The Underdog – Three Approaches – World Cup Edition – Socceroos

The third and final approach we will look at this week comes from down under. We looked at Iceland‘s island mentality of never leaving the 18 yard box, and then Switzerland who aren’t really that much of an underdog but quietly go about their business. Today we’ll look at Australia.

Australia opened their World Cup by taking the game to one of the biggest favourites, France. For periods of the game Australia were dominant and France were in trouble, and considering the gulf in talent and expectations, aren’t all that unfavourable.

In their second game the Socceroos played Denmark. Once again, Australia had strong periods of crushing their opponents, and as you can see from the stats had the better of the game.

From these games it could well be argues that Australia have been very unlucky to have not got stronger results. A draw against France and a win against Denmark (although that means getting past Schmeichel who is on fire) and the table looks completely different.

Either way, the Australian approach at being an underdog is to simply go out and fight. They have a ton of passion, and Tim Cahill has been playing at international level since he 1950s (maybe), so there is experience in the team as well. There is no doubt about it, when it comes to being the underdog, you have to root for Australia who will one day be the surprise package in the World Cup. Maybe, results being favourable, it will be this one. They certainly deserve it with their never-say-die attitude, teamwork, and commitment to competing.

Here are today’s three takeaways:

1 – When it comes to fight, flight, or freeze, Australia definitely choose fight. They don’t fear opponents, work hard, and never, ever know when they are beaten.

2 – Australia stick to their plan. They stay focused, and as their coach said after the France game “The French did not know what to do for large parts of the game, but France is not my problem and I will not talk about them. I wish them luck.” Don’t worry about what others are up to, stay on track!

3 – Focus on performance. As we have seen in the Socceroo games, not all circumstances will be favourable. You can’t change it. You can always improve though. Focus on how you can get better and you will find the circumstances will eventually follow (or at least appear that way).

I love the Australian approach. They have energy, commitment, teamwork, and focus on their game. They have ridiculous tenacity and are a pleasure to watch. I suppose we should expect nothing less than a relentless fighting spirit from a country that is home to about 98% of the world’s most deadly animals.

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