chapter  3
Courage in football
WithErkut Konter, Jürgen Beckmann
Pages 12

The chapter addresses a number of issues related to courage in football including conceptual definitions. Courage is frequently considered a major factor in sport performance. However, it has received little scientific attention in sport psychology. In this chapter, we address courage from a self-regulation perspective. Courage in football should allow players to initiate actions and persist at goal pursuit despite risk. Thus, courage as a self-regulation process refers to the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain and overcome the fear to maintain the chosen course of action. In line with this, research identifies a number of variables influencing courage in football (e.g. self-confidence, determination, assertiveness, venturesomeness, coping with fear, as well as sacrificial or altruistic behaviour). In addition, the chapter attempts to outline a multidimensional sport (football) specific courage model. Initial assessment instruments and research findings are presented. In general, the research suggests that: (a) courage plays an important role in football performance, (b) learning to regulate one’s affective reactions appears to be of high importance, (c) children and adolescents need to be given opportunities to develop courage-related self-regulation skills in football academies, (d) autonomy appears to be very important for courage development, (e) accordingly, giving players responsibility early on seems to have positive effects on the development of courage, (f) positive coaching in childhood and adolescence is important, (g) coaches and managers should learn more about courage, courageous personality, courage development, and its role in modern football.