How the 'mafia' rule

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 19:36
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EXCLUSIVE: Eugene Eloff, a two-time former Under-19 World Cup winner, talks about the criteria that should apply when appointing coaches and administrators.

At 02.41 this morning I woke up and started thinking about a few possible themes for discussion in my column.

My thoughts bounced up and down. Numerous negative incidents, situations and words came to mind - such as the South African Rugby Union's ostrich attitude, the fact that SA rugby is in a downwards spiral, incompetent administrators, mafia-style behaviour and family-like units (where teams and unions keep it tight).

The list carries on.

The real loser in all this is the game itself - the coaches and the players.

However, let us turn every negative into a positive.

Go do some research. You will be amazed how coaches and players have been moved, fired and mismanaged.

However, the administrators stay the same - the same old faces.

It is like the old Broederbond or mafia. You don't surround yourself with the best people, but bring in weak people that don't challenge you as a leader. They just feed of the leader and keep him in place. That is how it works.

Our rugby will survive, if only for those few administrators with integrity that are there for the love of the game and care about the real future of the game in South African.

To those administrators and coaches, I salute you.

To the other I can just say, you made your bed, karma is a b***h (in Afrikaans we speak about 'die blinde sambok').

Do the right thing, take responsibility, admit mistakes, come with a workable plan that can be executed and will work.

Alternatively, do the honourable thing and stand down!

We need stability in SA Rugby now!

So let's stay on the topic and ask what is the critical success factor to consider when appointing personnel.

A good friend and vice headmaster at Oakdale agricultural school in Riversdal once told me this story about the previous headmaster at that school - who had very specific criteria to appoint teachers at the school.

He talked about the three Cs. (CCC is also the vehicle registration code for Riversdal.)

However, his Cs stood for Competence, Character and Chemistry.

I thought about that. It was so simple, so obvious.

Your coaches, players and administrators must be selected and appointed using the CCC principle as a starting point.

Let's look at the definition for these words:

Competence: A cluster of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that enable a person (or an organisation) to act effectively in a job or situation. Competence indicates sufficiency of knowledge and skills that enable someone to act in a wide variety of situations. If administrators, coaches or players are not competent to exercise their jobs with excellence, perfection, pride, distinction, they will not be successful.     

Character: The way someone thinks, feels, and behaves: someone's personality. A set of qualities that are shared by many people in a group, country, etc. The asset of qualities that make a place or thing different from other places or things. To me, this is such a great aspect of us, humans. Every person has character and is different, and that makes coaching and leading a dynamic process. Allow the individual to live his character without being bossed bullied manipulating or suppressed.

Chemistry: Sooner or later, you will encounter a group of people who work together well with limited conflict. Members of teams with good chemistry often have good personal. It is all about chemistry, getting the right mix, getting people to love each other for who and what they are just as they are. Labouring and working together prepared to learn from each other, have fun and enjoy their surroundings and respecting and following their leader. Go read the book 'Animal Farm' and you will see lots of Napoleon's behaviour in businesses and in the world. It is very much like a revolution.

I enjoy the South African supporters and rugby public in general. They are opinionated and extremely passionate about the game. It is great to have opinions and criticism, but the criticism should come with solutions and positive reinforcements. I enjoy the comments and read them all - keep the good and discard the bad.

* Finally, my bags are packed. I am leaving for Texas tomorrow (Wednesday) to take up my post as Director of Rugby/Head Coach at Austin Huns on Friday.

Sunday I will present a seminar to all youth coaches, inspiring them and teaching them the core essentials of the game and instil good work ethics, a few skilled games, goals to achieve ,but mostly to LOVE the game and enjoy it - to have FUN.

I will still support South African players and coaches, be a LIONS supporter and follow the game will all my heart, desire and dedication.

I will also keep my relationship with Moonshine and Rugby 364...…

Bon Voyage

By Eugene Eloff