It seems painfully obvious to me that if we keep sending our players out to play without adequate preparation and unrealistic expectations over and over again, they will soon lose their shine.
If they dont have the mental training to handle the incredible levels of stress, they will eventually search for ways out. Finding excuses and inventing creative stories.
This is a natural process when faced with repeated defeats and no real solution in sight and we are dealing with very smart people here.
For our "solution" each time is to look at the technical mistakes. Time and time again. And as the players continue to deteriorate, we hammer them harder thus enforcing the trauma. We continually insult them by calling them lowly players etc. thinking we can shame them into performing better.
But hey, they are already having problems handling the stress? Psychology 101 tells you that the simple answer is to teach them how to cope. Adding more stresses on them only compounds the problem.
But the answer also cannot be to let them run away from the stress. Stress is unavoidable in a competitive environment. The answer lies in our self talk. How we manage our internal stresses. For only that is within our control.