It’s always important to remember “why” we do what we do each day. Football is difficult. In fact, it’s harder than difficult and when a breakthrough is achieved, it’s 99.9% of the time a result of the “why” in your life. Failure, is also similarly related to the “why,” but that’s for another day.
Lisakhanya Nogcinisa (Khanya) started his journey with us in 2015, under our head coach Justin Behrens. In 2018, at the age of 15 years old, Khanya is rubbing shoulders with players two to three years his senior at top level and is dominating. We asked Justin how Khanya has achieved what he has in such a short time-frame: “For starters, Khanya always knew why he spent the amount of time he did on the football pitch. The end goal has always remained a constant, to be a professional footballer. But, he is willing to grind it out and push hard during the tough times. We’ve had days on the pitch, when Khanya was 12 and the weather was unplayable. I sometimes felt like I was pushing him a bit hard, but I always checked in with him to see if he was enjoying himself and the answer was always ‘yes coach.’ I couldn’t let a poor day of weather stop Khanya from getting another 300 touches on the ball and he wasn’t going to allow it either, so we always pushed on. Key to his success was that he committed. I was a young coach and still am, plying my trade and learning everyday, but Khanya committed to me, and both Khanya and his parents trusted my judgement. It’s a lot of responsibility as a coach, as time is so limited to develop a player to the level they need to be, to be professional, but he never doubted me, which made the job easier. I think it’s important that the player and coach have a good level of understanding and mutual respect for one another, as that will get both of you through the days that aren’t so great. It’s a 50/50 relationship and both player and coach need to be equally committed to the end goal. My advice to players is to commit, all in, 110% to a club and coach. Once you show that level of commitment, doors start opening and coaches, club owners and agents will do a lot for you.”
Well done Khanya!!