We have talented players, but reckless lifestyle wrecks sports

I am back to my original polemics, the polemics that I have vowed to be defending whenever it comes to the subject of the magnitude of talents of Tanzanian players.

Having trained the national soccer teams (Kilimanjaro Stars and Taifa Stars) and almost all prominent soccer clubs in the country, I can confidently say that Tanzanian players are as good and talented as any other African players featuring in different top class clubs in the different high profile leagues.

There are a number of names which would have made first rate world players if they were born somewhere else (not Tanzania) because their talent in soccer would have been spotted at a tender age and therefore developed to the highest possible standard.

When you talk of players like the late Hamisi Thobias ‘Gaga’, the late Said Mwamba ‘Kizota, Athuman China, Zamoyoni Mogela, Hussein Masha, Edibily Lunyamila and Nteze John, just to mention but a few, you refer to players whose talent in soccer were as good as the popular Nwankwo Kanu, Didier Drogba or Augustine Okocha.

The sole difference between Tanzanians and the Drogbas and Kanus is the fact that there exists a missing link in timely spotting and molding them. This problem has led to the accumulation of incidental players in most of the domestic soccer clubs which are the main source of the national team players.

There has been a long prevailing misconception that the somatotype physique (structure and height) of Tanzanian players is not conducive to top level playing.

The main argument has been centred on the height of players; that they are too short to cope with the demands of the dynamics of modern soccer.

But when one conducts a comparative analysis of the somatotype physique between top level players such as Samuel Eto’o, Augustine Okocha and that of Athman Iddi `Chuji’ and Haruna Moshi ‘Boban’, one would discover that there exists no significant difference in height between them.

There exist three main significant differences between top level players and the ones playing in our domestic premier league.

The first difference is that, professional players have an appropriate progressive training system which enhances the anatomical and physiological changes in the different body organs and systems which make them solve the different physical, technical and tactical tasks in most economical manner to perfection.

Secondly, professional players have first rate aptitude in execution of techniques and tactics of the game. This is normally brought about by the appropriate tutelage of techniques and tactics of the game from tender age.

The third disparity between professional players and those playing the kick and chase domestic league, is the way they maintain a rational sportsman’s life.

To be a professional player, one needs to know how to appropriately budget his time according to the different calls of life.

Professionals train seriously for long hours and thereafter have long hours of rest intervals so that the body organisms recuperate optimally.

Of course it is during these rest intervals when peaking (gaining of sports form) takes place. While professionals have long hours of sleep to enhance complete rest, they also take appropriate nutrition which guarantees adequate energy supply that conforms to demands of the strenuousness of soccer training.

On the contrary, Tanzanian players lack appropriate tutelage of techniques and tactics from a tender age; an aspect which makes most of them incidental ones. Most Tanzanian players do not observe an appropriate sports regime in their daily lives.

In most clubs, players will go to the training field late and hence fail to cope with the coach’s schedule and during training, they seldom engage seriously in the process.

After training sessions, players do not get enough time to rest so that they can recuperate from the strenuous activity.

Another pertinent problem is that Tanzanian players do not sleep adequately because they spend long hours of their evenings in pubs and other promiscuous activities which have an adverse effect to their sports form.

If those involved in preparing and training of players in the different clubs of the premier league will make their players change their attitude and life styles, Tanzania will soon see her players in high profile league. It can be done; we just have to make it happen.

By Syllersaid Mziray


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