devise wise methods

Let's continue from where we were talking about Carlos Alberto Parreira and for the sake of clarity we will repeat the last paragraph of part 3.

Let's continue from where we were talking about Carlos Alberto Parreira and for the sake of clarity we will repeat the last paragraph of part 3.

It took Parreira just a few months to acknowledge the reality that the national team can only become internationally competitive if using short passing for ball possession, flexible and creative tactics and sustained mobility with a well-organised defence.

It is hard to believe, but too many South Africans - coaches, players, reporters - can still not see it.

Coaches are the first victims of a wrong mentality.

One of the fundamental rules of basic coaching says that when devising training methods and the way the game should be played, a coach must consider the anatomy, physiology and psychology of players.

That will decide the difference between, for example, playing short or long passes and being capable of playing physically aggressive or technically superior football. The fact is that whenever coaches' ideas and methods clashed with the make-up of the South African players in the recent times, the following happened:

l The performance of the team went rapidly down;

l Supporters became increasingly unhappy;

l Players' confidence, commitment and enthusiasm were lost; and

l Following harsh media criticism and own management's dissatisfaction, the coach was fired.

Interestingly, some coaches are able to keep their jobs for longer periods simply because they accept to give in on certain aspects of their game mentality, which may contrast or oppose players' characteristics.

In such cases, the performance could still be acceptable but if there is no synergy between what the coach's ambitions are and what the players can genuinely deliver, conflict is usually inevitable.

The highly debated cases of Ernst Middendorp, Paul Dolezar, Bibey Mutombo, Gordon Igesund, Muhsin Ertugral, etc - all qualified and experienced coaches - show the extreme difficulty of delivering good performance when the players are either improperly developed or "no-match" for a contrasting coaching philosophy.

The current coaches' divergent approaches to the style of play in the context of the South African game environment makes it almost impossible to first unify the opinions on the strongest inborn football traits of the players and then to develop them into an advanced and competitive style.

Serious consideration must be given to the fact that among the coaches working in South African football, some reflect the influence of the old English school of coaching, which is the source of their learning/diploma, while others have adopted coaching methodologies comprising different European concepts.

This second group should be viewed as less rigid and more open to accepting local specificity and new game concepts.

Then there is the Safa scheme of qualification, which is almost a copycat of the German/Dutch model, and other similar coaching doctrines mainly defined for the biosocial profile of players from those respective European countries.

It comprises only minimal content that is relevant to the valuable characteristics of South African players while over-emphasising their weaknesses, that is, a less effective approach of addressing the "wrongs" instead of maximising the strengths.