Last Saturday, in football’s Champions League Final, a goalkeeper made two horrendous mistakes that essentially cost his team the trophy. Liverpool’s Loris Karius said he was infinitely sorry. His team-mates and coaches were saying all the right things after the game but I wonder if he will really be forgiven by them and Liverpool’s fans.
I was interested to read a comment from a sports psychiatrist in the aftermath of the final:
“This is sport and on the day sometimes things go wrong. The most important thing is to accept that he hasn’t lost any talent or ability. It’s just a couple of glitches so it’s usually best to face the demons. He’ll probably never make the same mistake again.”
I wonder if he will get the opportunity to prove that he hasn’t lost any talent or ability.
Gareth Bale did. He came off the bench for Real Madrid to score what might be the greatest goal in Champions League history. He then put another past Karius in a man-of-the-match performance.
I’m not a big football fan and don’t follow it too closely but I read that Bale was not getting much game time and his form was poor all season. His coach put him in anyway. Despite having no form all season, he proved that his talent and ability had not deserted him.
Children make mistakes all the time. It is important that these mistakes do not define them. We need to develop empathetic relationships and assessment practices that acknowledge mistakes are inevitable. When mistakes are made, we need to be there to help our children make sense of them and to ultimately learn from them. Our assessment practices need to allow us to provide that support.
Loris Karius might be 24 years old but I hope someone is there for him. I hope he gets another chance to prove himself.