The first half of the 2018/19 season is nearing the finish line and for all clubs, they will be making sure to have had achieved all of their targets before the Christmas break.
SportPesa ambassador, Doctor Khumalo shared some valuable advice as he pointed out five pillars that teams need to work closely on in the last matches until the end of the year as it is likely to give an indication of what will happen at the end of the season.
“It is that time of the year, with the Christmas break looming. This is a very critical stage of the season as it affects the performance of the team. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to talk about the five pillars of performance – mental, technique, tactical, conditioning and social. If you check closely what happens around this time in the league, you’ll notice that this time of the year kind of gives you an idea of what is likely to happen at the end of the season. You see the relegation candidates, you see who will be competing for a Top Eight spot and who will be challenging for the league title.
“With the congestion of the fixtures, especially for those who are campaigning in the continental tournaments as well as the Nedbank Cup, it is going to be tricky for anyone who hasn’t achieved their Christmas break targets. Teams’ depth will be put to the test and it will be interesting to see how everyone handles their situation because you can’t separate those five pillars of performance. The one that I feel will be the most challenging will be the mental pillar. In order for players to perform, they need the following: self-awareness, goals-setting, imaginary, arousal and concentration. When we talk about these things, we’re not only talking about the players but everyone within the team set-up. Everyone has to be on the same page as far as the expectations are concerned.
“If your target was to be in the Top Eight bracket and you’re not there now, you obviously start panicking because we all know what happens in the second round as everyone is fighting for points for all the different reasons. Players are going to have a break and they have to come back a few days after Christmas, which is a problem on its own, and the mind is still on a festive mode. The first week of January will be action-packed and anyone who isn’t ready to collect points there might regret it. Every club gives out a programme to their players for the Christmas break, in order to maintain their fitness levels, but who can safely say every player follows that programme religiously?”
Khumalo went on to talk about players and having self-awareness as they go into the break. To check out what the Kaizer Chiefs legend had to say, get yourself a copy of Soccer Laduma, issue 1102.