Kerala Blasters head coach Kibu Vicuna discusses how to take care of ‘mental health’ in RFYS webinar

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Kibu Vicuna took part in a Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) webinar on Friday where he addressed the topic of mental health among players. Vicuna spoke about the importance of handling rejection in the webinar, which was part of the RFYS Online Education Programme that covers a range of topics from football training and tactics to nutrition to mental conditioning and much more.

Mental health is an aspect that’s often neglected among athletes. While successes are spoken of and written about, not much content is available on how to handle failures and rejections, which Vicuna believes is part of football and life in general.

The 30-minute webinar also saw Vicuna discuss a variety of ways to deal with some of the challenges that players face. The Kerala Blasters head coach elaborated how football itself is one of life’s best teachers and how the beautiful game can help us control negative emotions.

The Spaniard explained how the players may have to adjust to new situations and circumstances given the constantly changing nature of football before going on to show some examples of players who overcame rejection to become superstars. Brazilian great Ronaldo getting rejected by Flamengo at a young age particularly left a big impression.

However, perhaps the most significant takeaway from the webinar conducted by Vicuna was the need for one to have self-belief. The Spaniard accentuated the importance of believing in yourself and being confident in one’s own ability. He spoke of how hard work is another pillar of success and why believing in yourself is a must for any aspiring talent. Furthermore, he stressed the need for being patient in order to assess one’s overall situation besides also constantly self-reviewing the hard yards that a player puts in.

During the webinar’s Q&A session, a few of the topics that Vicuna touched on was how communication is key and why it’s imperative for players to clarify any doubts or questions that they may have instead of bottling up such queries within themselves.

While discussing the mental health of young coaches and the backroom staff at clubs, Vicuna insisted that delegating responsibilities is a must. He also said it’s necessary to have good people around and that teamwork is crucial, just like in football.

Vicuna finally revealed that Andre Agassi’s autobiography ‘Open’ which documents some of challenges the tennis legend faced in his career is one of his favourite books. Before signing off, he also thanked Kerala Blasters’ fans for their unwavering support in the ongoing season.

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