There are moments in sport when all seems lost; the white flag is waving, the towels been thrown in and the fat lady is warming up her vocals. Yet, more than often there is a way back, the potential to turn the game on its head and pull off an extraordinary victory. As a captain you will have the duty to rouse your players, keep moral high and provide the belief that such a victory is possible.
We’ve highlighted some of our favourite sporting comebacks to provide you with some inspiration just in case you and your side ever find your backs placed firmly against the wall with all hope seemingly lost…
A captain often has to stand up and be counted when the chips are down and your side is being outclassed to inspire and help catalyse an extraordinary comeback. You’ll have to make sure that your team go out fighting and never lose hope of pulling off something special.
Many people believe the Australia vs. South Africa ODI of 2006 to be the greatest cricket match ever played. Why? Because it involved perhaps the most astonishing comeback the world of cricket had ever seen.
With the series level at 2-2 going into the final match, Australia scored a world record 434 runs from their 50-over innings. The match, and the series, appeared over. Can lightening strike twice? South Africa proved that it could. An astonishing innings by Herschelle Gibbs helped them to an unexpected victory against all the odds, with South Africa breaking that world record again by scoring 438-9 and winning the match by one wicket.
Sometimes moments occur during sport that leave you astounded and in awe of what a team have just achieved. Indeed there will be times when you and your side will attempt to achieve the seemingly unachievable. One of the finest examples of this occurred during the recent Ryder Cup in 2012 when Europe united in celebration over one of the greatest sporting comebacks ever witnessed as the European team produced a record comeback to beat the United States on their own turf.
Moving into the final day of an incredibly tense contest, the United States required only four-and-a-half points from the 12 on offer but the Europeans secured eight and a half to clinch a historic 14½-13½ win. On a day made even the more emotional due to the European side sporting the colours of the late Seve Ballesteros, Martin Kaymer sank a five-foot putt on the 18th green to get his team to the 14 points needed to retain the trophy, with Tiger Woods of all people bogeying on the final green of the final match to give Jose Maria Olazabal's side an extraordinary overall victory.
When the odds are stacked against you and time is running out, as captain it will be your responsibility to get every last ounce of energy and belief out of your players. It’s never over until it’s over, as Manchester United famously proved in the final of the Champions League in 1999 against the German outfit Bayern Munich, during which fans around the world witnessed probably the most dramatic couple of minutes of football of their lives.
In a game in which they had been comprehensively outplayed for large periods and the score at 0-1 Alex Ferguson’s side never doubted that they could turn it around, even with only injury-time remaining at an atmospheric Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Two corners from the right boot of David Beckham, two instinctive reactions from first Sherringham and then a minute later Ole Solskjaer and United were the Kings of Europe again. Bayern despair, United unparalleled joy. The comeback of all comebacks.
United showed that night that if you keep believing and working until the very end, you never know what might happen. Commentator Guy Mowbray stated seconds before the winning goal that, ‘You have to feel that this is their year.’ Each and every one of those United players never doubted that it was…