Tanzanian soccer enthusiasts should not overestimate Stars` virtues
In the competitive world of sport, it is natural for athletes to focus on outcome goals. Winning, as an outcome, provides the athlete with many intrinsic rewards as from medals, money recognition and fame.
However, this becomes a problem if the athlete believes that everything revolves around winning.
There are only a few winners in sports and consequently outcome goals limit success to a very small group.
To belong to this very small group of winners, athletes, coaches and sports associations need to set realistic goals which are achievable.
Arguably, some Tanzanian soccer lovers had placed too high hopes on the possibility of Taifa Stars to qualify for both the South Africa’s 2010 World Cup as well as the African Cup of Nations finals to be hosted by Angola.
It is hard to believe what gives confidence to such people as regards the performance of the national team.
What makes one confide in a team composed of players who haven’t made their bones in top level competitive soccer like the Stars remains to be a mystery. Soccer demands proper selection as well as sound preparations of the individual players and the entire team.
Ostensibly the Stars are being given first rate attention from the government as well as from the sponsors Serengeti Breweries and the National Microfinance Bank (NMB).
The kind of attention and service that is being accorded to the team has made the public in general to expect very positive returns from the team; winning so to speak.
When the team fails to deliver the goods, the sponsors, the government, Tanzania Football Federation officials and the entire public are disappointed. All these become disappointed because the set goals are not achieved.
While it is relatively easy to set goals, it is another matter to persevere and achieve them. It requires a great deal of commitment from all stake holders of the training of the team. Commitment can always be strengthened if each player has a share in formulating the goals for his career.
Every player should have the feeling that they are his goals and that he must take responsibility for achieving them. Players should realize that being selected to play for the national team is not their final goal but rather a beginning for them to play in top level world soccer competitions.
Another problem with outcome goals is the fact that they are seldom completely under the control of the player.
A player is able to control his own performance, commitment, effort and the likes but he cannot control the performance of his opponents.
Tanzanian players are as good as any other African players but have not been groomed to confide on their abilities.
When one looks at the way the Stars play, one gets an impression that the team is studded with a good number of talented players who are able to manipulate with and without the ball in so many ways.
If a team can succeed to produce 18 corner kicks in a single game that implies that the team’s attacking pattern is good.
When the very same team fails to utilize all the 18 corner kicks to produce a goal then players have a problem.
The way the Stars played against the Mauritians was very good. Players displayed a lot of techniques and tactics which showed a good sign of maturity in them. The game was very entertaining despite of its being unproductive.
What the Stars lack is the ability to slot the ball into the net of the opposing team, an action which determines who the winner is.
Seemingly Tanzanian players have been spoilt by the endless reinforcements by the sponsors and the TFF whenever they achieve a slight success.
The team has always been accorded a royal reception whenever a slight achievement has been realized.
This has increased the levels of arousal on the part of players, an aspect which has suppressed their abilities to perform.
In fact, when arousal level is markedly different from optimal level, it negatively affects performance.
To overcome this problem in the future, players need to adjust their arousal levels in order to maximize the chance of good performance.
Now that the team will play against a star studded Cameroon, it is time that the coaching crew begins dealing with players levels of arousal.
God is so great, precious and loving; so he created us different!