Monday, August 25, 2014

SASFA Tourney proves major deficiencies in quest for development

The SASFA Nkangala Region tournament went on successfully on Saturday, with many issues proving lack of proper coaching. The development nature of the tournament needed urgent attention. The Under 13 and 17 boys and girls competed. The Under 15 competed in other tournaments previously and those capable of making the grade in the Under 17 made the team.

There were lots of goals, mostly due to the nature of the forward kick and rush coupled with equally bad goalkeeping. The fact that the attacks were successfully finalised gave meaning to the special day.
Credit must go to the organisers for the job well done. Besides the obvious young and amateurish but technically mature of play, no coaches I managed to talk to, ever attended courses or coaching clinics. They had played football at college under unqualified coaches.
They coached football on bad pitches that are hard and dry. Few players had boots and the balls not adequate. Some felt they needed more time to coach the youth. Others were eager to attend coaching courses and coaching clinics to cater for the lack of capacity and skills to coach.
Local Football Association referees were in charge of the matches but they worked without Assistant referees. These referees need to upgrade themselves with the latest information regarding the amendments in the Laws of the Game.
This made the LFA referees get more experience, although most are retired referees after all. If assistant referees employed to offer their expertise, young players experience professional playing at an early stage.
With over 20 EMS personnel in attendance, it proved the need for special Sports Medicine training. Both the Mpumalanga EMS equipped with many medical kits and stretchers should be commended for their presence, with more than two ambulances on stand-by.
The schools and organisers needed to avail rehydration fluids. Water and juices could have been adequately supplied together with oranges as a cheap source of energy.
There is much one could say about player vetting, delegation of duties and handling of disputes. Prior to the commencement, each of these and others needed designation to individuals to deal with and then the President oversees whole process. These and issues regarding competition rules proved to possess detrimental loopholes.
Many having alluded to one-day tournaments being anti-development by their nature, a report to the organisers with recommendation may improve the aspect of disqualification of offenders as that denied schoolchildren to participate in their own tournament. As such, it is against the rights of the children to deny them the opportunity, usually the reasons unknown to them.
Other tools to correct the wrongs can be utilised, but the youths’ experience to participate is never recovered once lost. Most disputes emanate from the desire to win, an enemy of development. Coaches cheat by using over-age players and players who are not scholars. Well-trained people desist from such practises and work on player development which prioritises participation at all cost.  
The national team coach and the yet to be appointed Technical Director together with the South Africa Football Coaches Association need to set out a national football playing philosophy of the country.
Coaching courses, clinics and workshops must be urgently organised to capacitate school coaches with the skills to coach the school teams in order to have highly qualified coaches at the bottom as a development tool for regional, provincial and national teams.
A database for the available coaches must be compiled in order to ascertain the level of the coaching qualification and upgrade the standard of coaching in schools.
The affiliation to the South Africa Football Coaches Association by school coaches benefit the development in many ways, including utilising the available programs and resources for youth training among others.