Players’ confidence hit by negative comments on social media – coach
Kaizer Chiefs’ wastefulness in front of goal has everything to do with confidence that coach Steve Komphela asserts is being eroded by abuse on social media.
He says players are taking fewer risks these days and attempting less innovative moves because they are scared of the negative feedback that follows failure.
“Unfortunately, we are living in the social media era where everything is in the players’ faces‚” Komphela said.
“At the end of the game the player goes out and checks [what is being said about him]. If he has missed chances‚ they say he is a cow‚ he is this and that.
“That player is obviously going to be affected emotionally and mentally and he is not going to be the same player in terms of trying to score in the next game.” Komphela said there was much less space in the modern game with tighter and better organised defences and therefore players needed to be even more creative if they were to prise open opportunities and score goals.
But because of the abuse they were increasingly reluctant.
Chiefs missed several good opportunities on Wednesday night as they went down 1-0 to Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth and have now scored just twice in their previous six outings.
Their total for the league season so far is a paltry 11 in 13.
The defeat means they are without a win in their last five league games‚ increasing the pressure on Komphela‚ who said his coaching job was being split between on-field work and acting as a psychologist.
“Any coach must have some level of skill as a psychologist,” he said. “You are dealing with emotions. “If they are high‚ you must detect and bring them down.
“If they are too low and you feel they are just about to crumble‚ you have to lift them.
“When you determine what action to take – to lift them up or bring them down to Mother Earth – it calls for a certain level of understanding.
“At the end of the match‚ when the referee blew the whistle‚ you could see all the gold and black shirts [Chiefs] were down.
“The first thing that comes to mind is ‘what message are we sending?’
“You have to immediately be there and lift them up because it is not only about the players going down but also the depression they send to their own [supporters].
“It is not only for coaches to inspire players but it is also for players to stand on behalf of their people. We have to show character‚ that we’ve taken it on the chin and we can say‚ ‘I still have my head held up high’.
“You need that because if you drop your shoulders you are depressing those who support you.”
Chiefs play against Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg tomorrow.