The coach – the guy who shows us the way!

What is it about football coaches – like the game and its players they have to be a bit on the wild side? The 2006 World Cup Finals is a great study in contrasts – flamboyance pitted against a studied approach. Every one of them has a story to tell. At Japan legendary Brazilian footballer Zico must be a sad man for their loss at their first fixture and the coach has been embattled there anyway.
 
And then there is Sven Goran Eriksson the Swede at England who has had some of his personal life love trysts rather humiliating published. Jurgen Klinsmann at Germany is no less criticized at Germany due to his love for all things American – he lives in California and has used American style fitness experts and regimens in his teams training for the world cup.
 
La Volpi the Mexican coach is also not liked too much by his fellow countrymen and that is a tough town there and that coach does not look any bit less tough than he has to be. There is also the legendary Leo – Don Leo Beenhakker – the celebrated senior Dutch coach who took Trinidad & Tobago; Brian Lara’s team & the world’s smallest every World Cup qualiying nation – all the way to Germany! Cigar fed Don Leo has been termed peripatetic – yup that gent –  he’s been around since he discovered Rijkaard!
 
A coach is someone that shows you the way – in the great Indian tradition there was Dronacharya, his failings with Ekalavya duty bound as he was laid light on his shoulders and it was such a pity to note that he was done in by the same that he so carefully taught! A good coach can make the person within rise to heights that was never thought possible. A coach can get performance out of humans to make them –  perhaps superhuman?!
In modern management the coach takes the role of the mentor – a teacher and guide – sometimes may even be a philospopher. Gung ho American companies even have  CEO coaches. The idea essentially is that these alpha male he men CEOs need people around them to teach them to be senisitive – an handler as it were?!?
 
But these are anonymouse lives that they lead – does any one recall – Valdemar de Brito?  He was Pele’s coach while he was at FC Santos and once  speaking to Pele, during Pele’s youth soccer years at the professional level training for the club:  "When you play for me", he would say, "You obey my orders. You come to practice on time, you stay as long as tell you to stay, and when you are here you do exactly what I tell you to do. Whether you are here or away from here you will not smoke or drink, and you will get to bed on time to get your rest. I will make you tired enough -don’t worry! – Without you arriving here tired because you didn’t get enough sleep". "What I have said goes for every man on the team; we’ll have no prima donnas. Anyone who cannot stand this discipline doesn’t have to stick around – but for those who do, I will teach you all I know about the game of Football". 
 
Those who follow world cup trivia may recall that de Brito is also the first ever player to ever miss a world cup penalty kick. That is a straight shot at the goal and to miss that means real bad news! But I guess he redeemed himself in some ways to have been the guy that ‘spotted’ Pele. In modern Indian history like in the past – we have our own gurus. Narayan Murthy – the creator in many ways of Infosys of India has decided to fade away in the sunlight as a benign sage. It was interesting to note also how soon later Bill gates of Microsoft also seemed to follow a similar path announcing his roadmap for a gradual  step down and dissipation from the big software giant at Seattle, WA. Both these great minds had passed on the mantle through a mentoring position and we await the next high or dips that their successors will take their companies to. But if they have done their jobs well – then what shall follow shall be bigger than what they left behind.
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About Soumya
A technology enthusiast, forever enamored by all that it hath wrought and of course here is an attempt at making sense of it all and perhaps simplifying it!

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