There have been some interesting discussions this week in Supporters Club, and in one of them we asked the question: What is "mental toughness" in football? We had some great answers, and one in particular stood out, and it serves as some sound advice for Mamelodi Sundowns this weekend.
SL user Matome_Kay had some great examples of mental toughness:
"You look at players like Cristiano Ronaldo, who faces criticism all over the media, is called names, but always stays positive," he said.
"He doesn't let negativity gets to him. I can't imagine what Dani Alves must have felt when a fan threw a banana at him, but what did he do? He just smiled, picked up the fruit and had a bite."
This is particularly interesting given the habit of coaches blaming all things external as to why they may have lost the game. We, as supporters, hear all the excuses but don’t see the results. The message is loud and clear here: No one said it was easy, but there's still a job to be done.
"Orlando Pirates in Lubumbashi. Hostile conditions, dubious decisions, two dubious penalties, captain red-carded. What it took for the late Senzo Meyiwa to save those two penalties, and Bucs to win that game was mental strength," Matome_Kay continued.
"Football is not for the faint-hearted, and as for Africa, it's not for sissies."
It is even more interesting to hear sound advice for Sundowns using Pirates as an example, and all of this coming from a Kaizer Chiefs fan.
So, Sundowns, the road is not smooth, but you fly the flag and you carry the badge. South Africa is behind you, go out there and conquer the conditions before they have a chance to conquer you… Because they will.
What is your advice for Sundowns this weekend?