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The End of a Trying Season

A Reflection TSFA's Offering and Effect on Players During an International Pandemic

I would like to open this Blog with the following interesting article entitled "Will team sports develop leadership in my child?":

"Team sports allow children to work together to achieve goals but it’s not a silver bullet to developing life skills.

As Coaches and parents, we know that regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions. We've also been told that team sports, in particular, are great in helping teach children important leadership and life skills.

With so much emphasis placed on the benefits of sports, many parents are quick to enroll their children in team sports – over other types of extra murals – in the hopes that it will not only help improve the health of their kids, but nurture discipline, teamwork, and critical thinking in their children. It is frequent to hear phrases such as "rugby teaches discipline", or "soccer teaches teamwork". Unfortunately, though, it isn't quite that simple.

The value of sport

While hearing someone say, "rugby teaches leadership" does not sound jarring, if one of your friends were to suggest that "finger painting teaches leadership", you would stare at them in disbelief. The source of this disbelief stems from what have become commonplace understandings about the value of sport.

These understandings are that sport "naturally" teaches "leadership", "teamwork", or "critical thinking". In turn, these understandings have become deeply entrenched in the way society values sport. Although there is evidence that sport – when delivered appropriately – can help young people develop, the picture is more complex.

For instance, one of the most popular perceptions about the value of team sports is that they teach "teamwork". But it may well be that not a great deal of teamwork gets learned when more proficient players become frustrated at their teammates for having inferior technical and tactical skills. Or less-skilled teammates feel inadequate and unwelcome because of their limited ability. And therefore, we should be cautious about the assumed educational value of rugby (or any other sport) over any other activity – like finger painting.

It's not what your child does, it's the way that they do it

Before enrolling your child in a team sport, make sure that they really want to do that particular sport. While a sense of belonging matters to children, it's important that they participate in an activity they enjoy, with people they like, all while feeling part of something bigger.

The hidden variable

Team sport itself does not improve young people's development - the "hidden" variables of passion, relationships, and a sense of belonging, genuinely do. So, when it comes to young people's social and psychological development, the focus should not be on which sport to play, but on how the sport is used.

Sport can be a great educational tool, but so can many other interests or pursuits. And instilling passion, relationships, and a sense of belonging is something any activity – such as finger painting or stamp collecting – can achieve.

As the saying goes "it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it", and that couldn't be more apparent."

This article published in the Kempton Express on 1 December 2021, sheds light on the value of sport, the importance of enjoying sport and the hidden variable of sport. Enjoyment, positivity and individual growth are the foundations on which TSFA's data-based, individualised training training methodology was built.

An inclusive Development Environment

TSFA delivers a unique, holistic and inclusive development environment for beginners and advanced football players alike through:

  • Our players are encouraged to remain inclusive, positive and focused on their own growth. As our TSFA players consistently consider each other's current abilities, account for weaknesses and demonstrate patience as each player's focus should be on their own self-growth. The TSFA environment aims to eradicate toxic competitiveness, encouraging players to work hard and celebrate every success, as small as it may seem.

  • The adoption of the latest in football technology. The Playermaker Smart Tec analysed by our experienced coaches, delivers individualised information made available to players enabling them to challenge themselves regardless of their ability. The better you get the harder the challenge.

  • Self-fulfillment through accountability. Self-motivation and taking responsibility for one's own success is TSFA's ultimate objective for each player. As players pursue self-fulfillment, they create opportunities to be challenged whilst getting joy from both the process and the outcome of training. This includes the necessary effort focus, and repetition of the correct skills and relevant techniques taught during training, which are mainly expected to happen on the players' own time.

  • External competition. More competitive players are encouraged to compete outside of the TSFA environment, which helps them test their skills, as well as stay relevant and motivated.

2 Years of Training During a Pandemic

Covid-19 has presented all football training structures with a challenge during the last two years -especially structures falling within a schooling system. Fortunately, TSFA had lost very little development time, in fact, we grew in numbers and managed to include competitive matches into our program. The result was a very positive year overall.

The signed collage the twins received when they left TSFA.

Changes were always happening as TSFA lost two key junior players to immigration to the Netherlands, Kano and Nolego Rakoma. A wonderful move for their football and all reports coming from them was very exciting. They have joined a club, where they are busy training and playing matches as well as attending advanced Ajax training camps at the Ajax Facility. In addition, they have found a new freedom. These 12-year-old twins now ride their bicycles to school and to their club training sessions. What a wonderful growth opportunity for boys who were previously totally dependent on their parents for transport and time management.

Joe with his signed TSFA collage

TSFA also celebrated another graduation as Joe Cheyip left ESCA and TSFA bound for Texas in the USA where he is going to study Robotics and hopefully continue to find time for football within his busy schedule. We wish him all the best in the future!

In acknowledgment of progress made during 2020 and 2021, we had our TSFA prize-giving earlier this month. TSFA players were presented with their in-depth progress reports compiled from data collected from standardized testing and match analysis data recorded by PLAYERMAKER Smart tec. which covered all facets of player performance.

The data reported a positive improvement of around 72% across the board for the majority of the players in all criteria. These improvements directly translated into impressive performances for the players during matches at a competitive level, within the TSFA environment and within the players' own club performances. The following awards were handed out during our prize-giving:


Most improved: Tannyth Fourie

Top Achievers: Tannyth Fourie, Nicolaos Nicolaou and Gabriel van Niekerk

Recipient of the Mitch Stevens Floating Trophy for overall top achiever: Gabriel van Niekerk


Most improved: Jordan Smith, Ronaldo Noordman and Benjamin Eliyahu

Top Achievers: Nicolaos Nicolaou and Gabriel van Niekerk

Recipient of the Mitch Stevens Floating Trophy for overall top achiever: Nicky Nicolaou

Ben, Jordan and Ronnie. Most improved 2021

Nicky (2021) and Gabriel (2020), Overall Top Achievers and winners of the Floating Trophy.

Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to all the players for their incredible commitment and great attitude towards each other, the coaches and their development.


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