. Goal-setting

Some people find it very useful to set goals for themselves in order to build motivation and maintain commitment. Please visit the Goal-setting page and work through the exercises. This will help you to set useful performance goals which may increase your motivation and effort.

2B. A Growth Mindset

In order to understand the importance of effort, it is essential to have what is known as a Growth Mindset. Click here to take you to the learning page for this topic. This will help you to understand that effort does make a difference.

Flow - a beginner's guide

In this section, we are going to look at something called Flow. Flow is a state of mind and body that can occur when you play sport. It can also occur for some people when you are playing music, or dancing, or even doing maths!

Have you ever heard the expression "in the zone" in sport? For example, a player might be described as being "in the zone" if they are completely focused on the game they are playing and all the things they try seem to work.

Flow can be different for different people. Flow is when you are doing something, and you are completely immersed in it. You stop thinking about other things, and you are not easily distracted. Sometimes it might feel like five minutes have gone by but actually it's been one hour. You have a feeling of nothing else matters. For some people, the little voice in their heads has shut up, and they are no longer talking to themselves.

Flow can happen in football, but only if we are playing in certain conditions. Flow can happen when you are playing games that are the correct level for your ability. The games need to be challenging but not so difficult that they cause you stress or anxiety.


Consider which of the following statements is true for you:

  • (a) The football games I play in are too difficult for me
  • (b) The football games I play in are too easy for me
  • (c) I feel nervous, anxious or stressed when I play football
  • (d) I feel bored when I play football

In order to feel Flow, it is important that you feel the correct level of challenge and support in your games. If this is not happening for you, it is worth discussing this with your coach or parent.


When it comes to motivation, it can help greatly to find inspiration in successful people. We can learn a lot from professional athletes, in terms of what keeps them motivated and what is important in order to maintain commitment. The next homework task studies some of Britain's greatest Olympians.


Here are four British athletes who have demonstrated great commitment and effort. Choose one of them and watch the video(s). Once you have finished watching, write down a few lines on what you learned about motivation, commitment and effort.

1. Sir Steve Redgrave, a British rower. The first video shows part of the selection and training process for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

2. Derek Redmond, a British athlete, who in the 1992 Olympics continued to finish the race despite a torn hamstring

3. Jessica Ennis-Hill, a British athlete, who won Heptathlon Gold at the London Olympics in 2012

4. Mo Farah, a British athlete, and double Olympic Gold medallist at London 2012

Self talk

At times, all sports people feel a lack of motivation. When this happens in football games, it can be helpful to have a method of re-finding your motivation.

Self-Talk refers to what we say to ourselves in our heads. When we are playing football we often have a conversation going on inside our heads. Sometimes we will say things to ourselves that are helpful, sometimes we will say things to ourselves that are unhelpful.

In order to make Self-Talk work for you, it is a good idea to make your Self-Talk positive and motivational. For example, if we say "I can do it", then this reminds us that we are able to perform well.

We could use Self-Talk to remind us of what motivates us to play football. For example, if we play because we like the challenge of trying our best, then a good keyword to use might be "Best".


Think of a quick phrase or key word that you can use as Self-Talk to help you re-find your motivation and focus in your football games. Choose a word or phrase that helps you imagine yourself doing things well. Have an image in your mind that goes with the word or phrase, so you say the word and imagine a picture of yourself being highly motivated and making an effort.

You will use this key word or phrase during your next game or practice. Use it before the game to help you prepare, use it when you have made a mistake to help you re-focus, and use it anytime you feel a lack of motivation.

Nutrition, rest and hydration

Finally, and very importantly, we need to look at how you prepare for football games. If you want to perform your best, it is vital that you get a good amount of rest and sleep, that you have eaten the right kinds of food, and that you have drunk enough water. If you don't eat, drink and rest properly then you will not be able to make a proper effort in games and your levels of motivation will decrease.

Scientists have done studies and they have found that the body's ability to perform reduces by half if it does not have enough water. When your body does not have enough water, we call this dehydration. To avoid dehydration, you need to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

The body is a machine, and it require the correct type and quantity of fuel to perform well. Make sure you are well-nourished. Follow these tips in order to keep healthy, have more energy and enjoy playing better football:

  • Eat breakfast! This is the most important meal of the day, so it should not be skipped.
  • Reduce the amount of fizzy drinks that you drink, and replace them with water or fruit juice.
  • Eat healthier snacks. Eat carrots, dry breakfast cereal, nuts, rice cakes, rye, crisp breads, bagels or toast rather than crisps, chocolate bars and sweets.
  • Reduce sugary foods, for example by not having sugar with your breakfast cereal.
  • Eat less fatty foods. For example, reduce the amount of butter, margarine, fatty meat, beef burgers, chips and crisps that you eat.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after football (and other sports).
  • Avoid sugary snacks immediately before football (and other sports). Fruit, such as bananas, or other carbohydrate-rich snacks are better. Avoid over-eating before football.
  • Replace fluids, salts and carbohydrates that you have used during your football session.

Aim to have eight to ten hours of sleep at night. Ten hours sleep means that if you need to wake up to go to school at 7am, you need to be in bed and going to sleep at 9pm the previous night. You will not be able to make your best effort if you have not rested or slept properly.

Player Reflection Tool - Home

Dear Learner,

Welcome to your HOMEWORK page! Here you will learn about your chosen topic. It is a good idea to save the URL for this page to your favourites so you can easily return to it when you need to.

You need to work through the tasks on the page, one at a time. This might mean watching videos, it might mean doing other tasks and activities. It may be a good idea to take notes also. Remember that the more work and effort you put into the tasks, the more you will learn and the better you will become.

For most topics, there will be a PRINT OUT at the bottom of the page. You need to print this, complete the questions, and take to your coach. You need to do this so the coaches know what you are working on and are able to help you.

If any of the links on this page are broken, or you have other ideas or suggestions, please get in touch at:


Mark Carter

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Once you have completed all the homework, click on the 'Print the form' link. This will open a form which you need to print out and complete. Take this completed form to your coach.

Then click here to move onto the last part of the Tool.

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Mark Carter

07772 716 876