Lifting the Trophy-

4 06 2010

lifting the trophy_Cover_Image

A story of soccer and the game of life

This article is about a small booklet from a big heart friend, Danie Nel.

Lifting the trophy is a story about soccer and the game of life. In soccer we play in a team. We have a coach and a captain and we play according to rules and a game plan. We develop our skills to score goals and we play hard until the final whistle blows. In the same way, we have the honour of playing in God’s team. He is our Coach in the game of Life. Jesus is our Captain and our game plan is to honour and glorify Him in all we do right until the final whistle blows. Lifting the trophy is a story that shows you how you are invited to be part of God’s team in the game of life where victory is guaranteed.

Here’s is an extract….

Victory celebrations
I will never forget that feeling. The final whistle blew and the crowds went wild. It had finally happened. All the hard work and training, all the dedication had come together. We were champions! As the trophy was handed over to us we could get lost in the moment of victory. As a team we formed a great unit and as players we were best friends. We could share this moment together as fireworks lit up the night skies in front of thousands of cheering fans in the stands and even more who were sitting in front of their televisions.
Later as we were walking on the field looking up into the empty stands, I thought back to where my love for this game started. My dad introduced me to this beautiful game of soccer. He was not there to share in our glory for he had already passed away but I knew he would have been happy for me. He would have been happy because of our victory but he would have been happier because I finally understood what he meant when he tried to explain to me that: “Life is pretty much like a soccer game”.
My dad and I got along really well and as a kid I used to laugh at him when he made this statement. I can still remember him chasing me and playfully tickling me for daring to laugh at him. Sometimes I miss my dad a lot even though I know he is in a much better place right now than I am. Looking up into the empty stands, I suddenly missed him. “Yes dad – life really is like a soccer game”. Let me try to explain. As a boy, I only understood soccer so the “life” part of his statement was pretty vague to me…

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Discipline: The Path to Potential

5 12 2009

By Dr. John C. Maxwell

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He may have been the most naturally gifted baseball player of all time. He was clocked rounding the bases in an incredible 13 seconds. Yet, his speed was nothing compared to the power of his hitting. It’s been said there were home run hitters, and then there was this man – in a league of his own. The Guinness Book of World Records credits him with hitting the longest home run ever measured, at 643 feet.

The player I’m describing is the great Mickey Mantle. By the age of 19 he had been called up to play for the New York Yankees. He won a World Series his rookie year, and his teams would capture seven championships over the course of his career. By the time he retired, Mantle had played more games as a Yankee than any other player, and had been named MVP of the American League three times. He still holds the all-time World Series records for home runs, runs scored, and runs batted in.

Yet, in spite of his impressive accomplishments, experts believe Mickey Mantle never reached his potential. Most blame Mantle’s chronic knee injuries for preventing him from doing more. But injuries weren’t the root of the problem. What most people didn’t know was that Mantle was a raging alcoholic.

At age 62, with his health and family life a mess, Mantle checked into the Betty Ford Clinic and started the long road to sobriety. Looking back from this vantage point, he assessed his career:

I never fulfilled what my dad had wanted [to be the greatest player who ever lived], and I should have. God gave me a great body to play with, and I didn’t take care of it. And I blame a lot of it on alcohol.

Everybody tries to make the excuse that injuries shortened my career. Truth is, after I’d had a knee operation the doctors would give me rehab work to do, but I wouldn’t do it. I’d be out drinking… I hurt my knees through the years, and I just thought they’d naturally come back. Everything has always come natural to me. I didn’t work hard at it.

Despite his great natural talent, Mickey Mantle never disciplined himself off the field. By the time Mantle was ready to change, it was too late. His liver was ruined from a life of alcoholism, and he died at age 64 from inoperable cancer.

Four Truths about Discipline

What were you born to do? What is your dream? To become the person you have the potential to be, you have to cultivate a life of discipline. Consider these truths concerning discipline:

Discipline Comes with a Price Tag

Discipline is costly. It demands a continual investment of time, energy, and commitment at the expense of momentary pleasure and ease. Discipline means paying hours of practice to win the prize of skill. Discipline means giving up short-term benefits for the hope of future gain. Discipline means pressing on to excellence long after everyone else has settled for average.

 Discipline Turns Talent to Greatness

When you read about someone like Mickey Mantle, you realize that too much talent can actually work against someone. Super-talented individuals can coast on sheer ability and neglect building the daily habits of success that will sustain them. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow shared much insight when he wrote:

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

If you want to reach your potential, attach a strong work ethic to your talent.

