One of our staff associates, Batandwa Ntsebeza, shares his thoughts after a week coaching soccer on the July Boot Camp.
“For my mid-year holidays, I ventured out to my homeland – Transkei – to share my coaching expertise that I have acquired over the last 18 months. I was called up upon by my high school mentor, Craig Paxton, to assist in the Axium Bootcamp where, for one week, me along with 10 other peers did a maths and science holiday school programme. This is followed each day by a sporting clinic, involving soccer, touch rugby and netball training. I ran the soccer clinic for a group of senior secondary school learners, where I taught them soccer the “BT Way”!
What is the “BT Way”? Soccer is not only played on the field, but off it too. What you learn on the soccer field can later be applied to other aspects of daily life; for example, discipline. One point I emphasised was punctuality; arriving on time (14h30) for training was a practice which I drilled into my team because the habit of being punctual for training is important to apply to other activities in life, such as arriving on time for meetings. I also emphasised that sport and school work hand-in-hand; you cannot aspire to be a professional soccer player and work hard on the field without putting in the same effort in your books. I also made it clear that alcohol and sports do NOT mix. There is much more to the “BT Way”, and each day after the session all of these points were covered; helping to drill the message home.
On the first day of the clinic, the players didn’t really know me so they took most of what I said with a pinch of salt. By the end of the second day, however, I managed to win them over which made it easier for them to take in what I was teaching them. The most rewarding part of this week for me was that before I came to coach, the players had a very specific – and quite raw – style of playing soccer but I was able to shape their natural skills and by the end of the week, the players were playing a style of soccer which is more internationally recognised. Hopefully this will encourage these players to reach for the stars with soccer. My goal this week was to leave a mark/ legacy, which could continue to live on even when I am gone, and after chatting to my players at our final briefing and last session, they assured me that they would carry on playing the “BT Way”.”