Definition of Lose the Dressing Room

What is the meaning of the term 'to lose the dressing room'?

Losing the dressing room is a general sports term and it refers to a situation when the manager of a team loses the attention, trust and belief of his players.

The reasons for losing the dressing room could be many: string of losses, poor tactics, perceived unfair treatment of players, overmanagement, mind games etc. But the result is always the same. Players no longer respect their manager and even go as far to refuse to follow instructions. They slack off, ignore the game-plan and sometimes quit the team.

When the coach loses the dressing room, this is visible in the intensity of the players on the pitch. They stop believing in his/her leadership, the system and the overall plan. They simply care less and partially give up. Sometimes, the star players on the team will go as far to try and get their coach fired.

In most cases, losing the dressing room spells the end of the contract for the manager.


The Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho - Emotionless.

The Portuguese football manager Jose Mourinho (pictured above) is no stranger to dressing room controversy and flareups with his star players.