 Discipline Focuses on Choices, Not Conditions

In general, people approach daily discipline in one of two ways. They focus on the external or the internal. Those who focus externally allow conditions to dictate whether or not they remain disciplined. Because conditions are transitory, their discipline level changes like the wind.

In contrast, people with internal discipline focus on choices. You cannot control circumstances, nor can you control others. By focusing on your choices, and making the right ones regularly, you stay disciplined.

 Discipline Does Not Bow Down to Feelings

As Arthur Gordon said, “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you.”

If you do what you should only when you really feel like it, then you won’t build disciplined habits. At times, you have to act contrary to emotions. If you refuse to give into your lesser impulses, no matter how great they will make you feel in the moment, then you’ll go far.


Discipline is a matter of taking total responsibility for your future. Choose not to blame circumstances for the outcome of your life. Choose to go beyond your natural talent. Choose to make wise decisions repeatedly. Choose discipline as the path to your potential.

Leaders vs Managers

3 04 2009
“Manage things…
lead people.”
– Admiral Grace Hopper
Management in our modern day are easy mistaken for leadership. Our managers and leaders are different, let me explain. Leaders are full of passion and emotion, managers are strategic and direct. Leadership is creative, adaptive, and agile, management is about managing the status quo. Management can be taught but Leadership must be learned. Most battling organizations are over-managed and under-led. The world is full of managers and desperately short of leaders – real leaders.

People ask the difference between a leader and a manager. . . .
The leader works in the open, and the manager is covert.
The leader leads, and the manager drives.

                                                             (Theodore Roosevelt)

Let’s look at a couple of differences between Leaders and Managers.

Managers are restricting, Leaders are enabling:
True leadership will enable you to become the best you are, without any restrictions to reach your full potential.

Managers are autocratic, Leaders are democratic:
Manager will tell you how, where leaders will show you how.
Managers are playing safe, Leaders will take risk:
Leaders want to bring change, they want to explore the unknown. They are prepared to take the risk, for the benefit of the team. They like change. Managers prefer stability.
Managers are controlling, Leaders are freeing:
Secure leaders will free others to explore, experiment and lead. Managers is formal authority, where leaders have personal charisma.
Managers will be molding, Leaders will be releasing:
Managers will take, leaders will give. Managers will force, where Leaders will enhance.

Managers is rigid, leaders are flexible:
Managers work according to rules and regulations, but leaders will restructure to the needs of the situation.


Management– Doing things right
Leadership– Doing right things


In the end, we need probably need to be good at leading first and managing second, the what and why ….. then……. the how and the when!
 After everything was said, what would you like to be?

Winning Smart

20 03 2009

Adapted from Brad Gilbert’s book ‘Winning UGLY’.


In this article you will read about the preparation on how to be at your best, and how you can win smart? The question would be if you could plan to win? Further we will discuss on how to outsmart your opponent!! Also looking how you can gain advantage over other players?


Fail to prepare…prepare to fail

Your game begins off the court, that means that you should be start before you even play your first game. Your warm-up is part of your game, and should be early on.

Thinking on the game:
Start thinking ahead about your game, maybe start finding out who you play, then go and have a look at their game if they are playing!!


Who am I playing and how can I beat him/her?
Find out who you playing? Start thinking in ways to beat your next opponent?
How do they attack and when/where?
Watch their game if they are playing and look when and where do they attack?
What’s his/her weakness?
What are they continually doing wrong? Could be their back hand, or they don’t like a short ball on their forehand? Could you benefit from their weak inconsistent serve?
How should I play against my next opponent?
Look at what is working against them, watch what they doing in their current game?

click here for download of the whole article

This ‘Winning Smart’ article was done at several sport academies, so I would love to share it on here. Feel free to watch the video clip…

or click here to download the article

10 Habits of Highly Successful Players

6 03 2009

Rather than hoping one day you will become a good player you need to do the things that good players do. Therefore to be a good player you need to act as if you are a good player and the rest will/should follow. Below are 10 habits of successful players for your consideration.

1. Successful players set and implement practice goals they can achieve; with their coach.

2. Successful players do not give up if they don’t succeed immediately at their goals; they accept personal responsibility for their own progress, rather than blaming anyone else.

3. Successful players have a high work ethic; they work with greater effort and intensity during practice while having fun.

4. Successful players practice exercises that they find initially uncomfortable; they choose tasks of varying difficulty in which their abilities will be tested.

5. Successful players seek constructive feedback from their coach or someone they trust at frequent intervals about how well they are doing; they consider those comments and follow up on them where applicable.

