Home » Sports » Just Like Khama, We All Lack Ambition

I AM a Dynamos supporter and whenever there is a crisis at the Glamour Boys my heart bleeds. Events that have happened this year have got me thinking. I looked at the players’ training boycott before the trip to DRC and then I looked at the threat to boycott training just before the ZPC Kariba game last Sunday.

The fact that Dynamos lost on both occasions speaks volumes about the wisdom, or rather lack of it, for players to engage in these training boycotts.

It got me thinking how, as players, we have been shooting ourselves in the foot thinking that we are fixing the executives and the coaches.

Largely, it got me thinking how Zimbabwean players have been sabotaging themselves a great deal by of lack of planning, lack of focus and time wasting.

This they have been doing fully aware that their career is one of the shortest and it’s continuity during this short period is down to the grace of God.

One major shortcoming that I discovered is that Zimbabwean football players do not set goals.

If they do, they set them too low such that they are very easy to achieve.

And the unfortunate part is that they tend to get satisfied with these low standards.

I have come to believe that’s why most of our players end up in South Africa when their potential could have got them to bigger stages.

I know how this affected my football playing career.

Initially, my biggest goal was to play in the 1995 All-Africa Games. After high school, I joined Black Aces in 1993, then, it was a professional team and my path was clear.

I had to leave Aces mid-season to further my studies in Bulawayo. I had to leave soccer for a while due to challenges I met in the City of Kings.

And with that, my 1995 goal vanished.

Having no other goal football-wise meant that I had nothing to motivate me to overcome the Bulawayo challenges. When I came back to Harare in 1997, football-wise I was lost.

I played Division One football for Unique Select until 1999. And I was just playing for fun. No goals, nothing.

In 2001, I joined Sporting Lions.

Luckily, my other career in banking had found its footing, so I regained focus football-wise.

My major goal now was to play Premiership football. That same year, we got promoted. And if the truth be told, my football career was as good as over.

If only I had set other goals, maybe my football career would have gone further. Unfortunately, I quit in 2004. Football-wise, I had arrived.

My story and my experience dealing with players have shown me that Zimbabwean football players don’t set goals at all.

If they do they are wishy-washy and lack ambition.

Most of them, their destination is South Africa. Instead, it should be a route to bigger things. How do our players behave when they get to South Africa? The same way I did when I got to play Premiership football. They would have arrived.

Countless names come to mind but I will focus on the current crop.

Check the behaviour of one of our greatest prospects, Khama Billiat.

You can tell, the young man has lost focus. No more ambition. No bigger goal to work on. He has arrived. I ask, “Does Khama’s talent and potential have to finish in South Africa?”

I say no.

At Dynamos, look at Cliff Sekete. He was a match winner at Gunners — the playmaker. People were talking of him as the next Warriors’ playmaker. With Wellington Kamudyariwo, they won all midfield duels that season.

Then he transferred to Dynamos and “he arrived.”

If I was Pasuwa, he would be my number one candidate for the exit door. Sekete is sabotaging himself, Dynamos, his family and the nation. He should clean up his act and work his back off to reach his potential.

As for Wellington, ‘Mbarehood’ got the better of him.

What then should we do?

Regardless of who you are or what you have been, you can be what you want to be.

My thinking is teams should force players to set clear goals, formulate an assessment plan and review each player’s achievements at the end of every term whether quarterly, half yearly or at the end of season. Put them in black and white.

Soccer should be taken seriously just like any other career. More seriously because it is short term.

If serious companies have appraisal systems why not soccer teams.

Are they not serious employers nurturing careers of a big proportion of the Zimbabwean population?

If teams cannot adopt this immediately, the player managers should take up this responsibility.

The importance of goal-setting can never be over-emphasized — it gives you that sense of meaning and purpose, a clear sense of direction. Even the Bible says it, “Where there is no vision, people perish”. Where there are no clear goals, life drags.

“Living without clear goals is like driving in a thick fog. No matter how powerful or well-engineered your car is, you drive slowly, hesitantly, making little progress on even the smoothest road. Deciding upon your goals clears the fog immediately and allows you to focus and channel your energies and abilities toward what you really want. Clear goals enable you to step on the accelerator of your career,” wrote Brian Tracy.

As players, they should set one-year, 2-year, 5-year, 10-year and even 20-year goals. And these goals should be big but realistic. Internalise them, believe them and above all believe in yourself.

Napoleon Hill said it well when he said, “whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

This gives clarity to your career path.

In fact, you actually give God something to work with.

Of importance is to regularly review your progress vis-agrave-vis the goals you set. This should be done with someone who would make you accountable.

Your team manager or personal manager would be ideal but any other person who is frank with you would do.

As you progress, you should seek for feedback on how you are doing. Seek feedback from your coaches, from your teammates, opponents, friends and family.

When you get that feedback, whether negative or positive, do not be defensive, embrace it. Just use it to improve your game. Work extra hard. Put in the time. Master your game, and mastery takes at least 10 000 hours of repetition.

Invest your time wisely, it is one of the most important ingredients in any successful formula for any human activity.

There is no other personal goal in football that hasn’t been achieved by an African, so you can do it.

Peter Ndlovu dazzled England, Bruce Grobbelaar charmed Europe, Kennedy Nagoli graced Brazil, Abedi Pele and George Weah conquered Europe.

I am encouraging every player to aim high, very high in fact.

Someone did it before, so can you.

Let me come back to my beloved team Dynamos and give a word of aice to the players. You would rather train your socks off and boycott the game than to boycott training and end up playing the game.

You will always lose out.

You actually make the executives’ job easier because they would not have that game’s bonuses to worry about.

And you risk getting injured because you will not be fit to play the game.

Bothwell Mahlengwe is a banker and former Premiership footballer. He can be contacted, for feedback, on – bmahlengwe.cb@gmail.com

Source : The Herald