This week, SportPesa Clubhouse ambassador, Doctor Khumalo took a different route as he focused on areas that he feels that are still limited when it comes to the teams and their players on the field.
“Having given credit to where it is due and acknowledging those who make a difference and ensuring that our development structures are taken care of, I’ve realised that we’re so limited in crucial areas on the field. I’m saying this based on what I see when I look at an individual, group and team tactical approach or tactics. What caught my eye was a particular moment, which is critical, that I would like to share, and it doesn’t only apply in the development structures but in the professional ranks as well.
“We are talking about creativity, finishing, goal-keeping, individual/group defensive tactics and many other crucial elements, but it puzzles me when I see so much of, not to say errors, some players looking a little bit lost. It is like they don’t know how to function in certain areas, how to excel in their individual brilliance and using their God-given talent. This brings to mind what is called functional training. What is functional training? It is training for a specific position or area on the field, like forwards, outside midfielders or goalkeepers.
“It involves training or practising the specific demands of the position or a role. If functional training existed or was taken care of regularly at training, I don’t think we’d see so many mistakes committed by our players in specific areas. For example, there are so many positions, attributes or movements that I can talk about during a game situation. Let’s talk about a left back overlapping into the final third and going on to play a poor cross that takes away from all the right things he’d done. That’s where functional training comes into play because I’ve seen players repeating the same mistakes season after season. The final third is a critical area that can determine whether we create or score. Now, if functional training isn’t taken care of, you will lose out on the scoring chances and therefore not win. Functional training is very good at influencing individual or group success in terms of tactics.”
The Kaizer Chiefs legend went on to speak about individual players and how they were the epitome of functional training. To read more on what ‘16v’ had to say, check out this week’s SportPesa Clubhouse column in Soccer Laduma, issue 1111.