6. Successful players may value performance success rather than friendship formation as an outcome of competitive sport.

7. Successful players practice, practice then practice some more.

8. Successful players properly warm up then stretch before practice and important competitions.

9. Successful players know to maintain a healthy lifestyle by avoiding foods that contain empty calories (i.e. sugary foods).

10. Successful players plan their games rather than trusting to luck to win.


20 02 2009

by Dr. John C. Maxwell

I read this great article on that I thought you’d enjoy…

Perseverance is not an issue of talent. It is not an issue of time. It is about finishing. Talent provides hope for accomplishment, but perseverance guarantees it.

Running Past Failure

As a small child, Vonetta (Jeffrey) Flowers dreamed about being in the Olympics. She ran everywhere she went, and gained a reputation among her school friends for being quick. At age nine, Vonetta learned she had special talent. While trying out for an inner-city track club in her hometown of Birmingham, she shocked coaches by posting the best sprint time for Jonesboro Elementary School – running faster than boys two years older than she was!

Vonetta’s immense talent carried her to the University of Alabama-Birmingham on a track-and-field scholarship. While at the university, she continued to pursue her goal of gaining a spot on the Olympic team. She practiced meticulously to perfect her stride, spent hours in the weight room adding strength, and ran grueling intervals to shave seconds off her sprint times. Thanks to her combination of talent and discipline, Vonetta ended her college career as a 7-time All-American, competing in the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints, long jump, triple jump, heptathlon, and relays.

With her college career finished, Vonetta set her sights on the 1996 Olympics. Unfortunately, she failed to qualify for the team, running slightly behind the leaders. The failure stung, but Vonetta was determined not to give up. She found a job as an assistant coach and continued her regimen of training.

For the next four years, Vonetta put her body through punishing workouts with an eye on the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. In her words, “I devoted countless hours to lifting weights, eating right, and staying mentally tough. I knew that my time as an athlete was coming to an end, and I’d hoped that the 2000 Olympic trials would prove to be my year to finally find out what it’s like to be an Olympian.”

In June 2000, Vonetta lined up again to run at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, Vonetta placed 13th, and she failed to make the Olympic squad. Although one of the fastest women in America, she wasn’t in the select group to represent the United States in Sydney. After 17 years of training, she had come up empty in her quest for the Olympics.

You can read the full article here:

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More Than Colour Blind

6 02 2009

by Lotan Matewere

(Defeating Prejudice to Lead)
Prejudice in more than colour blind
Prejudice is defined as any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence. Psychologist divides it into three categories: Cognitive Prejudice which refers to what people believe is true. Affective Prejudice refers to what people like and dislike. Conative Prejudice refers to how people are inclined to behave. However, in whatever form prejudice might present itself, the story of Timothy in the Bible and that of Barack Hussein Obama shows us that the inner desire to change what is not good and the power we have within to do so is more powerful than the prejudice.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul worked vehemently with the young boy Timothy to help him become blind to the prejudices associated with his age to become an effective leader in his own corner of influence. In 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul say to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” On another occasion he also reminded Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God, which was in him through Paul’s blessing upon him and that God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control
The story of Obama’s ascendancy to power in the USA indicates not only that the world is now becoming colour blind but also carries with it the message that says there are possibilities beyond prejudice and that we all can make it if we can be a bit more shrewd and resilient. In one of his speeches Obama said, “In no other country in the world is my story even possible–that the son of a Black student from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas who grew up in the world’s most populous Muslim nation (Indonesia) could run for President of the most powerful nation on earth on the ticket of a major political party”. Unlikely as it may be, Obama is now the president of the United States of America, however, weather Obama will be a good leader or not is a chapter of his story that we all will live to see as he leads what is arguably the most powerful nation on earth.
The stories that are yet to be told are the stories of so many other people at the grassroots of whom Obama’s story typifies. Just like America was desperate for a leader on the top who would champion change (from the way things have been to the way things ought to be) and reinvigorate their American dream, people at the grassroots in all corners of society are in urgent need of potential leaders unique to their society to rise above prejudice and unleash their potential to lead and rekindle hope and the desire in people to practically contribute towards a better world.
The bottom line therefore is that in order for the perpetrators of prejudice to become blind to his prejudice, the victims of the prejudice ought to become blind to the prejudice themselves and take up position to lead. Whatever preconceptions people may have over those that perceive themselves as potential leaders should not be a deterrent for them to pursuing their goal to reach the frontline. It is the success of the pursuit that dispels prejudice.